Differece between 3 and 4 star hotels

Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:11 AM
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Differece between 3 and 4 star hotels

I am in the process of booking a 3 day classical tour to Delphi and the surroundiung area. Is there really a big discrepency between a 3 and 4 star hotel in Greece? The travel agent is strongly in favor of the 4 star (of course), but since we will be just going to the room to sleep and change, should I be concerned about the star rating?

The price difference is approx $90 US per person.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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I have found that some 4* hotels should be 3*, and some 3* hotels are at the higher end of 3*. Best to check out individual reviews online to get an idea about specific hotels. I would go with the highest my budget permitted unless the reviews were better for the 3*.

$30/person per night ($60 a couple) looks like a very big difference. So one would assume there will BE a big difference!

Can you see photos of the 3*? 3* has AC? How big are the beds? 135cm or 140-150? Many European hotels only have double beds.. no queens.. so insisting on twins is the only way to sleep comfortably if you are used to your own space. And on a tour they may not be able to guarantee twins.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:42 AM
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Thanks lincasanova.
Unfortunately, I do not have a list of the individual hotels. The tour is offered via Fantasy Travel in Athens. Do you think they are reliable?
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:49 AM
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I have NO idea. They should be able to give you a list of some previously used hotels.. I would think.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 07:01 AM
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I would want to know the hotels, and then you can look them up and see. I've taken a couple tours, one to Greece, and they always gave you an idea of what hotels they used typically.

4* hotels are usually nicer, of course, and in some countries, a 3* hotel is lower than you'd expect (like Mexico) compared to say, Western Europe 3* hotels.

Personally, I don't think $60 a night is that big a difference and about what I'd expect to go up one grade in hotel. SOmetimes there aren't any great hotels out in areas like that outside cities. I've been to Delphi, not much around there. I suspect out near Delphi, there may not be many 4* hotels, anyway. There are more 3*, so the 4* ones are probably not that great. Look at Tripadvisor, for example, and compare the ones labeled 4* vs 3*, there are only 2 4* hotels (althought that is TA's rating, but still).

However, given you said something about how a hotel is "just a place to sleep and change", I think you should book the 3*, for sure. well, I care a lot about where I sleep, for one thing, a lot of cheaper hotels don't have very comfortable beds, so I wouldn't ever say that so since you feel that way, that a hotel isn't that important, book the 3*.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 07:27 AM
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Fantasy Travel and Dolphin-Hellas are the two most often recommended travel agencies in Athens. They are highly respected and known for reliability, good communication and follow-up in case of problems.

It's my experience that *Star* ratings do not consistently match up with the hotel's room rates. If you choose to stay there you pay what they ask. If not, you look elsewhere. Unless a hotel is registered with the GNTO they might just give themselves a rating they feel they deserve, in order to attract a certain level of business. I believe this is much more likely to happen at hotels out on the islands than for those on the mainland. That said, a travel agency with the reputation as solid as Fantasy's should know the difference and be booking clients accordingly.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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Can you ask the travel agent specifically why they are strongly recommending the 4-star category? Beside money and that it will be a bit nicer. If you explain you really don't care about your room quality (and if you really mean that), maybe see what they say. Make sure there isn't a reason like a much more central location or something you might not have considered.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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In Europe the star designation ONLY refers to the various amenities / facilities at the hotel. I do not know the exact breakdown but for example, a hotel with a restaurant on site will have a higher * rating than one that does not. As far as I know it does not reflect the true luxury / cleanliness of the hotel. Maybe another saavy traveler can tell us what gets the hotels their stars - elevators? gym facilites? business center? AC? (that might be an important detail!)I have no problem with 2 star hotels as long as they are clean - I am more comfortable there than a super-ritzy place. But I am surprised that the agency can not name the names of the hotels they use - I'd push them on that and then head over to Tripadvisor and get the scoop!
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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http://gogreece.about.com/od/tourpac...eektours_3.htm
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 10:22 AM
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Joannyc - hmmmm, so this article says that the hotels in Greece go by A, B, C etc. - NO stars! but the travel agency is promoting 3 or 4 stars - interesting. Maybe someone just makes it all up! If it were me, I'd want the names so I can check on Tripadvisor (flawed as it may be). I'd trust that more than any seemingly discretionary rating system.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 04:57 PM
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suec1 - The travel agency is probably 'converting' the A, B, C,etc. to number of stars which is what most people are used to.

According to this article (? or somewhere else that I read), Greece has a government-sponsored tourist board who awards these ratings.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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Actually, now that I think about it, in most brochures I've read, the hotels are not listed by stars but by First Class, Superior Class, etc.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 05:45 PM
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you do what you want but i never stay in anything less than a four star in Europe. some three stars there are like a red roof inns!
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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The ratings are very hard to judge in GReece... for example, a boutique hotel because of size may be classified with bed & breakfasts, or a hotel may have fewer stars because of some lack that has nothing to do with amenities. Example in Athens: Lists of 4-star hotels do not include AVA because it is an all-suite accommodation... but it may have a level of service above many on the list. THere's no sure-fire way to determine levels .... choose a rate level you're interested in, and then check reviews very carefully on Trip Advisor (not just the hotels' own review lists... you know they put mainly the best ones in.
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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We used Fantasy Travel for packages (not tours, just lodging, transportation, transfers) on Mykonos and Santorini; not sure how they were starred, but they were very nice hotels. We were told, however, the names of the hotels before we went. Surely your TA could find out from Fantasy what the hotels are.

We went to Delphi independently on a day trip, and it sure didn't look as though there was much around there that would be luxury, but who knows?
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Old Aug 25th, 2010, 06:19 PM
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Hey Squeaky,

Greece does have a national hotel classification system and they do use stars.

See http://www.grhotels.gr which is the site for the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels. You'll see that you can search for hotels by star rating. However, I haven't been able to find out where they write out the criteria for each star rating.

Once you select a hotel though, you'll be able to see what room and hotel amenities they have so that will help you decide if a hotel is going to have what you want. Like others have said, don't make your decision strictly on the star rating and ask your travel agent why they recommend that particular hotel.

Hope this helps,

Karen
http://karenlac.wordpress.com
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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The "Three Days Classical Tour" (to Delphi) is quite a popular tour package and has many competitions, so I am sure the hotels used by Fantasy Travel will be reputable, be it a 3 star or 4 star.

A 4-star will have a better selection for buffet breakfast. It may have swimming pool and other facilities but you won't have time to enjoy it, because you'll be on the go the next morning after breakfast. So spend your money on values that are important to you.
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