Report: The Best and Worst Hotel Chains in America

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Choosing the right hotel at the right price can be crucial to the enjoyment of your vacation. As a former owner of a travel agency, money expert Clark Howard knows a thing or two about how to find bargain rates, including how to find the best deal on a hotel.

“I book the best deal I can find for where I’m going but always a refundable room,” he says.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Travel Study 2022-2023 shows how customers ranked U.S. hotels in surveys conducted between April 2022 and March 2023.

Which Hotels Provide the Best Customer Experience?

Here are some key findings from the report, which grades hotel chains on a 100-point scale:

  • With an ACSI score of 80, Hyatt and Marriott tied for the top spot in the rankings.
  • Next up is Hilton, whose score (79) improved by 4% vs. the previous year.
  • Overall guest satisfaction with hotels jumps 6% to an ACSI score of 75, 

Let’s take a look at the hotel chains with the best and worst rankings, according to customers.

Here Are the Best and Worst Hotel Chains in America

ChainLatest Score% Change From
Previous Year
Best Western761%
All Others7211%

How Clark Saves on Hotel Costs

Clark says the strategy that allows him to find the best hotel deals involves looking at rates on the chain’s website as well as several third-party websites.

Balancing good reviews against cost has led Clark to two booking sites he uses the most.

“I have a big bias toward Priceline,” Clark says. “I use Hotwire for maybe 10-15% of my bookings, but almost everything else is on Priceline.”

A Priceline feature Clark says not enough people use is the “blind booking” option that allows you to get a lower rate by choosing a hotel without knowing its name. That may sound scary, but he says it’s not a big deal if you’re willing to do a little research.

First Go to Priceline

At, Clark says you can get some hints on where you’ll likely stay by doing a little legwork before you book.

“What I do is I book four-star hotels or higher that have an approval rating of 80% or higher from people who’ve stayed there,” Clark says. 


With the Priceline process, you’re able to pick what side of town you’ll be on and get an idea of which hotels are in the area, Clark adds.

Once you’ve whittled down your list to hotels most likely to be those Priceline has listed, you can learn more by doing a little more research on other travel websites.

Go to Other Travel Booking Sites … Then Back to Priceline

Clark says to make a list of the few hotels that may be your destination. “Then go read on TripAdvisor what people say about them.”

If you’re satisfied with the customer reviews of all your likely candidates, you can book with confidence if you’ve found the best price on Priceline.

Do you agree with this hotel ranking? Which hotel chains do you like the best and least? Tell us in our Community!


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