All About the Hotel Star System

Most of us are familiar with the star rating used to grade hotels across the world but exactly what makes a 4-star hotel a 4-star hotel and what regulations are in place to make sure hotels are graded fairly? Let’s find out in today’s travel blog.


What does it mean?

In essence, the stars reflect a hotel’s level of service, facilities, rooms, location and price. It’s noteworthy, however, that location plays a major role in the price and rating of a hotel, meaning that a 4-star hotel on the Grand Canal in Venice may actually offer similar services and rooms to a 2- or 3-star hotel in a less popular city or location.

As a general rule, the star rating follows these guidelines:

1 Star: Basic room options, shared bathroom facilities in some cases and a vending machine near the lobby where meals are self-served.

2 Star: Basic room options, colour TV and an in-house bar.

3 Star: Multiple room options, restaurant or bar, and conference room/business facilities available.

4 Star: Multiple room/suite options, restaurant and bar on site, business facilities, concierge services, swimming pool, gym and crèche.

5 Star: Luxury accommodation with all of the above facilities and more.


It’s not an exact science

While stars are internationally recognised, what one country regards as 3 star, another country may rate as 4 star and vice versa. This is because there is no international standard that hotels across the world subscribe to. In fact, hotels are either self-assessed, in which case the owners can give themselves as many stars as they feel appropriate, or they are assessed by private companies (as is the case in the UK) or by the government, meaning that the quality that equates to a particular star rating in each country will vary.


How to play the system

While it may seem misleading that a hotel in a popular location can have more stars than a similar hotel in a less popular area, you can actually play this to your advantage. If hotel quality is more important to you than location, you can select a luxury hotel outside of the city centre and pay a similar price to a lower quality hotel that is more centrally located. The benefit of this is that luxury hotels on the outskirts of the city centre offer a shuttle bus service, which can allow you to easily reach the main attractions.

However, if you are spending only a few nights in the city, then we suggest choosing a centrally located hotel to avoid spending unnecessary time commuting – after all, on an Italy city break it is more likely that you will be out exploring the city sights than staying at your hotel!

If you’re struggling to choose the perfect hotel for your Italy holiday, why not speak to one of our friendly travel experts? We create tailor-made holidays to Italy that are personalised to your needs and, with our 20 years of experience, we can take the uncertainty out of arranging a holiday and will suggest well-rated and reliable hotels for your trip. Call us today on (UK) 01223 637331 or (US) 347-594-5500, or click here to send an online enquiry.

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