3 star hotels ok?

Jan 31st, 2001, 04:46 AM
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3 star hotels ok?

Our travel agent is trying to push us into staying at a 4 or 5 star hotel in the caribbean. She says that anything less is such poor quality. What do you think?? I am looking at some 3 stars and they seems fine?
Jan 31st, 2001, 05:23 AM
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Your travel agent should not confuse quality with number of facilities offered by the hotel. I own/operate a 3 star hotel in Antigua which is of a high quality but other than our bar/restaurant, we depend on facilities such as water sports, night club, casino, mini golf, grocery store, health club etc., etc. available in our area. Most of our regular repeat guests enjoy our LACK of facilities.
Jan 31st, 2001, 08:40 AM
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When you're looking at 3-star properties (or 2-star), it's a perfect time to search various forums on the Web, and/or look at guidebooks, to get an idea of the quality of the property.
We stayed at one of the least expensive hotels in Aruba last year and loved it.
The previous posting is quite true - these ratings relate not only to quality, but also to facilities offered.

Jan 31st, 2001, 09:25 AM
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Travel agents also will try to steer you toward all-inclusive resorts, because they get a much bigger commission that way.
Jan 31st, 2001, 09:54 AM
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Speaking for travel agents, there are many people who look at the dollars signs before they travel and go low end. Once they get to their destination, call complaning that the resort is dirty, bugs, terrible service etc. It is very difficult to judge what a person's expection is. The standard for hotels are lower in most other parts of the world than in the US. If people come to us and have never traveled we try to place them in a hotel with accomodations they expected on a relaxing vacation in the US. We must error on the side of nicer rather than buget so as not to dissapoint the traveler. They forget that money was a big issue when they booked this "all we need is a bed and shower". Now they want us to pay for the upgrade to a nicer hotel because their vacation is ruined. Just remember in most cases you get what you pay for.
Jan 31st, 2001, 10:58 AM
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I agree, you do get what you pay for. It really all depends upon what you expect for your vacation. I will not stay at another 3 star hotel for on vacation. 3 star resorts are usually less than desirable, not in the A+ location, food ranges from average to not worth eatting. For me a Carribean vacation is a time to relax, cushioned lounge chairs, be served dinner (no buffet lines), king size beds, look forward to the little chocolates and turn down service at night, etc. Again it all depends on what you're used to and what you expect for a vacation. I will always spend the extra 25% for a better hotel, dont we all work hard enough and owe it to ourselves?
Jan 31st, 2001, 12:12 PM
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There is a difference: 3 star could mean quality or it could mean quantity. You could get a 2 or 3 star resort which has very few amenities but is a great resort.

Apple Vacations uses "apples" instead of "stars" and has nothing to do with quality but all about quantity.

Also, if the "star" is referring to quantity, be aware that a 4 or 5 star resort may have a ton of amenitites but may also be a dump.
Jan 31st, 2001, 12:26 PM
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3 Stars according to who? Who sets these "star" standards? Any internet booking site or hotel web site can say they are whatever "star" they want. You might get somewhat more uniform standards as to stars or diamonds from Mobile and AAA travel guides, but some people even dispute that.

I'd cross reference hotels between as many internet sites and travel books as I could to determine how nice it might be, and especially look at other traveler's opinions of the particular place you're interested in. There's no better information than first hand experience, though you can still get conflicting opinions on a place from different people. Read between the lines to determine if Ocean view means that it's across the highway from the ocean, or right on the beach, for instance.

I wouldn't make my choice solely upon a "star" rating the hotel has been given, but on extensive research of the place myself. That's how I've always chosen hotels, and I've usually been very pleased with my choices.
Feb 1st, 2001, 05:29 AM
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Some 4 and 5 star resorts are nice but are way overpriced for what you get. Sometimes, you get less than what you paid for. And maybe for some people a relaxing vacation doesn't include being somewhere where everyone else goes.
There are nice 3 star resorts. In fact, I once stayed at a less-than-3 star place (it's not even rated) that I'd go back to in a heartbeat.
My advice is, don't rely solely on the word of travel agents. They're usually not going to take much time to do research for you, and they'll recommend what's most convenient for them and where everyone else goes. That doesn't mean there aren't other nice places. Check popular travel guides and the internet - if more than one source gives decent reviews to a smaller resort, it's probably true. And you can usually find people on the internet who have stayed there and who can confirm what you've read.

I do this all the time and have always had good luck with my choices. You may even find a few "secrets" of very pleasant places/values not overrun by hordes of other tourists.
Feb 1st, 2001, 10:36 AM
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I would like to respond to XXXX who spoke on behalf of travel agents. Unfortunately, the number of stars a hotel has will not necessarily protect you from the problems you mentioned. You could go to a so-called five star resort and be plagued by those problems. I would say that the "stars" should not be taken as gospel.

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