Luxury Travelers Speak: Ritz-Carlton Is Where They Stay.
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Wednesday, 8th May 2013
Exclusive Feature: With so many luxury hotels on the market and in your favorite cities, how do you choose where you stay?

That's been the focus of luxury hotels for years -- how to make themselves stand out from all the others and be the number one choice for guests, in any city.

Over the years we've seen some impressive and creative amenities launch from luxury hotels -- in-room virtual personal training, celebrity chefs, personalized welcome amenities and even Twitter butlers (for those who can't find the time to tweet on their own).

But one thing remains constant: service, above all, is the ultimate luxury amenity. And according to a recent survey of affluent luxury travels, one hotel group stands above all when it comes to service.

According to The Resonance Report, Ritz-Carlton is the luxury hotel brand preferred by more affluent travelers than any other. While 26% of luxury travelers report having stayed at a Four Seasons Resort or a Ritz-Carlton resort while on vacation, more survey respondents say Ritz-Carlton is among their "top 5 choices if available" by a significant margin.

The Resonance Report on Affluent Travel and Leisure surveyed more than 1,200 U.S. households with incomes of more than $150,000 USD in partnership with the Luxury Institute to evaluate their plans for travel, recreation and the purchase of vacation homes in the next 12-24 months.

"It is interesting to note that travelers under 55 consider luxury brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and even august brands such as Waldorf Astoria and St. Regis, more desirable than travelers over 55," says Resonance Consultancy President Chris Fair in a press statement. "Luxury clearly has not lost its luster with younger affluent travelers and luxury brands are, in fact, considered more desirable than contemporary brands such as W Hotels."

So where do the other brands rank? Here's a look at the top ranked hotels by group:

Most Frequented Brands by U.S. Travelers (household income of $150k+)

1. Marriott
2. Hilton
3. Hyatt
4. Westin
5. Ritz-Carlton
6. Four Seasons
7. Fairmont
8. Intercontinental
9. W Hotels
10. Waldorf Astoria

Preferred Hotel Brands of High Net Worth Households (net worth $1MM+)

1. Ritz-Carlton
2. Marriott
3. Hilton
4. Four Seasons
5. Hyatt
6. Westin
7. Waldorf Astoria
8. W Hotels
8. Fairmont
10. Mandarin Oriental

The Resonance Report also found some interesting statistic about the travel patters of affluent households including:

  • New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco are the most popular U.S. vacation destinations
  • Bahamas is the most visited island destination, follow by Puerto Rico and Jamaica.
  • Italy, the UK and France are the top overseas destinations
  • More affluent travelers would like to go on a wine tour or luxury cruise
  • Affluent consumers are willing to spend an average of $650,000 on their next vacation property
Readers: What's your preferred luxury hotel group? Tell us and your comments will be posted at 4Hoteliers.com.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com
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