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Hotel rating

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"Five-star superior" rating at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski in Munich, Germany

Hotel ratings are often used to classify hotels according to their quality. From the initial purpose
of informing travellers on basic facilities that can be expected, the objectives of hotel rating has
expanded into a focus on the hotel experience as a whole.[1] Today the terms 'grading', 'rating',
and 'classification' are used to generally refer to the same concept, that is to categorize hotels.
There is a wide variety of rating schemes used by different organizations around the world. Many
have a system involving stars, with a greater number of stars indicating greater
luxury. Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, launched its star rating system in
1958. The AAA and their affiliated bodies use diamonds instead of stars to express hotel and
restaurant ratings levels.
Food services, entertainment, view, room variations such as size and additional amenities, spas
and fitness centers, ease of access and location may be considered in establishing a standard.
Hotels are independently assessed in traditional systems and rest heavily on the facilities
provided. Some consider this disadvantageous to smaller hotels whose quality of
accommodation could fall into one class but the lack of an item such as an elevator would
prevent it from reaching a higher categorization.[2]
In recent years hotel rating systems have also been criticised by some who argue that the rating
criteria for such systems are overly complex and difficult for laypersons to understand.


 1Standards of hotel classification

o 1.1Hotel classifications by country
 1.1.1Australia
 1.1.2Great Britain
 1.1.3Philippines
o 1.2European Hotelstars Union
 2World hotel rating
 3More than five stars
 4Alternative Hotel Ratings
o 4.1Green Key
o 4.2Green Globe
o 4.3Salam Standard
 5See also
 6References
 7External links

Standards of hotel classification[edit]

The more common classification systems include "star" rating, letter grading, from "A" to "F",
such as hotels and motels. Systems using terms such as Deluxe/Luxury, First Class/Superior,
Tourist Class/Standard, and Budget Class/Economy are more widely accepted as hotel types,
rather than hotel standard.
Some countries have rating by a single public standard—Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy,
Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Hungary have laws defining the hotel rating. In
Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the rating is defined by the respective hotel industry
association using a five-star system—the German classifications are Tourist (*), Standard (**),
Comfort (***)c, First Class (****) and Luxury (*****), with the mark "Superior" to flag extras beyond
the minimum defined in the standard, but not enough to move the hotel up to the next tier
ranking. The Swiss hotel rating was the first non-government formal hotel classification beginning
in 1979[3] It influenced the hotel classification in Austria and Germany.[3] The formal hotel
classification of the DEHOGA (German Hotel and Restaurant Association) started on August 1,
1996 and proved very successful with 80% of guests citing the hotel stars as the main criteria in
hotel selection.[4] This implementation influenced the creation of a common European Hotelstars
rating system that started in 2010 (see below).
In France, the rating is defined by the public tourist board Atout France using a four-star system
(plus "L" for Luxus) which has changed to a five-star system from 2009 on.[5] In South Africa,
the Tourist Grading Council of South Africa has strict rules for a hotel types granting up to 5
stars. In India, the classification of hotels is based on two categories such as "Star" and
"Heritage". Hotels in India are classified by Hotel and Restaurant Association Classification
Committee (HRACC), Ministry of Tourism, India.[6] In New Zealand, hotels and other tourism
services are graded by Qualmark, which is owned by Tourism New Zealand, a government
Hotel classifications by country[edit]
In Australia the independent accommodation rating scheme and Star Rating trademarks (the
'stars') are owned by the Australian Auto Clubs – the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and
RACT. A Star Rating represents the quality and condition of guest facilities and is determined by
more than 200 criteria that have been ranked by Australian travellers according to what's
important to them. Star Ratings are awarded to properties across six accommodation types –
hotels, motels, serviced apartments, self-catering, hosted accommodation and caravan-holiday
parks – following a physical inspection by qualified reviewers.
In 2015 Star Ratings Australia became one of the first independent accommodation classification
systems in the world to incorporate a consumer 'voice'. An exclusive Travellers' Rating is
presented in parallel to the independent Star Rating and is an aggregate of past guest ratings
and reviews from more than 100 websites in 45 different languages. A property must have a
minimum of 25 reviews (across all sites) to produce an aggregate Travellers' Rating. Weighting
applies to the popularity of the source site and the date of the last guest review. The William
Angliss Institute in Melbourne has developed an independent benchmarking framework to show
if a property has met or exceeded guest expectations.
Star Ratings in Australia stand for independently reviewed quality standards and are easily
On 28 Feb 17, Michael Reed CEO Australian Motoring Services, advised clients via email of the
closure of Star Ratings Australia effective from mid 2017.
Australia's star ratings have been operating since the 1950s first with the state based automobile
clubs, than about 10 years ago with AAA Tourism as a peak body. However the booking service
in the motoring clubs was not continued and later the annual accommodation guide book ceased
to be printed with the accommodation guide going on-line. Finally AAA Tourism closed a few
years ago and Star Ratings Australia continued the inspection and star rating service only as well
as the accommodation website. Reed asked clients to remove star rating and automobile club
logos from their accommodation and promotional information by mid year. Competition from
international websites lead to its demise.

Overview of Criteria according to Star Ratings Australia

Properties that typify luxury across all areas of operation. Guests will enjoy an extensive
range of facilities and comprehensive or highly personalised services. Properties at this level
will display excellent design quality and attention to detail.

Properties which achieve a deluxe guest experience. A wide range of facilities and superior
design qualities are typically complemented by service standards that reflect the varied and
discerning needs of the guest.

Properties that deliver a broad range of amenities that exceed above-average accommodation
needs. Good quality service, design and physical attributes are typically fit for purpose to
match guest expectations.

Properties that focus on the needs of price conscious travellers. Services and guest facilities
are typically limited to keep room rates affordable and competitive but may be available
upon request or fee-based.

Properties that offer budget facilities without compromising cleanliness or guest security.
Guests may access fee-based services or facilities upon request.

Half-star ratings indicate modest improvements in the quality and condition of guest

Great Britain[edit]
In Great Britain hotels are rated from one-star to five stars. The RAC pulled out of
accommodation grading in 2008 so the only grading schemes in operation are those operated
by the AA (Automobile Association) and the national tourist boards: Visit England, Visit Wales,
the Scottish Tourist Board and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The schemes were all
'harmonised' to ensure consistency between the schemes. This applies to all accommodation
types apart from self-catering that the AA started offering in 2009. The AA criteria are available
on its website.[8][9] In addition to the usual black stars (ranging from one (the lowest) to five (the
highest), the AA awards red stars to the highest-rated, which are deemed 'Inspectors' Choice'.
Each of the national tourist boards have grading explanations on their web sites.
In the Philippines, the Department of Tourism has an accreditation system for hotels, apartment
hotels and resorts. The current system which uses a "star system" which rates establishments
from 1 to 5 stars was adopted in 2012.[10] The rating of the aforementioned facilities are
determined through a points system. Hotels, apartment hotels, and resorts are graded according
to their service, facility quality and condition, and business practices. The Department of Tourism
classifies the criteria used into seven dimensions or "business area" namely: Arrival & Departure,
Public Areas, Bedrooms, Food & Beverage, Lounge Area, Kitchen Area, Amenities, and
Business Practices, all common to the three categories except Kitchen and Lounge Area which is
only applicable to apartment hotels. 1,000 points is the maximum number of points an
establishment can attain.[11]

Department of Tourism (DOT) Star Grading System

For Hotels, Resorts and Apartment Hotels[12]

Rating Summary

Unranked 0–250 N/A

251–400 Has limited facilities and services. Appeals to "budget minded" tourists.

Appeals to tourists looking for more than basic accommodation. Has

expanded facilities and "higher level" of comfort.

Accommodation is deemed "very good". More spacious public areas

and higher quality facilities and a greater variety of services.

"Up-scale in all areas" and accommodation is "refined and stylish".

Service is deemed responsive, and has an extensive array of facilities.

Reflects characteristics of "luxury and sophistication". Facilities are

851–1000 deemed "world class in every manner" and services are deemed
meticulous and "exceeding all guests' expectations".

European Hotelstars Union[edit]

The HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe) is an umbrella organization for 39
associations from 24 European countries. At a conference in Bergen in 2004, the partners
drafted a hotel classification system in order to harmonize their national standards. In 2007
HOTREC launched the European Hospitality Quality scheme (EHQ) which has since accredited
the existing national inspection bodies for hotel rating.
Under the patronage of HOTREC, the hotel associations of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany,
Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland created the Hotelstars Union.[13] On 14
September 2009, the Hotelstars Union classification system was established at a conference in
Prague. This system became effective in these countries in January 2010, with the exception of
Hungary, Switzerland and the Netherlands, who have chosen later dates for the change. Later
more countries have joined the HOTREC hotelstars system: Estonia (2011), Latvia (2011),
Lithuania (2011), Luxembourg (2011), Malta (2012), Belgium (2013), Denmark (2013) and
Greece (2013).
The European Hotelstars Union system is based on the earlier German hotelstars system that
had widely influenced the hotel classifications in central Europe, with five stars and a Superior
mark to flag extras. Instead of a strict minimum in room size and required shower facilities (e.g. a
bath tub in a four-star hotel) there is a catalogue of criteria with 21 qualifications encompassing
270 elements, where some are mandatory for a star and others optional. The main criteria are in
quality management, wellness and sleeping accommodation.[14] In the catalogue of criteria each
entry is associated with a number of points – each Hotelstars level requires a minimal sum of
points besides some criteria being obligatory for the level.[15] The minimum requirement for the
Superior flag requires the same sum of points as for the next Hotelstars level which however was
not awarded due to at least one obligatory requirement being left out.[15]
For hotels with three to five stars, the Hotelstars Union will use "mystery guests" to check the
service quality regularly.

Hotelstar Excerpt of the catalogue of criteria

 100% of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC

 Daily room cleaning
 100% of the rooms with colour-TV together with remote control
 Table and chair
 Soap or body wash
Tourist  Reception service
 Facsimile at the reception
 Publicly available telephone for guests
 Extended breakfast
 Beverage offer in the hotel
 Deposit possibility
The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation
Superior provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The bathroom facilities are
Tourist usually at the same level as for two stars hotels but built from cheaper materials.
The cost for regular inspection by independent associations is waived as well.
In addition to the single star (*) hotels:

 Breakfast buffet
 Reading light next to the bed
Standard  Bath essence or shower gel
 Bath towels
 Linen shelves
 Offer of sanitary products (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit)
 Credit Cards
The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation
provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The Standard-Superior does
usually offer the same service level as three-star hotels but the interiors of the hotel
are smaller and cheaper so that the three stars were not to be awarded by the
inspection body. A two-star superior does not require mystery guesting.
In addition to the standard star (**) hotels:

 Reception opened 14 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and

outside, bilingual staff (e.g. German/English)
 Three piece suite at the reception, luggage service
 Beverage offer in the room
Comfort  Telephone in the room
 Internet access in the room or in the public area
 Heating facility in the bathroom, hair-dryer, cleansing tissue
 Dressing mirror, place to put the luggage/suitcase
 Sewing kit, shoe polish utensils, laundry and ironing service
 Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand
 Systematic complaint management system
The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation
Superior provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The accommodation facilities
Comfort for a superior hotel need to be on a modern level and fully renovated which is
checked regularly.
In addition to the comfort star (***) hotels:

 Reception opened 18 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and

 Lobby with seats and beverage service
 Breakfast buffet or breakfast menu card via room service
First Class  Minibar or 24 hours beverages via room service
 Upholstered chair/couch with side table
 Bath robe and slippers on demand
 Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror,
tray of a large scale in the bathroom
 Internet access and internet terminal
 "À la carte"-restaurant
The Superior flag is provided when the first class hotel has a proven high quality
First Class not only in the rooms. The superior hotels provide for additional facilities in the
Superior hotel like a sauna or a workout room. The quality is checked regularly by mystery
guesting of an external inspection service.
In addition to the first class (****) hotels:

 Reception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff

 Doorman-service or valet parking
 Concierge, page boy
 Spacious reception hall with several seats and beverage service
 Personalized greeting for each guest with fresh flowers or a present in the
Luxury room
 Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours
 Personal care products in flacons
 Internet-PC in the room
 Safe in the room
 Ironing service (return within 1 hour), shoe polish service
 Turndown service in the evening
 Mystery guesting
The Luxury star hotels need to attain high expectations of an international guest
service. The Superior Luxury star is only awarded with a system of intensive guest

World hotel rating[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect
recent events or newly available information. (June 2012)

There is so far no international classification which has been adopted. There have been attempts
at unifying the classification system so that it becomes an internationally recognized and a
reliable standard, but they have all failed.
It has been considered that, as it has been the case in other areas (e.g. international accounting
standards), hotel classification standards should result from a private and independent initiative.
This may be the case of the World Hotel Rating (WHR) project, which notably aims to set
international classification standards and rating criteria along the lines of a world star-rating
system. It will also establish an information platform on the hotel industry which will be
multilingual and multicultural. WHR intends to play a key role in the development of quality hotel
services, as well as equitable and sustainable tourism, and the protection of the world's cultural
and natural heritage. In addition, WHR will develop labels to promote hotels distinguished by
specific features, such as a family and child-friendly disposition. A test period was scheduled for

More than five stars[edit]

Some hotels have been advertised as seven star hotels. The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai was
opened in 1998 with a butler for every room – this has been the first hotel being widely described
as a "seven-star" property, but the hotel says the label originates from an unnamed British
journalist on a press trip and that they neither encourage its use nor do they use it in their
advertising. Similarly the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi (open since 2005) is sometimes
described as seven star as well, but the hotel uses only a five star rating.
The Galleria in Milan, Italy was opened in 2007 and it claims to have a seven star certificate from
SGS Italy2008.[16] However the SGS Italy (not the official tourism agency) only has five stars in
the general hotel stars categorization, with the full title of the certificate being left unknown, just
as the renewal process is unknown. Overall, as no traditional organization or formal body awards
or recognizes any rating over five-star deluxe,[17] such claims are meaningless and predominantly
used for advertising purposes.
Historically, luxury hotels have used the membership in The Leading Hotels of the World to
document regular inspection on an additional level. This organization had been formed in 1928
and it reorganized in 1971 introducing a worldwide inspection service.

Alternative Hotel Ratings[edit]

In recent years, alternative hotel ratings are starting to appear in an effort to promote
sustainability or cultural diversity in international tourism.[18]
Green Key[edit]
Green Key is a voluntary eco classification awarded to around 2370 hotels and other
establishments in 52 countries.[19] In 2009, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts joined the Green Key
Green Globe[edit]
Green Globe is the global certification for sustainable tourism. Membership is reserved for
companies and organizations who are committed to making positive contributions to the
planet.[21] The Green Building Initiative (GBI) acquired the U. S. rights to the Canadian Green
Globes building assessment and certification for the program in 2004 and adapted it for the U.S.
Salam Standard[edit]
Salam Standard is a classification system for Muslim-friendly hotels.[22] Hotels can get certified
based on certain Muslim-friendly criteria such as offering prayer mats, removing alcohol from the
room and offering halal restaurant recommendations and is divided into 4 tiers (bronze, silver,
gold and platinum).[23] Archipelago Hotels, Indonesia's biggest hospitality firm, is a prominent
member of the Salam Standard system.[24]

See also[edit]
 AAA Five Diamond Award

1. Jump up^ Hensens, Struwig & Dayan. "Guest-review criteria on
TripAdvisor compared to conventional hotel-rating systems to
assess hotel quality" (PDF). Eurochrie 2010. Retrieved 18
November 2012.
2. Jump up^ Vine, P.A.L. (March 1981). "Hotel classification; art or
science?". International Journal of Tourism Management. Elsevier
Science Ltd. 2 (1): 18–29. doi:10.1016/0143-2516(81)90014-
1. (Requires purchase of a document for $31.50)
3. ^ Jump up to:a b ""History & development", hotelsterne.ch,
accessed November 14, 2010, "In 1979, hotelleriesuisse (Swiss
Hotel Association) introduced the hotel classification. This was the
first and only worldwide private enterprise system of its kind. The
system is internationally considered as exemplary, and has been
repeatedly utilised as the basis for the development of a
customised classification system (e.g. Germany, Austria)."".
Hotelsterne.ch. 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
4. Jump up^ "Eine Erfolgsgeschichte: Zehn Jahre Deutsche
Hotelklassifizierung". hotelsterne.de. 27 July 2006. press release.
Retrieved 2012-06-12. Am 1. August 2006 feiert die Deutsche
Hotelklassifizierung ihr zehnjähriges Bestehen." – "80 Prozent der
Gäste geben an, dass die Sterne Hauptkriterium bei der
Hotelauswahl sind, denn sie bieten Transparenz und Sicherheit
5. Jump up^ "Hotel Rating System in France: Categories and Map -
FrenchKPI". frenchkpi.com. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 19
March 2018.
6. Jump up^ "Hotels and Restaurants". Government of India,
Ministry of Tourism. 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
7. Jump up^ "Qualmark now 100% Tourism New Zealand owned".
Tourism New Zealand. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 12
September 2015.
8. Jump up^ "The AA Hotel Quality Standards" (PDF). TheAA. The
AA UK. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
9. Jump up^ "AA Hotel Recognition Scheme". Theaa.com.
Retrieved 2012-06-18.
10. Jump up^ "New Accreditation Standards for Hotels, Resorts, and
Apartment Hotels". Philippine Tourism. Department of Tourism
(Philippines). Retrieved 10 December 2016.
11. Jump up^ National Accommodation Standards – Hotel (PDF).
Department of Tourism (Philippines). May 2012. pp. v–45.
Retrieved 10 December 2016.
12. Jump up^ National Accommodation Standards – Hotel (PDF).
Department of Tourism (Philippines). May 2012. p. 3. Retrieved 10
13. Jump up^ "HOTELSTARS UNION – About us (English)".
Hotelstars.eu. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
14. Jump up^ "HOTELSTARS UNION – Criteria (English)".
Hotelstars.eu. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
15. ^ Jump up to:a b Hotelstars – Catalogue of Criteria[permanent dead link], see
last page: (*) 90 minimum + 80 superior = (**) 170 minimum + 80
superior = (***) 250 minimum + 130 superior = (****) 380 minimum
+ 190 superior = (*****) 570 minimum + 80 superior – maximum
points for all criteria: 860
16. Jump up^ "Luxury five star Rooms in Milan – TownHouse
Galleria". TownHouse Hotels. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
17. Jump up^ "AFP: China plans $1.3bn 'seven-star
hotel'". Google.com. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
18. Jump
19. Jump up^ "Intro". Green Key. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
20. Jump up^ "Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Joins Green Key Eco-
Rating Program in United States". www.fairmont.com.
Retrieved 19 March 2018.
21. Jump up^ "Green Globe - Green Globe Certification - Certified
Sustainability". greenglobe.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
22. Jump
23. Jump up^ "The new hotel standard you should know about - Hotel
News ME". hotelnewsme.com. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 19
24. Jump up^ "Company teams up with Salam Standard for
certification". islamictravel.com. Retrieved 19 March 2018.

External links[edit]
Wikivoyage has a travel
guide for Hotel rating

 Forbes Travel Guide - Official site

 Slate magazine article mentioning the phenomena of Seven star
 Hotel terminology
 Star ranking systems
 Rating systems
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