New Guide Shows Disparities Between Hotel Star Ratings Across the World

Tourists are increasingly booking 5 star hotels despite a general lack of awareness when it comes to rating standards abroad, a leading travel agent has found. Over the past six years, has seen a steady increase in bookings for higher rated hotels, with a 4.2% increase for 5 star hotels despite regular feedback from customers highlighting their confusion when it comes to star ratings.

All Inclusive hotel bookings have seen the largest increase of any holiday type with a 12.6% increase in sales. The statistics reaffirm the obvious – that tourists are not only looking for value for money – they don’t want any hidden costs when they arrive either.

Because of the discrepancies between star rating criteria, has created a comprehensive guide to hotel ratings to help consumers understand what levels of service and facilities they can expect from a selection of their most booked destinations. The interactive guide highlights notable differences between hotel’s awarded ratings and the relevant country’s criteria. For instance, across the world, a 1 star hotel it is not legally required to offer specially adapted disabled facilities – a discovery many customers would want to know prior to choosing a hotel.

As many will expect, amenities and hotel service differs from each country; on average hotels within the EU meet higher criteria for each star rating and consequently these hotels tend to be of better quality than those elsewhere.

Jacky Bedlow, CEO at said:

“Our customer service teams have seen a rise in the number of queries regarding hotel star ratings and many customers have been particularly surprised to find the disparity between different country’s hotel star ratings.”

The Hotel Rating Guide Across the World aims to demystify the questioned discrepancy around star ratings and its criteria, showing customers how they differ in each country. For example, hotels in Portugal are required to have bilingual reception staff from as low as 2 star ratings whilst in Spain, this is not a requirement for any hotels lower than 3 star ratings.

In addition, 1 and 2 star hotels are not officially required to have air conditioning within guest’s bedrooms, a key consideration for those heading to warmer climates, and it is only once customers check in to a 3 star hotel within the EU that air conditioning is a necessary amenity.

Users can share their own thoughts on hotel star experiences using the #RealStarRatings hashtag.  The Hotel Rating Guide Across the World can be found at


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