The latest quarterly Hotel Guest Survey by BDRC Continental found that while offering free Wi-Fi and the latest in-room technology is seen as important, particularly among business guests, these factors aren't the top priority when guests are deciding where to book.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, location was also listed as a priority in terms of choosing a hotel by both leisure and business guests, with 'affordable luxury' also cited as an important factor for leisure guests.
James Bland, director hotels and hospitality at BDRC Continental, said affordable luxury was a 'hard concept to address' but hotel brands that could manage to achieve this would be more likely to secure bookings.
"I think it's a function of many things, and that it comes as much from marketing as it does from operations," he explained. "It's a case of positioning the brand as somewhat aspirational, yet accessible, rather than functional, simple or practical."
Brands already achieving this for leisure travellers, according to Bland, include Hotel Indigo, DoubleTree by Hilton, Pullman, Hotel du Vin and Radisson Blu.
Top hotel brands
The survey of almost 50,000 travellers also asked for views on which hotel brands were getting it right in priority areas.
Whitbread's hotel brand Premier Inn scored highly in many areas and was strongly associated with the 'offering a good night's sleep', 'trustworthy' and 'appropriately located' categories for both business and leisure guests.
Bland believes Premier Inn's clear, consistent message about its offer was behind the result.
"If you consider Premier Inn’s advertising, it has been consistent now for many years with the use of Sir Lenny Henry, the colour purple, an instrumental/cover version of popular song and that offer of a 'great night’s sleep' absolutely central to the message," he said.
"They have maintained a consistent presence on the airwaves and a consistent message, so it’s little surprise that they’re perceived to have these strengths."
International hotel brand Hilton also figured highly in the free Wi-Fi and in-room technology categories.
The survey results are revealed ahead of BDRC Continental's Hotel Insights Forum. Taking place at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross in London on 15 September, the one-day event will provide insight and guidance on how hotel owners and operators can tackle the threats, opportunities and challenges facing them.
For more information and to book a place, visit the website bdrc-continental.com/hotel-insights-forum.