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Understanding Hotel Star Ratings


Hotel star ratings have proved to be useful in so many ways; however let’s discuss what it means before we delve into how useful the rating system can be to travelers. Hotel star ratings help people determine the quality of the hotel accommodations offered. They are supposed to give an objective review of the accommodations listed on various websites.

Hotel star ratings assign stars to hotels; with one star depicting the most basic standards and five stars, the highest. Bear in mind that this may differ with countries or even some establishments. For example, France added the Palace category to classify hotels that offer outstanding services. This may just qualify as a 5 star hotel in another country like the UK. Guides like AAA have a diamond category for hotels that offer turn-down service and personal wake up calls in the morning. Hotel Star Ratings

While categorizing hotels, some guides may rely on online reviews given by guests that have actually stayed in the hotel; some just copy the stars awarded by other websites; some send inspectors to review the hotels by informing the hotel they are sending inspectors; while other hotel critics may pay unannounced visits to the hotel.

For guidance, see a detailed description of the different hotel star ratings below:

One star: Offers basic accommodations at budget friendly prices. It’s no frills, en-suite bathrooms and possible free parking.

Two stars: It’s clean, also budget friendly offering basic accommodations with little frills like restaurants.

Three stars: This is a typical midscale hotel that offers comfort with great service that is oftentimes personalized.

Four stars: Expect superior service, various facilities that meet different needs and superior comfort.

Five stars: Think luxury when you see a hotel assigned the 5 star rating. Amazing facilities, personalized superior service that can also be described as first class.


Hotel star ratings can help potential guests determine the following:

  • If it is affordable based on your budget
  • If the hotel’s facilities will make your stay more comfortable. For example, availability of a swimming pool, spa, room service.
  • Proximity to tourist attractions
  • If it suits the nature of your stay: business, relaxation, family vacation.

To make a more informed decision about hotels you are interested in, be sure to do your own research. You can ask other people who have stayed at the hotel for their review, go online and read guest reviews. You can call the hotel ahead and ask any questions that you need answered.



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