s booking a five-star hotel a dream or an illusion? Before to reserve your room in the most fabulous hotel ever, you should know a few things. I want to explain to you how the rating works and give you some tips. There is a bit of history and quite a lot of experience and knowledge. I will make you aware of the five-star hotels so you will be completely conscious to choose.
Five stars indicate a high-level resort and it is also a term that defines luxury. Do you know how a hotel get the stars? I am going to explain this because if you want to sleep in a great hotel, you need to be aware of reality. I think you already know that in each country you can find a five-star hotel with totally different features and luxury level. Why? Let me go step by step into the topic.
Today to travel is an easy experience for many people, but in the past, it was generally more expensive and more difficult. The number of travelers increased in the last century and this gave a new idea to important companies. Think about the Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide or to the Michelin Guide. They wrote some books with information and tips about destinations, hotels, restaurants and about all what is needed by a tourist. In 1958 Forbes had a Travel Guide, at that time called Mobil Travel Guide, and the staff invented the term “five-star”
That was the origin fo the five-star rating system. Quickly and easily other guides started to use it and now it is common for all of us. But now we don’t have any international system yet. That is why you can see huge differences between European, American, African, Asian five-stars hotels. Each country makes an evaluation and the features are always different, also the level. Have you ever been to a five-star hotel in a country that it can be like a three-star hotel in your country? To me happened and that is why the raring is never the only criterion you should use.
How is the hotel rating?
You as a traveler go to an Italian five-star hotel and inside you find a gourmet restaurant. Then you go to Indonesia and there is no gourmet restaurant in your five-star hotel. This example shows how can be difficult to rate a hotel, especially without a common way of act. The problem is also to sizing the big and the small hotel or to measure the features of a family hotel and the ones of a big chain. How can you compare them and decide what are the main elements that give more or fewer stars? How can you give to tourists concrete help to choose the best accommodation?
These questions need an answer from the World Hotel Rating Project. After a lot of work made by experts on the international level, there isn’t yet a solution. Somehow the failed and now we still have the same problem. What we can affirm now is that the stars, how it happens for restaurants, came from opinions.
Of course, there are procedures and experts with the task to make the evaluation, but mostly it depends on their opinion. In some countries, Italy especially, the number of stars depends also on the fiscal system. Now everything is related to rank properties, or at least it is what the travel industry does.
What about lobbies, restaurants, comfortable beds and customer services? If you want to book a five-star hotel now, you need to know that the criteria are different region by region. Each country has specific rules, but we can sometimes consider a bigger area as it happens in Europe. As an example, I post here the table with the rating established by Hotrec, the umbrella organization that groups 39 associations from 24 countries. It is published by Wikipedia. This is the biggest association in all Europe and they evaluate hotels, restaurants, and cafes.
What about six-star hotels? They do not exist in the European ranking and if you take a look in the various countries, you can get the same result.
If you want to know more about the catalog of criteria, you can have your copy here.
The doubts of a traveler
When you search for a five-star hotel you generally do it online. All the review websites use the five-star system and this means that also the reviewer gives stars to the structure. From one to five. This makes again the confusion, especially because you see stars everywhere on the website and you don’t know about the real ranking. There are always opinions. Some done by experts, some others by guests, with their criteria and knowledge, and also some wrote by competitors.
Take into consideration that the review represents only how much a person liked the hotel. It has no relation to the level of luxury of the hotel. You have any way to move into the world of luxury hotels and the travel industries. It includes tourists. So let me give you some advice. From the research to the reservation.
Use Booking.com to reserve a five-star hotel
Many people are going to check TripAdvisor. It is good to read a lot of opinions, but not all of them are real. Why? It is open to everyone, you can insert a review after some months and the system does not verify them deeply. Booking.com or similar platforms are asking and accepting reviews only from who booked a room and stayed at the hotel. Plus there is a limited period to write the opinion. So they are more real.
Of course, keep in mind that anyway, the evaluation is very personal. Your criteria can be different. You can also compare pictures and read comments left by business travelers, groups, families and so on. With filters, it is easier to focus on the most relevant reviews for you. Also, travel blogs can help you, but be careful, because some posts are sponsored, so the advice is paid.
Check the rating
The most important thing is the rating. If you want to book a five-star hotel now, focus on the source. Check the country rating system. I know that it is bad, but also not all the countries have a very well organized procedure. So Hotrec in Europe or AAA’s in the USA, for example, are more reliable than the organizations of certain regions. In Italy, Spain, and Belgium the hotel stars are regulated by the law. This is safer for you.
Be in touch with the hotel
After the research online you can have some doubts, so the best way to clarify them is to talk to the hotel. Call the staff, ask your questions about offers, amenities, and facilities. An alternative writes an email to them. You will obtain two results: the information you want and the service quality. Their way to answer, their speed, the details give you a precise idea on how they work. This helps you to understand the level. Believe me, the real five-star hotel is recognizable.
Take care of the details
Do you want to stay in a five-star hotel? Pay attention to the details. Luxury doesn’t reside in the overly fancy, like a big flat screen or a big bottle of champagne and so on. Everything can be found in the tailor-made service and also in the personalized touch. A well-furnished room shows a particular artwork or the last design object, high-quality toiletries and so on. So check the setting of a room by pictures and description.
The hotel features
The reservation process is giving you a precise idea of the hotel. If you have difficulties and if they are not able to face and to solve problems, it is a bad sign. It will be the beginning of a nightmare that can continue during your stay. About breakfast, the point for a five-star hotel isn’t the cost. You have to check the quality and the variety of food. They have to provide sweet and salty food, freshly made and in enough quantity to serve the clients. If they have a restaurant and they bake directly it means that your hotel is ready to give you a five-star stay.
WiFi is not always provided for free, but if the price is so high, maybe you should consider another hotel. It is important also for the spa and the quality of it is already visible from the hotel website. Pictures are not so important, except for some details, but the list of the amenities, of the treatments and the description of the service give you feedback. Of course, when you are there you can immediately notice if there are differences. That is why it is good to read carefully and ask directly to the structure. It is always hard to express high quality if you don’t have it. Because it is a matter of style.
In the end, I can confirm that there aren’t rules to evaluate a hotel. That is why public opinion becomes very important. You can also use social pages as Twitter to search for a review, just keep in mind the real value of them. The last tip is: don’t trust a too low price. Also, a five-star hotel needs the client to avoid an empty room, so it offers discounts.
But they can’t be so huge. If the rate is too convenient there are different reasons. Among them: the quality of the hotel isn’t high, they give you the worst room (also in this case the hotel isn’t a luxury one) or there are some tricks. Be careful. Now you are anyway more aware of a five-star hotel and you can choose better.
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