UK Hotel Chains: The Consumer Opinion
With the ability to review and compare thousands of hotels online, the way we book hotels has definitely changed. We asked our panel of UK consumers which UK hotel chains they rated the best, the worst, what the biggest drivers were when booking a hotel, and how hotel reviews affect their booking.
Which hotel chain do you rely on when booking a hotel stay in the UK? What makes you, as a consumer, choose one hotel chain over another? A customer survey by VoxPopMe discovered that Premier Inn was perceived as the best UK hotel chain. It seemed that when it comes to staying at a hotel in the UK, it was less about the luxury, but more about the location and competitive pricing – two things that Premier Inn are doing very well on.
The Best Hotel Chains in the UK – voted for by our panel
The Worst Hotel Chains in the UK – voted for by our panel
What matters to our panel when it comes to booking?
94.4% of our panel considered themselves to be leisure bookers as opposed to business bookers when it comes to regularly using hotels. When booking a hotel, just over 87% preferred to book their hotel stay online, which is not surprising with the large number of website options for booking. As you can see from the graph below, there were some clear favourites for online bookings other than the hotel’s own site.
Other sites not mentioned on the graph included Quidco and Trivago.
The important factors our panel look for when booking a hotel room:
Is a bad review the be all and end all of a hotel? Discover in this report what customers hold most important when they are booking a hotel stay, especially in a completely new hotel or location; what facilities are most appealing, and what can put them off a certain hotel.
As you can see from the chart, there are some clear trends in what the panel see as most important when it comes to influencers when booking a hotel; with just over 68% commenting that ratings and reviews are one of the most important factors to them.
Just over 61% said that location was one of their two biggest influencers when it came to booking a hotel. The location in comparison to nearby tourist attractions and town centres, the panel wanted to be centrally located with good links to the airport. Others mentioned that when it came to city breaks, a good location is a necessity, as being in a good area that is relatively safe is extremely important when they are in a city they do not know well. Furthermore, good transport links in terms of trains and underground tubes in and around the city, especially when in a big city like London.
The importance of images of the hotel rated highly to a large proportion of our panel, as 35.19% felt it was one of their two biggest influencers when it came to booking a hotel. The ability to get a feel of what the hotel looks like before you get there, what to expect inside and outside. Laura-Jayne said “First thing that I am attracted to is images. Obviously what the room looks like. Does it look appealing? Attractive?” There was a general theme of being able to see yourself having a good stay there.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews had to be one of the most important factors, scoring highest amongst the panel, as just over 68% selected reviews. It seemed that not only did our panel like to read reviews, they also liked to leave reviews. 67.8% commented that they had left a positive review in the past; compared to 40.7% that had left a negative review in the past. Although a considerable amount of the panel found themselves taking reviews with ‘a pinch of salt’ as they seem largely negative; it is interesting that an extra 27.1% had left a positive review over a negative – maybe it’s not all bad press. Not only being able to see the photos or read reviews, VoxPopMe technology could be used to share and see genuine video responses; stopping the keyboard warriors by being able to see exactly who is giving the feedback – naturally and promoting honesty.
But why are reviews so important to our panel? The ability to see the hotel through other guest’s eyes, someone who may be similar to you – in a similar position, of the same age, or with children – as they may have picked up on things that are irrelevant to you. There is more trust in a review from a real person than a hotel brand, that unbiased and honest feedback on what they really thought. It’s like with anything, you are more likely to believe a friend or relatives opinion over a big corporation – customer testimonials are key.