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Highlights From the 2018 Reputation Rankings: Upscale Brands

Continuing our deeper dive of the results of ReviewPro’s 2018 Hotel Brand Reputation Rankings, an analysis of over 15 million reviews of 32,359 branded hotels in the U.S. and Canada, today we look at the Upscale brands segment. Who are the best and worst performers, and what does it take to climb the rankings? (Check out our previous posts about the Upper Upscale and Luxury segments.)

Ranking by Global Review Index™ (GRI)

Upscale represents the largest of the six segments, with 36 brands ranked. The average Global Review Index™ (GRI) in the Upscale segment is 85.5%. At the top of the rankings is Grand America Hotels & Resorts with a GRI™ of 91.1%, followed by Disney Hotels at 90.8% and Stoney Creek Hotels at 90.7%. In a pattern seen in other segments, only two large brands, IHG’s Staybridge Suites, and Hyatt’s Hyatt House make the top-ten rankings.

Large hotel on backdrop of blue sky and mountains, Grand America Hotels & Resorts

Upscale brands tend to be larger in size and less homogenous in terms of online reputation than brands in the upper upscale chain scale (see chart). Surprisingly, the top players in the upscale segment also outperform their upper upscale counterparts. On the one hand, in the upper upscale segment, only one brand manages to reach a GRI™ of over 90% while in the upscale segment six brands have a GRI™ of 90% or higher. On the other hand, only four upper upscale brands fall below the 84% threshold while 11 upscale brands have GRI™ scores between 84% and 77%.

Brand report upscale brands graph

Rankings by Department Index

While the GRI ranking in this segment is dominated by small and medium players (in terms of the number of properties), the top value rankings are in the hands of the larger players. Only two smaller players make it in the top 15 when it comes to value ratings. This makes sense given that many of the top-ranking brands, including Staybridge Suites, Hyatt House and Homewood Suites, offer spacious suites, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi often at prices comparable to those of a regular hotel room.

Special mention goes to Best Western Premier, which ranks #1 in Service, Value and Rooms. Here are the top upscale brands by department:

Service
Best Western Premier 92.1%
Cambria Hotels 89.6%
Homewood Suites by Hilton 89.3%

Value
Best Western Premier 89.2%
Staybridge Suites 86.8%
Hyatt House 86.5%

Rooms
Best Western Premier 92.6%
Cambria Hotels 90.8%
Grand America Hotels & Resorts 89.8%

Cleanliness
EVEN Hotels 94.5%
Best Western Premier 94.1%
Grand America Hotels & Resorts 93.9%

Best Western view from Upscale Brands catagory

Review Source Indexes

As in other segments, Google dominates the review space in terms of volume in this segment, making up 32.0% of all reviews, followed by Booking.com at 24.4%. All major review sources increased in review volume except TripAdvisor, which decreased by 20%, representing 16.9% of total reviews. In general, as we move down the chain scales from luxury to economy, Booking.com and Hotels.com tend to command a higher share of reviews.

The average rating by review source ranges from Ctrip at 90.8% to Yelp at 65.2%.

Management Responses

Brands in the upscale segment are similar to the upper upscale and luxury brands in that they prioritize responding to negative reviews. However, response rates overall in the upscale segment are comparably lower, at 35.2% of reviews vs. luxury brands at 39.3% and upper upscale brands at 36.1%.

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