Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hotel Star ratings

Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai is considered as "Seven Star." Star ratings are awarded by each country according to their own rules, and accommodations offered, the difference between a 3-star and a 4-star something as obscure as having a minibar in each room.
It's also worth noting that star ratings are often 'sticky', in the sense that once awarded they're rarely taken away: a four-star built last year is probably still pretty good, but a four-star opened in 1962 and never renovated since may well have turned into a dump.

Note also that the ratings are weakening as marketers misuse them. The original Michelin star scale for restaurants only went up to three stars, which meant restaurants worth making a special trip for.

Two stars were worth a detour, one a stop. The Mobil Travel Guide, which covers all of North America, awarded the Five Star rating to only 32 hotels in 2006, but that does not prevent dozens of hotels from claiming to be "five star". Most are more like Mobil's definition of three star "Well-appointed establishment, with full services and amenities" or four star "Outstanding-worth a special trip".

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