Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Hotel Star Rating System

Following the issues I had on my last holiday with my hotel being changed at the last minute to an inferior establishment I have been looking into the star rating system.

And it is confusing to say the least.

There is no set or approved system which has every country's buy in.

The European Hotelstars Union is used by over 20 European countries and it makes for interesting reading.  Some of the most ridiculous items are needed to hit a grade.  For example, one of the 3* requirements is a three piece suite in reception.  Really?  Does that actually add anything?  Does it add more than a set of individual chairs would?

For a 5*, a hotel needs to provide shower gels/shampoo in bottles, rather than sachets.  Yes, they look better, but does is make any difference?

Briefly, the requirements are

  • 100% of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC
  • Daily room cleaning
  • 100% of the rooms with colour-TV together with remote control
  • Table and chair
  • Soap or body wash
  • Reception service
  • Facsimile at the reception
  • Publicly available telephone for guests
  • Extended breakfast
  • Beverage offer in the hotel
  • Deposit possibility


All of the above, plus
  • Breakfast buffet
  • Reading light next to the bed
  • Bath essence or shower gel
  • Bath towels
  • Linen shelves
  • Offer of sanitary products (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit)
  • Acceptance of Credit Cards


    All of the above, plus
    • Reception opened 14 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside, bilingual staff (e.g. German/English)
    • Three piece suite at the reception, luggage service
    • Beverage offer in the room
    • Telephone in the room
    • Internet access in the room or in the public area
    • Heating facility in the bathroom, hair-dryer, cleansing tissue
    • Dressing mirror, place to put the luggage/suitcase
    • Sewing kit, shoe polish utensils, laundry and ironing service
    • Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand
    • Systematic complaint management system


    All of the above, plus
    • Reception opened 18 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside
    • Lobby with seats and beverage service
    • Breakfast buffet or breakfast menu card via room service
    • Minibar or 24 hours beverages via room service
    • Upholstered chair/couch with side table
    • Bath robe and slippers on demand
    • Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror, tray of a large scale in the bathroom
    • Internet access and internet terminal
    • "À la carte"-restaurant

    and 5*

    All of rhe above, plus
    • Reception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff
    • Doorman-service or valet parking
    • Concierge, page boy
    • Spacious reception hall with several seats and beverage service
    • Personalized greeting for each guest with fresh flowers or a present in the room
    • Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours
    • Personal care products in bottles
    • Internet-PC in the room
    • Safe in the room
    • Ironing service (return within 1 hour), shoe polish service
    • Turndown service in the evening
    • Mystery guesting

    So, a star rating will not guarantee the quality of the hotel, or the standard of decor, fixtures or services provided, just that they provide the items require to reach the standards.  The best way to select a hotel is by recommendation, or if your travel to the area regularly, check out the hotels yourself for your next booking.

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