Hotels with fewer rooms tend to have higher scores in reviews. This is the data based on some surveys which have been carried out on the major review sites.

Why? Sometimes, having better reviews seems to be related to the fact that smaller-sized properties can have a closer relationship with their guests and they are able to provide customized services that best meet the customer expectations and needs.

The Hotelbrand Team also wanted to verify this statement by using the data provided from our platform. Since we can track scores on over 120,000 facilities in Italy and abroad, we’ve analyzed the brandscore (that is, the average total score recorded on all monitored site reviews, namely Trip Advisor, Booking, Expedia, Twitter and Google+) of hotels in some Italian cities, by also comparing small and large city centers.

Then, thanks to the enhancement of the features of our platform that have just been released, we also reviewed the scores obtained on individual items in order to understand which aspects most affect guest ratings.

Generally speaking, at least with regard to the monitored sites and structures, the following results are highlighted:

  • Structures with fewer than 10 rooms in both small and large city centers tend to have higher brands (95 on average, on a scale of 1 to 100);
  • Structures with a number of rooms ranging between 10 and 30, especially in large city centers, tend to have intermediate brands (usually between 70 and 80);
  • Hotels with rooms ranging between 30 and 50, in both small and large city centers, tend to have higher brands (90 on average) but they are still lower than those of small hotels;
  • Finally, hotels with more than 50 rooms tend to have lower scores in the reviews, especially in the case of small city centers.

Considering our assessments has been made only on a sample of structures, one can also find some orderliness for what the scores obtained in the reviews concerns, which we could exemplify in this graph:

As shown in the chart, small structures tend to have higher brandscore than all other categories; Secondly, however, we find hotels that have a number of rooms between 30 and 50, whether  it belongs to a chain or not.

As concerns hotels with fewer rooms, these are mostly those hotels that can accommodate a limited number of customers, which are able to offer extremely accurate and personalized services. In fact, by reading in detail the reviews attributed to these structures, the repeated emphasis on the quality of the  service and the great care shown to guests is highlighted.

Here are some examples of such reviews:

<< Great hotel, outside the city center, in a hilly area, surrounded by greenery. Stunning views, silence, spacious and very clean rooms, equipped with every comfort and newly furnished. The owner is always friendly and helpful. I will definitely go back! >>


<< Comfortable hotel, great! Easy to reach from the highway. Large and clean rooms. The owner is very kind in welcoming its guests. There is a parking lot inside the property and we had a great time. Recommended! >>

<< The property is amazing , the owner is so smart and the staff is friendly and very professional. Very comfortable rooms, top quality refinements , it has a spectacular suite. Lovely place, I definitely recommend it! >>

The recurring element in the small hotel reviews is the great attention paid by the owner, as well as by the whole staff, that contributes to make the guest’s stay unique and unforgettable. Apparently, the crucial element of these structures is the ability to increase the level of satisfaction of their guests by entertaining with them an authentic relationship and by providing customized services.

On the contrary, by comparing strengths and weaknesses of small structures with bigger ones(especially if they have more than 50 rooms) through the “Match” function of Habout, the following “flaws” attributed to them are highlighted by the customers in their reviews:

  • Poor customer orientation;
  • Owner and / or personal unavailable;
  • Little or nonexistent additional services.

Here are some examples of reviews of bigger structures that have recorded the lowest brands on our platform:

<<It is a very large structure surrounded by vegetation. Positive aspects: the cleaning, the politeness of the staff and the pool. The property has a great potential, but in my opinion it needs to be modernized, especially in the furniture, and enriched as far as services are concerned, starting from breakfast. In fact, it would  be nice to find, in addition to croissants, other fresh local products >>.

<<Impressive structure with lots of small details to improve: I’ve been there for a weekend and, even if it is a well-known hotel, I noticed many weak points. The room, for example, had a poor Wi-Fi connection, which was not essential for my stay but, since it is a facility that hosts business events, this aspect should be improved. Furthermore, the room overlooked the kitchen drain. Fortunately, the smell of fried food was not that strong, but we were locked up with the air conditioning on. For such a renowned hotel, it is absurd>>

<<Majestic outside… but inside?!? All in all, as soon as you arrive it seems a luxury hotel but the staff did not reflect the expectations. Breakfast is also very “cold” both as a setting and as the offer. I would recommend it just for an overnight stay>>.

In other words, what is highlighted in many (of course not all;)) large structures is the poor attention to the customer needs, a factor that seems to have a very direct influence on the average score of a structure on reviews and social sites, in spite of other factors such as the location and the number of stars.

Given the key role that reviews have today in influencing guest decisions (it is estimated that about 93% of users look at reviews before booking) this figure should bring the hospitality field to think about the need to offer its guests not just an accommodation but, above all, a living experience that can meet as much as possible the real needs of your target guests.