Using Math to Find the Perfect Hotel

Dentist’s Money Digest

How do you determine the perfect hotel? Is it all about the location? The cleanliness of the room? Or is free Wi-Fi more important to you? Hotels.com recently released how it makes the determination by mathematical calculation. The website draws on its customer reviews to help make the determination.

Perfect Hotel

Fresh towels? Friendliness of hotel staff as well as cleanliness of the room factor heavily into Hotels.com’s hotel perfection equation.

What’s the most important factor when picking a hotel? Do you look for a convenient location, good value, complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a quiet room? Cleanliness and comfort are 35 times more important than a lavish breakfast or a luxurious swimming pool, according to Hotels.com’s analysis of 148 million comments. The online booking site developed a formula that quantifies the elusive elements of a “perfect hotel stay.”

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“While we all dream of luxurious hotels and sun-soaked beaches, in fact the things we value most when selecting a hotel tell us something far more fundamental about the human condition,” said consumer psychologist, Dr. Simon Moore, who led Hotels.com study. Dr. Moore feels that risks and discomfort outweigh positive benefits by a ratio of five to one.

“Cleanliness and comfort fulfills our need for relaxation, safety and security. A good location fulfills our needs to feel connected to others and that we have somewhere we can escape to in times of such need,” said Dr. Moore.

Friendliness came in first. “The fact that staff friendliness plays such an important role in guest satisfaction shows that, as intrinsically social creatures, we love to be greeted with a smile and a chat. It makes us feel welcome and part of the group,” said Dr. Moore.

FORMULA FOR A PERFECT HOTEL STAY
Peer to peer reviews provide useful insight into a property. “We know that reviews are becoming even more important that the traditional star ratings,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for Hotels.com.  “But sometimes there is so much information out there it can be hard to decipher what’s important, our handy new formula helps settle the debate of what makes the perfect hotel stay.”

To rate the elements of a perfect stay, Hotels.com extracted the 500 most commonly used keywords from its more than 5 million 2016 reviews. Next, the site analyzed 148 million sentences using these words to weight the responses and devise a formula.

HOTELS.COM’S FORMULA
F25 +C35 +B10 +P2+Q+Br+D7+S+W+1/2H = hotel perfection

F = Friendliness of the staff

C = Perceived cleanliness of the room

B = How comfortable is the bed

P = Perceived reasonable price

Q = Quietness of the room

S = Swimming pool

Br = Breakfast included

D = Location, walking distance, access

W = Free Wi-Fi

H = Ability to make a hot drink in the room

HP= overall perfect hotel

Hotels.com reported that almost 100 hotels in the U.S., including 21 in Las Vegas, match the formula, as do the 2,500 Hotels.com Loved by Guest award-winners.

Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips

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