What Do Hotel Star Ratings Mean?

Nov 27, 2023 | Tips & Resources

Have you ever wondered what those stars next to a hotel mean when you’re booking your stay? They’re actually part of a hotel rating system used to indicate the level of quality, service, and amenities that guests can expect at a hotel. The rating system varies by country, but in general, the more stars a hotel has, the more luxurious and upscale it is.

In many countries, including the United States, Canada, and much of Europe, hotels are rated on a five-star system. A one-star hotel is generally basic and no-frills, while a five-star hotel is the epitome of luxury and comfort.

The exact criteria for each star rating may differ by country or region, but some common factors that are taken into consideration include the quality of the hotel's rooms, the level of service provided by staff, the availability of amenities like restaurants, swimming pools and spas, and the overall atmosphere and design of the hotel.

Examples of hotels with one-star

Hotels with a one-star rating are typically budget accommodations with minimal amenities and services. These hotels/motels are best suited for the traveler needing a convenient location. Here are some examples of hotels with one star:

  1. Motel 6: This is a budget chain with locations throughout the United States and Canada. Rooms contain basic furnishings, with minimal amenities like free Wi-Fi and cable TV.
  2. Super 8: Another budget chain with locations throughout North America, Super 8 offers simple accommodations with free continental breakfast and Wi-Fi.
  3. Red Carpet Inn: This is a low-cost chain with locations in various states across the country. Rooms are furnished simply with free cable TV and Wi-Fi.
  4. Econo Lodge: Similar to Super 8, rooms are modest and include basic amenities like free Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast. Limited locations are available across the U.S.
  5. Knights Inn: Along with Econo Lodge and Super 8, there are locations throughout North America with simple room furnishings and free basic amenities like Wi-Fi and cable TV.

Examples of hotels with two-stars

Hotels with two stars remain in the budget-friendly category, but accommodations come with a few more amenities and services than one-star hotels. Let’s look at some examples of hotels with two stars:

  1. Comfort Inn: Available locations throughout North America. Amenities include a free continental breakfast, and access to an on-site fitness center and swimming pool.
  2. Motel 8: Motel room accommodations include microwaves and mini-fridges along with free Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast.
  3. Red Roof Inn: A budget chain, pet-friendly hotel. Enjoy free Wi-Fi and complimentary coffee in the lobby.
  4. La Quinta Inns & Suites: Similar to Comfort Inn, this budget chain offers slightly more upscale accommodations than some other two-star hotels, with more amenities such as a free continental breakfast, access to an on-site fitness center and swimming pool.

Examples of hotels with three-stars

Hotels with three stars are typically mid-range accommodations that offer a comfortable stay with additional amenities and services than one and two-star hotels, but are more affordable than luxury hotels. Examples of hotels with three stars include:

  1. Holiday Inn: A hotel chain with comfortable room furnishings, an on-site fitness center, swimming pool, and restaurant.
  2. Best Western: Above average room furnishings with free Wi-Fi, a free continental breakfast, and an on-site fitness center.
  3. Hampton Inn: With more upscale rooms than other two-star hotels, amenities include a full complimentary breakfast and on-site fitness center, swimming pool, and free tea and coffee in the lobby.
  4. Courtyard by Marriott: Modern and upscale room accommodations paired with an on-site restaurant, fitness center, and meeting rooms for guests. Also a great option to hold business conferences at.
  5. Ramada: A mid-scale hotel chain offering guests a free continental breakfast, Wi-Fi, and access to an on-site restaurant.

Examples of hotels with four-stars

Hotels with four stars are typically upscale accommodations with luxurious amenities and services. Rates will also typically be more expensive than three-star hotels. Check out some examples of hotels with four stars:

  1. Sheraton: Known for its tasteful and upscale hotel rooms, this chain’s amenities include an on-site restaurant, fitness center, and swimming pools.
  2. Renaissance: Offers luxurious room accommodations and amenities catering to the business traveler with meeting rooms, an on-site restaurant, fitness centers, and more.

Examples of hotels with five-stars

Hotels with five stars are typically the most luxurious and prestigious accommodations available. They offer the highest level of service, amenities, and facilities. Here are some examples of hotels with five stars, where the luxury and opulence are so grand that you might feel like royalty:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton: The name says it all. This luxury hotel chain offers elegant and upscale room accommodations with luxury bedding and furnishings. On-site amenities include one or more restaurants, spas, fitness centers, and swimming pools.
  2. Four Seasons: Expect to be pampered with this hotel chain’s personalized concierge services, a decadent room service menu, spas, on-site restaurants, fitness centers, swimming pools and more.

Star ratings can give you a general idea of what to expect from a hotel; however, they are not always a perfect indicator of quality or value. Different hotels may interpret the rating system differently, and the rating system itself may be subjective. It's always a good idea to read reviews from other guests to get a first-hand account of a hotel experience.

What the stars in the CLC directory represent

At CLC, we review guest feedback from the most popular online travel sites and combine the information into one rating that best represents the guest experience at each hotel. We use a 1-10 scale to reflect the most accurate view of the data we receive.

Did you know CLC Lodging offers access to the leading hotel and motel brands at deep discounts? With our online portal or CLC mobile app, you can easily find and book accommodations. Join now!

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