Chain Hotel/Motel "Classes" -- how to decode?

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Dec 31, 2014
2
0
1
48
#1
Despite many years of hotel and motel stays, and despite trying to understand marketing language about the levels of various properties, I am still mystified about even the most basic of things, such as "what is the pecking order of all hotels in the Marriott family?" I think it would be most helpful to know the top to bottom lineup, and distinguishing features, of each chain's offerings so that I can make intelligent decisions about where to stay. Is there a resource for this? I have not found one yet. Is there anywhere to find the square footage of rooms, of bathrooms? Cross-ownership comparisons of competitive products?

Surely someone has put together a master chart, and I am just too dim to find it.... This would be an excellent location for this resource!
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
113
#2
Hi Otto,

I'm one of Chris' assistants.

Here's a link to a Flyertalk thread that talks about the pecking order of the hotels in the Marriott family:


Next, I Googled "Marriott room square footage," and it looks as if every Marriott property lists the square footage of its rooms. So, I didn't find a master chart, but if what I did find will help, here's a link:

Also, I suggest Googling "Ranking of marriott brands." I found this ACSI table from USA Today there. It ranks hotel brands by customer satisfaction:


Hope this helped.

Grant

 
Dec 31, 2014
2
0
1
48
#3
Hope this helped.

Grant


Wow, Grant, that is most helpful. Thanks!

This will be useful in looking at future choices. I will attempt to find similar information about other brands, so that I know what I am getting when I choose a property.

Otto
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
113
#4
Hi Otto,

Good! And if you do find any further information, please post it here. You'll be doing your fellow consumers a favor.

Thanks,

Grant :)
 
#5
Hi Otto,
I can see your frustration as we as consumers now have so many hotels to choose from. Many times hotels can be classified by being one of the following types of hotels.

Limited Service Hotel- Hotel that offers no restaurant, bar, bellman, spa, concierge on site.
Limited Luxury Service Hotel- Hotel that offers a food menu/bar but no bellman, spa, or concierge.
Full Service Hotel- Hotel that offers a full service sit down restaurant with a bar, bellman, spa, and concierge.

While normally we can find exceptions to that idea such as the Holiday Inn Express Magnificent Mile in Chicago that has bellman and is a limited service hotel is rare but possible.


From that point you can narrow between

Economy/Budget Brands
Midrate Hotels
First Class Hotels/Luxury Hotels

I have attached a PDF file with the total costs in 2013 to operate hotel. While you can ignore all the figures and other junk this file also does a good job narrowing down in the different categories each hotel is put in.


When I was in college two years ago I had a professor who worked for a design firm that helped put together the hotel standards they are today and gave us a poster that really helped show all the major brands in the world and took each other sub brand that was owned and categorized it. I will try to reach out to him on
LinkedIn and see if he can send me an electronic copy.

Also Marriott does a good job of explaining brands in the way they see them to fit, I have attached a chart below that can also be found on marriott.com at the bottom of the page and you can then click the links to find out more of the specifics of each brand.





As far as the sq. footage of a room that would be something specific to brand standards. The only brand that does a good job at showing this is Starwood. When you go to book a room on spg.com it will show you the estimated sq footage that the room should be.

Hopefully this helps you in some way. If I get a copy of that chart I will post it as soon as I can.


-Tyler
 

Attachments

B

bodega3

Guest
#6
Please do not lump first class hotels with deluxe hotels. This gets American travelers into trouble when they travel outside of the US.
 
Oct 10, 2014
131
106
43
4
#7
My family like Hilton hotels and we covered various brands in the past. We found HHonors Reward Category level a good predictors of service and quality we will get. It can be different within the same brand.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,076
7,969
113
San Francisco
#8
It's possible you're setting yourself up for disappointment by trying to categorize things too tightly. I stay in lots of Hampton Inns, for example, and find some have spacious rooms and large refrigerators but others have tiny reefers and cramped rooms ... and odd differences. The last one in Florida had a closet rod 14" long! I can always get the insider info I need by reading a dozen Trip Advisor reviews. It took me years to realize that I rarely need a full-service hotel, maybe just the first night after a long flight when I want a glass of wine and some dinner. I go out too early to enjoy the breakfast, and on down days I don't get up early enough for breakfast. I use my own "need" criteria in combo with TripAdvisor to get a good idea about the hotel.
 
#9
Hi Otto,

I have finally come to the conclusion that hotel many (not all) ratings and such have about as much bearing on reality as children's TV cereal ads. I believe YOU are on the right track by coming here and actually asking the question.

I start with them, but depending on how much I really care about the place I'm staying. If I'm spending 4 or five days there to unwind vs. stopping there for the night on my way from Spokane to Salt Lake City, there is a huge difference in how much research I will do.

I start with what the hotel chain itself tells me, then go to a couple of other travel sites to compare. If I really want to follow up, I can do a web-search using terms such as "I hate the Mooseville Motel" or "Avoid Mooseville Motel" just in case there are people out there who have had serious problems and aren't showing up on the regular channels, and finally look them up on YELP!

YELP! is a whole new can of worms. To be accurate, I actually look at the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the reviewers. If there are a large number of reviewers who absolutely loved the place and all of them had only 1 or 2 reviews, that's a sign - similarly, if the hatred emanates from folk who have never reviewed any other hotels I temper their opinion. I am not saying that YELP! is totally unreliable, but they are susceptible to individuals stacking the deck for or against a business.

I did a deeper check on a spot in Southern Oregon where I stayed in mid-December, and it looked good, so I went there even though it was out of my usual price range. I ended up spending almost one whole day sitting in the room watching the ocean because it was so comfortable and pleasant.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,569
15,875
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
Hi Otto,

I have finally come to the conclusion that hotel many (not all) ratings and such have about as much bearing on reality as children's TV cereal ads. I believe YOU are on the right track by coming here and actually asking the question.

I start with them, but depending on how much I really care about the place I'm staying. If I'm spending 4 or five days there to unwind vs. stopping there for the night on my way from Spokane to Salt Lake City, there is a huge difference in how much research I will do.

I start with what the hotel chain itself tells me, then go to a couple of other travel sites to compare. If I really want to follow up, I can do a web-search using terms such as "I hate the Mooseville Motel" or "Avoid Mooseville Motel" just in case there are people out there who have had serious problems and aren't showing up on the regular channels, and finally look them up on YELP!

YELP! is a whole new can of worms. To be accurate, I actually look at the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the reviewers. If there are a large number of reviewers who absolutely loved the place and all of them had only 1 or 2 reviews, that's a sign - similarly, if the hatred emanates from folk who have never reviewed any other hotels I temper their opinion. I am not saying that YELP! is totally unreliable, but they are susceptible to individuals stacking the deck for or against a business.

I did a deeper check on a spot in Southern Oregon where I stayed in mid-December, and it looked good, so I went there even though it was out of my usual price range. I ended up spending almost one whole day sitting in the room watching the ocean because it was so comfortable and pleasant.

Yelp has the same issues that any travel review site for consumers has and IMO Yelp is probably the worst of them all. Yelp will keep legitimate reviews off their site or not recommend them if the reviewer hasn't review a ton of different places. They do not show every review.

The best place for unbiased reviewed is Star Service which travel agents get paid access to, but the problem with that is that not all hotels are there.

I use Trip Advisor but REALLY read the reviews. I usually toss out the best and the worst and sometimes those from first time writers that are overly flowing with praise as I always think those are written by employees.

What I look for are the same consistent complaints. Some people will nitpick and find the tiniest faults in any trip, so you need to truly read a complaint to see if it is ridiculous or not. But I find if there are truly problems at a resort, you'll see the same problem mentioned several times and I usually will believe those type of problems. I have also seen complaints on TA for hotels that may have, for instance, a nightclub in it and people who can't get into the nightclub but never stay at the hotel will lambaste the place. Those have to be totally dismissed since that has nothing to do with the hotel itself.