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UK Tourism Accommdodation Ratings

SERVICED ACCOMMODATION - Hotels, Guest Houses, B&B's

The system of star ratings for serviced accommodation can be confusing because there are actually TWO distinct rating systems. Hotels can be classified as 1 to 5 star Hotels but Guest Houses and B&B's are usually rated as 1 to 5 star Guest Accommodation.

Things are not always straight-forward, though, as this example shows. You may think from its name that The Riverside Hotel is a hotel and that its 4-star rating therefore means it is a 4-star Hotel. Many hotels have found it uneconomic to cater for evening meals where many guests choose to eat out and not use the hotel's own dining facilities. This means that the establishment is no longer strictly classified as a hotel as availability of dinner is a requirement (except in city centres) but rather offers Guest Accommodation.

Many such properties are being required to change their names; names which they may have had for decades and such a change could lead to loss of business. Unsurprisingly, many proprietors are reluctant to take this option and opt out of official grading schemes, choosing self-assessment instead. Others choose self-assessment because official assessment is becoming too expensive.

To be classified as a Hotel, an establishment must have a minimum of 6 bedrooms, be licensed and normally offer dinner. Also all bedrooms must be en-suite or have a private bathroom. It is therefore important to check which classification system has been used to assess the property. A five star guest house will not have the same facilities as a five star hotel!

We try to make this plain but rely on the establishments to provide the information. If the stars are followed by a G then the class is Guest Accommodation.

5 Star Hotel Northern Ireland Rating 5 Star HOTEL (assessed by Northern Ireland Tourist Board)
4 Star Hotel Visit Wales Rating 4 Star HOTEL (assessed by Visit Wales)
3 Star Hotel Visit Scotland Rating 3 Star HOTEL (assessed by Visit Scotland)
2 Star Hotel Visit Wales Rating 2 Star HOTEL (assessed by Visit England)
5 Star Guest Accommodation AA Rating 5 Star GUEST ACCOMMODATION (assessed by Automobile Association)
4 Star Self Assessed Guest Accommodation Rating 4 Star GUEST ACCOMMODATION (self-assessed by the establishment)
3 Star Guest Accommodation Visit Scotland Rating 3 Star GUEST ACCOMMODATION (assessed by Visit Scotland)
2 Star Guest Accommodation Visit Northern Ireland Rating 2 Star GUEST ACCOMMODATION (assessed by Northern Ireland Tourist Board)