Brand Review: Best Western International
First established in Phoenix, America in 1946, Best Western International has hotels and resorts in over 80 countries, including 270 in the UK. All of the hotels are independently owned which, according to the company, gives each a unique feel. The company ethos is based on the principles of quality and supporting the local community. Thus, they often employ staff from the local community and use local produce in their restaurants.
We wanted to find out what exactly it is like to stay at a Best Western hotel. To find out we asked a panel of 175 people in the UK to review the company. This is what we found…
Out the people we surveyed, an impressive 123 had stayed at a Best Western hotel and 65 of them had done so within the last year. We asked customers to rate their overall experience and the result was remarkably positive. On average, people were satisfied with their stay and rated it 7/10. Many of these customers had visited Best Western hotels on numerous occasions and even said they had plans to stay with them again in future.
‘I would consider the Best Western company to be one of the best hotel groups in the industry’ (Jennifer, 31, London)
‘Having had a very good experience, we have made a point of always staying in a Best Western’ (Nicki, 44, Sutton)
Customers were pleased with the quality of the accommodation and facilities at the hotel. They spoke of how the staff were helpful and welcoming to guests. In addition, the rooms were spacious, clean and equipped with complementary goodies, such as tea and coffee. Hence, customers found it an appropriate choice for both personal and business trips.
‘I was very impressed with it. Staff were very friendly, the accommodation was clean and tidy and it wasn’t too expensive’ (Tim, 48, Bangor)
‘The conference facilities are very good, there was some nice catering done for us’ (Stephan, 40, Wigan)
Moreover, customers noted how the food in the restaurant was of an exceptional quality. Delicious both as an evening meal and a hearty breakfast.
‘The food is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s very stylised and you get what you pay for’ (Darren, 45, Huddersfield)
‘The breakfast was very good’ (David, 42, Musselburgh)
However, what impressed customers the most about Best Western hotels was prices they offered. Unlike other budget hotel corporations, the Best Western group offers a reasonable rates without appearing to be a budget hotel. Moreover, their partnership with Tesco means that Tesco shoppers are able to exchange ClubCard points for Best Western reward points that can be deducted from their stay.
‘The reason we stayed with them is because they were such a good price’ (Senara, 32, Bristol)
‘It was quite smart, you didn’t get a budget feel about it like you do with the Premier Inn’ (Rosey, 37, London)
‘The standard of the Best Western is a cut above the Premier Inn’ (Sam, 63, Port Glasgow)
Are there any areas where Best Western International could improve?
Many of the panel thought that the fact that the hotels were independently owned benefitted the brand, meaning they did not have the unified, identical and corporate appearance that some of their competitors’ hotels have. Yet, there were a number of people who thought that by franchising the hotels consequently meant that the quality was not consistent in every hotel.
‘The best Western hotel quality really depends on the area, as sometimes they’re really nice and sometimes they’re really poor’ (Stuart, 26, Nottingham)
Additionally, customers claimed that the facilities at the hotels looked worn and slightly outdated. They suggested the company invest money in renovating the interior of their hotels to ensure they did not lose their position in the current market. They also thought they would benefit from introducing additional features in some of their hotels such as, gyms and swimming pools.
‘It was a little bit shabby in areas, needs a little bit of updating’ (Rosie, 26, Wolverhampton)
‘If they sorted the facilities, particularly the bathrooms, I’d definitely go back again’ (Kate, 44, Birmingham)
This perceived lack of modernisation was reflected by the company’s overall branding. Several members of the panel expressed how they disliked the brand logo, as they thought it had an 80s style appearance and looked cheap. Therefore Best Western could benefit from working on their marketing and brand strategy to try and communicate to the public the experience they offer at their hotels.
‘The name, Best Western, doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t inspire you or encourage you to think anything about the hotels’ (Chloe, 31, Bromley)
Overall, the response from the panel was exceedingly positive. Customers were impressed with the quality of the hotels, particularly given the low prices. However, it does seem that some of the hotels could benefit from renovation and modernisation so that Best Western can offer customers great quality that is consistent at all their locations. Yet, generally it seems that customers can expect a decent and comfortable stay for the price that they pay.
‘I would describe Best Western hotels as sophisticated and upmarket, without the huge price tag’ (Katie, 25, Wallsend)