Star (classification)

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For other uses of the word star see star (disambiguation).
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The 4-star Manor House Hotel at Castle Combe, Wiltshire, England. Built in the fourteenth century, the hotel has 48 rooms and 365 acres (1.5 km²) of gardens.

A star is a symbol used for classification purposes. In particular, a set of one to five stars is employed to categorize hotels. Although there have been numerous attempts at unifying the classification scheme so that it becomes an internationally recognized and reliable standard, huge differences exist as far as the quality of the accommodation and the food within one category of hotel is concerned, sometimes even in the same country. However, certain standards have become common knowledge and have accordingly entered everyday language, for instance five star hotel (which is always associated with luxury and high prices).

Roughly, the five categories are divided up as follows:

  • * (one star) -- low budget hotel
  • ** (two stars) -- budget hotel
  • *** (three stars) -- middle class hotel
  • **** (four stars) -- first class hotel
  • ***** (five stars) -- luxury hotel

The American Automobile Association and their affiliated bodies use diamonds instead of stars to express hotel and restaurant ratings levels, in much the same way.

Traditional systems tend to rest heavily on the facilities provided, which is often disadvantageous to smaller hotels whose quality of accommodation could fall into one class, but the lack of an item (even where unnecessary) such as an elevator, would prevent it from reaching a higher categorization.

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