What does a Hotel Star-Rating really tell you about a hotel.

If you don’t understand the hotel star-rating, be prepared to be enlightened.

For those of you who already know what the star-rating is all about, feel free to switch off (or don’t, the more readers I have the better LOL). But, for those of you who find the whole system a little perplexing, prepare to be enlightened.

(note: I took this pic of a hotel we stayed at in Old Quebec City, Canada. It’s called Hotel Clarendon. It was only three-star, but absolutely five-star inside).

Often misunderstood by many travellers, the star-rating system has been designed to help you make informed choices on services a hotel may provide, which can either be good or bad for your holiday; depending on your budget. You would be surprised to hear (for those of you who already know what a star-rating is), there are many people who don’t understand any of it, and I get asked by a lot of people if I know and understand what it all means. So, I decided to shed a little light on the hotel star-rating, to help you better navigate your way through millions of hotels world-wide, when booking for your next holiday.

It’s simple really, so this blog won’t be too long. Of course, here in Australia, our star-rating system is a tad different to that overseas; not too much different, so I will try and keep it broad for anyone around the globe.

Several year ago, a star-rating on any hotel, motel, caravan park, or any other type of accommodation, often represented the types of guest facilities the accommodation had on offer. For example, if you were staying in a hotel which superficially looked like a luxury hotel, but didn’t provide a restaurant, swimming pool or gym, then the star-rating on the hotel may have been an average of either two or three stars. The low star rating had nothing to do with the quality of the accommodation, but on the amount of facilities provided to guests. If you stayed at a similar luxury styled hotel which did have a restaurant, swimming pool, gym, conference rooms and other additional facilities; like cafes, shopping and even a bar. Then this hotel would be given five stars due to the amount of guest facilities provided – make sense?

Today however, this star-rating has now changed. And the rating system is now based on the quality conditions of a hotel. This means, that in order to maintain a star-rating of any sort, the hotel must past a certain 100 point check quality control report to gain stars.

What does all this mean?

Well, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation, the mindset of travellers is shifting towards a more encompassing hotel quality of both service and facilities, and the global tourism sector needs to be ready to meet consumer requirements to enhance their satisfaction. Which basically means, a star rating is now produced under the guidelines of what a consumer is looking for in a hotel. This often comes down to the condition of the bathroom, the staff, presentation and of course the most important of all; cleanliness and general maintenance of the hotel.

This doesn’t mean that a two or three star-rated hotel is bad however. There are many great hotels, motel and caravan parks rated with both two and three stars that are perfectly fit for your holiday. The lack of additional stars may come down to the simple fact, that consumers found the bathrooms to be a little old in the rooms and overdue for a renovation, or perhaps there is only one elevator; causing long waits to get to and from your room.

So, there you have it. I hope this clears up any confusion you had about the star-rating system. Happy hunting on your holiday, and remember, the best way to see whether your choosing the right hotel or not, is to check out the review. But don’t check out the reviews on the website owned by the accommodation brand, make sure to head to trip advisor; or any other source, to read what the consumer has to say about the hotel.



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