Anyone who has traveled more than a few times, or just done a really good study of review sites like TripAdvisor, realizes that some hotel chains are simply better than others. Name, cost and location all come into play when determining how successful a chain is.
So when you’re looking at the big names in hotel chains, which are the most successful? The least? Small business travel website Bounce aimed to find out.
The data they used included hotel review scores, the number of Google searches in the past 12 months, the number of countries where a chain was located, the number of available hotel locations and the annual revenue of the parent company. They also considered average user ratings, popularity, availability, revenue and the number of five-star locations. Information to support these metrics was pulled from BestCompany, Facebook, Trustpilot, Google Keyword Planner, Wikipedia, ZoomInfo, DNB and Five Star Alliance.
Here’s what they determined, as reported in March 2022, using 10 as the best score possible:
(Of course, before we start, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this place, that prides itself on being “the worst hotel in the world” 😉 but to be honest, it probably isn’t [and isn’t a chain]).
The Most Successful Hotel Chains In The World
5. DoubleTree (6.17/10)
Coming in at #5 was DoubleTree, a 53-year-old brand that’s under the Hilton umbrella. DoubleTree has been the fastest growing Hilton brand by the number of properties since 2007, and by number of rooms from 2007 to 2015. Among the many signature things that DoubleTree is known for are their chocolate chip cookies, which have been made by Christie Cookie Company for the past 30 years. During the pandemic, they even released the recipe for you to cook at home.
Although they have no 5-star locations, DoubleTree’s 583 hotels have combined annual revenue of an impressive $2.1 billion. DoubleTrees can be found in 52 countries and there were over 11 million Google searches for the name in the past year.
4. Sheraton Hotels (6.25/10)
A freestanding hotel brand for roughly 65 years, Sheraton was bought by Starwood in 1998, and then Marriott in 2016. The Sheraton brand expresses quality in Asia, but aging properties have made the US market more problematic.
Sheraton Hotels can be found in 74 countries worldwide. They have 458 hotels, 28 of which are 5-star locations. The brand, which had annual revenue of $168 million, had 1,150,500 Google searches in the past year.
3. Four Seasons (6.33/10)
Four Seasons Hotels Limited was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Interestingly, the luxury hotel chain doesn’t own any of its properties; it operates them on behalf of real estate owners and developers.
In the past 12 months, there have been 955,500 Google searches worldwide for Four Seasons hotels. 101 of the 122 Four Seasons locations are rated five-star hotels, and the chain makes an estimated revenue of $2.1 billion. The brand can be found in 47 countries.
2. Holiday Inn (6.83/10)
Proving that the “most successful” hotel brand isn’t necessarily the most expensive one, Holiday Inn comes in at a solid #2.
Founded in 1952, Holiday Inn is an American chain of hotels based in Atlanta, and a brand of InterContinental Hotels Group, which has its headquarters in Denham, Buckinghamshire, England. The founder, Kemmons Wilson, was inspired to build a motel after being disappointed by the poor quality of roadside accommodations during a family road trip. The moniker of the brand is a joking reference to the 1942 musical film of the same name.
Holiday Inn was purchased by UK-based Bass in 1988. Bass changed its name to Six Continents in 2000, and divided into 2 companies, one of which was IHG, in 2003. Holiday Inn is currently under the IHG brand.
Despite having 1,190 hotels in 54 countries, Holiday Inn has no 5-star locations. Its annual revenue is $6 billion and there have been a whopping 25,426,000 Google searches for the Holiday Inn brand in the past year – more than any other brand on Bounce’s list.
1. Hilton Hotels (8.00/10)
Hilton Hotels & Resorts (formerly known as Hilton Hotels) was founded in the U.S. by Conrad Hilton in 1919. The brand is targeted at both business and leisure travelers with locations in major city centers, near airports, convention centers, and popular vacation destinations around the world.
Deemed to be the most successful brand in the world, there were 8.75 million searches in the last 12 months for Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Of the 584 properties in 124 countries, 7 of them are 5-star resorts. The brand’s annual revenue is roughly $3.3 billion.
The Least Successful Hotel Chains In The World
5. Ramada (Tie – 3.67/10)
Founded in 1953, Ramada is a large American multinational hotel chain. Originally run by Marion W. Isbell, the brand remained in the family through 1972. It’s since gone through several hands and, since 2006, has been owned by Wyndham.
I don’t think anyone would be surprised to know that none of the 919 Ramada Inns in 75 countries worldwide are 5-star properties. Generally a brand with a lower price point, their annual revenue is $44.5M. There were 1,25 million searches for the brand over the past year.
4. Hampton By Hilton (Tie – 3.67/10)
Formerly known (and still commonly referred to) as Hampton Inn, Hampton by Hilton is an American chain of hotels trademarked by Hilton Worldwide. It was founded in 1984 and is one of the largest hotel franchises in the United States. I went over the Hilton umbrella in 1999.
There were 820,300 Google searches for Hampton by Hilton in the past year. The brand has 2,833 properties in 36 countries around the world; none are 5-star properties. Hampton By Hilton has an annual revenue of $58.2 million.
3. Raffles Hotels (3.25/10)
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is a chain of luxury hotels that traces its roots to 1887 with the opening of the original Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The brand was purchased by Accor in 2015, as part of the FRHI acquisition that also included the Fairmont and Swissotel chains.
There are 15 Raffles hotels in total, which can be found in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. 11 of them are 5-star properties. Bounce suggests that the brand’s limited availability of all chains on the list is what makes it the third least successful. There were 605 million Google searches for Raffles in the past year. Their annual revenue is $90.0 million.
2. Econo Lodge (2.17/10)
Founded in 1969 and the second-largest brand in the Choice Hotels system, Econo Lodge is an economy motel chain based in the United States and Canada. The hotel brands can often be found near highways.
Not surprisingly, none of Econo Lodge’s 779 properties are 5-star resorts. Their annual revenue is just shy of $394K. However, there was an impressive 4.1 million Google searches for the brand in the past year.
1. Park Plaza Hotels (2.0/10)
Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, formerly Park Plaza International Hotels, Inns and Resorts and commonly known as just Park Plaza, is a hotel chain that runs several hotel groups as franchises. It was established in 1986 as a company and acquired by Olympus Real Estate in 1997. Since 2019, it’s been under the Radisson umbrella of hotels.
With 35 locations, only in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, India, Thailand and China, the Park Plaza chain has more limited availability than most of the hotel brands Bounce looked at. None of the locations earn 5 stars.
Park Plaza Hotels received the lowest number of worldwide Google searches in the last year out of all hotel chains on Bounce’s list – just 155,400. The brand’s annual revenue is $172.7 million.
Bounce offers a few more tidbits from their study, such as:
- The best/worst reviewed hotel chains in the world
- The most/least in demand hotel chains in the world
- The most/least luxurious hotel chains in the world
Click here to see the entire study.
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