Understand the Star System When Traveling Abroad

Understand the Star System When Traveling Abroad

If there’s one thing I’ve learned when traveling abroad is that you need to do your research before booking just any hotel room. If you’re from the United States as I am, you might be accustomed to the usual domestic hotel chains. We all know what a 1 star budget motel gets us, likewise we have a pretty good understanding of what a 4 star resort will offer in terms of quality and amenities. However, when you travel to other countries their isn’t always a direct correlation between price and quality. Also, the star systems in other countries may vary quite a bit from what you are used to here. Before booking that next hotel please consider a few things first.

Traveling to France is one of the few great pleasures in life. However, know the quality of a 3 star hotel in France before you just go off booking it. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with it, but it’s best to understand what you are dealing with first. A 3 star room in France may not be as comparable to a similar rating in the United States. Typically hotels in France can be downgraded for numerous reasons such as lacking an elevator, or failing to have onsite amenities like a bar or restaurant. The hotel could very well be clean and roomy, but could suffer for other reasons that might be less important to you. On the other hand it could be rated fewer stars due to bad food, a lack of cleanliness, cramped accommodations, or all of the above.

A four star hotel in France sounds excellent, and it very well may be, but that depends on your point of reference. Obviously it is superior to a three star hotel in France. However, is it comparable to a 4 star hotel here in the States? Most likely it is quite different. Often times hotels in other countries can receive higher star ratings based on proximity to local landmarks. These hotels understand their business is driven by tourism, as such location can be a driving factor in the overall rating. Whereas a 4 star hotel in the USA can be in the middle of nowhere and as long as it has a world renowned restaurant and spa it will probably rank very high. Another point to consider is the size of the rooms. The United State often overindulges in size. We see this in the housing and apartment market as well. Accommodations in France could be just as nice, and just as clean, but smaller in size. Sometimes expectations are mismanaged depending on the point of reference you use.


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