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Rating systems

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Rating systems

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    This article is a travel topic

There is a virtual jungle of rating systems in the world and it is impossible or difficult as a wikitraveller to know what you get for your money. For example, the status of the rating organization may be unclear, the ratings vague or non-descriptive, etc.


South Africa

Establishments in South Africa may choose to have themselves graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa on a 5 star basis. Many establishments make use of this service and you will see the star grading displayed on most advertising material.

  • 1 star - Clean, comfortable and functional.
  • 2 star - Good: Quality furnishings, service and guest care.
  • 3 star - Very good: Better furnishings, service and guest care.
  • 4 star - Superior: Excellent comfort and very high standard furnishings, service and guest care.
  • 5 star - Exceptional: Top of the line quality and luxurious accommodation to math the best international standards. Flawless service and guest care.


United Kingdom

The three biggest organizations for rating are VisitBritain, Automobile Association (AA) and Royal Automobile Club (RAC). They cooperate when it comes to rating which makes it easier for the wikitraveller.


One star

Practical and acceptable accommodation. A limited range of services and facilities. High standard of cleanliness. 75 % of all bedrooms have their bathrooms and toilets en-suite or private. The staff is friendly and helpful and help you with what you might need for your stay. Breakfast restaurant open to you and your guests. Alcohol may be served in a separate bar or lounge but the selection is limited.

Two stars

A two star hotel offers a personal service and extra facilities. The bedrooms are generally more comfortable with colour television and en-suite bathrooms. The hotel has a restaurant open for breakfast seven days a week and for dinner at least five days a week. The food is of a slightly higher standard.

Three stars

The three star hotel offers very good accommodation with spacious public areas. The bedrooms are comfortable and offer a higher range of facilities and services. The hotel is more formal with a reception. Light lunch, snacks and a wide selection of drinks are served in a high-quality bar or lounge. The hotel offers room service (continental breakfast only). There is also a laundry service.

Four stars

Excellent comfort and quality accommodation. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, an overhead shower and WC. The public areas are very spacious and the establishment has a strong focus on food and drink. The staff is experienced and the service is very good. The room service servers all meals 24/7, including drinks and snacks.

Five stars

Luxury accommodation, spacious and exceptional quality. The facilities and services are extensive and the cuisine is of the highest international quality. The staff is highly professional and attentive. The comfort is superb and the hotel has a sophisticated atmosphere.

Guest accommodation

The diamond symbol is used by the RAC.

One diamond

An acceptable overall level of quality. As minimum, a cooked or continental breakfast is offered. If other meals are on offer, they will be freshly prepared.

Two diamonds

The level of overall quality and comfort is higher and the establishment has a higher emphasis om guest care.

Three diamonds

The overall quality is very good. The bedrooms are comfortable and well maintained. There is a good choice of quality items for breakfast, all-round comfort and guest care.

Four diamonds

The overall quality is excellent, which also shows when it comes to customer care and attention to detail.

Five diamonds

The overall level of quality is truly exceptional, for example high-quality interior design and furniture. The customer care meets your every need.


One star

The overall level of quality is acceptable. There is an adequate provision of your needs regarding furniture, furnishings and fittings.

Two stars

All units are self-contained and the quality level is good.

Three stars

The standard of maintenance and decoration is very good, and so is the overall level of quality. There is ample space and quality furniture. All beds are double with access from both sides. Microwave oven.

Four stars

The level of quality is excellent, and there is no access to washing machine and a dryer, the establishment provides a 24/7 laundry service.

Five stars

The overall level of quality is exceptional and so is the interior, fittings and fixtures, often with a personal touch. The management is highly efficient and customer care is paramount. There is an excellent range of accessories.

Restaurant with rooms

This category includes restaurants, bistros and brasseries. Establishments included will:

  • most often have no more than 12 bedrooms. The establishment is clean and well maintained and reflects the standard of a two star hotel (see above).
  • have a restaurant which is a local or national destination for eating out, and which is the principal focus for the establishment. The restaurant is available for non residents for main meals an all days open.
  • put their emphasis on food quality rather than a wide menu. The food is prepared with high skill and a significant use of fresh local and seasonal produce.

Branded hotels

Many well known hotel companies have their own consistent style of service and quality to such an extent that the chain name is a guarantee for high quality.

VisitBritain Silver & Gold Award

The VisitBritain Silver & Gold Awards are awarded to establishments with the highest levels of quality within their rating. The overall rating is based on a combination of the range of facilities, the level of the offered services and the general quality, the gold and silver awards focuses solely on the quality aspect.