Which Are The Best & Worst U.S. Hotel Chains?

School is almost done and the weather is getting warmer (or at least it’s supposed to be), which can only mean… well, it can actually mean an awful lot of things. But today we’re going to discuss which hotel chains people will look forward to staying in — and which ones they will be dreading — this summer.

Our survey savoring siblings at Consumer Reports have just posted the results of reader evaluations of 44 of the most popular hotel chains in the country.

The survey, taken by more than 22,000 folks, and while Ritz-Carlton came out on the top of the luxury hotel heap, the majority of us won’t be booking our vacations there this summer.

So let’s jump to the budget hotels, where Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham was the highest ranking place to rest for the night without having to crack the piggy bank open.

In between these two ends of the cost spectrum, the CR survey gave the Westin, Hyatt and Embassy Suites chains Excellent or Very Good scores on all attributes.

If you’re a motel masochist, the survey results put Econo Lodge and Americas Best Value Inn among the worst hotel chains in the country, with low scores for value, upkeep, comfort and service.

“No one would ever confuse Microtel Inn & Suites for the Ritz, but each does a great job of pleasing its particular customers,” said Tod Marks, Senior Editor, Consumer Reports. “Satisfaction depends on what you’re seeking. And our survey clearly shows that across all price points, there are superb hotel choices to fit any guest’s needs.”

On the up side, readers’ feelings about hotels have gotten better over the last half-decade. In 2006, 42% of readers rated their check-in and checkout process as excellent. The newest survey has that number pegged at 53%.

The number of people rating service and upkeep as excellent jumped by 7% during this same time period.

We’d like to know where you come down on the best and worst hotel chains, so feel free to debate, defend, denounce in the comments.