Five insights from 1.9 million luxury hotel reviews

This year, online reputation management is the top area of investment growth for hotels, according to TripAdvisor research, outranking traditional investment areas such as renovations and staff training programs. As many hotel executives look to understand guests even better and allocate investment accordingly, we wanted provide research into the luxury hotel segment and what travelers are saying about their experiences here.

Over the past few months, our data team at ReviewPro led by Fiona Gillen has analyzed millions of online luxury hotel reviews to identify what hotel guests love the most and what changes have taken place this year. The Global Review IndexTM (GRITM), a proprietary algorithm that incorporates online reviews from more than 160 of the leading online review websites, was used for benchmarking purposes.

As you may expect, most online luxury hotel reviews are positive (80% of them, in fact). But a few things stood out:

More travelers are reviewing luxury hotels than ever before. And by a significant margin: The segment has seen a 36% jump in review volume year over year, with a total of 1,947,060 reviews for the luxury brands tracked in the study this year.

Chinese and Emirati visitors are increasingly crucial audiences to track, with surging year-over-year feedback growth. Luxury hotel reviews from Chinese travelers grew 83% growth year-over-year, while guests from United Arab Emirates represented a 76% growth in review volume.

Travelers love small hotel brands. The average GRITM of the top 25 small luxury brands was 92.2%, versus an 89.1% average for the top 25 large luxury brands.

Experience is more important than ever. Four of the top 5 individual luxury hotels in this year’s Global Review IndexTM ranking are wildlife retreats, which speaks to travelers’ growing desire for adventure and immersive experiences.

Responding to online reviews improves guest satisfaction. Luxury hoteliers that respond to online reviews tend to have a higher GRITM. The top 25 individual luxury hotels responded to an average of 56% of reviews online – compared to an average response rate of less than 39% for all luxury hotels. Clearly, there’s still significant room for improvement for listening to and serving guests online.

The full report with complete brand benchmarking information can be downloaded at