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Americas Best Value Inn’s high guest satisfaction rooted in consistent experiences and value

Americas Best Value Inn front exterior with a large brand sign in front

Amid the rush to optimize operations and maximize rates, it’s sometimes easy to forget the simple side of hospitality. At its core, hospitality is defined by service, and a hotelier’s ability to deliver an experience guests love, on their terms, is the ultimate judge of a hotel’s quality.

In 2023, Americas Best Value Inn (ABVI) was ranked No. 1 in Guest Satisfaction for Economy Hotels according to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index (NAGSI) Study*. This study, now in its 27th year, measures guest satisfaction across every chain scale. ABVI achieved its first ever first-place ranking thanks to several factors, from the dedication to excellence displayed by its franchisees to the popularity of the economy segment with consumers throughout the year.

Economy hotels have taken the spotlight since the beginning of post-pandemic recovery, and as a result, the segment remains a valuable benchmark for the performance of the rest of the industry. Economy is also a challenging segment to achieve high guest satisfaction in, as limited amenities and services are available to wow guests. To attain high satisfaction, ABVI’s operators had to do things the old-fashioned way: through prioritizing the guest first through service while emphasizing consistency over short-term gains.

High guest satisfaction has a compound effect on a hotel’s long-term success. Satisfied guests lead to fewer negative reviews, more positive on-property interactions and greater morale among hotel workers. Hotels with high guest satisfaction command higher rates, earn more word-of-mouth-bookings and have more opportunities to drive consumers to for direct bookings. Additionally, high guest satisfaction during the current recovery period indicates a strong willingness to meet rising guest expectations in the era following COVID.

Any hotelier would be interested in these benefits but achieving them takes hard work. Consistency, like any great endeavor, is established over years. While 2023 marks the first time ABVI has topped J.D. Power’s guest satisfaction rankings, the brand achieved second place in both 2021 and 2022. The economics of 2023, mixed with guests’ desire for consistency and strong value per booking, drove ABVI and its operators to excel as adjustments were made based on past feedback and new ways were found to play to its strengths, including a welcoming guestroom experience, competitive rates and strong connections between brand leaders and owners.

ABVI’s guest satisfaction scores exemplify the value the brand delivers to both guests and operators. Sonesta asks for the lowest fees in the industry for economy hotels, delivered in the form of a simple flat fee. This helps franchisees to prepare more accurate forecasts for the future and understand what steps must be taken to exceed guest expectations. In return, Sonesta provides access to a powerful distribution system informed by hotels across every other chain scale.

Consumer decisions have been driven by rising prices for consumer goods. Inflation and unpredictable prices have driven travelers to seek shorter stays and have resulted in increased demand for economy-level properties. In this environment, ABVI hotels are primed to succeed, but only if operators are committed to executing on the opportunity. ABVI has succeeded thanks to its operators’ ability to provide fast, enjoyable service in a way its guests’ demand.

Sonesta’s ABVI brand had more than 500 hotels across its portfolio as of September 2023, with plans to add more this year. Developers also benefit from ABVI’s flexible terms and family-business ownership model. Brand-level communication and support is also a component of ABVI’s success, with franchisees able to execute new hotel agreements within 30 days from submitting an application. This flexibility extends to discussing brand standards, overcoming unique challenges, and addressing specific franchisee needs.
*Tied in 2023.

SOURCE: Hotel Business