Explain the Hotel Star System

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Dec 1st, 2004, 06:55 AM
  #1
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Explain the Hotel Star System

I think I have a pretty good idea of what to expect if I book a 2 or 3 star vs. a 5 star hotel but I don't think I have ever seen a "real" definition of what makes it rank where it ranks. Does 2 star really mean "down the hall?"... does 1 star mean "a 2 star in the bad part of town?"
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Dec 1st, 2004, 06:58 AM
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Which country are you talking about since it can vary from country to country.
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Dec 1st, 2004, 07:01 AM
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I usually travel the GAS circuit but occasionally England and France.
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Dec 1st, 2004, 07:15 AM
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In most European countries, the stars indicate physical facilities available in the hotel. Location, ambiance, quality of service are not factors included in the rating.

For example, in Italy there are some excellent hotels that will never be more than a one star because of one thing: The reception area has a separate entrance from the accomodation entrance. These hotels could have the best location in town, spacious private baths with gold fixtures, free massage service, etc. etc.--but will never be more than a one star.

Features that most tourists don't need or want, like conference rooms, increase the number of stars awarded.

You can say generally that one star hotels are more likely to have shared baths and no elevator than are two stars, and that four star hotels will never have shared baths and always have elevators. Or that 4 star hotels are more likely to have 24-hour concierge and room service than 1 or 2 star establishments. But beyond that, it really depends on the hotel.
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Dec 1st, 2004, 07:48 AM
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The star system in France and Spain, as it has been pointed out about Italy, is based on the physical attributes of the facility; elevator, air-conditioning, in-room facilities, a restaurant or cafe, etc., but not it's overall general condition, location, number of rooms, HC access, or service level.

You can expect a decent room at most 2-star hotels, but generally they offer only the basic services and some may even have a elevator, but you canít expect much in the way of luxury. 3-star hotels on the other hand can and do vary widely, from the very basic to the luxurious. Each one has to be checked out before you make a decision. It can be a little daunting and time consuming unless you know where to begin your search.

There are some especially nice, small hotels in both France and Spain that would normally be considered 5-star quality by almost everyone that have only been awarded 3-stars simply because they do not have either an elevator, air-conditioning, a restaurant or café, or all of the above. Youíll often find this type of property listed with groups such as Rusticae, Secret Places, Hotels-de-charme (Editions Rivages), etc.
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Dec 1st, 2004, 08:05 AM
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The most important feature of a hotel is its position, and your requirements depend on your circumstances. If a hotel is in the middle of a town, you don't need a restaurant because there'll be lots of restaurants nearby; if the hotel is in the middle of nowhere, you might want a restaurant. If the hotel has ten floors, you need an elevator; if it has two floors, it's irrelevant. The number of stars doesn't matter: it doesn't tell you how good a hotel is. The most awful hotel I've ever stayed in was a 2-star hotel in Marseille: the room was spacious but it was filthy, and nothing worked.
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Dec 1st, 2004, 08:29 AM
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You might find this article useful for some general background:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl..._1/ai_88701090
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Dec 1st, 2004, 08:40 AM
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On SlowTalk, someone gave me this URL (in Italian):

http://www.firstminute.it/classifica...lberghiera.htm

My top considerations are whether there is 24-hour service and a telephone in the room.
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