What Matters Most on Hotel-User Review Sites?

What matters most to travelers when they read hotel-review sites?

As someone who mostly pays his hotel bills out of my own pocket, I typically look for comfortable budget accommodations. So I look for high scores for a clean room, a comfortable bed, and good sound insulation.

But that’s this month. Next month, I might be traveling on business, on the employer’s dime. Yes, I might concentrate a bit more on users’ feedback on a hotel’s luxury amenities and customer service.

Times change, my focus changes. As it probably does for you.

Looking for some sort of overall view of what average travelers focus on when visiting hotel-review sites, I found a study from an unlikely source, Mattress Advisor. As a side part to their study on comfortable hotel beds, the company determined how often visitors to hotel-user review sites focused on the various types of user reviews, and ranked them in order of importance. A clean room was the overwhelmingly most important consideration.

Here are the top 10:

  1. Room cleanliness – 35%
  2. Room comfort – 12%
  3. Negative reviews – 9%
  4. Overall experience – 7%
  5. Customer service – 7%
  6. Room quality – 6%
  7. Star rating – 6%
  8. Positive ratings – 6%
  9. Noise complaints – 2%
  10. Sleep quality – 2%

That doesn’t accord very well with my priorities. Whether I’m staying for pleasure, my own business, or someone else’s, sleep quality is at the top of my priority list. Which just goes to show that, as suspected, I’m not an average traveler.

Reader Reality Check

What do you focus on when reading user reviews of hotels?

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.