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After cutting back during the recession, hotel owners are winning the hearts and minds of travelers with renovations, new facilities and other product enhancements. According to a just-released report from J.D. Power, hotel guest satisfaction has hit a new high of 784 points (on a 1,000-point scale), up 7 points from last year and 27 points from 2012. Top-scoring brands by category included Four Seasons (Luxury, 886), Kimpton (Upper Upscale, 847) and Hilton Garden Inn (Upscale, 836). Most improved honors went to the midscale segment, led by Drury Hotels with a score of 855. The survey also found that Millennial or Gen Y travelers tended to be the most critical of the 67,000 travelers surveyed, although a focus on improving staff interactions can boost their impressions significantly. “The presumption is that Millennials will never be loyal,” said Rick Garlick, the company’s global travel and hospitality practice lead. “But if you give them a personal-touch experience, they can be loyal for many years to come.”


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