Which hotel sites offer the best user experience?

According to a survey, the answer is Premier Inn and Travelodge, the best-known budget hotel brands. 

Premier Inn narrowly nudged out its budget rival, with The Hilton a distant third. 

So what are these hotels doing right online? Or are the results merely a reflection of the popularity of these two brands? 

I’ve been looking at the survey results, as well as how the top ten hotel brands deal with the search and booking process. 

Does customer experience matter when the price is right?

For budget brands like Travelodge and Premier Inn, do business goals matter more than than good UX and customer experience? Or are they risking poor retention rates by failing to pay attention to the latter? 

Last week I had to cancel a booking I’d made with Travelodge. On investigating my lack of refund today I discovered that, as I’d booked a ‘saver rate’ no refund was due, even though I’d cancelled within minutes of booking. 

While the mistake was mine (I’d selected the wrong dates and only realised my mistake once I’d paid), it does leave a sour taste in the mouth and makes it less likely that I will use them in future. 

I though I’d take a look at the booking process of Travelodge and competitor Premier Inn (both of which offer these non-refundable saver rates) to see how effectively the two companies convey this information to customers. 

If you are going to offer non-refundable rooms, it seems the least you can do is make this abundantly clear to customers, so is this the case?