What Makes a 5-Star Hotel


We’ve all heard about five star hotels, but what does it really mean for a hotel to have a ‘five star’ rating?

There is no international standard for ranking hotels, so hotel ratings differ from country to country, with some offering diamond ratings and others star ratings. There is however a general consensus that hotels at the top of the scale share some common characteristics, both in terms of the physical product and the service. Below is a review of some of the benefits that you can expect to experience when you pay high luxury-hotel rates for a stay at a five star hotel.


First and foremost, a 5-Star hotel has its own unmistakeable personality, and no matter the location, you immediately know upon arrival it is an integral part of the destination. Once inside, you will be impressed and pleased with the space and feel its personality in the vibe.  Decor, appointments and treatments will make perfect sense and never seem gimmicky or that management was trying to be ‘fancy’.

The Senses

A 5-Star hotel has to be more than good-looking. Everything you touch; the surface of the front desk, your room key, the door handle to your room…will be pristinely clean and feel cared for.  Dining room silver will have heft, china will feel balanced and delicate, and your cocktail glass will be the perfect vessel for your libation. Linens and terry will caress your skin, and bath amenities will entice you. Fixtures, controls and technology will operate with unmistakeable precision and purpose.

Quality of Service

Consistent, exceptional service is arguably the single, most important distinguishing factor between a five-star hotel and other hotels. Five-star hotels are characterized by staff who are trained to carefully anticipate your needs as a guest and deliver the highest levels of personalized service, at every interaction. Every member of staff is courteous, attentive, intuitive and are genuinely pleased to delight you with even the most mundane request. If it seems that staff can read your mind, it is because they are trained to do that.

Secondly, you will always feel that staff is readily available. Queues (if there are any) will be very brief, phones are answered immediately, and even at peak capacity, service will remain attentive.

Creating a team so motivated that they totally buy into the hotel’s ethos of consistent, exceptional service delivery is not an easy task, and this is why only few hotels achieve five-star status.

Personalization of Service

Right from the moment you arrive at a five-star hotel, you can expect to be greeted by name at the front desk, and this experience is likely to continue throughout your stay. This is because five-star hotels go to great lengths to offer a level of personalization not experienced at other hotels. As a guest at a five star hotel, your preferences are quickly noted, such as what time of day you like to have your room made up or what special requests you’ve made on previous visits. Don’t be surprised if on your next visit to a five-star hotel, staff not only remember when last you visited, but also what your dining preferences were.

This level of personalization and attention to detail is what gives guests a sense of being genuinely welcome and cared for, and another reason why five star hotels stand out from the crowd.

(Don’t love the paragraphs above….)

Personalized service at 5-Star Hotels is perhaps the key differentiating characteristic from other hotels. By carefully listening and observing, staff will get to know you quickly and will subtly and discreetly make you feel special; not just another guest. The maitre d’ will already know you are dining for a special occasion and start the meal with a special amouse bouche.  The pool attendant will appear with a cool towel and drink. Most importantly, these personalized touches will feel natural and pleasing, your personal space never infringed upon.

Rooms, Dining and Amenities

Five star hotels offer luxurious décor and carefully selected furnishings with high attention to detail. The guestrooms and suites are tastefully decorated with high quality furnishings and consistent design, ample space, large queen or king sized beds, premium bedding and luxurious bath products. Rooms should include complimentary breakfast, free high-speed internet, minibar, a room service menu that is the same as the restaurant menu and round-the-clock room service.  

Guests paying to stay at the highest quality hotels have the right to expect the finest dining experience, and that is exactly what they receive. Five-star hotels include an extensive breakfast buffet and an assortment of restaurants and dining options.

Guests can also expect free access a range of world-class recreational amenities including tennis courts, spa services, swimming pools and 24-hour fitness centers.


Five-star hotels do not just get it right, but do so every time. From the way guests are greeted to the way the dinner table is set, you can expect the same, excellent level of service delivery every time you visit. Service will not decay even slightly during peak periods or down times.

Many hotels offer luxurious rooms, fine dining, beautiful décor and world-class amenities, but what sets the five-star hotel apart from the rest is their ability to anticipate the needs of their guests, and the unwavering commitment of their staff and management to deliver personalized, exceptional service – every time.

© 2024 Coyle Hospitality Group. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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