Hotel Star Rating: What Makes A 5-Star Hotel?

When it comes to star ratings, it’s easy enough to understand. A 5-star hotel means you’re staying in the lap of luxury, while a 1-star hotel means the direct opposite of that. But what exactly does a hotel need to get those coveted stars?

While there are organizations like the Automobile Association in the United Kingdom that maintain “common standards for hotel and guest accommodation”, no such standards existed in the country until now.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) has recently released a standardized star ratings system meant to bring the system in line with those applied in other countries. The system also gives consumers an idea of what to expect when they pay for 5-star accommodations.

The 58-page document provided by the DoT outlines seven dimensions that hotels will be judged against when they apply for a star rating accreditation. These dimensions are:

  • Arrival & Departure
  • Public Areas
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Food & Beverage
  • Amenities
  • Business Practices

Apartment hotels will also be judged for their Lounge Area and Kitchen Area.

Each dimension has a number of indicators that inspectors will score from 1 to 5, with all the points tallied in the end. Each star grading corresponds to a certain number of points, which you can find out below:

  • 1 star – 251 to 400 points
  • 2 star – 401 to 550 points
  • 3 star – 551 to 700 points
  • 4 star – 701 to 850 points
  • 5 star – 851 to 1000 points

Things to look out for

Some of the indicators are things that  customers should certainly be aware of. The DoT, for instance, considers any check-in process that takes more than 10 minutes as completely unacceptable. The check-out process should also take less than 10 minutes.

Persons with disabilities (PWD) are also served well by the new ratings system. The new star grading requires one PWD room for every 50 to 150 rooms.

The DoT also considers mattresses less than four inches as completely unacceptable. Hotels looking for a higher star grading also need to have bed linen with a minimum thread count of 300.

If you want your hotel to get an outstanding score, some of the things you need to have are an “in room check-out option and express service with no wait time” and “thermostatically controlled temperature in all public areas”. Another thing that will get you an outstanding score are “luxurious plush carpets with density of 4 oz.” For a closer look at all the indicators, the full list can be downloaded on the DoT website.

Beyond the building

It’s not just the consumers that the star grading are looking out for. The hotel’s business practices will also be looked into. For instance, at least 80% of its employees should be locals from the region. At least 30% of its supplies — like food, beverages, laundry services, and cosmetic — should be sourced locally, and 20% should come from organic sources.

Reception areas should also be able to accommodate standing persons and those seated in wheelchairs. At least one elevator should also have PWD-friendly features.

With this new star grading system, the DoT hopes that the country much more competitive as a tourist destination.

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