Current International Covid-19 Travel Requirements Here
By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director

Hotel star ratings are different in Europe than they are in the U.S. They can also be different from country to country within Europe. There are 17 member countries that are part of HotelStars Union, and are rated using one standardized classification. (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.) However, popular destinations such as England, France, Spain and Italy are not members.

In the United Kingdom alone, four different hotel rating boards are responsible for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. They attempt to use similar criteria across borders, but there's no mandate to do so. And among regions within Spain, for example, each locality determines its own criteria.

And, every hotel can be judged differently, depending on its location. Room size, for example, is an important measurement in Spain but receives less emphasis by French standards. Sometimes, lobby lighting is considered important, or maybe in-room bath amenities are essential, or perhaps smartly uniformed porters are deemed crucial. And in France, places with fewer than seven rooms are excluded from national star ratings, even if the hotel happens to be a stately chateau.

With all this inconsistency, people should view hotel stars in Europe as a general guide rather than a promise or a guarantee. Reviews from fellow travelers might just be a better indication of the quality and hospitality offered by a particular hotel.

Having said that, here are some very general guidelines regarding what to expect per star-level in Europe:

One Star: Probably offers small rooms with simple furnishings. Might have a fan and a sink. The rooms probably don’t have air conditioning or TV or an elevator, and might not have private bath. The reception could be closed during certain hours.

Two Star: Rooms probably have a TV, possibly with cable, and might have private baths. Rooms may have air conditioning or at least a fan. The hotel could have an elevator and might offer Wi-Fi or some sort of Internet access. Reception will probably be open 24-hours.

Three Star: Rooms will almost certainly have cable TV, a safe, iron, air conditioning and private bath with hair dryer. The hotel will probably have an elevator, probably Wi-Fi, and almost certainly 24-hour reception.

Four Star: All of the above, and usually some extras. These may include room service, an office center, meeting rooms, pool, fitness room, laundry service, restaurant and concierge services. But keep in mind, you’ll be paying for every perk.

Wing of plane in the clouds as seen from passenger inside airplane cabin

Travel Woes: When My ID Went MIA

I was on my way to the airport when, to my dismay, I realized my license was no longer in my wallet.

Read More
Person wearing backpack facing moving subway train

Retreat Anywhere: A “Build-Your-Own” City Retreat in NYC

Indulge in a weekend of health and wellness in the Big Apple.

Read More

Look Forward to Your Layover: JFK

Spark joy and boost wellness during long layovers with a visit to a Treat Wellness Center.

Read More
Interior of an airplane cabin

Airlines’ 24-Hour Rule

The little-known airline rule that could earn you a refund.

Read More

Camp’d Out at Joshua Tree

Roughing it is definitely not part of the equation on this glammy glamping vacation.

Read More
Open-air hut on a tropical beach

Getting Meds When Traveling Abroad

When you’re traveling, even buying shampoo can be challenging on occasion. So attempting to fill a prescription on foreign soil can be daunting.

Read More
Blue and red berries on the vine.

Visit Blackberry Farm in the Smoky Mountains

Renew your sense of balance at this luxury farm retreat.

Read More
Person scrolling on an ipad with world map underneath

COVID-19 Travel Requirements

Get up-to-the-minute information about countries around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.

Read More
Child outdoors playing with a toy airplane

Must-Haves for Traveling With Kids and Babies

Preparation is the best offense when traveling with little ones. Here are some of our favorite must-have items when hitting the road with children.

Read More

My Bag



Taxes and shipping calculated at checkout