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What do the hotel stars mean in detail

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If you book a trip, you will come across the star rating at the latest when choosing your accommodation. But what really distinguishes a three-star hotel from a four-star establishment? And what can you expect from a one star hotel?

Depending on the star category, certain requirements must be met. (Iconic Image: Getty Images)

Some guests don’t care at all, while others meticulously choose their accommodations accordingly: hotels around the world are given star ratings to show what requirements they meet. In Europe, stars are awarded uniformly by the “Hotelstars Union”, a sub-organization of the European umbrella organization for hotels, restaurants and cafes, HOTREC. For each star from one to five, certain criteria must be met, which in turn are evaluated with points. 90 points is the minimum for one star and 600 the maximum for a five-star establishment. In addition to stars, hotels can also receive the “Superior” addition. This means that although the establishment offers more than the standard of the respective stars, it is not enough for the next category.

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While star ratings can be used around the world, countries interpret the categories differently. A five-star hotel in Turkey is not of the same standard as a luxury hotel in Germany.

From one to five: the hotel stars in detail

One star: inexpensive basic equipment

One-star hotels are designed for simple needs and budget-conscious guests. The basic equipment for a stay is available here: a bathroom with a shower and toilet, a table with at least one chair, a TV, towels and soap. Daily room cleaning is also included with one star. There is also reception service and breakfast option.

Two stars: standard rooms

In a two-star hotel, in addition to the basic equipment, there is also a reading light next to the bed and hygiene items such as shower gel and shampoo in the bathroom. Guests can expect a buffet breakfast and Internet access. Card payment is also possible at the reception.

Three stars: high standards

Hotels in this category meet higher demands. In addition to telephone and Internet access, the rooms also have a safe, vanity mirror, and utensils for cleaning and sewing shoes. There is also a luggage and drink rack. In addition to toiletries, the bathroom also has a hair dryer. The reception is staffed for at least 14 hours and can be reached by phone around the clock. The staff speaks two languages.

Such a suite is only available in a five-star hotel.  (Iconic Image: Getty Images)

Such a suite is only available in five-star hotels. (Iconic Image: Getty Images)

Four stars: first class

Four-star hotels are the beginning of the luxury category and meet high standards. For this, the reception has to be open 16 hours a day, guests can sit in the lobby and there is also a bar in the hotel. An easy chair or sofa with a side table is standard in rooms, and there’s a minibar and 24-hour in-room drink service. Slippers and bathrobes are provided for guests and the bathroom is well equipped with plenty of storage space, heating and a magnifying mirror.

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Five stars: pure luxury

At Five Stars, guests leave nothing to be desired: they will be personally received in their room with a gift or flowers. To meet your needs, there are shoe cleaning and pressing services, laundry service, valet cart service, bellman/concierge service, and a 24-hour front desk staffed by multilingual staff. So-called turndown service is also usually standard here. The guests receive special attention before going to sleep, for example, the bed is shaken and their pajamas are put on. Sometimes there is also a little “bedtime treat” in the form of chocolates or similar treats.

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