Accommodation Zone News reports – Accommodation ratings in the UK can appear a little confusing, but the standards used to apply ratings are now agreed upon by a number of different bodies, namely the AA and the three UK tourist authorities, VisitBritain, VisitScotland and VisitWales. These common quality standards are intended to give members of the public confidence that they have made the right choice of accommodation, based on the rating. Types of accommodation are categorised as: hotel, guest accommodation and budget hotel.
Within the overall category of hotel are 5 sub-categories,
– Hotel: offers full formal hotel service
– Country house hotel: set in a quiet country location within its own grounds or gardens
– Small hotel: personally run by the owner of the hotel, with a maximum of 20 bedrooms
– Town house hotel: set in a town or city centre with a maximum of 50 bedrooms, this type of hotel may serve dinner or just have room service
– Metro hotel: situated near a town or city centre close to places of local interest, offering full hotel services apart from dinner, due to proximity to nearby restaurants
Each of these types of hotel receive a rating of between 1 and 5 stars and to each star rating can be added Silver and Gold Awards. These are awarded to properties that exceed the expectations of visitors in terms of levels of quality, comfort, cleanliness, hospitality and attention to detail.
– 1-star: staff are polite and provide an informal service where breakfast is served every day and dinner is served most evenings. All rooms are ensuite or have private facilities and can be described as simple and clean, with no frills.
– 2-star: staff are smartly-presented and provide a helpful service. Breakfast is served daily and dinner is available on most evenings.
– 3-star: professionally-presented staff provide a pro-active service by anticipating the requirements of their guests. All rooms are ensuite and the dining room is open to residents and non-residents.
– 4-star: at least half of the rooms have an ensuite bath and a shower. Public areas are well-maintained and at least 1 restaurant will serve both hot and cold food.
– 5-star: impeccably-presented staff provide a professional, unobtrusive service. The rooms and public areas are luxurious and meals are cooked to an excellent standard using high quality ingredients.
Within this category are 6 sub-categories,
– B&B: this is a private house and can accommodate up to 6 paying guests
– Guest House: accommodation and dinner is provided for more than 6 guests
– Farmhouse: B&B or guest house facilities are provided on a working farm
– Inn: accommodation is within a licensed establishment and food is provided in the evening
– Restaurant with rooms: offering a maximum of 12 bedrooms
– Guest Accommodation: this is a general category for any establishment meeting the minimum requirements.
The star ratings also apply to guest accommodation and are broadly similar to those for hotels in standards of quality, service and cleanliness.
There is a comprehensive list of minimum requirements that self-catering accommodation has to meet in order to be rated. This includes:
– Comfort with a good standard of furniture and a colour television
– High standard of cleanliness
– All basic kitchen equipment included
– Information available on local attractions and amenities
The star ratings reflect the quality of accommodation on offer, regardless of whether it is in a hotel, bed and breakfast, or a self-catering establishment. It is a combination of quality and price of accommodation that guides a search for the most suitable place to stay and the star ratings help to clarify what is on offer for the visitor. There are plenty of online resources for tourists wishing to find out the latest UK news on holiday accommodation and travel, to help them make an informed decision.