Hotels tend to be awarded official ratings but many people don’t realise that standards tend to vary considerably from one country to the next. That means that a 5-star hotel in Greece, for example, might not be to the same standards that you would expect of a similarly rated hotel in New York.
Ratings are usually awarded based on particular criteria. It might, for example, be impossible for a hotel to be awarded the top rating unless it has a swimming pool. But do such facilities mark the divide between good and bad hotels? What is it that makes a hotel good?
We may all have our own opinions on this but there are likely to be some aspects that many great hotels have in common.
As in many parts of life, first impressions can be massively important. When it comes to hotels, this means that we may place a fair amount of emphasis on the exterior of the hotel.
If you arrive to find that the premises look a bit run down and that the gardens have been poorly maintained then it’s unlikely to put you in the most positive frame of mind.
What about once you set foot inside? The reactions of the staff can tell you an enormous amount. If the receptionist is not as warm, friendly and as efficient as you would expect then this can have a real negative impact.
This is perhaps the core of what a good hotel is all about. Surely it’s the staff and the service levels that separate an average hotel from a good one.
We can often forgive a slight lack of facilities, as long as the staff are willing to do their most to help us to enjoy their stay.
The real problems occur, of course, when a hotel lacks basic facilities and friendly staff. That is truly a location to be avoided.