Tips&TricksBeyond the stars. Why hotel ratings don't guarantee quality

Beyond the stars. Why hotel ratings don't guarantee quality

Stars in the hotel.
Stars in the hotel.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | OceanProd

7:26 AM EDT, April 12, 2024

The belief that the number of stars reflects a hotel's quality is a common misconception. While many people rely on star ratings when selecting accommodations, these ratings do not correspond to the standard of service provided. Instead, stars signify something entirely different, making it crucial to understand their meaning when booking your stay.

Have you ever wondered why hotels with fewer stars often have higher rates? This paradox suggests that such hotels offer superior quality services. So, what leads to higher-starred hotels being perceived as lower in quality? The answer lies in understanding what the stars genuinely represent.

Understanding hotel stars, it's not about quality

Many assume that a higher star rating guarantees an exceptional stay. However, the reality of what stars signify can be pretty different. Contrary to common belief, the number of stars a hotel has is related to the range of services and amenities it offers rather than the quality of those services. A hotel that ticks off all amenities may still fall short in quality compared to another with fewer services but better quality offerings.

When evaluating a hotel's star rating, it is advisable to take it with a grain of salt. Focus on finding specific information about what the hotel has to offer. If specific amenities like parking, a 24-hour restaurant, or family attractions are essential to you, opt for hotels with fewer stars but which specialize in these areas. Chances are, you'll find the quality of these targeted services surpasses that of a higher-starred hotel that tries to offer 'everything and nothing.'

Choosing the right hotel, questions to guide you

Before settling on a hotel for your vacation, assessing your needs against what's available in the area is crucial. Key considerations should include the hotel's location and accessibility to transportation, especially if you plan to rent a car and require parking, possibly at an extra cost.

Meal arrangements are another critical factor. Whether you're looking for hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts or prefer exploring local cuisine externally, this preference will guide your choice. Additionally, consider whether you desire a hotel that provides extra activities like shows, tours, or quiet, relaxing spaces. Most hotels offer detailed information about their offerings on their websites.

Lastly, reading reviews is highly recommended. They can offer insights beyond the hotel's self-rated stars, as guests often share detailed accounts of their experiences, highlighting any persistent issues. Recurring complaints are a red flag, suggesting you might encounter similar inconveniences during your stay.

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