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Spanish Hotel Star Ratings Explained

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Spanish Hotel Star Ratings Explained

Spanish Hotel Star Ratings Explained

Planning a trip to Spain? There’s plenty to see and do in this colourful country. But before you go, you may of course want to know what to expect from the standard of accommodation in Spain. Whether you want to discover buzzing cities or you are seeking rustic Spain up close and personal, there is an abundance of accommodation of numerous star ratings, available to suit all in this lively, yet delightfully laid-back country.

In Spain there is a regional compulsory hotel classification system. This means that each of the seventeen regions in Spain adopts its own standards for each hotel star classification, that is regulated by the government tourism authority. They are all of which classified with a five-star rating system and generally speaking, the criteria used are similar to those of the UK.

Here is a general guideline of what to commonly expect from each star rating grade in Spain. This guide should allow you to distinguish between the different levels of comfort, service and facilities that each accommodation generally offers, ensuring you select the right hotel for your holiday that ticks all the right boxes.

Hostals and Pensions
Hostals and pensions are amongst the least expensive accommodations that can be found in Spain that offer extremely economic friendly prices, that will not break the bank. With these types of accommodation you do get what you pay for, so do not expect too much other than clean accommodation. The best advice is too ask to see the room first, before deciding to stay or not.

Hostals and Pensions tend to be very basic with some en-suite shower rooms or shared facilities. Most pensions do not offer food but some may offer bar snacks or a small continental breakfast. Pensions are best suited to back packers who prefer experiencing native Spain or those who just need somewhere to sleep in between all night partying!

One Star Hotels

Hotel in General
Because pensions and hostals tend to cater for the holidaymakers who are on a budget, one star hotels in Spain are quite rare. Again this type of accommodation is essentially basic and are inexpensive, but can offer the Spanish charm that may otherwise be unknown in higher stared hotels. Unlike Hostals and pensions, hotels with a star rating have special requirements that they must abide to. Be sure to be aware that one star hotels offer limited fire safety standards and are not required to provide any special disabled facilities for their guests. If this is a special requirement for you, ensure you check this out with the hotel prior to booking.
The price per a night in a one star hotel in general can be anywhere between £20-40.
 
Service
The Reception in one star accommodations must be open for at least 12 hours a day. Staff are not required to speak English, therefore their level of understanding of the language may vary. Despite this, Spaniards are patient and are eager to help you to provide you with all the information you need to enjoy your stay. Communicating with simple English and a spot of sign language is all part of the fun whilst traveling overseas!

Gastronomy
In one star Spanish hotels anticipate for the dining facilities to be simple, Spanish meals with limited choice. It is common for this level of accommodation to sometimes only provide bed and breakfast. There will however be alternative food options located close by, where you should be able to find something that tickles your taste buds.

Leisure and Entertainment
It will be very unlikely that you will find any leisure and entertainment activities within the hotel premise in this star grade, such swimming pools or even a lounge. Alternatives will however be in close reach of the hotel, where you should be able to find an assortment of activities that appeal to you.

Room
One star establishments offer basic, small rooms mostly without balconies or sea views. It is common that you often have to share a bathroom with other guests staying in the hotel, usually one for every eight rooms or for every six guests. However, you may find the odd one star hotel that provides rooms with en-suite bathrooms. If this is a special requirement for you, be sure to arrange this with the hotel before booking. Expect the room amenities to be basic or non existent e.g. no air conditioning, no television etc. The rooms will however, be cleaned daily, with towels and bed linen changed approx. 1 -2 times a week.

Double room 12 m2 minimum, single room 7 m2 minimum, bathroom (bath or shower) 3,5 m2, central heating, lift.

Two Star Hotels

Hotel in General
In general, two star hotels offer basic, comfortable and acceptable accommodation, however they are unable to gain a 3 star status due to restraints within the building i.e. number of rooms. There is a large selection of two star hotels in Spain that are frequently located on the sea front, where you can enjoy astonishing views. Two star institutes are often better equipped than one star hotels, for example although they also have limited fire safety standards, they are required to provide fire escapes for all guests. Yet again, this status of hotels are not required to provide any special disabled facilities for its guests.
Two star double standard rooms will be slightly more pricey and could cost you between £20-50 per a night.

Service
Similar to one star hotels, the reception is obliged to be open for at least 12 hours a day and again offer a relatively straightforward range of services all of good quality.

Gastronomy
Restaurants found in two star hotels will be bigger than in one stars. These restaurants will have slightly more variety in terms of food choice, but again will usually deliver the food on a buffet basis. It is not essential for two star hotels to provide all three meals; breakfast,lunch and dinner therefore will vary from hotel to hotel. Alternative dining facilities will of course be located nearby, where you can easily find your own food options.
 
Leisure and Entertainment
Many two star institutes will usually provide some leisure and entertainment facilities, perhaps a small swimming pool. It is essential to bare in mind these amusements will be extremely basic and to be expected to venture out of the hotel to find better alternatives.
 
Room
Again two star establishments offer plain, simple, small rooms that mostly will come without balconies or sea views. However unlike one star hotels, two star establishments will more commonly have rooms available that have air conditioning, making your stay more comfortable. You will also find other extra amenities such as televisions, though these will only be available upon request as they will not exist in all rooms.

Rooms again are cleaned on a daily basis and towels and bed linen will be changed approximately 1-2 times a week.

Double room 14 m2 minimum, single room 7 m2 minimum, bathroom (bath or shower) 3,5 m2, telephone in room, central heating, lift, safety deposit box service[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvética, sans-serif].[/font]

Three Star Hotels

Hotel in General
Three star hotels will be larger in terms of size compared to two star hotels. Here you will find better fire escape standards than in two star hotels and better equipment such as hoses and extinguishers can be expected in three star accommodations. Again though, disabled facilities are not are requirement therefore may vary amongst hotels. You will however have access to the internet. Three star accommodations will be moderately priced and you can be expected to pay anything between £50-70 for a standard double room per a night.

Service
It is mandatory in three star hotels, for the reception to be open at least 14 hours a day. The reception must also be accessible by telephone 24 hours a day for all internal and external inquiries. You will find that reception staff will likely speak a few other languages amongst them unlike lower graded hotels, and will deliver a more formal style of service. All staff will respond well to your needs and requests.

Gastronomy
In general three star hotels will have a larger restaurant with a comprehensive choice of food. Three star establishments and above generally provide food to suit all international tastes, so there should be something that you would like to dig your teeth into. Normally the food will be served as a buffet style from breakfast through to dinner. There may be an alternative food and drink service i.e. a bar, however this will have limited choice.

Leisure and Entertainment
You can also expect the hotel to find better leisure and entertainment facilities then there will be in two star hotels including a games room, a pool, hotel gardens or sun terrace, kids club and a lounge. Many three star hotels do now also offer limited health, spa and gym facilities.

Room
Rooms will be slightly bigger than two star hotels and are large enough to accommodate twin beds, they will also be well appointed with a balcony or terrace (unless city centre based hotel). Rooms within a three star establishment will all be en-suite, all with full bathroom facilities.
Unlike lower graded hotels, in three star hotels you will start to find basic in room amenities including a telephone, air conditioning, a safe and a television. Most do not offer room service.
Rooms are cleaned on a daily basis, with the towels and bed linen changed approximately 3 times a week.

Double room 15 m2 minimum, single room 8 m2 minimum, bathroom (bath and shower) 4 m2 minimum, telephone in room, central heating, air conditioning of common zones, lift, bar, safety deposit box service.

Four Star Hotels

Hotel in General
Four star hotels are often larger in size than three star establishments and are formal hotels with well-designed ambient decor. Most four star hotels are now up to the EU fire safety standards, meaning they are fully equipped with all the appropriate fire safety features. Disabled facilities are more common in this graded star than lower grades, however they will not be found in all so it is important to check this out beforehand. Hotels in this star category generally provide the internet and WiFi access for all guest too.
For a typical double room in a four star establishment, you can usually pay around £60-100 per a night.

Service
Reception in four star hotels must be open for at least 18 hours a day and must be accessible by telephone 24 hours a day, for all internal and external inquiries. Reception staff must speak at least one foreign language in addition to their own native language, making communication a lot easier.

Four star hotels offer a high degree of personal service and frequently have a concierge service where staff are more than happy to assist you on various things like arranging spa services, recommending night life hot spots and main attractions etc. Four star hotels sometimes come with a car hire service enabling you to explore Spain and make your own adventures.

Gastronomy
Usually hotels of four star status have a larger restaurant than three star hotels. Food is usually served on a buffet basis for breakfast, lunch and dinner however ´la carte dining choice will likely be available in many hotel chains, meaning you can be spoiled for choice. Four star hotels in Spain will also offer a selection of bars within the premise of the hotel that will offer alternative food and beverage choices.

Leisure and Entertainment
You can expect four star hotels to have the same leisure and entertainment facilities as three star hotels but being slightly more advanced. Four star hotels tend to have a more sophisticated health, spa and fitness suites compared to three stars. Most four stars also have extras including both outdoor and indoor heated pools, sauna facilities, sports complexes (i.e. tennis courts), entertainment programmes (i.e.recreational team) conference rooms, and occasionally hotels may be kitted out with a golf course.
 
Room
Similar to three star hotels, rooms within a four star establishment are well appointed with a balcony or terrace (unless city centre based). Rooms are larger in size than three star hotels, again all with en-suite facilities. Here you can expect fairly modern and adequately equipped rooms. All rooms will typically provide you with air conditioning, room service, a safe, a telephone, large bathrooms, hairdryers, personal care products and luxury towels. Many rooms will also have a mini bar or fridge, but not all. Satellite Televisions are commonly available in the rooms, all with a good range of channels.
Rooms are cleaned on a daily basis and towels and bed linen are changed every other day.

Double room 16 m2 minimum, single room 9 m2 minimum, bathroom (bath and shower) 4,5 m2 minimum, telephone in room, central heating, air conditioning in room, lift, bar, safety deposit box in room.

Five Star Hotels

Hotel in General
Five star hotels in Spain will mostly be offered by international or national hotel chains who have a quality brand image. Five star hotels offer the highest luxury and each premises is often surround in beautiful landscaped gardens (unless city centre based). Five star hotels will of course be equipped with the latest fire equipment and will have excellent fire safety and evacuation procedures set in place. This grading must provide the minimum requirement of having specially adapted rooms for wheelchair users and will often provide extra facilities e.g. ramp ac[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvética, sans-serif]room.[/font]cess, disabled parking etc.
Again, similar to four star hotels you will have access to the internet and WiFi too.

Service
Again, reception in five star hotels must be open for 24 hours a day and must be reachable by telephone at all times for all internal and external inquiries. You will find that reception staff are usually multilingual all offering a high degree of personal service.

Five star hotels will of course have a concierge, however unlike four star this service is often available 24 hours a day. Concierge staff will happily assist and advice you on arranging various activities e.g. local attractions and top restaurants etc. Yet again five star hotels will likely have a car hire service enabling you to explore Spain on your own! You can also anticipate a 24 hour bell boy service to be present in most five star establishments in Spain that will be happy to escort you to your rooms and carry your luggage etc.

Gastronomy
On site dining facilities yet again are delivered in five star hotels including; breakfast, lunch and dinner, with all hotels taking a serious approach to cuisine and often have been acknowledged for their award winning food. Like all other star ratings all meals are often served on a buffet basis however ´la carte dining choice will likely be available in many hotel chains. The hotel will offer a selection of other onsite dining areas allowing you to have alternative food and beverages options i.e. pool bar etc.

Leisure and Entertainment
It will be difficult for you to get bored in five star hotels in Spain as there is no shortage of things for you to get up to! Five star hotels will of course provide you all with the same leisure and entertainment activities that are available in four star hotels, however there will likely be more of each facility e.g. multiple swimming pools and a better entertainment program.

Room
In five star accommodations you can expect luxury, spacious accommodations all with a balcony or terrace. Rooms will have an en-suite bathroom, that will typically be larger in size than four star bathrooms. Five star rooms will include all the trimming mentioned in four star hotel rooms but with extra facilities such as a 24 hour room services, a trouser press, fine quality furnishings, specially designed luxurious beds and bed linen.
There will be specially designed rooms adapted for disabled guests, again however these should be requested upon booking as these conveniences will not be available in all rooms.
Rooms are cleaned on a daily basis and towels and bed linen are also changed each day.
In a five star establishment it would be typical for standard double room, to pay anything from £100- 200 per a night.

Double room 17 m2 minimum, single room 10 m2 minimum, bathroom (bath and shower) 5 m2 minimum, telephone in room, central heating, air conditioning in room, lift, bar, safety deposit box in room.

Please Note: It is important to remember that these ratings and prices serve merely as a guideline and that expectations will differ depending on various factors i.e. different Spanish regions, different hotel chains etc.

 

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