SOURCE: Luxury Institute

March 12, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: High Net-Worth Consumers Rank Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Offer the Best Customer Experience

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 12, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated Small Luxury Hotels of the World the hotel brand that offers the best customer experience in the 2008 Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey from the independent New York-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). Respondents commented on the "high quality surroundings, excellent service, beautiful locations, spacious rooms and bathrooms and free parking," and say "it's reliable luxury." Those who rated Small Luxury Hotels of the World most favorably were male respondents over 50 years of age with a net income of $200K and a net-worth of over $1.0MM. Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons ranked second and third, respectively.

"The Luxury Hotels industry has one of the greatest challenges delivering extraordinary customer experiences day in and day out," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "While many hotel ratings purport to be independent, we measure the true results in the industry by conducting our surveys with independent panels with results tabulated by external analytical experts. This ensures a level of transparency and objectivity that has earned us the trust of consumers, the industry and the media."

Following are the 15 Hotel brands that were rated (in alphabetical order):

1.   Fairmont
2.   Four Seasons
3.   InterContinental
4.   JW Marriott
5.   Le Meridien
6.   Leading Hotels of the World
7.   Loews
8.   Mandarin Oriental
9.   Park Hyatt
10.  Ritz-Carlton
11.  Small Luxury Hotels of the World
12.  Sofitel
13.  St. Regis
14.  W Hotels
15.  Waldorf Astoria Collection

The proprietary Luxury Customer Experience Index (LCEI) survey is the only measure of the customer experience of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,636 wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $349K and average net worth of $3.7 million, was surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.luxuryboard.com), the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.luxuryinstitute.com.

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