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At Divvy, we get insight into exactly where business travelers are staying and we wanted to dig into the data. 

We specifically looked at our customers from small and medium businesses (SMBs) to see which hotels they frequented most often and how much they paid (on average). Here’s what we found:

Top Hotels for SMBs

We analyzed over 50,000 transactions and over $6 million dollars of recent hotel spend. When possible, we broke out major brand hotels from their parent brand.  

Here are the top ten most popular hotels by number of transactions:

  1. Holiday Inn
  2. Courtyard by Marriott
  3. Hampton by Hilton
  4. Marriott
  5. Hyatt
  6. Hilton
  7. Fairfield by Marriott
  8. Hilton Garden Inn
  9. DoubleTree by Hilton
  10. Sheraton

As expected, we saw a ton of representation from the Marriott and Hilton hotel groups, but IHG’s Holiday Inn Brand scored the top spot. 

There were 5,324 transactions at Holiday Inns, though Courtyard (by Marriott) was close behind with 5,177 transactions. 

The most popular hotels on our list floated around a four-star average, though ratings can vary widely even for the same hotel brand.

Average Cost of Hotel Stay

Overall spend was highest at Marriott and Hyatt hotels ($835K and $735K in total authorized spend, respectively).

When we took the average cost of a single transaction at each of our top hotels, these two brands still came in the lead for most expensive, but other rankings shifted slightly.

Here’s how much our customers paid on average for a single transaction at the most popular hotels for business travel:

  1. Marriott: $214.46
  2. Hyatt: $202.36
  3. DoubleTree by Hilton: $180.81
  4. Hampton by Hilton: $130.76
  5. Sheraton: $129.41
  6. Hilton: $125.97
  7. Holiday Inn: $101.19
  8. Hilton Garden Inn: $99.20
  9. Fairfield by Marriott: $96.24
  10. Courtyard by Marriott: $95.81

Note: Our transaction list may have included minor costs like valet or room service charges, but the average costs seemed to reflect the approximate cost of one-night’s stay. 

Marriott premium hotels cost the highest on average—at $214.46 per transaction. However, this hotel group also provided the most popular economy alternatives: both Fairfield Inn and Courtyard. 

The above data reflects the cost for the most popular SMB hotel stays, but we found a few outliers on our list as well. 

  • The most expensive brand on our list was Four Seasons, averaging $1,068.91 per transaction. 
  • The least expensive stay was Motel 6 at $64.54 per transaction.

Where do SMB travelers stay on business trips?

Lots of factors can influence business travel—from the company budget to the traveler’s appetite—but in general, we found SMBs to be reasonable in their accommodations. Mid-priced brands were the most popular, with budgets around $135/night.

How to save on business travel expenses

As business travel resumes, your business will need to re-create policies and practices to ensure that travel expenses are managed carefully. It’s far too easy for employees to book the more expensive hotel, add on some unapproved expenses, and get a little carried away with the corporate card.

Here’s a few of our best tips for minimizing business travel expenses:

  1. Shop smarter with airlines
  2. Set realistic per diem & budgets beforehand
  3. Create a travel policy
  4. Choose transportation wisely
  5. Protect against T&E fraud
  6. Use business travel services & expense management

Check out other Divvy Research articles such as Most Popular Gas Stations for SMBs or Most Popular Restaurants for Business Travelers.

About Divvy

Divvy is free expense management software paired with smart corporate credit cards. If you want to learn more about our product, we’d love to schedule some time to chat.

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