Branded hotels can see their entire portfolio tarnished by weakness at just one outlet, as many of Britain's economy hotel operators found to their cost earlier this year.
But the reality is that the overall quality of brands is usually much higher than their unbranded competitors.
Those with a strong stomach might like to read this piece from London's Sunday Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article5617700.ece) to give a sense of the horror that lies out there for guests venturing into the unbranded sector.
It puts into perspective the poor cleaning standards found at some Ibis and Travelodge hotels found by Which? Holiday magazine in a narrow survey published last month.