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Stars are often used as symbols for classification purposes.

They are used by reviewers for ranking things such as movies, TV shows, restaurants, and hotels. For example, one to five stars is commonly employed to categorize hotels.


1 Restaurant ratings 2 Hotel ratings o 2.1 Standards of hotel classification o 2.2 European Hotelstars Union o 2.3 World Hotel Rating o 2.4 Hotel classifications in Britain o 2.5 'Six' and 'seven star' hotels 3 Hotelstars 4 Military ranks 5 Football stadiums 6 Transport Safety 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

Restaurant ratings
Main article: Restaurant rating Restaurant guides and reviewers often use stars in restaurant ratings. The Michelin system reserves stars for exceptional restaurants, and gives up to three; the vast majority of recommended restaurants have no star at all. Other guides now use up to four or five stars, with one star being the lowest rating. The stars are sometimes replaced by symbols such as a fork or spoon. Some guides use separate scales for food, service, ambiance, and even noise level. The Michelin system remains the best known star system. A single star denotes "a very good restaurant in its category", two stars "excellent cooking, worth a detour", and three stars, "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey".[1] Michelin stars are awarded only for the quality of food and wine; the luxury level of the restaurant is rated separately, using a scale of one ("quite comfortable") to five ("luxury in the traditional style") crossed fork and spoon symbols.

Hotel ratings

"5 star superior" rating at Hotel Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten, Munich, Germany The star classification system is a common one for rating hotels. Higher star ratings indicate more luxury. The AAA and their affiliated bodies use diamonds instead of stars to express hotel and restaurant ratings levels. Hotels are independently assessed in traditional systems and rest heavily on the facilities provided. Some consider this disadvantageous to smaller hotels whose quality of accommodation could fall into one class but the lack of an item such as an elevator would prevent it from reaching a higher categorization.[2] In recent years hotel rating systems have also been criticised by some who argue that the rating criteria for such systems are overly complex and difficult for laypersons to understand. It has been suggested that the lack of a unified global system for rating hotels may also undermine the usability of such schemes.

Standards of hotel classification

Food services, entertainment, view, room variations such as size and additional amenities, spas and fitness centers, ease of access and location may be considered in establishing a standard. The more common classification systems include 'star' rating, letter grading, from 'A' to 'F', diamond or simply a 'satisfactory' or 'unsatisfactory' footnote to accommodation such as hostels and motels. Systems using terms such as Deluxe/ Luxury, First Class/ Superior, Tourist Class/ Standard, and Budget Class/ Economy are more widely accepted as hotel types, rather than hotel standards. Some countries have rating by a single public standard - Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Hungary have laws defining the hotel rating. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland the rating is defined by the respective hotel industry association using a 5-star system - the German classifications are Tourist (*), Standard (**), Comfort (***), First Class (****) and Luxury (*****) with the mark Superior to flag extras beyond the minimum defined in the standard. The Swiss hotel rating was the first non-government formal hotel classification beginning in 1979[3] It did influence the hotel classification in Austria and Germany.[3] The formal hotel classification of the DEHOGA (German Hotel and Restaurant Association) started on 1. August 1996 and proved very successful (with 80% of guests citing the hotel stars as the main criteria in hotel selection) which lead to the creation of a common European Hotelstars rating system that started in 2010 (see below).[4] In France, the rating is defined by the public tourist board of the department using a four star system (plus "L" for Luxus) which has changed to a 5-star system from 2009 on. In

South Africa and Namibia, the Tourist Grading Council of South Africa has strict rules for a hotel types granting up to 5 stars.

European Hotelstars Union

The HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants & Cafs in Europe) is a umbrella organization for 39 associations from 24 European countries. On the conference in Bergen 2004 the partners sketched a hotel classification system in order to harmonize the national standards. In 2007 the HOTREC launched the European Hospitality Quality scheme (EHQ) which has since accredited the existing national inspection bodies for hotel rating. Under the patronage of HOTREC the hotels associations of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland have created the Hotelstars Union.[5] On 14 September 2009, the Hotelstars Union classification system was decided and pronounced on a conference in Prague. Since January 2010 the system is effective in most of these countries, Hungary will provide the legal provisions in 2010, Switzerland will switch to the new system in 2011 based on the regular 5 year cycle, and the Netherlands will switch in 2011 for similar reasons. The Hotelstars Union classification defines the same levels as the earlier German classification system with five stars and Superior mark to flag extras. Instead of a strict minimum in room size and required shower facilities (e.g. a bath tub in a four star hotel) there is a catalogue of criteria with 21 qualifications encompassing 270 elements where some are mandatory for a star and others optional. For hotels with three to five stars, the Hotelstars Union will use "mystery guests" to check the service quality regularly.

World Hotel Rating

There is so far no international classification which has been adopted. There have been attempts at unifying the classification system so that it becomes an internationally recognized and reliable standard, but they have all failed. It has been considered that, as it has been the case in other areas (e.g. international accounting standards), hotel classification standards should result from a private and independent initiative. This may be the case of the World Hotel Rating (WHR) project, which notably aims to set international classification standards and rating criteria along the lines of a world star-rating system. It will also establish an information platform on the hotel industry which will be multilingual and multicultural. WHR intends to play a key role in the development of quality hotel services, as well as equitable and sustainable tourism, and the protection of the world's cultural and natural heritage. In addition, WHR will develop labels to promote hotels distinguished by specific features, such as a family and child-friendly disposition. A test period is scheduled for 2010.

Hotel classifications in Britain

In Britain, hotels are rated from one star to five stars, as in many other countries. The RAC pulled out of accommodation grading in 2008 so the only grading schemes in operation are those operated by the AA (Automobile Association) and the national tourist boards; Visit England, Visit Wales, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. The schemes were all 'harmonised' to ensure consistency between the schemes. This applies to all accommodation types apart from Self Catering that the AA have recently (2009) started offering. The AA criteria is available on its website.[6] In addition to the usual black stars (ranging from one (the lowest) to five (the highest), the AA awards red stars to the highest-rated, which are deemed 'Inspectors' Choice'. Each of the national tourist boards have grading explanations on their web sites.

'Six' and 'seven star' hotels

Some members of the hospitality industry have claimed a six or seven-star rating for their operation. As no organization or formal body awards or recognizes any rating over five star deluxe,[7] such claims are meaningless and predominantly used for advertising purposes. The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai is widely described as a "seven-star" property, but the hotel says the label originates from an unnamed British journalist on a press trip and that they neither encourage its use nor do they use it in their advertising.[8]

The European Hotelstars Union has created a profiling system based on the earlier German hotelstars system that had widely influenced the hotel classifications in central Europe. The main criteria are in quality management, wellness and sleeping accommodation.[9] In the catalogue of criteria each entry is associated with a number of points - each Hotelstars level requires a minimal sum of points besides some criteria being obligatory for the level.[10] The minimum requirement for the Superior flag requires the same sum of points as for the next Hotelstars level which however was not awarded due to at least one obligatory requirement being left out.[10] Hotelstar * Tourist Excerpt of the catalogue of criteria 100 % of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC - Daily room cleaning - 100 % of the rooms with colour-TV together with remote control - Table and chair - Soap or body wash - Reception service Facsimile at the reception - Publicly available telephone for guests Extended breakfast - Beverage offer in the hotel - Deposit possibility The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The bathroom facilities are usually at the same level as for two stars hotels but built from cheaper materials. The cost for regular inspection by independent associations is waived as well. In addition to the single star (*) hotels: - Breakfast buffet - Reading light next to the bed - Bath essence or shower gel - * Bath towels Linen shelves - Offer of sanitary products (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit) - Credit Cards The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The Standard-Superior does usually offer the same service level as three star hotels but the interiors of the hotel are smaller and cheaper so that the three stars were not to be awarded by the inspection body. A two star superior does not require mystery guesting. In addition to the standard star (**) hotels: - Reception opened 14 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside, bilingual staff (e.g. German/English) - Three piece suite at the reception, luggage service - Beverage offer in the room - Telephone in the room - Internet access in the room or in the public area - Heating facility in the bathroom, hair-dryer, cleansing tissue - Dressing mirror, place to put the luggage/suitcase - Sewing kit, shoe polish utensils, laundry and ironing service - Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand Systematic complaint management system The Superior flag is provided when the additional service and accommodation provisions are not sufficient for the next Hotelstar. The accommodation facilities for a superior hotel need to be on a modern level and fully renovated which is checked regularly.

Superior Tourist



Superior Standard



Superior Comfort

In addition to the comfort star (***) hotels: - Reception opened 18 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside - Lobby with seats and beverage service - Breakfast buffet or breakfast menu card via room service - Minibar or 24 hours beverages via room service **** First Class - Upholstered chair/couch with side table - Bath robe and slippers on demand - Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror, tray of a large scale in the bathroom) - Internet access and internet terminal - " la carte"-restaurant The Superior flag is provided when the first class hotel has a proven high quality not only in the rooms. The superior hotels provide for First Class additional facilities in the hotel like a sauna or a workout room. The Superior quality is checked regularly by mystery guesting of an external inspection service. In addition to the first class (****) hotels: - Reception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff - Doorman-service or valet parking Concierge, page boy - Spacious reception hall with several seats and beverage service - Personalized greeting for each guest with fresh ***** Luxury flowers or a present in the room - Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours - Personal care products in flacons Internet-PC in the room - Safe in the room - Ironing service (return within 1 h), shoe polish service - Turndown service in the evening Mystery guesting The Luxury star hotels need to attain high expectations of an Superior international guest service. The Superior Luxury star is only awarded Luxury with a system of intensive guest care