Hotel Online  Special Report



Zagat's Consumer Survey Rates Amanresorts
and Four Seasons Best Hotel Chains in the World
Surveyors Found Hospitality in Hotels, Resorts Outside
the United States Better than Those Within the U.S.

Paris' Four Seasons George V and Hong Kong's Peninsula
Named Best International Hotels

NEW YORK, April 27, 2004 - Zagat Survey(R), the world's leading provider of consumer survey-based leisure content, today released its 2004 International Hotels, Resorts and Spas Survey. The new guide covers the world's best hotels, resorts and spas as reviewed by nearly 10,000 avid travelers and travel professionals who stayed at hotels an average of 40 nights per year.  Also surveyed were 45 hotel chains and marketing groups.  Using Zagat Survey's signature 30-point scale, surveyors rated and reviewed establishments in 94 countries for the quality of their Rooms, Service, Dining and Public Facilities.

"The results of this survey prove that you don't need to spend top dollar to enjoy top quality.  In large parts of the world the travel industry is still a buyer's market with truly astounding values widely available," said Tim Zagat, co-publisher and CEO of Zagat Survey.  "This guide will help travelers find the places thousands of surveyors have identified as the best in luxury travel."

And the Winners are:

Top Hotel Chains & Groups (10+ international properties):
     1.  Amanresorts
     2.  Four Seasons
     3.  Ritz-Carlton
     4.  Mandarin Oriental
     5.  Luxury Collection (Starwood)

Top Hotels (100+ rooms):
     1.  Four Seasons George V, Paris
     2.  Peninsula, Hong Kong
     3.  Oriental, Bangkok
     4.  Peninsula, Bangkok
     5.  Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Istanbul

Top Resorts (100+ rooms):
     1.  Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia
     2.  Four Seasons, Punta Mita Mexico
     3.  Amarvilas Oberoi, Agra, India
     4.  Four Seasons, Nevis, St. & Nevis
     5.  Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Top Small Resorts, Inns & Lodges (<100 rooms):
     1.  Singita, Kruger Area, South Africa
     2.  Amankila, Bali, Indonesia
     3.  Four Seasons Sayan, Bali, Indonesia
     4.  Rajvilas Oberoi, Rajasthan, India
     5.  Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Top Destination Spas:
     1.  Amandari, Bali, Indonesia
     2.  Chiva-Som International, Hua Hin, Thailand
     3.  Rancho La Puerta, Baja Peninsula, Mexico
     4.  Brenner's Park, Baden-Baden, Germany
     5.  Chedi, Phuket, Thailand

Top Hotel Alliances:
     1.  Relais & Chateaux
     2.  Leading Hotels of the World
     3.  Small Luxury Hotels
     4.  Preferred Hotels

Top Places By Country:
     Australia:        Lizard Island Lodge, Great Barrier Reef
     Canada:           Hastings House, Vancouver
     China:            Peninsula, Hong Kong
     France:           Four Seasons George V, Paris
     Germany:          Four Seasons, Berlin
     India:            Rajvilas Oberoi, Rajasthan
     Indonesia:        Amankila, Bali
     Ireland:          Sheen Falls Lodge, Co. Kerry
     Israel:           Carmel Forest, Haifa
     Italy:            Palazzo Sasso, Amalfi Coast
     Japan:            Ritz-Carlton, Osaka
     Mexico:           Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Baja Peninsula
     Singapore:        Four Seasons
     South Africa:     Singita, Kruger Area
     Spain:            Alfonso XIII, Seville
     Switzerland:      Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne
     Thailand:         Four Seasons, Chiang Mai
     United Kingdom:   Gidleigh Park, Devon

Key Survey Results:

In addition to rating and reviewing international establishments, the 2004 Zagat Survey measured consumer sentiment regarding service and travel trends.

Survey results include:

Service? What Service?: Nearly two thirds (65%) of the Zagat surveyors cited poor service as the biggest irritant when staying in a hotel, resort or spa.  No other complaint came close, not even dirty rooms (12%) or noisy accommodations (10%).

Meanwhile, 64% of surveyors found hospitality in hotels, resorts and spas outside the United States better than those within the U.S.

Unsteady Times:  Although international travel has picked up during the past year, the market remains highly unsettled with the economy and fear of terrorism continuing to top travelers concerns.

As a result of these issues, the travel industry continues to offer highly favorable rates and discounts in large parts of the world, allowing the budget conscious traveler to afford places that previously may have been too expensive.

Ranked in order of impact were the following concerns:
    The economy            35 %
    Fear of terrorism      17 %
    SARS                   17 %
    War in Iraq             7 %
    Bad weather             7 %
    Airline safety          6 %
    Other                  11 %

Preferred Payment:  When in comes to paying for travel, surveyors are overwhelmingly inclined to use credit cards.  In fact, 93% said they usually paid via credit card, 4% with local currency, 2% with debit card and a mere 1% with traveler's check.

One for the Road:  44% of the Zagat surveyors admitted having taken objects at one time or another from the hotels they visited.  The real question is whether the 56% of respondents who denied culpability were telling the truth.

Favorite items to take:
     Toiletries            64 %
     Towels & Robes   17 %
     Ashtrays               8 %
     Pens                   2 %
     Slippers               2 %
     Notepad/stationery     2 %
     Other                  5 %

The 2004 Top International Hotels, Resorts & Spas guide is available in local bookstores or through  Donna Marino edited the guide.

About Zagat Survey
Zagat Survey is the world's leading provider of consumer opinion based leisure content. With over 250,000 surveyors, Zagat Survey ratings and reviews cover restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment resources. 

Zagat Survey
Web Site: http://www.zagatsurvey.com

Also See: New York City 2003 Restaurant Survey; Dining Frequency and Spending Drop, New Restaurants Still Outnumber Closures / Nov 2002
Four Seasons a Runaway Favorite - Wins seven of the eleven top hotel rankings in 2001 Zagat Survey / Nov 2000

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