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What affluent travelers want more than anything else in a hotel

May 10, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • The JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live and the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles share a building near Staples Center. Both brands are favorites among affluent travelers, a survey finds.
The JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live and the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles share… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

What do affluent Americans look for when picking a hotel for vacation? It's not beach access, fitness centers or privacy but something far more practical: Internet access, according to the Resonance Report on Affluent Travel and Leisure released Thursday.

"We believe one of the key trends we'll see in the years ahead is the integration of technology into the guest experience," Chris Fair, president of Resonance Consultancy, wrote in an e-mail. "Rather than unplugging, we'll be 'plugging in' and using mobile technology to create and manage our vacation experience throughout our stay...."

The findings among luxury travelers (households with incomes of more than $150,000) cut across age groups too, with 54% of those younger and older than 55 ranking the Internet as the key factor in their hotel choice.

When it comes to picking a vacation destination, the survey found that good weather was the top consideration, followed by cost, scenery and nature, safety and access to the beach.

Other findings include:

--Favorite brands: Ritz-Carlton was the preferred hotel among households of $1 million or more, and Marriott was the most frequented for affluent households.

--Favorite cities: In the U.S., New York City was the most popular vacation destination followed by Las Vegas and San Francisco. Overseas, Italy was No. 1 followed by the United Kingdom and France.

--Favorite trips: Wine country tours and luxury cruises were the preferred vacation experiences.

The survey of 1,200 affluent households was conducted by Resonance Consultancy with the Luxury Institute to measure travel and leisure trends.
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