My jaw dropped when an on line travel review site announced that it would add a new tier to its Star Services ratings for hotels: Six Stars. What qualifies as s a Six Star rating?
Places we’d never be able to stay in. Places like Austria’s Capella Schloss Velden; New York’s Lowell Hotel; Dubai’s Mirage? Forget about it!
We think it’s a fraud. We’re told, though we can’t confirm it, that one so-called six star resort, actually offers a poolside valet to polish the sun glasses of guest and eliminate all that pesky poolside humidity.
Truth is, there’s less here than meets the eye. As a Mobil Travel Guide official says, “In our world, when you achieve 5 stars that’s perfection.” No official, recognized ratings system actually awards more than five stars or diamonds, but some hotels persist in advertising themselves as Six Stars or “Almost Six Stars.” One reviewer in Norway rated the Ai Bahia Principe Costa Adeje, Spain, as six stars, but then went on to say the hotel lacked room service…but who cares, the reviewer said, because “you’re asleep during the night anyway.”
Which raises the question: Just how helpful, reliable are consumer generated reviews? For now, the only “Six Star“ hotel we actually know of is the Setai in Miami Beach where nightly tabs run obscenely between $1,125-3,250 a night. Os it really? Great web site, though!
But it doesn’t stop there. Dubai’s Burj Al Arab is reported to be a seven-star hotel (“the world’s first seven-star hotel,” according to the Dubai government’s Development and Investment Office, obviously.) Of course I’ve never been, but travel sleuths who checked out many so-called 6 Star wannabes found most of them didn’t even warrant 4 or 5 stars.
Smart travelers need to demand that a property meet or exceed its claims, and give ‘em hell if they don’t. That’s the only way to keep a property honest… and fight creeping Six Star inflation. The web site’s editor said the experience of staying at a Six Star Hotel has to “transport the guest into a realm that makes even the most discerning and affluent feel they re someplace distinctive and captivating.” Whatever that means!
Pay attention to the basics, we say. Give value for cost and provide quality service. That’s Six Stars Or is it maybe sour grapes 🙂 Watch our one-minute, sound rich Travel Video PostCards here on Family Travel Forum… or at www.travelvideopostcard.com
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