Hotel Types: What's the Difference Between a Five Star Hotel and Boutique Hotel?

The number of hotel types these days can cause confusion even for those of us who stay in hotels regularly, so whether you’re planning to stay in a top London five star hotel or a business boutique hotel in York, have a read of our definitions below to see which type of hotel will best suit your needs.

Five Star Hotels – This is the top quality level for a hotel as awarded by the tourist board in the UK and partner organisations such as the AA.

All five star hotels must offer permanent suites as well as enhanced services such as a concierge.

Four Star Hotels – In order to rank as a four star hotel, the establishment must offer 24 hour rooms service, rooms large enough to take a meal in, 50% of en suite rooms must include a bath and shower and the hotel must also have at least on permanent suite.

Three Star Hotels – Qualifying three star hotels will comprise of 100% en suite bedrooms, direct dial telephone access in all rooms, room service during core hours and a permanently staffed reception.

Two Star Hotels – At the basic end of the spectrum, the two star hotel must simply offer dinner seven nights a week in addition to the requirements of a one star hotel.

One Star Hotels – At the lowest end of the spectrum the one star hotel must offer rooms with a private bathroom, a manned reception during core hours, a cooked breakfast, 24 hour access for registered guests and dinner five nights a week.

Boutique Hotels – Unlike the hotel types above, there is no official definition of a boutique hotel. However, these hotels often occupy the luxury end of the hotel spectrum and offer a more personalised experience than many chain hotels. Boutique hotel often follow a set theme or style making them worth a look for the unusual hotel seeker.

Spa Hotels – Looking for relaxation rather than a practical place to stay for the night, then the spa hotel is for you. There are a wide range of spa hotels from large converted country houses to city hotels boasting spa facilities high up on the roof or hidden away below the ground.

Eco Hotels – Again another hotly debated hotel topic, eco hotels range from main stream hotel chains, such as the Ibis Hotel Chain working towards ISO 14001 environmental credentials. Through to fully signed up eco hotels such as the King Pacific Lodge Hotel in Canada which offers carbon offsetting as a part of the hotels package.

B&B Accommodation – Bed and Breakfast accommodation does exactly what it says on the tin, here travellers can expect to find a room for the night with a hearty breakfast in the morning. B&Bs can offer some of the most unusual and unique accommodation in the UK with establishment ranging from large converted houses to a humble single room conversion in a private hotel.

Hostel Accommodation – Here travellers can often find cheap accommodation, even in some of the countries most expensive city locations. Hostels offer a range of budget accommodation from a single bed or bunk in a dorm accommodating large numbers of travellers to small rooms available for families or lone travellers not wanting to share a dorm.

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