When booking accommodations around the world, you’ll likely use star ratings and reviews to make your choice. Though reviews can indicate how past visitors experienced the location, stars indicate what the hotel offers, rather than the quality of an individual stay.
A hotel can be rated between one and five stars, and where a hotel falls in the hierarchy is dependent on a few central factors. The comfortability and luxury of the accommodation, the services offered, and what the property provides to elevate a guest’s stay.
You may find that star ratings are not consistent across rental platforms or around the globe. Different countries have varying rating systems, with their own star qualifications. In some places, your hotel must have a restaurant to earn three or more stars.
A one star hotel can really only provide you a place to sleep. They might not be very well kept, furnishing may be outdated and unstylish. These accommodations provide the very basics: a bathroom, a bed…that’s it.
Generally, two star hotels have little to “no frills” and provide very basic accommodation. They will likely provide private bathrooms, televisions, and a basic continental breakfast. Motels or affordable hotels like these will (similar to one star accommodations) just provide you a night’s sleep and little else. These are best for travelers who are just passing through, spending maybe one or two nights in a location, or those who aren’t planning on spending much time at their accommodation. Big hotel chains like Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, and Best Western are often rated 2-3 stars and no more. They offer clean, comfortable rooms and occasionally simple add-ons like a small gym or pool. Three star accommodations will step it up with more stylish and comfortable lodgings, bigger pools, gyms, and restaurants.
Once you hit four stars, rooms and shared spaces in your accommodation will be noticeably larger, and extra employees like bellhops, valet and concierge services will be available to make your stay easier and more comfortable.
When you check into your hotel, Does a hotel employee bring your bags to your room? Can you dine in-house and have a top tier culinary meal? Can you have your gym shorts washed after a workout and returned to your room? Is there a spa on the property to work out those kinks in your back? Do the employees remember your name? All of these are the types of services you may experience at a five star hotel.
Most hotels that actually have five star ratings go above and beyond with their services. Some have luxury bedding, Michelin rated restaurants, and personalized services. They can help you plan your stay, are adept at problem solving, and will often go above and beyond to make your stay special and memorable.
Having comfortable accommodations can make or break your stay, but one guest’s experience at a hotel can vary greatly from the next. If you’re looking for your accommodations to meet a higher standard of quality, understanding the hotel rating breakdown is important when booking your trip.