Accommodation Ratings - UK
In the UK, the rating system takes into account cleanliness, service, comfort and facilities, hoping to provide a well rounded view of what a good hotel should aspire to.
Until recently, the accommodation ratings provided by the English Tourist Board were not fully congruent with those prescribed by the AA and RAC. Now, the English Tourism Council together with the AA ad RAC have created a single, coherent rating system that applies to hotels, guesthouses, and caravan or camping sites across England.
Serviced tourist accommodation undergoes annual checks by independent, trained assessors to an attempt to provide you with an accurate picture of what to expect, and also shows what the accommodation owners themselves should strive for.
English Tourist Board
The old English Tourist Board classifications as applied to serviced accommodation mean that establishments were rated on the d�cor, fittings and furnishings as well as standard of hospitality.
Approved - acceptable standard of quality
Commended - good overall standard of quality
Highly Commended - very good overall standard of quality
Deluxe - excellent overall standard of quality
The Crown system rated from 1-5 also gave an indication on the range of services and facilities available; 5 Crowns being the highest standard.
The classifications as applied to self-catering accommodation rate the quality of the furnishings and equipment available, with the same approval standards as above. To rate the facilities however, the system ranges from 1 Key for acceptable, to 5 keys for excellent.
Hotel (Stars) - English hotels are rated by stars from 1-5.
1 Star - High standard of cleanliness and the accommodation is practical in function. Facilities and services are limited, though staff are friendly and helpful. The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner for you and your guests with alcohol served in a bar/lounge area. 3/4 of the bedrooms have en-suite or private facilities.
2 Star - In addition to the 1 Star facilities, the rooms will be more comfortable and are all en-suite or private. They will have colour TV and are generally better equipped with a lift often available. The services include food and drink with a personal touch.
3 Star - In addition to the 1 and 2 Star facilities, there is a higher standard of services and facilities often accompanied by more bedrooms and public spaces. For this reason, the buildings are often larger. The service is often more formal, with a duty receptionist and responsive staff. A laundry service is available, as well a room service with continental breakfast. The bar/lounge area serves a range of drinks, lunches and snacks.
4 Star - As well as the above requirements, a 4 Star hotel provides far more in terms of quality and provisions. All the bedrooms contain an en-suite bathroom with bath and fitted showerhead. Staff are highly responsive to your requests and needs, with room services available for all foods and drinks 24 hours. The hotel itself is spacious with generous public areas, quality food and drinks made a major part of the hotel.
5 Star - Combining the elements available in the previous ratings, a 5 Star is a luxury building offering top quality facilities, accommodation, services and dining in its expanse. It will be distinctive in appearance and have added facilities. Staff offer the utmost in attention and professional service. The hotel ambience and comfort will set international standards.
Red Star - Awarded by the AA. Red Star hotels are in the top 200 in the country.
Guest Accommodation (Diamonds) - Guest accommodation receives diamond ratings from 1-5, and covers accommodation such as guesthouses, B&Bs, and farmhouses.
1 Diamond - The accommodation is practical and clean with acceptable levels of comfort. It provides a full cooked or continental breakfast at least, and any other meals are freshly cooked. The heating and water is available at usual times without a charge, and you are provided with a comfortable bed, clean towels, linen, and soap. The quality and service are generally acceptable.
2 Diamond - As well as 1 Diamond specifications, it is generally sound it in its provision of services and facilities.
3 Diamond - Alongside the previous attributes, this guest accommodation is good overall. It is comfortable and well kept with functional d�cor. The breakfast menu offers a variety of choice, and other meals are made fresh from quality ingredients. Customer care and comfort is good.
4 Diamond - In addition to the above, the overarching quality is very good with very good attention shown to your needs.
5 Diamond - Including the aforementioned characteristics, 5 Diamond offers excellent comfort and space with some luxury. The furniture and design are all excellent, and the breakfast has a wide variety of fresh foods. Other meals are made with fresh, local ingredients. The customer care is excellent.
Red Diamond - Awarded by the AA to the top 10% of guest accommodations.
Self-Catering (Stars) - Like hotels, self-catering accommodation is rated 1-5 stars.
1 Star - Acceptable quality in furniture and fittings.
2 Star - Including the above, the units are self-contained, and have 2 bathrooms if there are over 8 guests. The general quality is good.
3 Star - Generally good to very good. Well maintained and decorated with good furniture and fittings. There is ample space, and double beds can be accessed from both sides. A microwave is available.
4 Star - Excellent quality overall. Excellent facilities available with attention to detail. There will be at least access to a washing machine and drier or a 24 hour laundry service.
5 Star - The overall quality is exceptional with excellent management. The decor, furniture and fittings are high quality, with exceptional detail and presentation.
Camping & Caravanning - Are given a rating of from 1-5 Stars - the more Stars, the higher the quality and the greater the range of facilities and level of services provided.
The English Tourism Council award Gold and Silver Awards are given to establishments which go beyond the achievements of their rating, also achieving top quality in important areas desired by guests.
The RAC Sparkling Diamond award recognises especially high standards in cleanliness.
Scotland and Wales Tourist Board
Scotland and Wales are award stars instead of the previous English Crowns on a similar basis as above. They also divide the accommodation into separate categories which are then rated between 1-5 Stars.
Bed & Breakfast - Usually in a private house and for no more than 6 guests.
Guesthouse - At least 4 bedrooms, some of which are en-suite.
Hotel - At least 6 bedrooms, with half or more en-suite. Serve alcohol, dinner, and breakfast.
Self Catering - Rented by the week. Has cooking and other facilities to cater for yourself.
Inns - B&B accommodation in an inn or pub. Lunch and evening meals available.
Restaurants With Rooms - Are primarily a restaurant but also offer accommodation.
Campus Accommodation - Student accommodation let to other people when the students are away.
London wins 2012 Olympic Bid!
The host city for the Games of the XXX Olympiad will be the city of London. Following four rounds of voting by members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today, at the 117th IOC Session, in Singapore, London eventually triumphed by taking 54 votes from a possible 104. This gave London the majority that it needed to be elected as the host city for the 2012 Games. London had to overcome stiff competition, however, in the form of Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid in its bid to get the Games.