Hotel, guest accommodation and self catering standard star ratings

National Quality Standards Establishments that offer accommodation in the UK are assessed to a set of common quality standards. These standards are agreed by the UK tourist authorities VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Visit Walesand The AA. Accommodation is assessed under 3 broad categories:
  • Hotel
  • Guest Accommodation
  • Self Catering
The 'self-assessed' star ratings on are displayed for the benefit of the online guest to indicate the quality and services provided at properties that have not been assessed by one of the above tourist authorities. Star ratings, from one to five, show the standard of quality for hotels, guest accommodation and self catering. The following brief summary gives the main standards within their ratings.

Star RatingHotelGuest AccommodationSelf Catering
Courteous staff provide an informal yet competent service. All rooms are ensuite or have private facilities, and a designated eating area serves breakfast daily and dinner most evenings.Minimum quality requirements for cleanliness, maintenance, hospitality, facilities and services. A cooked or substantial continental breakfast is served in a dining room or eating area, or bedroom only.Minimum quality requirements for cleanliness, maintenance, fixtures, fittings, and furnishings. Items provided are adequate and functional, all in working order, and are fit for the purpose intended.
A restaurant or dining room serves breakfast daily and dinner most evenings.Courteous service, well-maintained beds, and breakfast prepared with a good level of care.A good standard of quality overall is required, with improved coordination and use of space, and a wider range of items provided.
Staff are smartly and professionally presented. The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents.Friendly welcome, and good-quality, well-presented beds and furniture. A choice of good-quality, freshly cooked food is available at breakfast.Detailed evidence of care and external maintenance. A good provision of local information and additional recreational items; well-finished fittings and décor and a kitchen well-stocked with cookware, crockery, cutlery and utensils.
Professional, uniformed staff respond to your needs or requests, and there usually are well-appointed public areas. The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents, and lunch is available in a designated eating area.Attentive, more personalised service. At least half of the bedrooms are en suite or have private bathrooms. Very good beds and high quality furniture. Breakfast offers a greater choice, and fresh ingredients are cooked and presented with a high level of care.Very good to excellent standards throughout, with high quality coordinated furniture, fixtures and fittings. Ample space with well-planned layout of furniture; high quality and very good range of kitchen equipment.
Luxurious accommodation and public areas, with a range of extra facilities and a multilingual service available. Guests are greeted at the hotel entrance. High quality menu and wine list.Awareness of each guest's needs with nothing being too much trouble. All bedrooms are en suite or have a private bathroom. Excellent quality beds and furnishings. Breakfast includes specials/home-made items, high quality ingredients, and fresh local produce.Exceptional and outstanding levels of comfort throughout, with an excellent range of items. High quality furniture with striking interior design; an excellent range of kitchen appliances, cookware, crockery, cutlery and utensils, all in pristine condition.

Hotel Categories (AA)

HotelA formal accommodation offering full hotel services.
County House HotelA hotel with ample grounds or gardens set in a rural or semi-rural situation with an emphasis on peace and quiet.
Small HotelSmaller hotels with a maximum of 20 bedrooms. They will be personally run by the proprietor and are likely to have limited function basis.
Town House HotelA high quality property of individual and distinctive style with a maximum of 50 rooms, set in a town or city centre. High staff-to-guest ratio. Public areas may be limited. Possibly no dinner served, but room service available instead.
Metro HotelA town or city hotel providing full hotel services with the exception of dinner. Within easy walking distance of a range of places to eat.

Guest Accommodation Categories (AA)

B&BAccommodation provided in a private house by the owner for up to six paying guests.
Guest HouseAccommodation for more than six paying guests, with the owner and staff providing more services, eg dinner.
FarmhouseB&B or Guest House accommodation provided on a working farm or smallholding.
InnAccommodation provided in a fully-licensed establishment. The bar will be open to non-residents and provide food in the evenings.
Restaurant With RoomsDestination restaurant offering overnight accommodation with the restaurant being the main business and open to non-residents. The restaurant should offer a high standard of food and restaurant service at least five nights a week. A liquor licence and a maximum of 12 bedrooms are necessary.
Guest AccommodationAny establishment that meets the minimum entry requirements is eligible for this general category.

Self Catering Categories (AA)

Self CateringSelf catering accommodation is the provision of living accommodation for fixed term rental for holiday and business purposes. The normal letting term is one week; however shorter and longer periods may be arranged.
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