• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Be mindful of hotel star rating

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You cannot travel very far without encountering some type of ratings for hotels and inns. But, since many establishments use different sets of guidelines, it is a challenge to know exactly how to compare hotels.

The star-rating system was originally created in the USA by Mobil Travel Guides (often confused with AAA diamond ratings), which is a very subjective way of measuring hotel quality. To understand it best, just look at it in a very general way with these guidelines:

1 star: Very basic, no-frills accommodation

2 star: Modest, comfortable and affordable

3 star: Nice styling, extra amenities

4 star: Very nice lodging, many extras, very comfortable

5 star: A luxury hotel with everything

Besides the world’s tallest building, Burj Al Arab, the only 7-star hotel in the world today is in Dubai. Bet, it offers more luxury than paradise as few privileged guests say. It is simply exclusivity more than money can afford.

Also in many countries around the world, a 5-star hotel is a very luxurious hotel. Amenities could include room service, ballroom(s), pool, sauna, fitness centre, spa, valet service, concierge, tour desk, restaurants, bar, and lots more.

For Europe, quality varies from country-to-country. Ratings are usually provided by an agency of some sort, and often ignore any ambience or charm the hotel may have.

There is no way to rate a 5-star hotel in New York or San Francisco as being exactly equal to one in London or Paris. European standards are different, with prices generally higher in most, but not in all countries.

However, there are barley 5-star hotels in Nigeria due to lack of meaningful investment in the sector in the past years, poor standard, lack of maintenance culture, lack of skilled personnel, infrastructure issues, especially erratic power supply, security, among others.

Even with the opening of hotels every other day across the country, the 5-star rated hotels are still scarce, while those that claim 5-star are only looking for reasons to justify their high rates.

While the sector is said to be burgeoning, guests expect top brands such as Intercontinental, Starwood Group, Marriot, Hilton, among others to partner investors in projects that will truly usher in 5-stars hotels with more luxury rooms, skilled personnel and high-profile jobs in the Nigerian hospitality industry.

When in doubt of the rating, ask. Remember, it is your right to always ask to see the room first, and decide for yourself if it lives up to its star rating.

OBINNA EMELIKE