Hilton Brands Top J.D. Power Study

The Hilton Family of Hotels was the big winner in the just-released hotel guest satisfaction study from J.D. Power and Associates. Three of the company's brands — Hilton Garden, Hampton, Homewood Suites — captured the top spots in their segments of the annual report.

A surprise in the study was Omni Hotels. The Irving, TX-based chain of 40-plus properties jumped from number six in 2004 in the upscale segment of the report to the number-one spot this year. Last year's segment winner, Westin Hotels, fell to fifth place. Embassy Suites, a Hilton brand, held-on to the second spot in the category.

In the luxury segment, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton continued to lead the pack, although the J.W. Marriott and Park Hyatt brands are closing in on the leaders. In the midscale, full-service category, Hilton Garden Inn and Courtyard by Marriott were one and two, the same spots they've held in the past three years.

In the midscale, limited-service segment, Hampton Inn & Suites leapfrogged to the top position. SpringHill Suites remained at number two, while Wingate Inns fell from one to four. Two US Franchise Systems' brands, Microtel and America's Best Value Inns & Suites, maintained their stranglehold on the economy/budget segments. In the extended-stay category, Homewood Suites by Hilton moved up to the top spot from second last year, while last year's winner, Candlewood Suites, dropped to fourth place.

Overall hotel customer satisfaction has improved from last year, says J.D. Power. According to the company, despite rising room rates, consumers seem to appreciate the new product and service offerings being introduced by many hotel chains.

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