The Ritz-Carlton, owned by hotel giant Marriott International, takes top honors by a substantial margin. Some of the industry's most established and best-known names fail to make the Top 10, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
A new study by Luxury Branding, a London-based consultancy that specializes in the global luxury market, reveals a fresh and unexpected ranking of the most popular high-end hotels and resorts worldwide for 2015. Surprising highlights, based on independent analysis of 2.25 million travellers' reviews, include:
- The Ritz-Carlton, owned by hotel giant Marriott International, takes top honors by a substantial margin—particularly impressive given its large network of nearly 90 properties and nearly 40,000 employees worldwide
- "Traditional" luxury marks, including Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, dominate the Top 10. These classic, high-end brands generally outrank less conservative luxury brands such as Firmdale, EDITION and Andaz. So-called luxury "lifestyle" brands, including Morgans Hotel Group and W Hotels Worldwide, fare considerably worse by missing out on the Top 50 entirely
- Some of the industry's most established and best-known names fail to make the Top 10, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (#13), The Peninsula Hotels (#20), St. Regis (#26) and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts (#50)
- Luxury Branding's study is based on its independent analysis of more than 2.25 million public reviews on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel feedback site with 375 million unique monthly visitors ranking more than 950,000 hotels and lodgings around the world. The study, which provides a "snapshot" of the entire body of reviews posted up to and including 14 August 2015, represents one of the largest luxury study samples ever analyzed in the hospitality industry. While TripAdvisor graciously allowed Luxury Branding to analyze its publicly available data, the study is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, TripAdvisor.
Social media and internet outlets continue to revolutionize the role of consumers in shaping brand perceptions, even at the higher end of the luxury spectrum. Piers Schmidt, Luxury Branding's founder, said:
"The luxury hotel sector, which traditionally has been ranked by industry organizations, travel operators and specialty publications, is becoming democratized by the advent of TripAdvisor and similar portals that allow consumers to act as vocal, real-time critics, champions and commentators."
Mr. Schmidt noted that despite a persistent industry perception that high-net-worth consumers "don't write reviews" or engage with social media, digitally native travelers rely both on their own experiences and those of friends and family in making brand decisions. Luxury brand operators that embrace the trend of peer-to-peer reviews and respond thoughtfully and consistently, rather than impulsively, can build greater brand loyalty and transparency among today's connected and ever more demanding luxury clients.
The Top 10
The World's Most Popular Luxury Hotel Brands, 2015 are:
1. The Ritz-Carlton
2. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
3. Raffles Hotel & Resorts
4. Langham Hotels and Resorts
5. Rocco Forte Hotels
6. Dorchester Collection
7. Capella Hotels and Resorts
8. Park Hyatt
9. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
10. Armani Hotels & Resorts
Related Link: Luxury Branding