From December to February, occupancy in luxury hotels, a category that includes names such as the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. sunk more than 15 percent -- a steeper drop than at mid-level hotels, according to leading hotel industry watcher Smith Travel Research Inc.

The revenue generated from the available luxury rooms fell 23 percent in that same three-month period, according to the Smith Travel Research report. Meanwhile, there are 551,610 rooms opening this year amid sluggish consumer demand, according to a STR construction pipeline report in March.

And when the economy rebounds, the luxury lodging segment will take longer to recover.

"Luxury hotels will lag behind the rest of the hotel industry," said Bobby Bowers, senior vice president of operations at STR. "They have ups and downs that are steeper than the industry as a whole."

Get the full story at CNN