UK Hotels Rank Highest in Europe for Good Customer Service

Latest research from the Independent Hotel Show, in partnership with travel deals company Travelzoo, reveals that UK hotels rate number one for service compared to hotels across Europe. Hotels in Spain and Italy are ranked second and third. Hotels in France fared worst, and were rated lowest for customer service.

The survey of over 1000 UK adults also highlighted how important good service is as a redeeming factor when other attributes of a hotel fall short. Nine out of ten respondents said good service could rectify their impression of a "bad hotel" and is the top reason why two-thirds of customers would rebook.

Good hotel service also has huge positive word-of-mouth potential, with 40% of respondents saying it would make them recommend a hotel to friends and family, second only to the cleanliness of a hotel and 50% more important than the hotel's restaurant.

Key findings of the research include:

Attitudes to service

  • Boutique and luxury hotels are the preferred hotel of choice of 42% of respondents, followed by chain hotels (29%) and budget hotels (10%)
  • British service is viewed as "formal and polite" by 35% of respondents and "warm and generous" by 18%
  • London and Scotland are ranked as the two regions offering the best customer service within the luxury and budget hotel sectors
  • Respondents are nearly three times more likely to rate hotel service as "amazing" outside the UK
  • Respondents' biggest bugbears regarding hotel service are "surly or condescending staff" (38%), "not following up on requests" (21%) and "struggling to get staff's attention" (15%)
  • A "friendly, can-do attitude" is viewed by 60% of respondents as the most important quality for customer-facing staff
  • 9 out of 10 respondents agree with the statement "a bad hotel can be improved with good service"

How service relates to recommendation and rebooking

  • "Cleanliness" is ranked as the highest attribute when it comes to recommending a hotel to friends and family (60%), followed by "good service and friendly hotel staff" (42%) and "location" (31%).
  • "Personable, helpful and attentive staff" is ranked highest as one of the main drivers to encourage a repeat hotel booking (66%), followed by a "special offer or promotion" (62%), a "great breakfast" (45%), "convenience" (36%), "a good hotel restaurant" (31%) and the hotel's "design and décor" (23%)

Service and review sites

  • Encouragingly, guests are six times more likely to post a positive review of a hotel than a negative one

With service a core element of successful hotel delivery, the Independent Hotel Show (20-21 October, Olympia), targeted at the independent and boutique hotelier, will be exploring attitudes and trends towards good service during the 2-day event. The Future of Service seminar session that will take place at the show's Business Theatre on 20 October will focus on the changing needs and expectations of the modern guest. Chaired by Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels, the session will also feature key predictions from research and advisory firm Stylus, along with comment from key hotel professionals, including Robert Nadler of Nadler Hotels, Neil Leo of Ace Hotel and Paula McMinn of The Savoy.

Peter Hancock says, "Comment about importance of service within hotel industry, why integral to IHS, why need to get it right and how perceptions and delivery of service are changing."

Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo's UK managing director adds:

"Travelzoo has over 27 million members worldwide who all have one thing in common: a genuine love of travel. This has taken them all over the world, both for business and leisure purposes. While they like to get a good deal on their holidays, they don't expect this to come at the cost of good service. This study has revealed just how crucial good customer service remains today, in a world where technology is constantly replacing the need for face-to-face communication and personable service.

"Good service inspires loyalty – this is important for all hotels, but even more so for the smaller boutique hotels, which came out top in our research, as these really do rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from trusting guests. It's also worth noting that Travelzoo's deal experts look for positively reviewed properties when researching deals. If the hotel is lacking these reviews, we simply won't feature them on Travelzoo."


For more information on the Independent Hotel Show and to see the full schedule of business sessions and seminars, visit

Notes to Editors


This survey was conducted by the Independent Hotel Show and Travelzoo, with 1,012 adults in the UK polled during September 2015

Independent Hotel Show

Inspiring and informative, the Independent Hotel Show is the UK's only forum bringing together the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector.

A must-attend event for independent hoteliers and industry professionals, the show presents a diverse collection of the UK's most innovative suppliers together with expert insight from our Business Sessions.

The Independent Hotel Show takes place on 20-21 October 2015 at Olympia West Hall, London.

Follow @IndHotelShow for up-to-date information on the show and the exhibitors.

About Travelzoo

Travelzoo is a global media commerce company. With more than 28 million members in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and 26 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes offers from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment and local companies. Travelzoo’s deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.

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