Thanks to the internet, you can now get to know about the facilities offered by different hotels as expressed by the visitors who have stayed at such hotels and that can help you make up your mind as to which one to go for.
However since views of people can be pretty disparate and may not always be the right thing to go by. What is good service to one may not quite be the same to somebody else who has higher standards of expectation. Very often people do not write about the excellent service that they got at a particular hotel but would be the first to complain or write about something that went wrong. This can cause a mismatch between expectation and what you really experience at the place and that is often enough to spoil your vacation.
There is thus a need for some standards to be put in place so that these mean the same to everybody and there is no scope for individual perceptions of what it might be. That is how the star ratings came into play and has been relied upon as guidelines to judge a hotel. Since these ratings are given by different agencies and there is no standard yardstick to go by, the ratings by themselves cannot be taken at face value and at best are indicators of hotel’s pedigree.
It was in the year 2007 that the tourist boards AA as well as RAC began to put in place a grading structure to cover all kinds of accommodation in the UK. This was supposed to correct many existing differential views about what constituted a guest house, a hotel and where one should expect free bed and breakfast and so on.
Since both Bed and Breakfast mean accommodation and there is nothing to differentiate it from what a hotel, guest house or inn would be offering, the boards came to a conclusion that a particular place can only be called a hotel if it has not less than 6 rooms of which at least 75% should have facilities within the room besides a lounge, restaurant and license for liquor.
The B and B arrangement was categorised as you staying in the house of somebody having about 1-4 rooms to let. These establishments are not supposed to be serving meals except breakfast and would only have some basic facilities on offer. Certain high class B and B units would however have more services on offer in order to compete with hotels.
Similarly, the concept of what constitutes a guest house and where would they be placed in terms of category is still quite murky as some of the facilities offered are in between that of a home and that of a hotel, thus making it difficult to slot them.
Though the attempt of the new grading system was to remove confusion, it has brought in its wake fresh confusion in the manner it has now decided to grade establishments. It has brought into place a system of stars by which it will evaluate each category and gone are the days when it was only the hotels that had a star rating and both Band B as well as Guest Houses used the diamond symbol to reflect their status.