Star ratings are not always what they seem. Unless a hotel has applied to and complied with the GNTO to receive an official rating any stars they might claim for themselves are just a self-awarded promotional advertising ploy based on what they think they deserve. This is a common practice but does not necessarily mean that a hotel is bad. Instead of trying to find one with a star rating you will accept, just go by the reviews. In the long run that's all that matters anyway.
Thank you BLL - I will take your advice, and go with the reviews. I just need to be able to convince our friends that are going with us.
Just to add that many hotels, especially in the islands, prefer for tax reasons to be in a "lower" category than the one they deserve.
I can give you tons of examples. "Enigma" (raked #2 of all Santorini hotels), is licensed as "tourist lodging", so its not even a hotel in the eyes of the state.
PS. BTW, I would rank enigma a lot lower but thats just me, 262 reviewers say otherwise :)
Many thanks to you all - I'm very excited about our upcoming trip!
Also, star ratings are awarded according to the facilities available, not the overall standard of the hotel. So a hotel with a swimming pool may have a higher star rating than a better hotel without a swimming pool.
And a hotel that has met all the qualifications set forth by the GNTO, but does not have an outdoor pool, may STILL qualify for a 5-star rating.Edited: 7:29 pm, October 07, 2010
And to ADD to the confusion, a 4 star Hotel in Greece may not have all the features that travellers assume, from experience with 4-star places elsewhere -- another reason why the star system doesn't work in Greece.
A further reason: a hotel that has jumped thru all the hoops and has all the features (jacuzzi, wi-fi, plasma TV etc), may have a mediocre location, whereas a small family-run hotel with pine furniture and plaid bedspreads may have THE most stunning, jaw-dropping view on that entire island! And how do you award appropriate stars for that?? One of the dellightful dilemmas of travel in Greece :-D
Again many thanks to all of you for all the wonderful feedback. I am now more knowageable, and ready to go.
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