Hotel Rating Standards are not Standardized Worldwide

» Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

Lodging rating systems offer travelers the mild reassurance of a quality establishment when traveling.  Government travelers usually prefer 2 to 4 star rated hotel properties, depending on location.

In the U.S., Mobile Travel Guides and American Automobile Association (AAA), conduct inspections and issue an annual guidebook listing accommodations using a one-to-five star rating.  The ratings are based on specific standards regarding the services and facilities.  The most common classification systems include:  letter grading (A-F), “star” rating, diamond rating, which is very similar to the star rating, or a simple satisfactory or unsatisfactory rating.

However, no standardized international classification system has been adopted.

There is only one record of a zero star rating to date. It is the Null Stern Hotel in Sevelen, Switzerland. It is a converted nuclear bunker.

A seven star rating is claimed by only two hotels in the world. The first hotel to claim a seven star rating is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and then the Town House Galleria in Milan, Italy. There are a few other seven star hotels under construction.

There is however, controversy over the expansion of the “five star” rating.  This is leading commentators wondering if it is purely a sales hype.

Over all, travelers should expect less standardization throughout Europe, because approximately 70 percent of hotels are independently operated and partly because the definition of lodging is broader and at the discretion of the property owner

In the U.S., travelers take for granted for example – non-smoking rooms, king size beds and private bathrooms.  However these are not common in Europe.  Access for guests with disabilities is very limited.  New constructions and major renovation projects, however, usually require it to be included.  Meeting room equipment also varies.  Ask is the best policy, before you book.

By Diane Huffman

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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