Aiming toward the Moon and the Stars
So, who gets to decide how many stars each hotel gets? Local government agencies and independent groups give hotels in Europe star ratings. Celebrities are recognized by various organizations in the United States, ranging from travel guidebooks and national consumer travel associations to travel businesses and websites.
Each travel website has its hotel star rating system to complicate matters further, and Travelocity may award three stars, Orbitz five stars, and Expedia four stars to the same property. Fortunately, most of these travel websites and groups include a reference to their hotel star rating system. The North American hotel star system, for the most part, is broken down as shown below.
The Bare Essentials
A one-star hotel is little more than a place to sleep for the night. These motels, usually run by a single entrepreneur, offer simple rooms with only a bed and a bathroom. Although there are no eateries on the premises, there should be one walking distance.
These hotels do not provide additional facilities or services. In other words, don’t expect a daily turndown service complete with a Godiva chocolate on your pillow. You should, however, be able to use local public transit and find fairly-priced food and entertainment.
A two-star hotel, like a one-star hotel, is usually part of a bigger chain or franchise rather than being independently owned (think Econo Lodge or Days Inn). The rooms are plain and basic, equivalent to a one-star hotel.
On the other hand, two-star hotel rooms come with a television and a phone. In addition, these hotels usually provide an on-site restaurant or dining area and daily housekeeping. A two-star hotel’s front desk is normally open 24 hours a day.
Onward and upward
Three-star hotels are usually affiliated with bigger, luxury hotel brands like Marriott, Radisson, and DoubleTree. These hotels are more fashionable and pleasant than one- and two-star hotels. They provide a greater choice of services and amenities, such as a fitness center, a pool, business services, an on-site restaurant, room service, conference rooms, and valet parking.
The hotel rooms are bigger and have higher-quality, contemporary decor and luxuries such as flat-screen TVs with extended cable. Three-star hotels are frequently oriented toward business visitors and near major roads and local attractions.
Four-star hotels, often known as exceptional hotels, are large, affluent institutions fully staffed and equipped with a plethora of amenities. The exquisite elements, like luxurious bedding and great bath products, are included in the large rooms, which are attractively furnished with premium furniture and feature elegant touches such as lavish bedding and fine bath products.
Concierge services, gourmet cuisine, several pools, hot tubs, high-class fitness facilities, bellhops, room service, valet parking, day spas, limousine services, and a variety of unique suites are all available at four-star hotels.