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IS there a big difference between 3*, 4* and 5* star hotels in europe?

IS there a big difference between 3*, 4* and 5* star hotels in europe?

Old Nov 19th, 2002, 05:34 PM
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IS there a big difference between 3*, 4* and 5* star hotels in europe?

I will be flying to london and paris for the first time in a few months and I already am confused about my accomodations. A nice decorated room is important to me. Also cable tv and safety. I would also like room service.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 05:37 PM
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Neither wall paper nor safety have any connection to the star rating.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 05:39 PM
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The star system in Europe is very different than in the US. You could be sadly disappointed with a 4 star and pleasantly surprised by a 2 star. It has to do with services offered as opposed to quality. Mind you a five star is going to be pretty nice.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 06:14 PM
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Stick with the 5 stars - if you could afford it. If not, not alot of research on the hotel before you book it. You could be greatly disappointed or pleasantly surprised - you never know.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 09:09 PM
Stars can be
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In France they don't use 5 star,but rather 4luxe. It goes 1* 2* 3* 4* 4*luxe. Austria does use the five star system. I'm not sure about other countries.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 06:03 AM
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it might be helpful to know that the stars in various countries are government ratings, and have to do with things like percentage of rooms with private bath, elevator or not, restaurant on the premises or not, square footage of the lobby, etc.
The stars do not address intangibles like decor, hotel location, convenience to the metro, kindness of the staff, quality of the breakfast, etc etc.

What do you want to spend per night?
That will help people here make recommendations.
If you do a search here on Paris hotel or London hotel you will find that perhaps 10 hotels in each place are mentioned over and over here.
(each city has MANY hotels, and there are more than 10 good ones, just the same ones seem to pop up here.)
Look for the features that you must have, like cable tv, or elevator, or nice decor. Also check elsewhere here on fodors.com for Fodors own suggested hotels, and look for the Rants and Rave comments from past guests.
Then start emailing or faxing some hotels and ask the questions you need answers to. Don't wait; popular hotels can fill up many months in advance.

I have a file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:30 AM
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If you don't care for plush lobbys, bars, doormen, brass chandeliers, concierges, swanky restaurants, 3 stars hotels usually provide a pleasant and confortable room with cable TV.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 09:54 AM
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Old Nov 20th, 2002, 10:29 AM
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There is a big difference between 3 and 5 star -- obviously there is blurring on the boundaries of nice 3-stars vs. lower 4-stars, etc.

Do you know that 5-star hotels are very expensive luxury hotels and there are ony a few of them in a city? Have you looked at the prices of them? Because they are probably hundreds of dollars a day over the cost of an avg. 3-star, so if you can afford them and are used to them, I'm sure you won't be happy in a 3-star hotel. I've never stayed in a 5-star hotel and I doubt if I ever will, but those are places like the Ritz, Crillon, Meurice, George V.

I don't know standards as well in London, but don't think they are too different from Paris in that you will need a 4-star hotel if you want room service. Many hotels have cable TV, even some 2-stars, but that is something you have to find out in the hotel's descriptions.

Safety in those kind of hotels is mainly a measure of location, I'd say, so you have to pick that (if you are talking about safety walking around the vicinity of the hotel). I suppose one can cite other safety examples, but you won't get that kind of detailed info from a star-rating (eg, are the desk personnel trained not to repeat out loud your room number to everyone standing around when you check in, are there good locks on the doors, etc).

As for decor, you'll have to go with photos and descriptions and any personal comments you can find, I suppose, but that is a very subjective opinion. Any hotel at that level can have nice decor, and I've been in 2-star hotels with nice decor, also (although it might be rarer at that level by my standards, it is possible). I've seen some rooms that supposedly were "nicely decorated" that I thought were ugly just because of taste, even though they were not cheap at all (ie, I don't like reproduction French Louis anything or a bunch of frou-frou or painted white gilded junk or pink or Laura Ashley).
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 10:56 AM
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Elaine is correct in her post. Stars are given by the Gov. based on amenities. However in some cases where a hotel has added rooms with bath or enlarged lobby etc. they have not been upgraded to the next star because the owners have not reported the upgrades to the govt. Hotels are taxed according to how many stars they are awarded through thier amenities.
So you may find a two star which fits your bill. Most have pics on the net. Check them out as others suggested.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 11:09 AM
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I have stayed in 2 - 4* hotels in Europe, never 5*. Most 5* that I know of are quite luxurious. I have also found that many of the 3* hotels have lovely comfortable lobbies, breakfast rooms and nice rooms as well. I'm sure they are no comparison to the 5* but still quite nice. Even the 2*, although they may be simpler, still can offer a great experience. At all these levels I've had cable TV, safes, hair dryers and other convenient room amenities. You can always check directly with hotels to see what is in the room, just email and ask. It does vary, regardless of price, stars, etc.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 01:33 PM
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I LOVE the double sheets that you get at 4* & 5* hotels. That is to say, there is a sheet under and on top of the blanket. Blankets always seem so "grubby" to me. Yuk!!!
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 01:51 PM
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The last thing I want is a great room...

that would mean that I would spend more time in that room...

when I should be out enjoying wherever I am in Europe...

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