Star ratings were the main quality-check for booking a hotel back in the days of a glossy brochure and a visit to the local high street travel agent. All that changed with the huge growth of online user reviews and it is worth knowing how the traditional star ratings can be used as an official comparison to the opinions of our fellow hotel guests. So alpharooms.com has created an easy to use tool to help you understand if the service at a four star hotel really differs from that of a five star. Are all one star hotels terrible? How was the three star hotel that you stayed at in Greece completely different from the three star hotel you stayed at the year before in Florida?
Details are in the destination
Your choice of destination is always the starting point – because hotel ratings are not universal. In the EU there is a set of minimum standards for each star rating, but each country also has its own detailed criteria that hotels must adhere to. So even neighboring destinations like Spain and Portugal can differ on the specifics such as facilities and service.
Are one star hotels all that bad?
The answer to that question again depends on where you are staying. The AAA, one of the two classification boards that award hotel stars in America, do not rate poor quality hotels at all, so even a one diamond hotel will be a good economy hotel. To be awarded this certification, hotels must meet 33 essential requirements, including that they offer fresh linen on request and be in close proximity to tourist attractions. The service in the US will therefore differ hugely from that offered at one star hotels in Turkey and Egypt, where staff aren’t even required to speak English.
Benefits of our rating guide tool
Quite often, visitors have no idea what to expect from their four star hotel, or whether it’s worth paying that little extra to upgrade to a five star. People will often have in their head a list of facilities or a certain level of comfort that they require to be met when choosing a hotel and so it’s useful to see what star ratings you need to be looking at for this to be achieved.
In the event that anything goes wrong or seems off with your hotel, knowing the country’s classification system is also a huge advantage. You may be a little red-faced complaining about the communal toilet at your one star Costa Rica hotel, but fully within your rights to complain if breakfast wasn’t offered at the same rated hotel in Turkey.
Which country has the best five star hotels?
That’s a tricky question because it depends on what facilities are most important to you and your family. In Spain, five stars must offer multiple restaurants, while in Greece they should also offer a range of different entertainment options. All in all, five star hotels must be lavish with great levels of service. However, in the US only 100 hotels within the AAA system have been awarded the full five star rating, so visitors should expect an extremely plush abode that offers many in-room services.
To find out more about hotel ratings take a look at our rating guide tool here.