What Makes A 5 Star Hotel?

Five-star hotels should offer their valued guests the highest levels of luxury through personalized services tailored to individual requirements and requests, plus a range of amenities with plush accommodation. Although there is no worldly standard rating system for hotels, Hotels have to earn their five-star rating by providing guests experiences that meet or exceed even the highest of expectations for comfort, décor, and luxury.

5 Star Hotel Benchmark

A luxury hotel may share many five-star hotel characteristics, but a true five-star hotel should satisfy all these criteria:

5-Star Service

Five-star hotel representatives should be attentive, polite, discreet, and can anticipate all guest’s needs. All-in-all, consistently flawless excellence is the expectation.

  • Concierge staff should be available at least 16 hours a day
  • A staff-to-room ratio—normally above 2.5 guests to staff
  • Multilingual staff members
  • A welcome gift upon arrival, 24-hour room service, valet parking, butler and doorman.
  • Nightly turndown service.
  • A daily housekeeping routine that is also available upon request at any time.
  • Laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, and shoe polishing services.
  • Guest elevators are separate from staff elevators.
  • Luggage storage in which bags are out of guest view
  • Fine dining restaurant(s) and a standalone lounge and/or bar
  • Transfers and executive or house car
  • Childcare

5-Star Comfort

  • Guest rooms must be plush and inviting—especially the bed. (Ideally, there is a memory foam bed with high thread count sheets)
  • A pillow menu
  • Blackout curtains or blinds
  • Bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and large fluffy towels
  • Poolside daybeds, parasols, lotions, ice water, attendants
  • Food and beverage service

5-Star In-Room Amenities

  • Electric safes
  • Laundry bags
  • Full-length mirror with lighting
  • A flat-screen TV with international programming
  • Well-stocked mini-bar
  • A selection of newspapers
  • Complementary use of Wifi
  • At least four types of spa treatments

As more hotels aspire to five-star quality, we expect to see the very best hotels advance the standards of luxury. Here is what will become standard to all five-star hotels in the near future:

  • Communication with hotel staff via text or app
  • Remote controlled access to room lighting, climate, and “do not disturb”
  • Additional outlets for guest’s electronics and more USB plugs
  • Upgraded coffee machines
  • Smart TV features with access to streaming services
  • Bluetooth-enabled door locks

Who awards hotels 5 stars?

There is no universal standard for hotel ratings.

Terms such as Deluxe/Luxury, First Class/Superior, Tourist Class/Standard, and Budget Class/Economy are more widely accepted as hotel types, not hotel standards.

In North America, AAA rates hotels from 1 to 5 diamonds. The Forbes Travel Guide only ranks 4- and 5-star hotels.

In Europe, the Hotelstars Union has standard hotel star ratings applicable to properties for more than 15 countries. Switzerland uses hotelleriesuisse which confirms a certain level of quality service, infrastructure, and equipment. The UK uses the Automobile Association’s (AA) 1-to-5 star ratings.

Many other nations have laws to define hotel rating criteria.

In New Zealand, Qualmark, part of Tourism New Zealand, grades hotels from 1 to 5 stars.

In Australia, the Auto Clubs (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT) have awarded hotels star ratings incorporating guest feedback. The ratings are now managed by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

In the Philippines, the Department of Tourism maintains hotel rating standards with a system that grades properties between 1 and 5 stars.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) grades hotels based on strict criteria and conditions into six categories.

While it might be great for marketing, there are no 7-star or 6-star hotels.

In addition to meeting the criteria above, all of the Five Star Alliance hotels must maintain a high degree of satisfaction from guests across review sites and via feedback provided directly to us.

A 5 star Hotel is geared towards catering to guests at the highest level. Therefore everything from the exterior of the property down to the tableware should display excellent quality and high attention to detail. The service staff is meant to be highly trained and the attention should be focused on providing the guest with the best experience possible. Exceptional levels of proactive service and customer care are essential

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
Benjamin Disraeli

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