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Are US and European hotel star ratings different?

Are US and European hotel star ratings different?

Old Feb 28th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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Are US and European hotel star ratings different?

I've been looking at hotels in New York, and from the descriptions it seems that an american '3 and a half star' hotel is much smarter than what I would expect from a European 3*.

In my experience European 3* hotels should be clean and are often pretty and atmospheric, but I wouldn't be surprised to find slightly worn furnishings and mediocre bathrooms (a small shower or poor water pressure or similar).

So, if I book a New York 3* will I be pleasantly surprised? Or will it not live up to the website description?
(Or are European 3* hotels actually great and I've just encountered a poor selection?)
papagena is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Where are you starting? The star systems have almost nothing in common. For one thing, the European star system seems to me to be pretty consistent from country to country, in that they refer to a specific set of amenities that are or are not present. Certainly, a 4-star hotel will be grander than a 1-star place, but the idea is to indicate something other than subjective quality.

In the US, the star system is entirely subjective. One guidebook will use stars, another will use check-marks, another will use houses and dollar signs to indicate quality and cost. In general, it's a good idea to look very closely at the "key" of whatever reference you are looking at, to figure out what, exactly, 3 stars means -- usually "better than average, not quite world class" or some such.

So if you book a NYC 3* will you be pleasantly surprised? You might well be, but it might be exactly what you've found in Europe. A lot depends on whether your standards match those of the reviewer.

Best plan? Ask other Fodorites about the specific place in NYC.
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Agree with the above - but there are some differences.

In the US (outside of NYC and some hotels in a couple of other cities) the hotel rooms are usually much bigger than in europe. Having either one king or two double beds is the standard - even in economy hotels.

Also - most US hotels are fairly new and purpose built - cookie cutter - and not charming - but usually new or recently redone and with lots of techno stuff.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 04:09 AM
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In France that star rating system only goes to 4*, but there can be 4*Deluxe and 4*Luxury. No 5* here.
Old Mar 1st, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Am I the only one who doesn't get this question? There is a standard rating system in most European countries for hotels. If a hotel is rated as a three star that's it, they can't call it a four star. But I am unaware of any such rating system in existence in the US. Am I wrong? Of course, AAA or Mobil or Priceline may improvise their own rating systems that they publish, but there is no system that says Hotel Whatchamakalit is a 3 star hotel as rated by the government!
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 06:49 AM
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My understanding is that the french government inspects and awards the star rating based on defined criteria ( 1* may not have en-suite bathroom, 2* does...) while rating in US are based on the reviewing agencies criteria (Diamonds, Stars,etc..) So if I'm a hotel in US, I can publish the best rating I can find (AAA loves us...use them, Mobil not as much, dump that one.) Also, in France, you know what the hotel is before going in since it is public, not so in US. I find it interesting when I hear about resorts in Mexico saying they are 5*...what does that mean, is it better than a 4* in US? What's to stop them from saying they are 6*? Are there any controls, or is it strictly a marketing ploy?
So many questions....
Michel_Paris is offline  
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