Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International are natural market place competitors for USA and global hotel traffic. This post looks at the average hotel rates for Hilton and Marriott brands and compares the number of hotels in the similar market segments for competitive brands in Hilton and Marriott.
Hilton has slightly more hotels. Marriott has more hotels in a slightly lower hotel market segment by room price. Both chains offer touches of luxury and a focus on more affordable functional hotels for frequent travelers. Each chain has a large footprint with about 4,000 hotels spanning the globe in their different hotel brands. Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf-Astoria and Conrad are the luxury market hotel brands. Upper upscale Hilton, Embassy Suites, Marriott and Renaissance are their flagship brands. Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites are the stay awhile in spacious rooms brands. Hampton Inn Hilton Garden Inn, Courtyard and Fairfield Inn are the workhorse brands.
The USA is the dominant market for both Hilton and Marriott by number of hotels and hotel guests. 86% of the hotels in Hilton’s primary brands are located in the USA. Hampton Inn is a massive hotel brand with nearly 2,000 properties and 95% of those hotels are in the USA. Nearly 97% of more than 200 Embassy Suites hotels are located in the USA.
SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites offer 1,900 hotels with Marriott and each of these four brands have more than 95% of their hotels in the USA. For the US traveler there is a choice between Marriott and Hilton for extensive coverage of the 50 states.
InterContinental Hotels Group and IHG Rewards Club with Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza are another competitor hotel chain for USA travelers, however, the hotel loyalty program hotel stay benefits are far weaker than Hilton HHonors or Marriott Rewards. IHG Rewards Club is a good points earning program and a strong competitor to Marriott and Hilton for earning free nights. An IHG comparison to Hilton and Marriott will come in different Loyalty Traveler posts.
Hilton Worldwide Overview
The full-service Hilton Hotels brand with 508 hotels worldwide is Hilton’s flagship brand for the world with a little more than half (264 hotels) of the 508 hotels carrying the Hilton Hotels brand located outside the USA (244 hotels). Waldorf-Astoria and Conrad have an international presence, yet a relatively small footprint with only 48 hotels between the two luxury hotel segment brands worldwide. The USA holds 14 of 25 Waldorf-Astoria hotels and 4 of 23 Conrad Hotels.
About half of the 314 international hotels in the Hilton portfolio are in Europe. Hilton Hotels brand leads the way with 153 hotels in European countries. There are 161 Hilton brand hotels in Asia-Pacific, Americas outside USA, Middle East and Africa. The USA has 244 Hilton Hotels.
One relative weakness of Hilton is a low presence in Asia Pacific with just over 100 hotels, primarily in Hilton (67) and DoubleTree (29). While Marriott is growing Courtyard, Starwood Four Points, Carlson has Country Inns & Suites and Park Inn. Hilton Worldwide has very few Hilton Garden Inn (5 hotels) or Hampton Inn (1 hotel) hotels in Asia Pacific.
Marriott International landed a deal with Protea Hotels in Africa to bring over 100 hotels into the Marriott Rewards family, primarily in South Africa. Marriott is the largest hotel industry presence in Africa now. Hilton has fewer than 70 properties in the Middle East and Africa region and a large portion of those are in the Middle East countries and not continental Africa. DoubleTree by Hilton Zanzibar, Tanzania opened recently lending some hope to the developing Africa market for Hilton branded hotels.
Hilton Worldwide is top challenger to InterContinental Hotels Group for largest hotel chain by number of hotel rooms. The leadership might change soon depending on which hotel chain contracts new hotels faster.
Hilton Hotel Brands
10 Hilton HHonors Hotel Brands:
- Waldorf-Astoria Collection – luxury; 25 hotels (14 USA, 56%); ADR = $332.21
- Conrad – luxury; 23 hotels (4 USA, 17%); ; ADR = $271.44
- Hilton Hotels – upper upscale; 508 hotels (244 USA, 48%); ADR = $165.69
- Embassy Suites – upper upscale; 217 hotels (210 USA, 97%); ADR = $146.50
- Hilton Grand Vacation – upper upscale; 43 hotels; no room rate data.
- Doubletree – upscale; 380 hotels (282 USA, 74%); ADR = $127.86
- Hilton Garden Inn – upscale; 590 hotels (525 USA, 89%); ADR = $122.48
- Homewood Suites – upscale; 338 hotels (325 USA, 96%); ADR = $123.43
- Hampton Inn & Suites – upper midscale; 1,944 hotels (1,857 USA, 96%); ADR = $111.21
- Home2Suites – upper midscale; 30 hotels (29 USA, 97%); ADR = $104.42
- Curio Collection – new brand with no hotels yet. Comparable to Marriott Autograph Collection for independent, boutique hotels.
Hotel Brand Average Daily Rate (ADR) from Hilton Worldwide 2014 Q1 Earnings Release.
Hotel Chain Scale Segment 2014 Smith Travel Research STR used to rank hotels is scale based on average daily rate for the brand in the USA and globally.
Marriott International Overview
Marriott International 3,825 hotels March 31, 2014 + 106 residential and timeshare properties.
- The Ritz-Carlton – luxury; 84 hotels (37 USA, 44%); 44 residential (30 USA); $348.56
- Marriott Hotels – upper upscale; 564 hotels (344 USA, 61%); $186.20 (J.W. Marriott has 65 luxury hotels included in this brand)
- Renaissance – upper upscale; 154 hotels (76 USA, 49%); $172.46
- Autograph Collection – upper upscale; 60 hotels (34 USA, 57%); $230.70
- Gaylord Hotels – upper upscale; 5 hotels (5 USA, 100%); no hotel rate data
- Courtyard – upscale; 956 hotels (837 USA, 88%); $126.17
- SpringHill Suites – upscale; 312 hotels (310 USA, 99%); $109.52
- Residence Inn – upscale; 650 hotels (626 USA; 96%); $126.03
- AC Hotels – upscale; 74 hotels (0 USA, 0%); no hotel rate data
- Fairfield Inn & Suites – upper midscale; 712 hotels (695 USA, 96%); $98.56
- TownePlace Suites – upper midscale; 224 hotels (222 USA; 99%); $94.73
- Edition – 2 hotels (2 USA 100%); no hotel rate data
- Marriott Vacation Worldwide Timeshare – 62 properties; no hotel rate data
- Bulgari – luxury; 3 hotels (0 USA, 0%); no hotel rate data – brand does not participate in Marriott Rewards.
3,188 Marriott brand hotels in the USA comprise 83% of global portfolio.
Marriott International is represented primarily by Marriott, Renaissance, Autograph Collection and Ritz-Carlton outside the USA with a growing Courtyard presence. There are more Renaissance and Ritz-Carlton Hotels in locations outside the USA than domestic. AC Hotels are a Spanish hotel chain purchased by Marriott with most of the hotels in Spain. The recent acquisition of Protea Hotels and African Pride in Africa boosts Marriott’s international profile there as the largest hotel operator on the continent. Protea hotels will become part of Marriott Rewards in 2015.
Marriott vs. Hilton Upper Upscale Hotel Segment
Marriott and Renaissance brands with 718 hotels are comparable to 508 Hilton Hotels and 380 DoubleTree Hotels. There are 420 Marriott and Renaissance hotels in the USA and 298 hotels outside the USA in the two Marriott upper upscale brands compared to 244 Hilton Hotels and 282 DoubleTree Hotels for 526 hotels in the USA. Hilton has 264 hotels in the Hilton brand and 98 DoubleTree Hotels for 362 hotels outside the USA.
Embassy Suites adds another 210 hotels and SpringHill Suites adds 310 hotels for Marriott in the USA to make the two chains almost identical in size in the upper upscale and upscale sector.
- Hilton Hotels – upper upscale; 508 hotels (244 USA, 48%); ADR = $165.69
- Embassy Suites (Hilton) – upper upscale; 217 hotels (210 USA, 97%); ADR = $146.50
- Doubletree (Hilton) – upscale; 380 hotels (282 USA, 74%); ADR = $127.86
- Marriott Hotels – upper upscale; 564 hotels (344 USA, 61%); $186.20
- Renaissance (Marriott) – upper upscale; 154 hotels (76 USA, 49%); $172.46
- Autograph Collection (Marriott) – upper upscale; 60 hotels (34 USA, 57%); $230.70
- SpringHill Suites (Marriott) – upscale; 312 hotels (310 USA, 99%); $109.52
Hilton 1,105 hotels in three brands: Hilton, Embassy Suites and DoubleTree.
Marriott 1,090 hotels in four brands: Marriott, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, SpringHill Suites.
There is a near tie between Marriott and Hilton in upper upscale hotel brands. Marriott has 718 hotels in Marriott and Renaissance brands and Hilton has 725 hotels in Hilton and Embassy Suites brands. Marriott has 420 of 718 hotels in the USA (59%). Hilton and Embassy Suites have 454 of 725 hotels in the USA (63%). Embassy Suites are a favorable suite size hotel, generally attractive hotel design interior space and stays come with free breakfast. That is an edge, especially for families needing space and food. SpringHill Suites is the comparable Marriott brand to Embassy Suites with 310 hotels and a lower price point.
Gaylord Hotels (Marriott) are four large self-contained convention center hotels with 1,000+ rooms and large dining and entertainment venues. The recent signing of Atlantis Resort, Bahamas to Autograph Collection adds to the prominent convention space of Marriott.
Autograph Collection is the industry edge that tips the balance in favor of Marriott for desirable hotels in the Upper Upscale market segment. Autograph Collection properties are typically independent, boutique hotels that hooked up with Marriott for marketing and the loyalty program customer base. In four years Marriott has signed 60 hotels to Autograph Collection with Marriott Rewards benefits and awards apply. This difference gives Marriott 778 upper upscale hotels. Families may prefer the benefits of Embassy Suites. For my travels, the Autograph Collection properties hold more interest to me.
Hilton just announced Curio Collection. Marriott has a four year head start in the independent hotel affiliation.
Loyalty Traveler: Curio Collection by Hilton is 11th hotel brand in chain (June 2, 2014)
Extended Stay Hotel Segment
Residence Inn (650 hotels) and TownePlace Suites (224 hotels) give the Marriott chain a superior competitive advantage in the extended stay market with Hilton’s extended stay brands limited to Homewood Suites (338 hotels) and the relatively new Home2 Suites (30 hotels).
874 extended stay hotels in Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites for Marriott is significantly more than 368 hotels in Hilton with Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites. Granted, TownePlace Suites and Home2 Suites are classified as upper midscale hotel brands and not upscale. The difference is simply an average daily rate dollar amount creating a dividing line between upper midscale and upscale hotels.
To some extent, Embassy Suites (217 hotels) offer room size comparable to an extended stay hotel, but not the stove and refrigerator kitchen amenities of a true extended stay hotel. Complimentary breakfast and evening social hour are benefits making Embassy Suites a decent substitute for an extended stay hotel.
Marriott has SpringHill Suites (312 hotels) for upscale suites as an answer to Hilton’s better known Embassy Suites (217 hotels).
Extended Stay Hotels edge goes to Marriott. When you want a place to live, Marriott has 600 more hotels than Hilton in the extended stay and upscale suites hotel market.
Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree vs. Courtyard by Marriott
Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites are hotel brands almost entirely for the USA. These hotel brands offer lower priced limited service hotels within Marriott Rewards compared to Marriott’s full service brands.
Hilton Garden Inn has 590 hotels with 89% in USA and Courtyard by Marriott has 956 hotels with 88% in the USA. Both hotel brands are comparable in hotel design for a cookie-cutter upscale hotel market. Marriott has the numbers advantage.
DoubleTree with 380 hotels straddles the Upper Upscale and Upscale markets depending on location. There are some very good DoubleTree hotels.
The real difference in room rates between Hilton and Marriott is the next lower market segment of upper midscale hotel brands with Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn.
Hampton Inn vs. Fairfield Inn
Hampton Inn is huge as a hotel brand with nearly 2,000 hotels and far surpasses the size of any other upscale market hotel brand. Fairfield Inn at 700 hotels is lower priced on average at $99 compared to $111 Hampton Inn.
The Hilton and Marriott hotel brands under $130 per night average rates are the hotel brands where a
The size of Hampton Inn brand hotels along with Hilton Garden Inn gives Hilton about 300 more hotels than Marriott’s Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Suites and TownePlace Suites combined. The Marriott hotel brands with higher priced Courtyard and Residence Inn hotels and lower priced Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels average out to about the same daily room rates as Hampton Inn.
Hotel Spend for Loyalty Program Elite Favors Hilton HHonors
For several years I maintained HHonors Diamond elite on hotel stays. Hilton HHonors requires 20 stays in a calendar year for Gold elite or 30 stays for Diamond elite.
Marriott only counts hotel nights for elite status with 50 nights for Gold or 75 nights for Platinum.
Assume an average $100 per night and Marriott Gold will cost $5,000 in annual hotel spend compared to $2,000 for Hilton HHonors Gold. In real travel, HHonors Gold can easily be picked up on four stays and through promotions like MilePoint premium membership offered for $50 this past year that had the benefit of complimentary HHonors Gold elite status.
Marriott Platinum will take about $7,500 in hotel spend versus $3,000 for HHonors Diamond with 30 stays at $100. Hilton HHonors award stays and nights counting as elite qualifying are a huge difference making Hilton HHonors far easier to earn elite status with lower spend than Marriott Rewards. Award nights do not count as elite qualifying nights in Marriott Rewards.
Hilton and Marriott are direct competitors for hotel guests with both chains offering very similar size in terms of the number of hotels worldwide and comparable brands in different market segments.
The hotel loyalty program is where Hilton HHonors has a distinct advantage over Marriott for members who want the benefits of elite membership. A lower qualification standard and awards stays counting for elite qualification make Hilton HHonors a far easier hotel program to reach HHonors Diamond compared to Marriott Platinum.
Marriott Rewards competitive advantage over Hilton HHonors is hotel award category distribution with far more hotels in lower categories compared to Hilton HHonors. When it comes to hotel stays using points, Marriott Rewards points are often worth more room nights in the mid-level category hotels, despite Hilton HHonors higher earning rate on paid stays for Points & Points earners.