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Five-Star Accommodation Ratings Around the World

3 min read
star ratings

With booking websites sometimes offering thousands of testimonials for one property, it can be challenging to sift through all of the information to reserve the perfect hotel room.   Aside from the consumer ratings, various nations and booking websites have particular standards that they use to grade resorts. 

This guide can help remove some of that clutter that will assist you in understanding what differentiates a standard resort from a five-star home.  


Expedia is one of the most-used booking websites in the world, offering over 590,000 bookable properties.  While their evaluation system leaves a lot to interpretation, they do set some basic guidelines for five-star accommodation.  Five-star resorts typically have gourmet dining, luxury spas, and much more. Expedia ensures none of these amenities, so it is ideal to do a bit more digging on your own if you would like to make sure a five-star experience. 


To estimate AAA, accommodations “need to be of the best luxury, with meticulous personalized service and extensive amenities” to acquire five-diamond status.  A three-diamond property needs to be “distinguished, multi-faceted with improved physical attributes, amenities, and guest amenities.”


The Hotelstars Union (part of worldwide hospitality organization HOTREC) manages hotel ratings in 17 European countries.   


If you are travelling to Paris, you may think a five-star resort is the best of the best, but you would be wrong.  France has a five-star score system, but they have one degree higher called”the palace differentiation”. Five-star spots continue to be posh and must have more significant room dimensions, bilingual staff, room service, concierges, and much more.  

The United Kingdom

UK hotels have a selection of ratings based on an assortment of factors.  Five stars signify luxurious rooms, top quality meals, and multilingual support.  If you want the very best of Britain, start looking for five red stars — this honour is for especially outstanding resorts. 


Australians have a country-wide system named Star Ratings that judges resorts on objective metrics.  Unfortunately, many luxury resorts have eliminated themselves from this evaluation system. The best boutique lodges have banded together and instead use a company named  Luxury Lodges of Australia to guarantee a higher standard for the more upscale properties.


A one-star hotel does not guarantee you a bath, just one bath per three rooms.  Hotels are only required to change linens and towels once every three days. Some hotels which are in historically designated buildings can generally get higher ratings with fewer amenities, which makes things like lifts harder to find. 


If you are curious as to exactly how a resort accomplishes five stars in India, then you will need to read a very comprehensive record from the Indian Tourism Board.  Some interesting, essential points include: all hotels must have two hooks in each bathroom, five-stars resorts will need to have x machines in the entrances, and pools should have LED wall clocks with numerals measuring at least three inches tall on full screen. 


In China, you may want to investigate four-star resorts for ultra-luxury due to an interesting loophole.  The Chinese authorities banned government officials from remaining in five-star resorts to crackdown on corruption.  That ban caused a bevy of luxury resorts in China to voluntarily downgrade their celebrity status to keep on accommodating government employees.  

Rules about hotel ratings differ from country to country, so if you genuinely need a five-star encounter, you should look into reputable hotel brands such as Four Seasons, Belmond, and Rosewood.  These hotels meet the maximum hospitality criteria regardless of any nation’s rules or regulations, that can help you sleep comfortably while on holiday.