Guide to Choosing Great Accommodation

Guide to Choosing Great Accommodation

You’ve been looking forward to a holiday for months, only to arrive at your destination and discover your accommodation is not what you were expecting or is simply not up to scratch. With some basic groundwork, however, this disappointing situation could easily have been avoided. Within Australia, all hotels and other accommodation are subject to a well-regulated STAR Rating Scheme so you know exactly what to expect in terms of amenities and service whenever you book accommodation.

Whether you are looking for cheap accommodation in Melbourne, an apartment in Surfers Paradise or a family-friendly resort, the Australian STAR Rating Scheme is a handy guide to standards of accommodation and what you can expect for your money in each category.

The rating scheme rates accommodation on a scale of one to five stars, from basic to luxurious.

Five-star rated hotels and resorts are outstanding establishments with luxury appointments and an exceptional standard of facilities, furnishings and guest services, which should include 24-hour room service, housekeeping, porters, valet parking and business and secretarial services.

If a hotel has received a four-star rating, this indicates it is very well appointed accommodation with stylish design throughout and a high standard of facilities, furnishings and guest services. To be entered in this category, hotels must provide en-suite bathrooms to all guest rooms, air-conditioning, 16-hour room service and housekeeping services.

At the three-star level you can expect well appointed and comfortable accommodation with a good range of facilities. The room decor may be a little dated but will be clean and well-maintained. Some three-star hotels also provide basic business facilities such as Internet access and fax services.

A rating of two stars indicates clean, basic, no frills accommodation with reasonably well maintained facilities. Some two-star hotels have shared bathrooms, but most have ensuite bathrooms to all rooms.

At the one-star level you can expect simple, clean, no-frills accommodation with limited room facilities and often a shared bathroom.

An additional half star is awarded to properties that provide a few extra facilities that are not generally expected in their star category.

Whether you are on a budget or seeking only the best, check out the star rating to find out what you can expect for the price and compare hotels to find the best value in your chosen category.

Once you’ve checked out all the accommodation choices in your chosen destination, get the low-down on what others have thought of the properties on your short list, and whether or not they have enjoyed their stay, via the Internet. There are many sites now where travellers can post personal reviews of hotels which can be very revealing and helpful. For example, one hotel may have lovely rooms and amenities but be in a noisy location, another may be in a beautiful, isolated location but have an over-priced in-house restaurant with no other dining options nearby.

Finally, email or phone the hotel before you book to ask any questions you might have. With some simple groundwork you can be sure the accommodation and hotels you have chosen will not disappoint and you will get the best possible value for money as well as a delightful holiday.