Hotels make for an extremely important part of vacations, and who would not want to stay at luxurious, five- or four-star hotels? But have you ever wondered how these spectacular accommodations get their ratings? By Nishtha Grover
First things first, there is no universal hotel star rating system that awards stars to these properties, and this can make picking a suitable place fairly difficult for travellers. However, one way to get around this is to visit the hotel’s website, compare their amenities with others, and zero down on the one that suits you best.
The second option is to go by previous visitors’ reviews of the place, who may have evaluated the hotel’s worth by factoring in all possible characteristics and amenities. This further allows visitors to spend their money efficiently and choose places they desire.
Rules for high ratings
One of the most important factors when it comes to the number of stars a hotel can receive is the location of the property. While visitors prefer hotels in a clean area and away from highways or expressway exits, restaurants and other tourist attractions in the vicinity can also influence the ratings.
Additionally, each country has a different set of rules that influence hotel ratings. What is considered worth five stars in one country can be equivalent to a three-star rating in another. For instance, in India, the hotel stars depend on things like valet parking and the quality of the linens. Other unique amenities that hotels in the country should have for a high rating include phones next to the toilet and at least three hooks in the bathroom.
Not just that, there are stricter rules that the hotels have to abide by to get good star ratings. Some of them are that the numbers in an LED wall clock should be at least three inches apart. All four- and five-star hotels should have air conditioning throughout the property and the bathroom size of a four-star hotel should not be less than 3.3 square metres. Whereas, for five-star hotels, it is a mandate that the bathroom sizes should not be smaller than 4.1 sq metres.
Additionally, different organisations are assigned the responsibility to rate hotels in various countries. For instance, in the USA, AAA and The Forbes Stars rating are considered official. Meanwhile, Germany uses the ratings of HotelStars Union, which is a trade association for hotels and restaurants.
Italy, Spain and Greece allow the regional governments to give a hotel star rating. The public inspectors visit each property, making sure the hotels are abiding by the rules.
Read on to know what star ratings of hotels mean
A one-star hotel has some of the most basic amenities. A bed, a bedside table and a shared bathroom with other rooms on the floor generally make up for a one-star accommodation. The concept of room service and on-site facilities is hardly available at such hotels, and snacks can be bought from outside the hotel and from the vending machines in the vicinity.
A two-star hotel is a bit of an upgrade from a one-star property. You can expect a simple clothing rack or a closet, a TV and a 24-hour working reception desk. A private bathroom is also a part of the hotel rooms. Sometimes, these accommodations can also offer breakfast.
Three-star hotels serve as the perfect midpoint between luxurious hotels and properties that offer basic facilities. These hotels are pocket-friendly and provide some on-site facilities. They have more spacious rooms as compared to the one- and two-star hotels and offer guests a more comfortable stay with on-site restaurants and bars.
These hotels are a big upgrade from three-star properties. A welcoming decor, a room telephone, spacious rooms, larger beds, room service, minibar, breakfast buffet options, conference rooms, fitness centres and workstations are some of the amenities that make these properties more comfortable for their guests.
Everything that a traveller wants and more is a part of their stay at these superior hotels. Luxurious spas, gourmet restaurants, a swimming pool, butler services, welcome gifts, spacious bathrooms with bathtubs, a lavish spread of breakfast buffet, dishes from all over the world and high-end toiletries are only the basic facilities provided at a five-star property. Valet parking concierge, golf course, personal trainers and child care services are some other amenities at these upscale hotels.
As one can guess from the rating, seven-star hotels are more luxurious than five-star hotels and offer amenities that can pamper travellers with all things regal. The thing to be noted here is that there is only one official seven-star rating hotel — Hotel Seven Stars Galleria in Milan, Italy. Other plush properties use it as a benchmark for their extraordinary amenities, ambience, location and much more.
The rating, which is also used as a term, was first coined by a journalist who attended the opening of Burj-Al-Arab in Dubai, UAE, and realised that a mere five stars would not do justice to the grandeur of the hotel.
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Besides Burj-Al-Arab, Taj Falaknuma Palace (Hyderabad, India), Emirates palace Hotel (Dubai) and Pangu Hotel (China) are some of the most luxurious hotels in the world and are worthy of a seven-star rating.
The only hotel to ever receive the official seven-star rating is Hotel Seven Stars Galleria in Milan, Italy. The world-class property is hidden inside the Vittorio Emanuele II structure. Chairman of The Alessandro Rosso Group Alessandro Rosso reached out to the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), a Geneva-based certification company, to get the official rating.
SGS came up with a series of requirements that needed to be fulfilled by the hotel to become the highest-rated property officially. One of them was the location. A seven-star hotel has to be located inside an iconic structure that adds value to the city. Not just that, the hotel should contain more suites than regular rooms.
The hotel consists of seven suites, which come with a personal chef, butlers and privacy for celebrities.