Some people need a major hotel chain some of the time. Other people desire a major hotel chain most of the time.
There are 7 “hotelmart” chains. [I just thought of that term and I like it. Could I coin the phrase?
Too late. I checked and found a discount hotel website HotelMartUSA.com. So, I will just borrow the term for now.]
There are 7 global hotel chains with 3,000+ hotels. Four of the hotel chains are predominately mid-scale or economy lodging with Wyndham, Choice, Best Western, and Accor’s Motel 6 properties in the US. The higher proportion and absolute number of upscale hotels is why I limit my hotelmart comparisons to Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Marriott chains.
Here are numbers based on end of year 2008 from the HotelsMag.com survey. Most of these 10-month old numbers are likely bigger now, but they are sufficiently precise for a hotel chain size overview.
Wyndham Hotel Group = 7,043 hotels
(Hotel brands: Wyndham, Ramada, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Super 8, Knights Inn, Wingate, Baymont, Microtel, Hawthorn Suites)
Choice Hotels = 5,827 hotels
(Hotel brands: Comfort Inn, Cambria Suites, Quality Inn, Clarion, Sleep Inn, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban, MainStay Suites)
InterContinental Hotels Group = 4,186 hotels
(Hotel brands: Holiday Inn and HI Express, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, InterContinental Hotels, Hotel Indigo, Candlewood Suites)
Best Western = 4,000 hotels
(Hotel brand – Best Western)
Accor Hotels = 3,982 hotels (France based chain with few hotels in USA aside from Motel 6)
(Hotel brands: Motel 6, Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suite Hotels, Ibis, allseasons, Etap, Hotel F1, Formule 1)
Hilton Hotels = 3,265 hotels
(Hotel brands: Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Crowne Plaza, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Waldorf Astoria Collection, Conrad Hotels, Hilton Grand Vacations)
Marriott Hotels = 3,178 hotels
(Hotel brands: Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites, SpringHill Suites, J.W. Marriott, Marriott Vacation Club International, Ritz-Carlton Hotels)
Hotel chain size drops from the mega-chain size of 3,000 to 7,000 properties down to just around 1,000 hotels for the next largest hotel chains of Starwood Hotels and Carlson Hotels (Radisson Hotels parent company). Hyatt Hotels is small fry at 413 hotels, but their loyalty program has incredible benefits for travelers to major cities and resorts in the USA and around the world which is why I include them in my predominately big five loyalty program coverage of Hilton HHonors, Marriott Rewards, InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Hyatt Gold Passport.
Other programs high on the scale of market segment I like to focus on are Fairmont President’s Club and Kimpton In Touch (hey, I’m 116 miles from San Francisco). Several of the small hotel associations like Preferred Group, Leading Hotels of the World, and Small Luxury Hotels pop up on my radar throughout the year with excellent hotel finds or promotional rates.
Last July I broke down the hotel numbers for each brand in these chains:
InterContinental Hotels Group – http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2009/07/09/intercontinental-hotels-group-profile-by-numbers/
Hilton Hotels Family – http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2009/07/07/hilton-hotels-chain-profile-by-numbers/
Enough of the pedantic overview of hotel brands and on to the main topic of earning points with IHG, Hilton, and Marriott.
(This is my schoolteacher nod to Louis Sacher and his “Wayside School” books. These posts were published in reverse order so they will read directly from one to the other only if you are on the Loyalty Traveler homepage.)