Accreditation/Standards/Ratings of hotels explained
by Tracey Christensen
Choosing the right hotel can be time-consuming, especially with such a huge range of choices and options available. Business travellers have different expectations and requirements than families on holiday. To assist with making the right choice, AAA Tourism Australia provides a guide to hotel accreditation and ratings throughout Australia.
The Star Rating System
AAA Tourism Australia is owned and governed by Australia's seven state auto clubs. The Australian Star Rating Scheme is internationally recognised and is regularly reviewed to ensure it keeps in line with world standards. Knowing how this system works can take the guesswork out of booking your accommodation. The Star Rating Scheme covers all categories of accommodation in Australia, from backpacker lodgings to hotels. Hotels offer a range of occupancy rooms, often in a multi storey layout, and can range from contemporary establishments with restaurants, bars, valet parking and a range of services to Australian pub style accommodation. They are normally licensed and serve alcohol as part of their service. To receive a star rating, a hotel must meet all the requirements of that star rating level as well as meeting all requirements of lower levels. Many hotels exceed these basic levels and offer extra services such as cable TV, balconies, business services or meeting rooms.
Properties are regularly assessed by highly trained professionals based on three major categories - Facilities and Services, Cleanliness, and Quality and Condition. The assessment encompasses over 300 standards. The processes involved ensure that the star rating scheme is accurate, consistent and without bias. The ratings are defined as follows:
Five Star Rating
- The Five Star Rating is the benchmark in Australian accommodation.
- A Five Star hotel will be characterised by luxury appointments and exceptional facilities and levels of service.
- A Five Star hotel will have 24 hour room service, valet parking, porterage and secretarial services.
Four Star Rating
- With a Four Star Rating you can expect well-appointed accommodation with stylish decor and a high level of facilities and services.
- A Four Star hotel will have rooms with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, and 16 hour room service and housekeeping.
Three Star Rating
- A Three Star Rated hotel will have well-appointed and comfortable accommodation with a good range of facilities.
- Decor in Three Star hotels may be dated but still in good condition and well maintained. The hotel may offer some business facilities.
Two Star Rating
- A Two Star Rating indicates clean, basic accommodation with reasonably well maintained facilities. All hotel rooms will generally have an en-suite bathroom.
One Star Rating
- Hotels with a One Star Rating will offer simple, clean, no-frills style accommodation with limited facilities and often shared bathrooms.
A Half Star
- A half star may be awarded to a hotel in any rating for offering a superior range of facilities.
Eco Friendly Star
Hotels may also receive an Eco Friendly Star Accreditation. The Eco Friendly Star Logo is awarded to hotels endeavouring to reduce their impact on the environment. This accreditation is based on energy efficiency, waste minimisation and management, water minimisation and guest education. The eco-friendly star rating was developed by AAA Tourism in conjunction with Earthcheck - the world's leading environmental management and certification program for the tourism industry.
By providing a centrally managed, internationally recognised accreditation scheme, AAA Tourism allows travellers to compare 'apples with apples' and make informed decisions when booking a hotel. Although star ratings and accreditations are a huge help when choosing accommodation, for a more complete list of services and facilities offered, contact the hotel direct.