Ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, ReviewPro, a provider of online reputation and social media analytics for the hospitality industry, analyzed online guest reviews for Sochi-area properties to reveal the top-rated lodgings. This research is based on guest comments about 81 properties in the Krasnodar region published during the last 12 months on more than 100 of the leading online travel agencies and review sites. Besides hosting the 2014 Olympics, Sochi is the third largest tourist destination in Russia.
ReviewPro calculated its Global Review Index (GRI) online reputation score for each property for the 2013 period. The Weiler Hotel, located in the Adler resort and a 15-minute drive from Sochi's airport, took the No. 1 spot with a remarkable 95.1% GRI, more than 16 points above the region's average score (78.7%). The Diana Palace Hotel (87.4%), also in Adler, and the 3-star Dashkov Hotel (86.3%), followed the 29-room property in the Top 3.
Top-rated lodgings by their guests in Sochi and the Krasnodar region
01. Weiler Hotel 95.1%
02. Hotel Diana Palace 87.4%
03. Hotel Dashkov 86.3%
04. Belvedere 85.8%
05. Grand Hotel Polyana 84.7%
06. Bristol 84.6%
07. Grand Hotel and Spa Rodina 84.4%
08. Lazur Beach Hotel 84.2%
09. Mashuk Hotel 84.2%
10. Hotel Olesya 84.1%
The research also determined that Sochi's average reputation score, with a 78.7% GRI, is consistently below those of other destinations such as Kiev (83.3%), Moscow (82.2%), St. Petersburg (82.1%) Sofia (81.2%) and Istanbul (80.5%). Only 51.5% of the online guest reviews on the 81 properties analyzed by ReviewPro were positive, while 16.4% referred to negative hotel experiences and the remaining 32.1% were neutral.
According to RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro, "the Olympics represent an unparalleled opportunity to showcase what a city has to offer to international tourists. However, besides boosting visits, the Games also set a new benchmark for its hotels and restaurants. The properties of the Krasnodar region can therefore seize a tremendous opportunity but also face a significant challenge, in which online reputation and social media analytics can play a key role. Leveraging our Online Reputation Management (ORM) tool, hotel managers can identify what are their strengths and areas for improvement according to their guests, and act accordingly to increase guest satisfaction and revenue."
The Winter Olympics have increased the appeal for hotel groups of what was already one of Russia's largest and most popular resort destinations. Leading brands such as Marriott, Accor and the Russian group Azimut, whose two new properties will host some of the international media that will be attending the Games, recently landed in Sochi, with some 1,800 new rooms coming on its Downtown area.
"Amidst the news on the poor condition of some hotels at the Olympic site, ReviewPro's ranking might have been a saving grace for journalists and other visitors to the Olympic city. Local hoteliers would have benefited from our detailed guest satisfaction analytics to know where they needed to focus improvement prior to the games," added Friedlander.
Thanks to its sentiment analysis technology, ReviewPro also obtained the most widely addressed topics in guest reviews. Consumers' conversations about room, staff and breakfast led the ranking, and 82.6% of these references were positive. Russian was the most widely used language, accounting for 57.1% of the reviews and followed at a great distance by English (9.3%), German (1.1%) and Chinese (0.6%).