UK Hotel Star Ratings: What You Need to Know

UK Hotel Star Ratings: What You Need to Know

Booking a hotel can be a challenge. There are so many to choose from and finding one that is right for
you is not always easy. One of the main indicators of a hotel's overall quality is its star rating. But what
exactly does this mean? In the UK, the rating system can help you choose the right hotel for your stay,
so here is a guide to what you need to know.

The UK Star System

In the UK, the hotel star rating system was standardised in 2007 to ensure that all hotels
could be compared to one another fairly. The system is run by the AA along with the main
tourism organisations Visit Britain, VisitWales and VisitScotland.

The five-star system rates hotels based on a range of factors including the service,
ambience, food, cleanliness and more to provide you with a good indicator of what you
can expect during your stay.

What to Expect from Your Hotel

The AA has a section on its hotel grading, and this provides a good general overview of what
you can expect from each rating. Ratings are based upon the facilities, services, welcome,
staff hospitality, cleanliness, food, hotel bedding and more. There are also different categories
for hotels, budget hotels and guest accommodation. All of the hotels are assessed by
inspectors so you can have confidence that the ratings reflect what you can expect.

Hotels are rated from one star to five stars. According to the AA:

One to Two Stars

One Star and Two Star hotels provide a
competent service in an informal setting with
en-suite rooms and an eating area for
breakfast and dinner.

Three Stars

Three Star hotels provide professional
and smart staff, and a restaurant open to
non-residents as well as residents.

Four Stars

Four Star hotels provide uniformed and
professional staff who are responsive to
requests, as well as public areas and a lunch
service in a designated area.

Five Stars

Five Star hotels provide a luxurious
experience and can include public areas,
extra facilities, multilingual support, a pleasant
welcome and an excellent menu.

As well as the star ratings, there may be additional ratings to be aware of. For example,
VisitEngland also provides Gold and Silver awards for exceptional quality, and more
information on these can be found on the website.

Different International Systems

Although a five-star hotel anywhere in the world is likely to provide you with a very comfortable stay, you cannot directly compare hotels internationally because different territories all have their own systems in place. So although you can compare hotels in the UK by their official star ratings, this becomes difficult for hotels overseas.

It may be the case that a five star hotel in another country is on a par with a four star hotel in the UK, or vice versa. Some hotel rating systems are based on facilities, meaning you could find a hotel providing a five-star service only being rated as three or four stars because it lacks certain facilities.

Check Hotel Reviews to Help You Decide

The star rating is not the only consideration when choosing your hotel, and whether you are booking a hotel in the UK or overseas, it should be used as a starting point. As well as checking the rating, also check the online reviews from previous guests to get more information and a good overall picture of the hotel. If a hotel has a low star rating but excellent reviews, it may be a good way to get a bargain.