My quest to finding the determinants why a hotel belongs to the best of the world, has begun (for more information see my previous post). As you can read there in more detail, I’m going to take a closer look at 8 very good hotels to find these determinants. But what should I look for? Describing everything? That will cost a lot of work and time. To make things a little easier I did some research. And not just some random search on Google. I searched on Web of Science and found a few interesting scientific articles. From this articles, I have extracted 10 determinants of hotel guest satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) you often read in reviews. This list is not intended to be complete, but it’s a good start. So here we go…

1. Destination

Review Destination

The first thing I did find in some articles had to do with the destination. There is a significant portion (more than 12%) of the total variance in the average rating of hotels that is attributable to characteristics pertaining to the destination in which they are located. In short. When you rate a hotel, you’re also influenced by the destination. So the chances are that if you’re overwhelmed by a place and its sights/activities, you’ll give the hotel you’re staying at, higher ratings.

2. Location

The second factor of guest satisfaction has to do with the location and accessibility of the hotel. People prefer a hotel close to the city center, attractions, restaurants, … A location close to the subway, airport or other forms of public transport is often a plus. As you see above. This hotel is close to shops, parks, restaurants and attractions.


“The view from our room was unbelievable”. “Perfect ocean view”. “Spectacular view of the jungle”. Comments you often read in reviews. It’s difficult to define “views”, but it definitely has something to do with the landscape and environment. It may be a view of the sea, the jungle, the desert, mountains, a monument, the skyline of a city,… Something impressive. Something you remember when you’re back home. The difference with destination (see 1) is that views is about the views from the hotel. Destination applies to all hotels located in the same destination. Views is only valid for one hotel.

4. Look and feel

Another very subjective factor of guest satisfaction is the look and feel of a hotel. First of all it needs to be clean. Moreover, for some, it must have a luxurious feel. Others find it more important that it radiates tranquility. Or warmth. Or look stylish and modern. Or maybe something else. The look and  feel is not just about the room. It’s about the whole hotel.

5. Room


This factor has to do with the room and its facilities. Many comments are about the bed and mattress, bed sheets, pillows, size of the room, interior, mini-bar, bathroom, shower, bath, towels, television,… Research shows that the in room experience is a key component of guest satisfaction. That’s not a big surprise. The room is the core of a hotel, so it’s obvious that this plays a major role in guest satisfaction.

6. Noise and temperature

Noise and temperature

Noise and temperature are often the cause of complaints and negative reviews. So it is more common in reviews if there is a lot of noise in the room or if the air conditioning is not working properly. If it’s good or working fine, almost nobody talks about it. This determinant has more to do with dissatisfaction than satisfaction.

7. Food


Not all hotels have a restaurant. But if they have one, it plays a role in the evaluation. However this factor is not only about the restaurant. It is also about the breakfast or a possible bar. If you want to belong to the best hotels in the world, you must pay attention to the food.

8. Family friendliness

Family friendliness

Good hotels should not only focus on couples. Hotels are regularly judged on their child-friendliness. If you make the children happy, you make the parents happy.

9. Staff


A hotel is nothing without its staff. Research shows that they are one of the biggest factors in terms of guest satisfaction. Someone on sums it up well: “The location (destination in our list) brought me here. The staff will make you return”. The staff should be welcoming, friendly, smiling, knowledgeable, polite, respond positively to customers, etc. And if they are, they are gold for any hotel company.

10. Value and service

Value and service

The last factor is not just about price. It’s about what you get for what you’re paying for. What’s included? Free amenities and services as a weekday newspaper, WIFI, use of swimming pool, spa and fitness, airport transportation, afternoon tea, and so on. All this gives your stay an extra touch and adds to the guest satisfaction.