5-Star Vs 4-Star: Why Going Up A Star Matters In 2024 (2024)

5-Star Vs 4-Star: Why Going Up A Star Matters In 2024 (1)

By Kristyn Meyer

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Summary

  • Star ratings determine hotel quality but can vary globally; 7-star properties exist.
  • A hotel's amenities, not just stars, influence the experience, so don't dismiss lower-rated hotels.
  • Star and review ratings differ, so consider both when choosing accommodations.

Throughout the years there has been a significant rise in the quality of vacation accommodation, ranging from whole house rentals for large groups to eco-friendly 5-star hotels.

In the United States, and throughout the world, new hotels earn 5-star status all the time based on a pre-determined set of standards. The downside is that those hotels can also easily go down a notch. What determines a hotel's star rating, and how can it accentuate your upcoming vacation?

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A 4-Star Rating Doesn't Mean The Property Is Poor (But Nor Does 1 Star)

While more stars typically equate to a more luxurious property, fewer stars don't equate to lower quality

5-Star Vs 4-Star: Why Going Up A Star Matters In 2024 (4)

Hotel Del Coronado Swimming Pool

In order to boast about having a particular star rating, hotels have to be evaluated by private agencies to determine where their property resides on the scale. When agencies are establishing the star rating for a specific hotel, they look at all the amenities that a property offers.

Although many people attribute a lower rating to mean the property is less than, that's not always the case. At times, the difference between a hotel being a five-star versus a four can come down to something as simple as the more highly rated property offering dry cleaning services while the other doesn't. Therefore, you shouldn't be turned off by potential accommodation due to its star rating, unless you are looking for a high level of amenities during your stay.

This logic applies to hotels that are even lower ranked, such as those that possess a one-star score. While the rating may not look as attractive as other establishments with a four or five-star level, having just one star only means that the amenities are less than the other properties.

For instance, it is unlikely that the hotel will have a restaurant on-site or offer a swimming pool for guests' use.

Top Hotels In The World

Hotel Name

Location

Star Rating

Burj Al Arab

United Arab Emirates

7 Stars

Oblu Select Lobigili

Maldives

5 Stars

Ritz Paris

France

5 Stars

Padma Resort Ubud

Bali

5 Stars

Adiwana Suweta

Bali

4 Stars

Signiel Seoul

Korea

4 Stars

Are All Hotel Ratings The Same Worldwide?

What qualifies as a 5-star hotel in the USA may not be in Europe

5-Star Vs 4-Star: Why Going Up A Star Matters In 2024 (5)

Built for the meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the luxury hotel Al Bustan Palace is now managed by Ritz Carlton

When you are booking a hotel for your upcoming trip, it's important to know that a 5-star hotel in Las Vegas can look very different from a similarly rated one in Brazil. Agencies throughout the world have different scorecards that they use for establishing what level a hotel sits at. The country of the Philippines is scored by its Department of Tourism and other countries use a combination of agencies.

Because of the differences in standards, it's more common to see hotels that are ranked above five stars in other parts of the world. The highest that a hotel has been deemed is a seven-star property. Several have obtained this honor, although some have dropped to a lower level since earning the achievement.

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Star And Review Ratings Are Not The Same

A 4-star review rating is not the same as the overall hotel classification

5-Star Vs 4-Star: Why Going Up A Star Matters In 2024 (7)

Spa Massage Parlor in Amantaka Luxury Resort & Hotel in Luang Prabang

It's easy to become confused when searching for the perfect property for your upcoming trip because you are often provided with two different data points that rank your hotel or rental. You might first come across the star rank, but then you will likely also see a star score with a number in parentheses next to it.

The second score with the parenthesized number reflects the average score given to the property by travelers who have stayed there. It's important to distinguish the difference between these two scores because one reflects a private agency's take on the amenities provided, and the other speaks to the reality of the guest's visits. Many people have stated that more stock is placed in traveler reviews than in the current star classification.

Another thing to keep in mind is that properties can differ in star and review ratings even if they are within the same brand. Many travelers enjoy the luxury offered by the Westin chain of hotels. However, it's important to know that the quality and amenities can change from property to property and your experience may not be the same each time.

When you are selecting the perfect accommodation for your upcoming adventures, be sure to look at the various reviews and put a fair amount of emphasis on the experience while simultaneously looking at the amenities offered. One score doesn't depict the whole picture, so it's important to look on a larger scale to get a better idea of what your trip could look like.

How many stars do you look for when choosing a hotel to book? Tell us in the comments!

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