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Better understand hotel rankings

We all know the classification of the hotels which is done in the form of stars going from 1 to 5 with the possibility for the 5 star hotels having a particularity to obtain the denomination Palace.


But many hoteliers and travellers don't know how it is set up and what it is really used for?


Why make a ranking ?


In 2008 the five main hotel unions in France, under the Accor group's directive, introduced new regulations for hotels. These regulations are expected to introduce new standards in 2012. These new, more customer-oriented standards are intended to improve the quality of both equipment and services. 


What criteria are taken into account for the ranking?


The equipment:

In all public reception areas it is essential that the equipment is adapted and regularly checked. In the hotels the control is carried out every 5 years to see if the established standards are respected. In case of non-compliance, the classification of the establishment will be lowered.


The elements taken into account for the equipment range from the outside of the hotel through the hall, the living room, the bedroom and finally the bathroom and sanitary facilities. Rooms are the places that are under the widest control. We start by checking the surface, the furniture, the bedding. But also the electrical equipment and installations and all the elements related to the safety and comfort of the customers.


These controls are carried out by the control body accredited by the Cofrac (French Accreditation Committee).


Customer service:

Classified hotel establishments must be beyond reproach for the quality and reliability of the information they share. The more information there is and the clearer, more accessible and modern it is, the more the hotel can aim for a high star rating.


It is important to have an online reservation module available directly on the establishment's website. The hotel must have a platform presenting the establishment, its services and rates explained in a foreign language.


The availability of a hotel for its clientele or potential clientele is also very important. Hotels must have a maximum presence and high availability in order to have a high ranking. Availability is also an asset often highlighted by high-end hotels.


Accessibility and sustainable development :

These last criteria are the very example that hotels are a reflection of society. Today we are in a society with increasingly inclusive values. Exclusion due to lack of means or lack of adaptation is less and less tolerable.


Hotels wishing to increase their number of stars should consider facilities that facilitate accessibility for disabled persons and/or persons with reduced mobility.


Once again, sustainable development is a societal and governmental will. Not all hotels should become 100% sustainable. But it is important that they are active in change and raise awareness. Economical waste management, staff trained in recycling and energy-saving techniques.


Benefits for customers


Choosing a recently classified accommodation (which respects the criteria mentioned above) is a guarantee for the customers of the following commitments:


  • A warm welcome in a well-maintained establishment
  • Accurate and complete information on the services offered
  • The treatment and follow-up of satisfaction and complaints
  • A team sensitive to welcoming customers with disabilities
  • A team sensitive to sustainable development


Then for which stars for which commitments


  • 1 star corresponds to budget hotels:

The minimum surface area of a double room must be 9 m², excluding sanitary facilities. These can be private or common.


  • 2 and 3 stars correspond to the mid-range

In these hotels the staff speaks at least one official European language in addition to French. The minimum surface area of the double room is 9 m² excluding sanitary facilities for the 2 stars and 13.5 m², including sanitary facilities, for the 3 stars.


The difference with a 1-star hotel lies mainly in the size of the common areas, especially the lounge, at least 50 m² in a 3-star hotel as opposed to 20 m² in a 1-star hotel.


  • 4 and 5 stars indicate a top-of-the-range and very high-end hotel business

For these establishments the rooms (traditional non-suites) range from a minimum of 16m2 for the 4 stars to 24m2 for the 5 star sanitary facilities included. Hotels with more than 30 rooms have a 24-hour front desk.


Two foreign languages, including English, are required in a 5-star hotel, as well as room service, accompaniment to the room and the possibility to dine at the hotel.


Other advantages characterize the 5-star hotel, such as valet parking, concierge service and special room amenities such as a safe and Internet access. Air conditioning is mandatory.



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