Differences Among Hotel’s Stars Grades
Let’s start from the rooms. Single rooms are for single travelers. In many hotels, a single room is actually the same as a double room. Double rooms are for two travelers sleeping in the same bed. Twin rooms have two separate single beds. Triple rooms have either three separate beds, or a double bed plus a single bed. Quads rooms are designed for 4 people or more. Suites are complete apartments with multiple rooms, intended for long stays — or just people with money to burn. There is considerable variation and many frills within these basic types, the rule of thumb being that the more you pay, the larger your room becomes. Some business-oriented hotels offer an executive level, where a steep premium gets you access into an airline-style lounge and typically some perks like “free” Internet access or pay-per-view movies. Naming for these rooms varies, with eg. the Kuala Lumpur Hilton dubbing even its cheapest rooms as “Deluxe” and the next category up being “Executive” — but you need to upgrade one more step to an “Executive Suite” if you want to actually get the executive level perks. Some hotels are now taking an active stance on being smoke free.
Hotels may additionally offer meal service included in the price. Common terms include: bed and breakfast (B&B). The morning meal is included. This may range considerably from a simple roll and coffee to an elaborate spread. Half board (aka half pension, demi-pension, modified American plan). A hotel rate that includes breakfast and one additional meal, typically dinner. Also called Modified American Plan and demi-pension. Full board (aka full pension, full American plan). A hotel rate in which three meals a day are included in the price.
All inclusive. All meals and drinks are included. The list of “free” drinks is usually limited though: house wine is probably OK, champagne probably isn’t. Hotels may also charge a mandatory fee in addition to the standard room and board charge to provide access to additional facilities. This is typically called a Resort Fee and can include access to things such as exercise facilities, pools, and high-speed internet access.
The guide below is by necessity a generalization, as star ratings are awarded by each country according to their own rules, and the difference between a 3-star and a 4-star may be something as obscure as having a minibar in each room. It’s also worth noting that star ratings are often ‘sticky’, in the sense that once awarded they’re rarely taken away: a four-star built last year is probably still pretty good, but a four-star opened in 1962 and never renovated since may well have turned into a dump. Note also that the ratings are weakening as marketers misuse them.
The original Michelin star scale for restaurants only went up to three stars, which meant restaurants worth making a special trip for. Two stars were worth a detour, one a stop. The Mobil Travel Guide, which covers all of North America, awarded the Five Star rating to only 32 hotels in 2006, but that does not prevent dozens of hotels from claiming to be “five star”. Most are more like Mobil’s definition of three star “Well-appointed establishment, with full services and amenities” or four star “Outstanding-worth a special trip”. The notion is that a hotel can be six or seven stars is a joke among travel professionals since most respectable hotel rating systems do not give out a rating higher than five stars.
The consensus is since so few hotels really can achieve the five star rating then there shouldn’t be a rating higher than five stars. An example of a popularly known “seven star” hotel is Dubai’s Burj al-Arab. It’s certainly one of the most luxurious hotels in the world (as awarded earlier by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine), and is also officially the tallest hotel in the world. In reality, it is a 5 star deluxe property (the popular seven star status is not often corrected in the media, though). The five-star hotels is the quintessential luxury hotel, offering thrills above and beyond the actual needs of the travel. They have restaurants and night spots that are world class, with food and entertainment that draw non-guests to sample it too. Five-star hotels also tend to have opulent and expensive decorations; fancy gyms, swimming pools and spas. Major five-star chains compete to offer the most ludicrous thrills imaginable: Loews offers dog-walking services, while Conrad will let you order from a menu of pillows. Needless to say, all this comes at a steep price, and you’re unlikely to be able to justify the expense of a five-star for ordinary business travel. The other downside to five-stardom is that hotels that can jump through all the hoops to achieve the rating are likely to be large and impersonal.
The four-star hotel is a good business hotel. Everything works smoothly, there’s Internet in every room, a well-equipped business center, they’ll arrange your airport transfer and room service is palatable and only somewhat expensive. And your boss will probably not faint when they see the bill. Three-star hotels are solid but dull. Your room will have an attached bathroom and there’s probably a restaurant downstairs and 24-hour reception service. Two stars means no-frills hotel. In most countries two stars means that your room probably has its own bathroom and there’s probably a TV and telephone in your room, but rooms are bare-bones and you’re unlikely to want to spend any more time than strictly necessary inside. You don’t see many of these, and with reason. One-stars are not just no-frills, but often downright dodgy: rooms are barely functional, shared bathrooms are somewhere down a corridor and the painted ladies from the all-hours karaoke bar next door dance the horizontal tango all night long in the room next to yours. To clarify a little more the difference between a five and seven stars.
For quite a long time, five star hotels have been known as the most luxurious ones. Now, several hotels have been awarded seven stars. Previous classifications were on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. Now a seven star hotel would be ranked as the most luxurious hotel in the world. What makes it different? Hotels, like restaurants, movies and TV shows, are classified by a star rating. Hotels are usually rated based on the quality of the food, the location, accessibility, room sizes, amenities, view and the availability and quality of fitness centers and spa. So far, there has not been a uniform hotel ranking guide, which is why different standards are set per country. Five star hotels are luxury hotels and mostly cater to celebrities, high ranking political figures and business moguls. Most of the time, business executives stay at five star hotels when they are on a business trip and meeting with other investors.
On the other hand, a seven star hotel caters to royalty and billionaires (and their heirs) with lots of money to spend. Rich business executives stay in seven star hotels but their stay may not be connected to business. Seven star hotels are generally chosen for leisure stays. Luxury hotels or five star hotels are constructed from high-grade materials and have intricate architectural designs. Mostly, 24-hour room service is available, aside from gourmet dining and a high staff-to-guest ratio. Rooms are huge and are decorated with fine furnishings. The rooms have luxury bath products and toiletries, high-speed Internet access and DVD players. Most five star hotels have access to a golf course; spa and wellness center; pool and tennis courts. The most luxurious room in a five star hotel is the presidential suite. Though a five star hotel seems to have everything a person wants to feel luxurious, a seven star hotel tops this. They have such services as a Rolls Royce limousine guest shuttle service, a ‘royal’ suite rather than a ‘presidential’ one and gold furnishings. On average, the cheapest room for two in a seven star hotel is at $1,700 per night. This will get you and a companion to a deluxe five star hotel room for three nights. Burj Al Arab, one of the most famous seven star hotels in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has a 780 square meter royal suite with a rate of $28,000 per person per night. The hotel has magnificent gold and marble staircases, mahogany furniture, master bedrooms with rotating four-poster canopy, Hermes body products and a Rolls Royce, BMW or helicopter transfer or service. Staff at seven star hotels research their incoming guests. Because of this, guests are known by everyone working in the hotel, making the stay more memorable.Five star hotel staff are not required to research their guests mainly because it is not part of what you are paying them for and also the fact that they receive a greater number of guests and reservations.
Additionally, the rates at seven star hotels are higher so it is no surprise that staff would pay significantly more attention to their guests. So, a five star hotel is generally frequented by wealthy people such as celebrities, business executives and politicians.
Even more luxurious is a seven star hotel which gives its guests the ‘royal’ treatment. At a price of $1,700, you and another companion can stay for three nights at a deluxe room at a five star hotel. In a seven star hotel, this rate is the cheapest per night. And, Burj Al Arab, the most popular seven star hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, takes pride for its royal suite with a royal rate of $28,000 per person per night. Well, if you do not believe go ahead and book a hotel room!