France is considered the world’s leading tourist destination, with over 80 million foreign visitors every year. Getting your gite rated in France used to help people know what facilities to expect. Now, the ratings lean more towards telling you about the experience as a whole.
In the UK, there is a five-star system. The AA and national tourist boards harmonise their schemes, so guests know what they’re getting no matter who provided the rating. Seventeen countries in Europe harmonize their rating systems using Hotelstars, which is similar to the British system. France, however, has its own five-star hotel rating system.
French hotel standards are strict. Here is what the stars mean.
All hotels must have:
- a well-maintained reception area
- information on services offered
- the ability to keep an eye on customer satisfaction and to handle their complaints
- staff that understand the needs of handicapped guests, and
- a commitment (of some kind) to sustainable development.
1 star - economy. Double rooms must be 9 square metres or more. The reception must be 20 square meters.
2 stars - low-end mid-range. In addition to one-star standards, staff must speak a second European language other than French. Reception must be 50 square metres and it must be open for at least 10 hours a day.
3 stars - mid-range. Rooms must be at least 13.5 square metres.
4 stars - high-end. Rooms must be at least 16 square metres, including bathrooms. If there are more than 30 rooms, the reception must be open 24 hours a day.
5 stars – top-quality, high-end. Rooms here are 24 square meters including bathroom. Reception staff must speak 2 foreign languages including English. They will also provide:
- room service
- valet parking
- a concierge
- accompaniment to rooms on check-in
- Air conditioning
Finally, the “Palace” rating is reserved for 5-star hotels that are exceptional. An example might be a hotel that offers an impressive on-site gym or a Michelin-starred restaurant.
The ratings are reviewed at least every 5 years, so if you’re thinking about getting your space rated, get everything to the best of your ability before the inspection. Regardless of your rating, which is often limited by the room sizes, know that displaying character and adding a touch of class will go a long way with your guests.