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A Guide to the UK Accommodation Ratings Scheme 2007 Onwards

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A Guide to the UK Accommodation Ratings Scheme

A guide to the new Accommodation Ratings scheme applicable from 2007 onwards and jointly used by the four official UK tourist Accommodation assessment bodies, Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the Automobile Association (AA).

Common Standards for Accommodation

Establishments offering accommodation assessed by Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the Automobile Association (AA) are graded under a set of agreed common quality standards.

The aim of the common ratings is to make accommodation standards easy to understand and to give you confidence that establishments meet the standards you expect.

Types of accommodation

Under the new common standards Serviced accommodation is assessed under three broad categories: Hotels, Guest Accommodation and Budget Hotels.

Hotels and Guest Accommodation are divided into sub-categories or designators which provide more information about the type of establishment.

Hotel Categories

Hotel  - formal accommodation with a full service
Country House - peace and quiet with ample grounds or gardens
Small Hotel - limited service with a personal touch
Town House Hotel - a high-quality distinctive service in a city-centre location
Metro Hotel - a full service except dinner, close to town centre restaurants

For - Hotels in the Royal Forest of Dean

Guest Accommodation Categories

Establishments in each of these categories should fulfil all Guest Accommodation minimum entry requirements.

Bed and Breakfast (B&B)
Accommodation provided in a private house by the owner for up to six paying guests.
For - B&B Accommodation in the Royal Forest of Dean

Guest House
Accommodation for more than six paying guests, with the owner and staff providing more services, e.g. dinner.
For - Guest House Accommodation in the Royal Forest of Dean

Farmhouse
B&B or guesthouse accommodation provided on a working farm.
For - Farm Stay Accommodation in the Royal Forest of Dean

Inn
Accommodation provided in a fully licensed establishment. The bar will be open to non-residents and provide food in the evenings.
For - Pubs and Inns Accommodation in the Royal Forest of Dean

Restaurant with Rooms
A restaurant offering overnight accommodation.

Guest Accommodation
Any establishment that meets the minimum entry requirements and chooses to use this general category description.
For - Guest Accommodation in the Royal Forest of Dean

Accommodation Standards Star Grades

Star ratings, from one to five, are used to assess the standard of the quality you can expect for hotels and bed & breakfast accommodation from the start of 2007 onwards.

In addition to the Star Ratings Visit Britain has Silver and Gold Awards. These are awarded to properties that not only achieve their overall rating but also exceed the expectations within their rating level. The awards recognise the high level of comfort, cleanliness, hospitality and service afforded.

Silver – this award recognises high quality in all areas of the business, with very good levels of customer care.

Gold – properties achieving a Gold award will demonstrate exceptional levels of quality, comfort, cleanliness, hospitality and attentive service.

The following is a brief summary of standards expected from the establishment types within their star ratings.

STAR RATING HOTEL BED AND BREAKFAST (B&B)
One Star Accommodation Rating Staff provide a prompt, polite and informal service. The majority of rooms are en suite and there is a designated eating area serving breakfast everyday and dinner most evenings. A clean establishment, offering a minimal service with a full cooked or substantial continental breakfast available.
2 Star Accommodation Rating Staff are smartly presented and provide a well-informed service. Rooms are generously proportioned. Breakfast and dinner are available seven days a week. A courteous and helpful service. Breakfast is prepared with a good level of care and bedrooms are comfortable.
3 Star Accommodation Rating An ample number of easily identified staff, who are able to anticipate requirements. All rooms have en suite bathrooms. Meals are cooked and presented to a good standard, using good quality ingredients. A positive and friendly service. Breakfast will be prepared using good quality ingredients. Rooms will be well-appointed and comfortable.
4 Star Accommodation Rating Attentive staff provide a very good level of service. At least half of the rooms will have an en suite bath and a shower. At least one restaurant offering a good range of hot and cold skillfully prepared food. An attentive and welcoming service. Breakfast is prepared using fresh ingredients with a high degree of care. Rooms have comfortable beds and furnishings of high quality.
5 Star Accommodation Rating Impeccably dressed staff provide attentive and unobtrusive service. All bedrooms will have an en suite bathroom with a bath and thermostatically controlled shower. Meals are cooked and presented to an excellent standard using high quality ingredients. Guests are made to feel at home and extra services are offered. Breakfast is of an excellent quality, prepared using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Rooms have comfortable beds and furnishings of excellent quality.

Self Catering Accommodation

The Star ratings reflect the quality that you're looking for when booking Self Catering Holiday accommodation.

The rating system is the  result of extensive research into visitor expectations, ensuring that you can find the place to stay that suits you best.  You can also rest assured that it has been checked out beforehand. 

All properties have to meet an extensive list of minimum requirements to take part in the scheme.  From there, increased levels of quality apply.  For instance, you'll find acceptable quality at one Star, good to very good quality at three Stars and exceptional quality at five Stars.

Quite simply, the more Stars, the higher the overall level of quality you can expect to find.  Establishments at higher rating levels also have to meet some additional requirements for facilities.

Minimum entry requirements include the following

  • High standard of cleanliness throughout

  • Pricing and conditions of booking made clear

  • Local information to help you make the best of your stay

  • Comfortable accommodation with a range of furniture to meet your needs


  • Colour television (where signal available) at no extra charge

  • Kitchen equipped to meet all essential requirements

Serviced apartments provide self-catering accommodation with additional elements of service e.g. 24 hour concierge service, 5 out of 7 days cleaning service.

One Star Accommodation RatingOne Star

Simple style accommodation where all areas are safe and clean. Unlikely to be self-contained (e.g. might have a shared bathroom). All equipment provided will work and be fit for its purpose. The accommodation will be cleaned for guests’ arrival.

Beds of at least standard adult size (unless advertised otherwise), provided with clean bedding in sufficient quantity. Linen may or may not be provided.

Potential visitors will be given advance details of accommodation, facilities and services available. Health, Safety and Statutory obligations complied with.

2 Star Accommodation RatingTwo Star

All units will be self-contained. Generally good overall quality of décor, furnishings and fixtures, which may be of a practical or older style. Space may be limited, particularly in bedrooms. At least one bathroom and WC for up to eight guests.

Limited additional facilities and services.

3 Star Accommodation RatingThree Star

Quality of décor and furnishings will demonstrate greater attention to co-ordination and practicality. More spacious accommodation offering greater levels of comfort and freedom of movement, e.g. access to both sides of double beds. Good lighting provision, with each occupant provided with bedside table and lamp. Controlled heating.

Wider range of appliances, including microwave oven and access to vacuum cleaner.

Some leisure facilities e.g. boxed games, toys, barbecue, as appropriate.

4 Star Accommodation RatingFour Star

Comfortable accommodation, decorated to a high standard. Usually more spacious with very good quality furniture, soft furnishings, beds and floorings. Bed linen and towels provided, with or without an additional charge.

More extensive range of appliances, including access to washing machine and tumble dryer (or 24 hour laundry service). Additional separate WC available if more than six guests can be accommodated.

Additional facilities, e.g. leisure, sporting, may be provided. All equipment and facilities in good order.

5 Star Accommodation RatingFive Star

Excellent quality accommodation, demonstrating the best of its type available. A high specification evident in all areas. Attention to detail shown in design, both internal and external, with exemplary standards of care and maintenance. Sleeping in designated bedrooms only, i.e. no sofa beds.

Full range of appliances and equipment including freezer, dishwasher, in-house laundry facilities (or 24 hour service) and Video/DVD player. Telephone provided, capable of receiving incoming and making outgoing calls. Bed linen and towels available and included in hire charge. Extra bath or shower, WC and washbasin provided if more than six guests can be accommodated.

Where leisure facilities are provided these will be in excellent order, under supervision, where appropriate and with extended opening hours to suit customer needs.

Management organisation and levels of guest care will be exemplary.

For - Self Catering Holiday Accommodation in the Royal Forest of Dean

Camping and Caravan Parks

Visit Britain, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales have a common star assessment similar to Hotels and Bed and Breakfast's.

The Automobile Association (AA) has a similar system except instead of stars they use flag pennants.

For - Camping and Caravan Parks in the Royal Forest of Dean

Automobile Association (AA) Rosette Ratings for Restaurants

Rosettes are awarded annually to AA inspected restaurants for the quality of their food. Most star-rated hotels have their own restaurants and we also inspect these. Not all restaurants receive an AA award, but will generally serve enjoyable food of a reasonable standard.

One Rossette AA Dining Award
Chefs should display a mastery of basic techniques and be able to produce dishes of sound quality and clarity of flavours, using good fresh ingredients.

Two Rossette AA Dining Award
Innovation, greater technical skill and more consistency and judgement in combining and balancing ingredients are all needed at this level.

Three Rossette AA Dining Award
This award takes a restaurant into the big league. Expectations of the kitchen are high: exact technique, flair and imagination must come through in every dish, and balance and depth of flavour are all-important.

Four Rossette AA Dining Award
At this level, not only should all technical skills be exemplary, but there should also be daring ideas, and they must work. There is no room for disappointment. Flavours should be accurate and vibrant.

Five Rossette AA Dining Award
The supreme accolade awarded only when the cooking is at the pinnacle of achievement. Flavours, combinations and textures show a faultless sense of balance, giving each dish an extra dimension.

For - Restuarants in the Royal Forest of Dean

Click for full list of Hotels, Guest Houses and B&B's, Cottages, Inns and Pubs,
in the Royal Forest of Dean and the counties of Herefordshire and Monmouthshire:-
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A Guide to the UK Accommodation
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