Many guests expect a certain standard on vacation - but there is no internationally uniform, mandatory classification for hotels. In order to nevertheless be able to offer guests an overview of the services they can expect, hotel associations from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary have founded the Hotelstars Union. The patron is HOTREC - Hospitality Europe.
However, the classification does not only serve the clarity and comparability for the guest: The hotel operators also benefit from the star categories, because due to the reliable standards they get a competitive advantage over the competition.
Classification is voluntary, so each hotel operator can decide for himself whether he wants to be rated. In addition, the rating criteria are known, so that each hotel knows in advance which category is suitable for the hotel. Those who no longer wish to participate in the star classification can leave at any time.
All lodging establishments that can be clearly classified as a hotel can be classified. For hotels that significantly exceed the required number of points for a star category, but cannot be classified higher due to a lack of minimum requirements for the next category, the addition "Superior" is awarded. Hotels Garni can also participate: Here, lower overall scores must be achieved, as the minimum criteria of restaurant and food service are omitted. For one star hotels Garni must reach at least 70 points, for two stars 150 points are needed. Three stars are awarded from a minimum score of 240, and 380 points must be achieved for four stars. Five stars are not awarded for hotels garni.
In Germany, classification is carried out by companies commissioned by DEHOGA for this purpose. Often this is also done in cooperation with the relevant Chamber of Industry and Commerce or local tourism associations.
The hotel operator must fill out a survey form, which is then checked and electronically evaluated. Depending on the total number of points achieved, the establishment is then classified in one of the five star categories. The classification must be repeated every three years. In order to be able to market the classification, the hotel operator receives a certificate and a sign that can be displayed in the entrance area. To ensure that the classification is actually awarded legitimately, all hotels are checked again. The inspections are carried out by representatives of the tourism associations as well as the hospitality industry. This ensures that the classification is neutral.
There are minimum criteria that the German Hotel Classification has set for each star category. The more stars awarded, the more requirements there are. The following areas are evaluated:
Minimum score: 95; for Superior 180 points
Minimum points: 180, for Superior 270 points
Minimum score: 270, for Superior 410 points
Minimum score: 410, for Superior 610 points
minimum score: 610, for Superior 710 points