Luxury accommodation – UK rating guide

When looking for luxury accommodation within the UK, whether that be travelling from abroad or for a relaxing staycation you want to know that you will receive the value that you are paying for. But how can you make sure the accommodation you’re choosing is really as good as the website is saying?

The AA introduced an easy to follow star rating system to classify accomodation in 1912 and these systems are now in use throughout the British Isles. The AA have a range of quality standards for a number of types of accommodation including hotels, self catered accommodation and serviced accommodation.

Star ratings

The AA has a scale from 1 to 5 stars which indicates the standard of quality for each accommodation. For hotels, the basic star rating guide can be shown to reflect:

  • 1 Star

The service provided by staff is courteous and competent yet informal, whilst all bedrooms have an ensuite or other private facilities. There is a designated dining area where breakfast and dinner is served most days. 

  • 2 Stars

The level of service provided by staff is more formal and the dedicated area for eating resembles a dining room or restaurant.

  • 3 Stars

The service provided is professional with smartly presented staff. The dining facilities are equipped to cater for not only residents but also non residents.

  • 4 Stars

Hotel staff are smartly dressed in uniform and respond efficiently to guest needs and requests. The restaurant is open to non hotel guests and lunch is available in a designated area.

  • 5 Stars

In order to receive the highest rating, the hotel must be considered a luxury accommodation. There must be a range of extra facilities available to the guests. The service provided by the professional staff must include multilingual capabilities and greetings at the entrance. The onsite restaurant must have a very high quality menu and wine list.

For a more in-depth analysis of the star rating download the AA’s comprehensive guide available on their website.

Other awards and classifications

AA Merit Score

Alongside the AA star rating, each hotel will receive an AA Merit Score reflected as a percentage. This indicates the quality of each hotel within the star rating it has received so that individuals can easily compare two hotels with the same star rating.

Red Star Award: AA Inspectors’ Choice in Britain & Ireland

For exceptional hotels that reflect real luxury accommodation, AA’s Red Star Award can be awarded to any hotel regardless of size or operation. This award recognises the hotel as one of the best within the British Isles, providing the highest levels of quality and service.

Breakfast & Dinner awards

For those establishments that provide an excellent selection and quality of breakfast and dinner service an eggcup or pie symbol will be displayed along with their star rating if applicable. These indicate a delicious offering of food with a focus on freshly prepared local ingredients.

Throughout the UK there is a wide range of accommodation advertised as ‘luxury’, in order to make sure that the establishment is providing the promoted levels of quality and service it is a good idea to undertake research to identify if there is an AA star rating.

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