Scott and


How Are Hotels Given Star Ratings? Solved!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

Share on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare on InstagramShare on Youtube

This webpage contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through our link, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

When planning a trip, one of the first things you need to do is find a place to stay. But with all the options, it can be tough to know where to start. One way to narrow your choices is by looking at a hotel's star rating. But what does that number mean? How are hotels given star ratings, and what can you expect from a property with a certain number of stars? Are all five-star hotels created equal?

Here's a look at how hotel star ratings work, what they mean, and what you can expect from different types of properties.

What Are Hotel Star Ratings?

Five Star Hotel golden sign

Hotel star ratings are a way to measure the quality of a property. Generally, the higher the number of stars, the higher the quality you can expect.

Hotel star ratings are determined by several factors, including the property's facilities, amenities, service, and location. A panel of experts inspects each property and assigns a rating based on their findings. It's important to note that rating systems may weigh these factors differently. Hotels must first meet their basic cleanliness, comfort, and safety requirements to receive a star rating. They are evaluated on various factors, including room quality, amenities, service, and more. Properties are then given anywhere from 1 to 5 stars based on their performance in these areas.

The most common rating systems are Forbes Travel Guide and AAA (which uses diamonds instead of stars). Apart from these two, many other rating systems are used in different parts of the world. Some countries have their own national rating systems, while others use international ones.

What Do the Different Ratings Mean?

Hotel Inspector checking bedding sheets and pillows.

The number of stars assigned to a hotel can range from one to five, with five being the highest rating. The specific criteria for each rating level vary by organization, but in general, here's what you can expect:

One-star hotels are usually the most basic and affordable accommodation options. While they may not offer all the bells and whistles of their more expensive counterparts, they are typically clean and secure, making them a good choice for budget-minded travelers. One-star hotels may also offer a limited selection of fee-based services, such as laundry or room service. However, guests should expect to find basic amenities like toilets, showers, and beds in all one-star hotels.

Two-star hotels are perfect for budget-conscious travelers looking for affordable accommodations without compromising quality. Although services and guest facilities may be limited, all the essential amenities are typically available. Guests can expect clean and comfortable rooms with basic furnishings and a variety of on-site amenities, such as a swimming pool, fitness center, and restaurants. With attentive service and competitive rates, two-star hotels offer excellent value.

Three-star hotels typically offer a broad range of amenities that exceed above-average accommodation needs. This can include features such as a swimming pool, fitness center, business center, and restaurants. Guest requirements are typically met with good quality service, design, and physical features that match expectations. Three-star hotels often provide a higher level of service than lower-rated properties, including room service and maid service. They may also offer valet parking and concierge services. Physical attributes may include larger rooms and better quality furnishings than lower-rated hotels. Three-star hotels are typically located in city centers or near major tourist attractions.

A four-star property is usually luxurious, offering guests superior facilities and design qualities. In addition, the service standards at a four-star property are typically much higher to reflect the needs of discerning guests. When booking a four-star hotel room, you can expect to find features such as a king-sized bed, high-end bathroom amenities, and 24-hour room service. A four-star property will likely have everything you need if you're looking for a truly unforgettable experience.

Finally, Five-star properties offer an extensive range of facilities and comprehensive or highly personalized services. Guests can expect to find luxurious accommodations, top-notch amenities, and impeccable service. Five-star properties are typically large and stylish, emphasizing a high level of comfort and luxury. In addition to offering a wide variety of amenities, five-star properties also feature well-designed interiors and exteriors. These properties strive to provide an unforgettable experience for their guests, and they often go above and beyond to ensure that all visitors have a memorable stay. A five-star property is a way to go if you're looking for the best in terms of accommodations and service.

Are All Stars the Same?

Hotel Room Suite with View

The term "star" is used to describe a hotel's quality level, but it's important to remember that not all stars are created equal. Just because a hotel has five stars doesn't mean it's the best in its class – it simply means that it meets the criteria for a five-star rating. Similarly, a one-star hotel isn't necessarily a wrong choice – it just means that it doesn't offer the same range of amenities and services as its higher-rated counterparts. When booking a hotel room, read the reviews to understand what other guests have experienced. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from your stay.

Is a Five-Star Hotel Worth the Money?

Luxury five stars hotel's lobby

The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and needs. A five-star hotel is probably worth the money if you're looking for the best possible accommodations and services. However, plenty of lower-rated hotels can offer good value for your money if you're working with a limited budget. It's important to remember that a higher star rating doesn't always guarantee a better experience – it simply reflects the amenities and services available at the property. When booking a hotel room, take the time to research your options and read reviews from other guests.

So there you have it—a quick overview of how hotels are given star ratings and what those mean. Remember that these ratings are just guidelines; some four-star hotels might not live up to your expectations, while some two-star properties might exceed them. The best way to find a hotel that's just right for you is by reading reviews from other travelers before you book your stay.

Scott and Yanling Contact Us Photo


Need some assistance for your trip?
Send us a message and we will do our best to help you out.

Try to be as detailed as you can with exactly what you need help with so we can best serve you.

Please complete the reCAPTCHA challenge