Hotel Star Ratings – What’s in a number?

Since the invention of Trip Advisor, it seems most of us would rather rely on the opinions of other travellers who have “been there, done that”, than the number of stars listed by a hotel name.

Why, well, every country seems to have its own star rating system and what one country deems a four-star hotel, another may well rate a 2-star property – so how do we know we are getting what we are paying for?

Social media outlets that offer advice and opinions are all well and good, but as they are open to everyone, a competitor with sour grapes can easily add a damaging report about a neighbouring hotel. Then there are the travellers who use these channels to write a book on how they didn’t like the wallpaper, the light switches were too high, and the orange juice at breakfast was sour!

So, while I do take note of what has been written by other travellers, I also read between the lines, and combine the hotel star rating with an overview of all the reviews/opinions available to try to get a better idea of what the property is really like.

After travelling to over 40 countries, I truly believe you get what you pay for, and while I understand everyone has a travel budget, I don’t understand why someone would book a 2-star hotel when they are used to, and expect, the luxurious amenities they have at home!  It doesn’t work like that…

Hotel Star Rating - What's in a Number?

Like most people, I enjoy staying in five-star properties but they can be expensive and unless you are going to spend a great deal of time in your hotel room or using the hotel facilities they might not be worth the investment.  We prefer to save these hotels for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthday treats or romantic beach breaks, when we really make the most of the luxurious rooms, great facilities and five-star service.

We generally opt for four-star hotels where you get all the little luxuries you are used to at home such as quality bed linens, tastefully decorated rooms, clean bathrooms and electrical goods, without the pomp and ceremony offered by five-star hotels. Perfect for city breaks and country escapes!

In most European countries, three-star hotels are decent properties with nice rooms, adequate facilities, and are therefore perfect for a weekend city break, but when you compare the prices of a three-star hotel with a four-star, you may find that there isn’t much between them, so location may be your deciding factor.

When it comes to a two-star hotel, well again, you get what you pay for.  In the few two-star properties I have seen, you get a clean but basic room with private bathroom, and very few facilities. These properties are ideal for those travelling around the world on a budget, and if you do some research beforehand, you may well find a real gem.

I have to admit I have never stayed in a one-star hotel so really cannot comment (do they even exist?), but before I would choose such a hotel, I think I would rather go for a guest house or B&B, and that’s a whole new ball game when it comes to star rating!


21 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice and thank you for the following!

  2. Hi and thanks for liking my blog. cheers

    1. Good morning Barb! Thanks for stopping by and liking our blog!

  3. shantarella says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am sure I can get some great travel tips from yours. I do hope you’ll follow mine as I embark on a trip next week to London, Dubai and possibly Ireland 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting – We are now following and look forward to updates about your amazing trip – enjoy!

  4. 7dmichael says:

    Good information, like the reminder that all reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.

  5. I think you’re right about reading behing the lines in traveller’s reviews. I mean, it is difficult (in fact, usually impossible) to tell from just a few lines of text what someone’s personal standards might be. I always like to look at both the highest and lowest reviews that a place gets and see what I can glean from that.

    I’m taking my first ever overseas trip soon (yay!) and have booked a 5 star hotel. A lot of people have told me this is crazy or wasteful, but my perspective is – this is my first overseas trip and the only one I will be able to take for some time, so I want to make it as special and as memorable as I can!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I think it is wonderful that you have treated yourself to a 5 star hotel for your first trip! Enjoy – where are you going?

  6. Lutz Braum says:

    thanks for stopping by my blog – would be happy to provide recommendations after my recent trip to Costa Rica.

    1. Thank you – yes, please do! I haven’t been to Costa Rica yet, but I have heard much about it – enjoy!

  7. You are absolutely right in your statement. There is a certain large South African hotel group who prides themselves to be the leader in the industry but their in room standards and guest services are way below their star ranking and trip advisor as well as guest feedback is conforming it every day.

    1. Hmm, I think I know who you are talking about! Thanks for visiting, and for your comment.

  8. I find, as you say, that Trip Advisor posts are somewhat useful. The same hotel or B&B in the same timeframe can get quite different reviews. In regard to B&Bs, I go with whatever has the least negatives. It’s worked so far.

    1. Me too! Thanks for visiting.

  9. I am not much of a world traveler, but good info nevertheless. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for visiting Elmer – the world is just waiting to be discovered!

  10. tripwheels says:

    Reblogged this on Trip News and commented:
    This post makes real sense, you get what you pay for!

    1. Thank you Trip Wheels 🙂

  11. I prefer to stay at B&B’s, but as you stated so well, you still need to do research and be sure of what you are paying for. Thanks for visiting my blog. I would like to re-blog your article, with credit to your site of course!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!
      We have both visited France, and hope to return again soon so will get in touch for some tips!
      Please feel free to re-blog any of our posts.
      Wendy & Ingo 🙂

      1. Thanks – would love to share some insiders tips! Happy blogging!

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