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This is the situation with multiple properties worldwide. For example, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, a 5-star property, is rated as 5-star by but 4.5-star by Expedia. There is no standard star rating system worldwide, often creating confusion among travelers while booking a property. Furthermore, star ratings are valuable in customers’ booking decisions; star ratings portray a better picture of the hotel facilities and price. There is another layer of confusion around star ratings. Often hotel star ratings are confused with guest ratings. A guest’s star rating is based on their stay experience, whereas hotel stars indicate the property’s facilities and amenities. In this blog, we decode everything about hotel star rating systems and how Vervotech can help you streamline star ratings on your platform.  

Table of Content  

  • Defining hotel star rating system  
  • Different authorities for star rating systems  
  • Hotel star rating challenges for OTAs  
  • Conclusion  

Defining hotel star rating system  


Hotel star rating system is a process of grading hotel properties or accommodations (on a scale of 1 to 5) to make it easier for travelers to book a property based on their tastes, preference, and budget. Ideally, hotels are rated based on   

  • Hotel service quality  
  • Hotel facilities  
  • Design and architecture  
  • Cleanliness  
  • Luxury amenities  

Apart from the mentioned factors, hotels are evaluated these days on factors such as sustainable practices.   

Diving into the history of the hotel star rating system, the idea was coined by Mobil, a renowned oil company in the U.S. The company’s employees traveled the country and rated hotels on a scale of 1 to 5. Mobil Travel Guide is now known as Forbes Travel Guide and is considered one of the popular authority guides for rating luxury hotels. Forbes Travel Guide annually awards its ratings based on paid, anonymous, and in-person inspections. In North America, another prominent rating system, American Automobile Association (AAA), classifies ratings into 1-5 diamonds.  

Different authorities for star rating systems  

Unfortunately, there is no global standard for the hotel rating system. Internationally, several countries have star rating systems controlled by their government. Some of the renowned authorities around the globe are:  

  1. HOTREC (Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe)  
  1. Star Ratings Australia  
  1. Salam Standard (for Muslim travelers)  
  1. Green Key International (for eco-friendly accommodations)  

How do hotels achieve star ratings?  

The process is straightforward. The hotel owners need to register and apply for star certification to the governing authorities, and upon visiting the property, an audit is performed by the authority. The governing organization inspects the hotel based on the hotel star rating checklist.   

Based on the hotel star rating checklist, the authority inspects and rates the hotel between 1 to 5-star. Most of the hotels are categorized upon their ratings:  

1-star rating: The minimal hotel  

2-star rating: Standard hotels  

3-star rating: Upscale hotels  

4-star rating: Superior hotels   

5- star rating: Luxurious hotels  

Interestingly, for properties that are 3-star and above, regular inspections are performed to check if the hotels are meeting the standards of the star rating systems.   

Hotel star rating systems challenges for OTAs  

As there isn’t any universal standard for star ratings, OTAs, tour operators, and metasearch engines often face credibility challenges with the star ratings listed on their platforms. When a hotel gets listed on these platforms, it can self-select its star rating. While many hotels select the star rating achieved by the authority, few hotels rate themselves more than the actual star rating, confusing the travel shoppers. That’s why OTAs and other travel platforms have added guest rating as another parameter to complement the star rating. Here, the travelers rate based on their stay experience.   

But this is an indefinite parameter for online platforms. That’s why we suggest opting for hotel content curation automation software which can provide you with accurate hotel star ratings. Vervotech Curated Content is an AI-powered tool that curates hotel content from multiple suppliers and delivers standardized hotel content. This enables OTAs to display accurate data on their website. We curate more than 40 attributes for our clients, such as hotel name, address, geocodes, room images, star ratings, and more.   

Below is an example of The Wallace, a 3-star property in New York, US. For this property, we assessed the supplier’s data with hotel star ratings and then ran our machine-learning models to determine the best average star rating. A comparative study with supplier data follows this.   

Image: Vervotech client portal 

How else do we validate our rating systems? We have integration with third-party services and social platforms to leverage their data for final verification. Also, we have a robust manual content analyst team that curates the hotel data, performs intensive research, and assigns accurate hotel ratings for the respective hotel.  


We are in an era where hotel reviews and ratings matter a lot to customers. Hotel star ratings give an insight into the hotel property facilities and can impact customers’ booking decisions. Make sure your platform showcases accurate ratings that enable your users to choose a property easily for their holiday trip. Partner with Vervotech today to understand how we can help you display accurate hotel ratings.

About Vervotech:

Vervotech is a leading Hotel Mapping and Room Mapping API that leverages the power of AI and ML to quickly and accurately identify each property listing through the verification of multiple parameters. With one of the industry’s best coverage of 98% and an accuracy of 99.999%, Vervotech is quickly becoming the mapping software of choice for all leading global companies operating in the travel and hospitality industry. To learn more about Vervotech and the ways it can enhance your business in the long run contact us:


Disclaimer: The author is solely responsible for the content and Vervotech does not exert any control or influence over the author's opinions or statements.

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