The star ratings can be confusing at times where you are uncertain of what it means. Is a 4 star hotel better than a 3 star hotel? What about a hotel that is rated 7 stars? Are this standards universal? This article explores the quality of hotel based on the number of stars they received.

The following article post originally appeared on https://www.essentialtravel.co.uk.

Basic Principles Of The Star Rating System

The star ratings system is internationally recognised as the yard stick for a hotel’s overall quality. However, what one country may regard as a 3-star venue will be a 2-star in another, and vice versa. While there is no international standard that hotels across the world subscribe to, the stars all pertain to a hotel’s level of service, facilities, rooms, location and price.

The following is a general guideline of what you can expect from hotels that are star rated:

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/restaurant.

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

4 Star: Multiple rooms/ suite options, restaurants and bars on site, business facilities, concierge services, swimming pool, gym and creche.

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

What The Stars Really Mean

It is common knowledge that more star means a better hotel, but there is no international standard for allocating them. Hotels are either self-assessed, in which case the owners can give themselves 7 stars if they feel they deserve them, or they are assessed by private companies, as is the case in the UK, or the government.

Playing The System

In parts of Europe where hotels are assessed by the government there are a number of requirements that each venue has to meet in order to obtain a particular rating. This includes structural requirements (e.g. elevators and wheelchair access) and a set of additional amenities (e.g. conference and wedding facilities) which put the hotel in a particular star bracket.

The problem with a rigid assessment schedule is that certain hotels cannot get the ratings they deserve/need because of structural problems. Hotels in the mountains, for example, may not be able to install elevators practically. While this is bad for business owners, it is sometimes very good for travellers – you can stay at a cheap 3-star hotel that offers 5-star services at a cheaper rate.

Read the full version of the article here.