Twinkle Twinkle little star…
Have you ever arrived at your accommodation and been majorly disappointed? “But they said it is a “5 star” … I cannot believe we paid this much for this!”
For years, the star rating system has been the bane of every travel agent’s existence. After 34 years in the travel industry, I have learned that a star is never a star, even in Australia and New Zealand hotels.
So what is in a star you ask? Well, it really depends on what country you are in. As of right now, there is no standard international rating that is consistent for all accommodations across the world. It would be a lot easier if there was because then every country would be rated in the same way.
Each country has its own rating system and in some countries, it is not done by stars but a diamond rating. The majority of the time, a rating involves many things, not just how the room looks. What amenities does it have? Does it have 24-hour room service, a restaurant on-site, a safe in the room, parking? All of these things and more make up a star rating. Each country generally has its own administrative body that issues the ratings. Star ratings usually range from 1 to 5, with the higher number being the so-called better accommodation. Recently there have been a few hotels advertising that they are a 6 or 7 star, there is no actual rating for this level, so please do not be fooled.
Our standards in North America are very different from many other countries in the world. For example, a hotel in Fiji may advertise as a 5 star, but we in North America may only have given it a 3.5-star rating.
A rule of thumb that I apply is to always drop them down by a star. If the star reading says 5 stars, then think of it as probably a 4 star, this way when you arrive you will either be satisfied or very surprised.
When booking hotels in Australia and New Zealand, you can rest assured that the staff at GoWalkabout Travel or their support offices have probably stayed in or inspected the properties you will stay in. We will give you our opinion on the “real star ratings” of the property taking into consideration North American standards as well as your personal preference and experience.