Tag Archives: luxury

Book a five-star hotel now

Is 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.

 

 

Some history

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 hotel. 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 criteria you should use.

How is the hotel rating?

You as a traveler go in 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.

Regional ranking

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. This is the biggest association in all Europe and they evaluate hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

Hotel starCategoryCatalogue of criteria
*Tourist- 100% of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC
- Daily room cleaning
- 100% of the rooms with colour-TV together with remote control
- Table and chair
- Soap or body wash
- Reception service
- Facsimile at the reception
- Publicly available telephone for guests
- Extended breakfast
- Beverage offer in the hotel
- Deposit possibility
*SSuperior TouristThe Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The bathroom facilities are usually at the same level as for two stars hotels but built from cheaper materials. The cost for regular inspection by independent associations is waived as well.
**StandardIn addition to the single star (*) hotels:
- Breakfast buffet
- Reading light next to the bed
- Bath essence or shower gel
- Bath towels
- Linen shelves
- Offer of sanitary products (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit)
- Credit Cards
**SSuperior StandardThe Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The Standard-Superior does usually offer the same service level as three-star hotels but the interiors of the hotel are smaller and cheaper so that the three stars were not to be awarded by the inspection body. A two-star superior does not require mystery guesting.
***ComfortIn addition to the standard star (**) hotels:
- Reception opened 14 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside, bilingual staff (e.g. German/English)
- Three piece suite at the reception, luggage service
- Beverage offer in the room
- Telephone in the room
- Internet access in the room or in the public area
- Heating facility in the bathroom, hair-dryer, cleansing tissue
- Dressing mirror, place to put the luggage/suitcase
- Sewing kit, shoe polish utensils, laundry and ironing service
- Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand
- Systematic complaint management system
***SSuperior ComfortThe Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The accommodation facilities for a superior hotel need to be on a modern level and fully renovated which is checked regularly.
****First ClassIn addition to the comfort star (***) hotels:
- Reception opened 18 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside
- Lobby with seats and beverage service
- Breakfast buffet or breakfast menu card via room service
- Minibar or 24 hours beverages via room service
- Upholstered chair/couch with side table
- Bath robe and slippers on demand
- Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror, tray of a large scale in the bathroom
- Internet access and internet terminal
- "À la carte"-restaurant
****SFirst Class SuperiorThe Superior flag is provided when the first class hotel has a proven high quality not only in the rooms. The superior hotels provide for additional facilities in the hotel like a sauna or a workout room. The quality is checked regularly by mystery guesting of an external inspection service.
*****LuxuryIn addition to the first class (****) hotels:
- Reception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff
- Doorman-service or valet parking
- Concierge, page boy
- Spacious reception hall with several seats and beverage service
- Personalized greeting for each guest with fresh flowers or a present in the room
- Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours
- Personal care products in flacons
- Internet-PC in the room
- Safe in the room
- Ironing service (return within 1 hour), shoe polish service
- Turndown service in the evening
- Mystery guesting
*****SSuperior LuxuryThe Luxury star hotels need to attain high expectations of an international guest service. The Superior Luxury star is only awarded with a system of intensive guest care.

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, group, 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 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.

Conclusions

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 much 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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Book a hotel in Asolo

Asolo is a quite popular destination for tourists and that is why to book a hotel can be a bit hard. The museums, the ancient buildings, and archeological finds are important attractions for travellers. But also the events can attract many people during the year. Then the place is quite close to Treviso and Venice, two marvelous Italian towns. This means that sometimes it can be fully booked. I want to share my experience, made twice in Asolo. I went there for some meetings and I wanted good accommodation, so I started to search among the offers.

The rates depend of course on the period. Because during some particular events and spring and summer generally, the prices are higher. In Asolo to book a hotel means to choose among different types of accommodations, included B&B, apartments, and farms. What to do? Before to go into the topic I think it is necessary to explain why this beautiful village is the perfect location for a holiday.

Asolo and the region

The area is full of history, monuments, and museums where to discover the region. Asolo it is close to the main cities and towns of Veneto. The place is far a few kilometers from the most popular mountains and it is full of amazing landscapes all around. Not only history but also art, architecture, and nature are the ingredients of the village and the surroundings. You can find a quiet place to walk in nature. The village offers you the accommodation you are searching for with the typical kindness dedicated to the tourists.

If you want to visit Venice you can easily go there. You only need half an hour by car. It is possible to use buses and trains to move, but I suggest to do it by car, it is faster. You are free to transfer when you want and you need less time than public transport. To sleep in Asolo costs less than Venice and it is quieter. These are the reasons why you can consider to stay in the village and to book a hotel there.

How to book a hotel

Asolo offers, as a tourism destination, a good variety of accommodations. There are five stars hotels to guest houses. I have been again in the same hotel, but how did I choose it? Well, I was searching for a comfortable room, close to the main square and at a good price. I like a luxury, so this influence my evaluation. When you travel for work reasons you want to sleep well and to receive the proper attention. That is why I check always luxury structures. My second criteria were related to the position. To sleep not far from Piazza Garibaldi it is a great opportunity to go to all the attractions on foot.

As I already mentioned the rates are lower than Venice, plus I add the quiet, almost impossible to be found in the city. I noticed that a five stars hotel can be quite cheap compared to other places in Veneto, but it offers a great experience. Also, I wanted a structure with a restaurant, because without a plan to out, when you are tired in the evening you can eat a few steps far from the room. I tried to check also other solutions, but most of them were not in the best position, except Hotel Duse, three stars and historical structure. I decided to book a hotel called Albergo al Sole.

Albergo al Sole

The five stars hotel is not the only one in Asolo, but it is 300 meters far from the main square. It offers a great view and it combines tradition and modernity. An old and historical building shows the tradition, also in room settings. Meanwhile, some furniture element and impeccable service are given a good experience. According to modern high standards. I already wrote in the past about this accommodation, but I want to add something more after my second visit.

The staff is friendly, they welcome the guest as people do in private houses. You feel at home, maybe also because the structure is quite small. The rooms are spacious, with a stylish setting that reminds the traditions of the past. But the equipment is modern and complete. You are in history with all the contemporary comforts. They also have a shop inside with exclusive products, as food and home design objects.

A shuttle service is available for guests. I suggest you to use the car also to explore the area. In case they provide you the permission to enter the traffic limited streets to reach the hotel and the car parking. Guests can also benefit from the luxury bikes of the hotel.

I took these pictures in September 2016.

The restaurant

Food is important in Italy and Asolo has great products. To taste the local cuisine you have to enjoy the restaurant La Terrazza. It is inside the Albergo al Sole. When you book a hotel, especially this one, you have the chance to find special offers including other services. I suggest you consider the dinner at La Terrazza. Recipes from Veneto and Mediterranean dishes are proposed according to the availability of seasonal ingredients. You can choose between fish and meat, both of them cooked with some innovation by the chef. In summer it is possible to use the terrace with a superb view of the village. They serve there also breakfast.

The food

The Emporio of the hotel has a very good oil, made a few kilometers out of Asolo. When you book a hotel in the village and you want to taste the local products Albergo al Sole can help you. I have one more tip for you about the local food. If you like to bring home some products or just to taste something while you are doing your tour, buy it from the shop.

In Via Browning, a few hundred meters from Piazza Garibaldi, there is Gastronomia Sgarbossa. A big shop with local products like oil, wines, cheese, and salami. There is a huge variety and it is an opportunity to taste the specialties. Book a hotel in Asolo will be your delicious idea.

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