These Categories Are Most Positively and Negatively Impacting Hotel Ratings

Friendliness of staff most positively impacts hotel ratings, while bathrooms are dragging hotel ratings down most often.


Guest reviews have gone beyond simple 1-to-5 star hotel ratings. With the introduction of guest satisfaction surveys and review sites like TripAdvisor, hotel guests started leaving detailed reviews to help future travelers make decisions. Now, recent research confirms that over 95% of travelers are reading those reviews before booking a hotel. However, travelers are not the only ones who can benefit from this level of detail.


With TrustYou’s advanced text analysis, we can pinpoint positive and negative sentiments for 100+ categories within the content of a review. Whether the reviews are sourced from a survey, social post, or online review, they can be transformed into more actionable insights for the hotel when more closely analyzed. One of the ways we are transforming reviews is through Impact Scores.


Impact Scores are predicted based on a complex mathematical model, ultimately letting a hotel know which praises or complaints have the greatest impact on their overall hotel rating. Every hotel’s positive and negative Impact Scores are a bit different, as they take into account characteristics of a hotel, such as the market it competes in. But while every hotel is different, there are some categories that most frequently impact hotel ratings in a positive or negative way.


Here are some of our key findings...


Improve Service and See Ratings Soar


Our analysis is able to track sentiments on two levels of service: the friendliness of service as well as general service at a hotel. “Service” and “Service Friendliness” claimed the top #1 and #2 spots for most frequently mentioned categories contributing to more positive hotel ratings. On average, hotels that were positively impacted by these categories were able to improve their scores by 2.8 and 2.3 percentage points, respectively. With this in mind, hotels can take immediate action to maintain their peak service levels, or work to enhance them in order to significantly increase their overall rating.


Location, Location, Location


Among the top categories most positively impacting a hotel’s score, “Location” came in at #3. A good location score, on average, increased hotel scores by just under 1 percentage point. While this may be perceived as a difficult category for a hotel to change, a good location is all about perception. While some guests enjoy being near a city center, close to a plethora of cuisine and nightlife options, others may enjoy a more peaceful setting, away from the noise. Therefore, hotels need to be sure that guests know what they are in for with their stay. Be honest and upfront about the location and setting the guest should expect, and when those expectations are met, a more positive location score is possible.


Invest in Room Improvements


Alternatively, looking at the most frequently mentioned categories negatively impacting hotel ratings, all were related to the hotel room itself. Also, negative categories, on average, decreased scores much more than the positive categories increased the scores. First, “Bathroom”, followed closely by the “Room” in general, and finally, “Beds”, were all impacting hotel ratings in a negative way. A negative review related to “Bathroom”, resulted in a decreased score of over 5 percentage points, while “Room” and “Beds” encountered 3.5 percentage point decreases.


Although many travelers think of a hotel room as just a place to keep their luggage while they explore a new destination, if a guest is unhappy with their hotel room, they will be sure to mention it. If your hotel has ever had difficulty getting budget from ownership for hotel renovations, this should be proof positive that these investments are worthwhile. If hotels can decrease negative comments regarding their hotel rooms, they can avoid up to 5% decreases in overall hotel score. Attention to this detail can rather improve their hotel rating and even increase revenue as a result.




For every hotel, there are certain areas in which they excel, and others which they fall short. The key is to identify these areas and work towards maintaining or improving, as needed. Online reputation management seeks to help hotels do just that. To find out what’s impacting your hotel’s score the most, sign up for a free 14-day trial of TrustYou Analytics.

Valerie Carboni

Valerie leads our fearless team of content writers, field marketing experts, and hospitality-focused marketers here at TrustYou. Her adventure has taken her from her hometown of Arlington, VA, all the way out to San Diego, CA, where the nice weather has reinvigorated her creative spirit.

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