Choosing the perfect hotel for your next getaway can either be the most exciting part of the booking process or the most frustrating. Sometimes you’re already out on the road when you unexpectedly need a place to hang your hat. No need to panic.
We’ve combed through some of America’s most well-known hotel chains and ranked them from most-loved by guests to most lacking. Read on to find out how your favorite brand stacks up.
Note: On a scale of 0-100, the American Customer Satisfaction Index independently measures customer satisfaction with popular lodging brands offered by leading hoteliers in the U.S. market.
30. JW Marriott | Marriott
It probably comes as no surprise that luxury hotel brand JW Marriott receives consistently high marks from visitors. Nabbing the highest rating from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) with an admirable 84%, this brand is known for being conveniently situated, clean and well-appointed.
In this case, you get what you’re paying for — so much more than just a place to hang your hat. In fact, the folks at JW Marriott believe you’re paying for “mindful experiences and inspiring spaces to improve your well-being and enrich your mind, body and soul.”
ACSI Score: 84
29. Embassy Suites | Hilton
Although it’s not a “luxury” brand, Hilton’s Embassy Suites line is considered an upper upscale group of hotels. Falling just below JW Marriott on ACSI’s list, it even outranks its parent company’s flagship chain, Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
According to TripAdvisor reviewers, Embassy Suites really shines in the value department. Top-notch customer service, (often) complimentary continental breakfasts and locations that are comparable to those of luxury hotels all make this brand a great choice. Not to mention, you’re likely to save a few hundred dollars.
ACSI Score: 83
28. Fairfield Inn & Suites | Marriott
Considered an “Upper Midscale” hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is high on the list for customer satisfaction — perhaps surprisingly so. Often, these hotels are fairly uniform on the outside (see above), but they focus on acing all the categories that matter most to travelers.
With reliable Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfasts and a focus on location, this more modest-looking brand receives 8-star reviews on TripAdvisor across properties in multiple big cities and tourist destinations. However, some reviewers knock this reliable brand for its incongruous food and drink prices.
ACSI Score: 83
27. Hilton Garden Inn | Hilton
This upscale brand is on par with Fairfield Inn & Suites in the reliability and value categories, but Hilton Garden Inns’ modern sensibility sets it apart. When you book with this Hilton brand, you’re allowing yourself to “indulge in thoughtful touches to make your stay easier and more comfortable.”
Looking to capitalize on modern, minimalist trends, this chain emphasizes bright, inviting spaces. Locations range from along the waterfront in Marina del Rey, California, to the heart of New York’s Times Square, making Hilton Garden Inn a chain you can trust on almost any type of trip.
ACSI Score: 82
26. Marriott Hotels | Marriott
Marriott’s flagship brand is perhaps most well received by business people, although leisure travelers also rate it highly. With most locations offering a high level of customer service and a wide range of amenities geared toward hosting meetings and events, Marriott is synonymous with business trips.
The chain is also determined to be a green hotel brand. In addition to tons of LEED-certified hotels, Marriott properties boast reduced water and energy consumption rates and green supply chains. The bad news? Marriott members and one-off guests alike complain of barrages of robo-calls and telemarketer-like offers.
ACSI Score: 81
25. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts | InterContinental
This brand started as the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza, but eventually spun off into Crowne Plaza Hotels. With a slogan that reads “We’re all business, mostly,” this hotel is InterContintental’s answer to Marriott. According to Crowne Plaza, “Life doesn’t stop when business begins … Sometimes the mojito is as important as the meeting.”
Unfortunately, a majority of reviewers on Consumer Affairs reported more migraines than mojitos. With a wonky “points” system, an inability to uphold the price match guarantee and a rash of denied refunds, this alleged value hotel might break your patience along with the bank.
ACSI Score: 81
24. Courtyard | Marriott
In the 1980s, Marriott wanted to complement its flagship brand and build properties in locations that weren’t suitable for traditional Marriotts. Courtyard hotels were smaller properties and soon became the favorite of leisure travelers, with family rates and pools offered at most locations.
Today, the brand has shaken off some of that family vacation friendliness in favor of being “trendy” — equipped for business trips and offering up upscale bistros and bars. With high marks in the customer service department, reviewers claim this chain’s biggest con is that not all locations acknowledge the status of Marriott Bonvoy members.
ACSI Score: 81
23. Best Western Premier | Best Western
This upscale take on Best Western aims to give guests “a notably refined travel experience.” The brand does stand apart from other upscale accomodations. In 2019, it received a JD Power Award for being #1 in Customer Satisfaction.
The only thing fighting against the chain might be the Best Western name, which is associated with less frills than this Premier version. Nonetheless, scores of TripAdvisor reviewers note that they were pleasantly surprised by the chain’s superb accommodations. Welcome to the Premier Life.®
ACSI Score: 81
22. Holiday Inn Express | InterContinental
These no-frills hotels are meant to offer limited amenities balanced by appealing price-points. Guests can look forward to continental breakfasts, complimentary Wi-Fi and comfortable rooms, but other features, such as pools and room service, aren’t usually part of the Holiday Inn Express brand.
Often located off freeways or in the suburbs, these express hotels cater to business travelers and those staying for the short term. The hotel’s 1998 motto “Stay Smart” is foundational to its identity. The chain saves you time and money so you can enjoy other things. TripAdvisor guests agree, giving Holiday Inn’s spin-off top marks in cleanliness and convenience.
ACSI Score: 80
21. Hampton | Hilton
Formerly known as Hampton Inn, this middle-market hotel began as a budget inn long before its days as a Hilton property. The brand promises both high quality and consistency as well as a great price match guarantee.
To compete with Holiday Inn Express, Hampton now offers an impressive complimentary breakfast, featuring prime rib hash and egg white frittatas. In addition to praising the Hampton’s value and convenient locations, TripAdvisor reviewers from Amsterdam to Panama City consistently raved about the chain’s waffles — of all things.
ACSI Score: 79
20. Hilton Hotels & Resorts | Hilton
Next on our list is the flagship brand of American multinational hospitality company Hilton, which owns nearly 600 hotels known for signature spas and top-notch customer service across six continents. Hilton also wins points for being a responsible corporation. It is a well-known green brand that also promotes community involvement.
Despite its storied history, the chain has an eye toward the future. Hilton Honors members receive free Wi-Fi, keyless entry, digital check-in and the option to choose a room through the company’s mobile app. Although it scored a few points lower than competitor Marriott on the ACSI list, Hilton maintains a highly coveted 4-star rating on Consumer Affairs.
ACSI Score: 79
19. AC Hotels | Marriott
Owned and operated by Marriott, AC Hotels claims it represents a “new way to hotel.” The brand is billed not just as a hotel, but as an experience. From an event series called Unpacked to bartenders that are more mixology experts than average hotel barkeeps, AC Hotels is all about (hipster) innovation.
The hotels’ properties consistently garner 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor, with guests complimenting the comfortable, clean rooms and chic aesthetic. Across various locations, guests have complained about poor room soundproofing, and some longtime Marriott guests seemed unenthused about the hotel’s modern feel.
ACSI Score: 79
18. Residence Inn | Marriott
Residence Inn is known for being the first extended-stay hotel chain in the United States, helping to popularize the idea of a hotel suite. Appropriately, the brand’s slogan is “It’s not a room. It’s a Residence.” In other words, Marriott wants you to enjoy all the amenities of home while staying in their suite-style lodging.
Although some Residence Inns resemble standard hotels, most are styled after condo complexes, with several outbuildings, a central check-in area and ample green space. In particular, families rank Residence Inns high on their lists. If you’re staying near a theme park, for example, the full kitchen offers an easy way to save on pricey meals.
ACSI Score: 79
17. Hyatt Regency | Hyatt
One of Hyatt’s original brands, Hyatt Regency promises luxury with a modern feel. This chain of hotels also takes the (birthday) cake for offering unique, highly customizable event spaces. With regionally-inspired, seasonal menus, most Hyatt Regency properties offer food and drink 24/7 — perfect for the red-eye traveler.
Located in suburban areas, near airports and in the hearts of some of the world’s most exciting cities, Hyatt’s flagship brand scores top marks for location and cleanliness. The chain falls a tad lower than others in terms of customer service, but its real detractor is that it just doesn’t offer up the same value as similar upscale competitors.
ACSI Score: 79
16. DoubleTree | Hilton
Hilton’s fastest growing brand earns brownie points — or just general baked good points — thanks to its famous complimentary chocolate chip cookies. Originally baked for only VIPs in the 1980s, these treats are now available to all guests at check-in. (Soon DoubleTree’s cookies will be available off Earth as well.)
Delicious cookies aside, DoubleTree is known for more than just a warm welcome. Instead of building from the ground up, the brand renovated and retrofitted existing hotels and buildings, which dovetails nicely with the hotel’s vibe — upscale, but comfortable. Unfortunately, this approach left some TripAdvisor reviewers feeling the rooms looked tired and drab.
ACSI Score: 78
15. Best Western Plus | Best Western
With its name deriving from the fact that most of its original locations were located west of the Mississippi River in the United States, Best Western started as a “co-op” of sorts. Most of the hotels were located in larger urban properties or were family-owned roadside lodgings, but, over time, Best Western came to be recognized as a proper franchise.
Now, the company’s legacy brand can be found around the world. The chain’s motto is even “Wherever life takes you, Best Western is there®.” Although many Best Westerns offer pools, fitness centers and continental breakfasts, the chain focuses more on value and is rated highly by families.
ACSI Score: 77
14. Sheraton | Marriott
Now part of the Marriott family, Sheraton emphasizes its connections to the cities where it has properties. By creating robust physical spaces that reflect the unique charms of a place and developing a more active social media presence, Sheraton shows it is all about community.
Although the hotel receives excellent ratings in customer service and location categories across a majority of its properties, Sheraton really outshines the competition when it comes to cleanliness. Reviewers note that the traditional rooms, buffet breakfast and other classic amenities make this brand a well-rounded choice.
ACSI Score: 77
13. Hyatt Place | Hyatt
An offshoot of Hyatt, Hyatt Place hotels are also known for 24/7 dining options, workspaces and social areas. In 2018, the Business Traveler News Hotel Brand Survey ranked Hyatt Place the #1 Upscale Brand.
Unlike other upscale brands, Hyatt Place is less “trendy” and more laid back. Both functional and comfortable, the brand’s ample rooms — often complete with separate living areas — are meant to help you wind down. That extra space and the complimentary breakfast help make this brand perfect for families.
ACSI Score: 77
12. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts | Wyndham
Wyndham hotels are often centrally located — it’s all about location, location, location! — and provide guests with amenities they expect to find at an upscale hotel. Like other brands in this class category, Wyndham bills itself as an experience, not just a place to crash.
These properties offer the usual amenities, like fitness centers and pools, but Wyndham has also launched its Stay Well experience. Associated guest rooms feature innovative amenities such as an air purification system, dawn simulation and aromatherapy. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you can expect to wake up feeling refreshed.
ACSI Score: 76
11. Comfort Inn/Comfort Suites | Choice
Choice brand hotels, including Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites, aren’t part of any high-end portfolio, but they just might fit the bill if you’re traveling on a budget. Comfort Inn properties offer the basics — clean rooms with no-frills — whereas Comfort Suites provide a bit more space for business travelers.
Although the brand may not be as fancy as others, Comfort lodgings — and Choice hotels at large — have always focused on innovation, featuring the industry’s first non-smoking rooms, 24-hour-a-day toll-free reservation systems and iPhone application.
ACSI Score: 76
10. Westin | Marriott
Now part of the Marriott family following the Starwood acquisition, Westin properties are located in hundreds of major cities throughout the world. This upper upscale chain consistently tops Forbes’ “best of” lists, whether the property is beachside or mountainside.
In recent years, Westin has focused on revamping its pool and fitness facilities, featuring Peloton bikes and other upscale exercise equipment. Nonetheless, Westin still ranks lower than other hotels in its category based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2019.
ACSI Score: 76
9. Holiday Inn | InterContinental
Unlike other brands that try to do it all, Holiday Inn focuses on being a kid-friendly, family-oriented chain. Although the properties include business centers and charming cocktail bars, the emphasis is on making travel easy so guests enjoy their time together — away from the details and minutiae.
In 2018, a study conducted by the nonprofit Values Institute ranked big-name businesses based on the ever-elusive quality of trust. Perhaps surprisingly, the midscale Holiday Inn came in as the third most trusted brand in America, just behind Amazon and Whirlpool. Sometimes, nothing beats reliability.
ACSI Score: 75
8. La Quinta Inn & Suites | La Quinta (Wyndham)
La Quinta Inn — which means “the country villa” or “the country place” in Spanish — is a midscale hotel brand on par with Best Western’s flagship hotel chain. Often situated in suburban areas, near airports and in other big-name destinations, this brand wants to make sure you “wake up on the bright side®” without breaking the bank.
Offering free breakfasts, military discounts and a partnership with DoorDash, the brand is definitely a top pick among people traveling with friends and family. Another perk? Don’t worry about leaving your furry, four-legged family member at home: La Quinta prides itself on offering pet-friendly rooms.
ACSI Score: 74
7. Quality | Choice
Part of Choice hotels, all Quality Inns focus on the simple comforts — all at a low price point. From complimentary hot breakfast, in-room fridges, tea and coffee, free Wi-Fi and comfortable bedding, this brand offers all the essentials, whether you’re planning to spend your entire vacation in one of these Choice properties or just one night.
Quality Inn boasts that it’s all about value, and TripAdvisor reviewers agree, giving the chain high marks in value, even though it doesn’t boast all the bells and whistles of its competitors. An affordable stay with all the basic amenities? Sounds relaxing — and like a Quality® time.
ACSI Score: 73
6. Baymont Inn & Suites | Wyndham
Run by Wyndham, Baymont Inn & Suites is a midscale brand of hotel. Providing auto club member discounts as well as other must-have savings programs, Baymont definitely captures the affordability of old school roadside hotels without sacrificing cleanliness or comfort.
The chain provides larger, more spacious rooms, a complimentary breakfast buffet and 24/7 fitness centers — all the amenities to make any road trip stop or extended stay worthwhile. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, expect “hometown hospitality from check-in to checkout.”
ACSI Score: 72
5. Ramada | Wyndham
Ramada — formerly Ramada Inn — is part of the Wyndham family of hotels. However, its locations outside the United States are operated by Marriott, which can cause some of the perks and uniformity found in other Wyndham properties to slip.
Although Ramada offers free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast and well-equipped workout facilities, guests on Best Company have given the chain a solid 2.1 out of 5 stars. Why? Well, not all room tiers have the free food perks, and the Wi-Fi, although free, has been called spotty at best. If you’re staying on business, you may want to rethink before booking with Ramada.
ACSI Score: 71
4. Days Inn | Wyndham
Another Wyndham property, Days Inn is one of the largest budget hotel chains in the world. The brand’s mission is simple: To provide “The Best Value Under the Sun,” as implied by the company’s sunny logo. The original iteration certainly had that roadside motel feel, featuring onsite restaurants, gift shops and gas pumps.
Nowadays, this chain targets outdoors enthusiasts and adventure seekers, with many properties located near outdoor attractions. Despite being a budget hotel, Days Inn features several amenities, including free Wi-Fi, fitness centers, suite options and complimentary breakfast — although the offerings are generally limited to oatmeal, yogurt and fresh fruit.
ACSI Score: 68
3. Econo Lodge | Choice
Econo Lodge, part of the Choice family, is a standard no-frills, budget hotel. Geared toward guests who typically stay one night — as opposed to long-term stays — locations provide free Wi-Fi and breakfast and are typically located near chain restaurants and tourist attractions.
As a Choice hotel, Econo Lodge was one of the first brands to offer non-smoking rooms, and most Econo Lodges are now non-smoking facilities. The drawbacks? That free “hot” breakfast is really just coffee, OJ and some muffins. Guests on Best Company have also complained of “resort fee charges” as well as sliding doors on bathrooms that provide little privacy.
ACSI Score: 67
2. Super 8 | Wyndham
Super 8, which is now operated by Wyndham, is the largest budget hotel chain in the world. Its name was derived from the original cost of a room at its first South Dakota location — a cool $8.88. Although a room now runs guests a bit more than that, it’s still very easy on the wallet and geared toward an overnight stay.
Super 8 provides free breakfast and Wi-Fi, discounts for military personnel and, in most cases, pools and jacuzzis. These standard amenities may fit the bill for some visitors, but others are disappointed by the lack of exercise facilities and other features. Moreover, reviewers on Best Company reported that pet fees and hidden additional charges have caused some frustration.
ACSI Score: 65
1. Motel 6 | G6 Hospitality
The idea behind Motel 6 was to build basic properties and charge guests the low, low price of $6 a night — hence the brand’s name. With pet-friendly, renovated rooms and pool areas, Motel 6 can be a solid choice for families — especially since children stay free-of-charge.
Of course, this brand won’t break the bank, but it’s also lacking in some avenues. Best Company reviewers have lodged complaints about the difficulty of modifying a reservation, the outdated rooms and furniture and the inferior cleanliness of the brand compared to its competitors.
ACSI Score: 63