Aug252015

List of major loyalty program hotel brands categorized by luxury, upscale and midscale

When someone tells me they stayed at a luxury hotel, I try and elicit specific details to see if I agree with their classification that it is a luxury hotel. Say Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton and that sounds like a luxury hotel brand to me. Tell me you stayed at the Embassy Suites and I’ll be thinking your stay may have been luxuriously delightful, but you were not staying in a luxury hotel.

My definition is primarily based on average room rate, taking into consideration the specific city and other hotels in the area.

2015 STR Chain Scales

Smith Travel Research, STR, is a hotel industry data company and they track hotel room rates around the USA and globe. One of the useful reports you can freely access from STR is their annual Chain Scale for hotel brands. The pdf pages categorize every hotel brand on a chain scale among six market segments, based on the average daily rate for hotel rooms across the brand.

  1. luxury
  2. upper upscale
  3. upscale
  4. upper midscale
  5. midscale
  6. economy

There are two STR pdf files for 2015 hotel market segments with one focused on USA hotel brands and the other pdf covering global hotel brands. I pulled data from the global hotel brands file for the list of hotel brands and their loyalty program for the six different hotel market segments,

Hotel News Now, the publishing arm of STR, has an article on the basics of how STR creates chain scales based on average daily rates and their value. Room rate data across the USA and world with frequent reporting of trends provides hoteliers and investors with information on how their brand compares to other brands and which sectors along the chain scale of branded hotels are performing better than others.

STR data published today may determine what kind of hotel you are sleeping inside ten years from now. Investors may be deciding whether to put money into one major luxury hotel project or a project for 20 midscale hotels. Invest at the wrong time, like in 2007-2008 and you could lose a fortune. A large proportion of the luxury hotel investors went bankrupt between 2008 and 2011. Historically, the hotel industry has bankrupted many a wealthy investor.

Brand Name Hotels and their Hotel Loyalty Program Affiliation

Hotels in North America are mostly brand name hotels with 66% of all hotels branded and a member of a hotel chain. The other 34% of hotels are independent properties. One of the major trends of the past decade has been the shift of independent hotels into boutique chain hotel brands affiliated with the major chains like Starwood Luxury Collection, Marriott Autograph Collection, Hilton Curio Collection, Choice Ascend Collection and InterContinental Alliance Resort.

In the past 25 years the proportion of chain hotels to independent hotels in the USA has grown from 56.5% in 1990 to 69.6% in 2015 (HNN).

Major loyalty program hotel brands in different chain scale segments. Each hotel brand is coded for its hotel loyalty program affiliation.

Hotel Loyalty Program Key Code

BWR – Best Western Rewards

CC – Club Carlson

CP – Choice Privileges

HH – Hilton HHonors

HGP – Hyatt Gold Passport

IHG – InterContinenetal Hotels Group

KK – Kimpton Hotels (acquired by IHG, but no loyalty program integration)

MR – Marriott Rewards

SPG – Starwood Preferred Guest

WR – Wyndham Rewards

Luxury Hotel Market Segment Chain Brands

  1. African Pride – Protea Hotels (MR)
  2. Andaz (HGP)
  3. Conrad (HH)
  4. Edition (MR)
  5. Grand Hyatt (HGP)
  6. InterContinental (IHG)
  7. JW Marriott (MR)
  8. Luxury Collection (SPG)
  9. Park Hyatt (HGP)
  10. Ritz-Carlton (MR)
  11. St. Regis (SPG)
  12. W Hotels (SPG)
  13. Waldorf-Astoria (HH)

13 of 98 luxury brands on 2015 STR Global Chain Scales are major hotel loyalty program brands. Points are not a primary consideration for this hotel market segment. The luxury market segment was about 10% of global hotel revenue over past year.

I only stay at luxury hotels when I get free reward nights through hotel loyalty programs or the rate drops to around $100 per night. That kind of bargain does not happen very often. I booked Conrad Miami a few years ago at Christmas time for around $110 per night. There have always been some low priced W Hotels with$100 per night rates on low season dates, but the average sky high price for the hotel brand worldwide lifts up the overall average rate to luxury for the brand.

Upper Upscale Hotel Market Segment Chain Brands

  1. Autograph Collection (MR)
  2. Curio Collection (HH)
  3. Delta Hotels (joined MR June 16, 2015)
  4. Dolce Hotels & Resorts (WR)
  5. Embassy Suites (HH)
  6. Gaylord Resorts (MR)
  7. Hilton (HH)
  8. Hilton Grand Vacations (HH)
  9. Hyatt (HGP)
  10. Hyatt Regency (HGP)
  11. Kimpton (KK)
  12. Le Meridien (SPG)
  13. Marriott (MR)
  14. Marriott Executive Apartments (MR)
  15. Quorvus Collection (CC)
  16. Radisson Blu (CC)
  17. Renaissance (MR)
  18. Sheraton (SPG)
  19. Westin (SPG)
  20. Wyndham (WR)

This is the hotel market segment where hotel loyalty points and elite benefits really pay off. These are the hotel brands I most frequently stay with on reward stays. I accumulate many paid stays at these hotel brands, frequently on approved best rate guarantee claims dropping hotel rates from $150 to $200 per night down to $75 to $100 per night.

Upscale Hotel Market Segment Chain Brands

  1. AC Hotels by Marriott (MR)
  2. Aloft Hotels (SPG)
  3. art’otel (CC)
  4. Ascend Collection (CP)
  5. Best Western Premier (BWR)
  6. Cambria Suites (CP)
  7. Clarion Collection (CP)
  8. Courtyard (MR)
  9. Crowne Plaza (IHG)
  10. DoubleTree (HH)
  11. element (SPG)
  12. EVEN Hotels (IHG)
  13. Four Points (SPG)
  14. Hilton Garden Inn (HH)
  15. Homewood Suites (HH)
  16. Hotel Indigo (IHG)
  17. Hyatt House (HGP)
  18. Hyatt Place (HGP)
  19. Park Plaza (CC)
  20. Radisson (CC)
  21. Residence Inn (MR)
  22. Springhill Suites (MR)
  23. Staybridge Suites (IHG)
  24. Wyndham Vacation Resort (WR)

This market segment is where I focus my paid stays to earn points for discount and free nights primarily at upper upscale hotel brands.

Upper Midscale Hotel Market Segment Chain Brands

  1. Best Western Plus (BWR)
  2. Clarion (CP)
  3. Comfort Inn (CP)
  4. Comfort Suites (CP)
  5. Country Inn & Suites (CC)
  6. Days Hotels (WR)
  7. DoubleTree Club (HH)
  8. Fairfield Inn (MR)
  9. Hampton Inn (HH)
  10. Holiday Inn (IHG)
  11. Holiday Inn Garden Court (IHG)
  12. Holiday Inn Express (IHG)
  13. Holiday Inn Select (IHG)
  14. Home2 Suites (HH)
  15. Park Inn (CC)
  16. Protea Hotel (MR)
  17. Quality Hotel & Resort (CP)
  18. Ramada Plaza (WR)
  19. TownePlace Suites (MR)
  20. Tryp by Wyndham (WR)
  21. Wyndham Garden Hotel (WR)

Upper midscale market brands are  where I stay for about half my paid hotel stays during good promotion periods to earn points for free and discount reward nights at higher market segment hotels.

 

Midscale Hotel Market Segment Chain Brands

  1. Baymont Inn & Suites (WR)
  2. Best Western (BWR)
  3. Candlewood Suites (IHG)
  4. Hawthorn Suites (WR)
  5. Mainstay Suites (CP)
  6. Quality Inn (CP)
  7. Ramada (WR)
  8. Sleep Inn (CP)
  9. Wingate (WR)

Quality Inn and Best Western have more than 4,000 hotels combined just in these two franchises. That exceeds the number of hotels in the global chains for all Hilton brands or all Marriott brands. Candlewood, Hawthorn Suites and MainStay Suites are all extended stay apartment style hotels.

Economy Hotel Market Segment Chain Brands

  1. Days Inn (WR)
  2. Econo Lodge (CP)
  3. Howard Johnson (WR)
  4. Knights Inn (WR)
  5. Microtel Inn & Suites (WR)
  6. Rodeway Inn (CP)
  7. Suburban Extended Stay Hotels (WR)
  8. Super 8 (WR)
  9. Travelodge (WR)

Wyndham Rewards and Choice Privileges are the dominant hotel rewards program players in the economy market segment. I had a Days Inn stay last June. I usually find better deals in a higher hotel market segment. Days Inn was one of the best deals I could find when I was in Asheville, North Carolina on a Saturday night in June.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. I’m actually considering using my Wyndham signup bonus on the Days Hotel London Waterloo next May, when the paid rate at that hotel is $196 per night. It looks a little nicer than Days Inns here in the states, and the location is really good.

  2. I left out hundreds of hotel chains. Motel 6 does not have a major hotel loyalty program.

    Accor Hotels are the major loyalty chain brands I left out of this list. Fairmont Hotels could also be included.

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