Understanding Luxury Hotel Ratings & Amenities

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Are all luxury hotel rating systems the same?

Understanding Luxury Hotel Ratings & Amenities

Leisure and business travelers spend a significant amount of their days and nights in a hotel room or suite. It is important to know that the level of service promised will be the level you get. It is also important to trust that every amenity you require will be delivered as promised. There are benchmarks of service for 5 star hotels and resorts of every size and travel style.

Always check photographs of rooms, suites and public areas of the hotel. Look for a list of in-room luxury amenities like: fresh flowers, fruit baskets, plush bedding with high-count linens, high-definition television, wireless Internet, marble baths with whirlpool tubs and upscale toiletries. Anything not included on the hotel's amenities list is probably not there. If personal services are important, is there a concierge? If a spa, swimming pool or spectacular view is a priority, look for these amenities to avoid disappointment.

It also helps to understand hotel ratings. Virtually all hotels provide a hotel rating system to encourage travelers to stay at their property. Many of these “self” ratings are slanted toward marketing and are biased. Hotels in Europe are usually rated by the government and classifications for ratings vary widely from country to country. A 5 star hotel in one country may be a 4 star hotel in another country. Use these resources to find 5 star hotels and resorts recommended by travel professionals and savvy luxury travelers:

  • American Automobile Association (AAA) visits over 50,000 hotels and resorts annually and assigns Diamond ratings. Five-diamonds represent world-class properties exhibiting an exceptionally striking, luxurious facilities, many extra amenities and guest services executed in a flawless manner.
  • Leading Hotels of the World personally inspects worldwide hotels applying for membership to their prestigious organization. Over 1,500 items are anonymously checked before accepting a hotel to the LHW membership collection.
  • Condé Nast Annual Gold List Awards and Annual Reader's Choice Awards feature top luxury hotels and resorts around the world chosen by savvy travelers and professional reviewers.
  • Travel & Leisure World's Best Awards reviews top hotels by country, hotels under $250 and top small hotels.


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