Understanding Hotel Brands and Ratings
In most countries, there is no standard for “Five–Star.” It’s so subjective, because every hotel can call itself a “Five–Star” and every dining experience “superb.”
Many of your clients think hotel ratings as standardized, however you know better. Therefore, to sort through hotel ratings your clients may cite, you should become intimately familiar with the independent rating systems that have evolved around the globe.
AAA Diamond Ratings
AAA Diamond Ratings evaluate properties in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, and are listed in AAA’s “TourBook” guides and at www.AAA.com
France–based Michelin “Red Guides” are best known for their restaurant ratings. Michelin provides hotel brands and ratings globally. Rigorous criteria and anonymous site inspections provide Michelin hotel ratings.
Michelin’s “Green Guides” provide a wealth of destination information, such as historical background, art and architecture, and cultural insights. Restaurant and hotel information too. Green Guides provide no ratings except for sightseeing/points of interest, rated from one to three stars.
Hotel and Travel Index
This well–respected online resource covers hotels worldwide, based on a 10–tiered classification system. It’s user–friendly and provides detailed information on hotel amenities, services, room rates, photos, commissions, airport mileage, city maps, street maps and more. This free material is updated daily, so to learn more, go to www.travelweekly.com/Hotels
Frommer’s is one of the consumer guide books that offers opinions on hotels globally. Their website provides a lot of value in regards to information hotel brands and ratings.
Public Opinion Sites
User–generated online hotel reviews, like those on TripAdvisor, have become understandably popular with consumers, however, you do need to be wary of them. People with a bad lodging experience are more likely to post a review than those who had a satisfying one which skews the rating. Also, it sometimes happens that a supplier will post negative comments about their competitor’s property, and/or contribute extremely positive reviews about their own product. It’s unethical, however it does happen.
STAR Service Online
This accurate and often cleverly written industry reference tool classifies hotels globally on a One– to Five–Star system. Local evaluators submit these assessments. This online resource, available by subscription, is one of the most accurate in the business.
In conclusion, the AAA Diamond Ratings and STAR Service Online are two of the most valuable resources to you.