Hotel - What Does It Mean?
By Greg Mattson
You can't travel very far without encountering some type of
ratings for hotels and inns. But, since many establishments use
different sets of guidelines, it's a challenge to know exactly
how to compare hotels.
The star rating system was originally created in the USA by
Mobil Travel Guides (often confused with AAA diamond ratings).
It’s a very subjective way of measuring hotel quality. To
understand it best, just look at it in a very general way with
- 1 star: Very basic, no-frills
- 2 star: Modest, comfortable,
- 3 star: Nice styling, extra amenities
- 4 star: very nice lodging, many extras,
- 5 star: A luxury hotel with everything
In many countries around the world, a 5 star hotel is a very
luxurious hotel. Amenities could include room service,
ballroom(s), pool, sauna, fitness center, spa, valet service,
concierge, tour desk, restaurants, bar, and lots more.
For Europe: Quality will vary from country-to-country.
Ratings are usually provided by an agency of some sort, and
often ignore any ambience or charm the hotel may have.
There is no way to rate a 5 star hotel in New York or San
Francisco as being exactly equal to one in London or Paris.
European standards are different, with prices generally higher
in most, but not all countries. Remember, you can always ask to
see the room first, and decide for yourself if it lives up to
its star rating!
Greg Mattson is the editor of Excellent Romantic Vacations –
A guide to great romantic vacations & getaways in
Canada, the USA and around the world. You can find more
travel tips in our Travel Terms