When you are looking for an ideal place to relax, with well-defined time and spaces and a team of professionals on hand to meet your every need, the best solution has got to be a luxury hotel.
This type of hotel is chosen not only for its elegance, comfort and numerous services but also and above all because it meets the very specific high standards required to maintain the prestigious five-star title.
A luxury hotel must meet a number of criteria relating to the hotel structure, the number and location of rooms and the services provided by the staff. In a luxury hotel, it is also important to maintain a first-class, precise and well-cared-for image, including the sophistication and elegance of the uniform.
What should a five-star hotel have?
All the standards of quality, once achieved, must be maintained over time in order to retain all the stars that have been earned.
The requirements also include quality hotel amenities, with specific collections, customised with the hotel brand to offer a genuine wellness service.
Indeed, the importance of amenities should not be underestimated, as they actively contribute to the success of an memorable and comfortable stay, guaranteeing personal care and relaxation. Customers will be able to use quality products with a modern and attractive design. Among the best available on the market are those produced by Albogroup, a leading producer of innovative cosmetics for hotels.
Description of a luxury hotel
A luxury hotel must, first and foremost, have an architectural design that offers privacy in the rooms and suitable communal spaces.
Consequently, every five-star hotel must ensure that there are at least seven rooms, of which three have the characteristics of a suite. The rooms must have the dimensions prescribed by law, so single rooms must be no less than nine square metres, while the double rooms must be at least sixteen square metres. If beds are added, there must be at least an additional six square metres, while bathrooms cannot be less than five square meters. The furnishings, on the other hand, must include armchairs, a satellite TV, a telephone for external calls, as well as a safe and private equipment, offering all modern comforts.
Guests will benefit from amenities such as:
- complimentary toiletries
- hair dryer
- waste paper bins and clean towels
It is important to note that every room must be soundproofed to ensure a good night’s sleep and maximum privacy.
The communal spaces of a luxury hotel include a dining room, bar service, lounge area for leisure or reading, a breakfast area and reserved area for business and corporate meetings. Each of these spaces must, in addition to its specific function, also all provide restrooms, a luggage deposit and coat-check service.
Lastly, in terms of facilities, all hotels built on at least two levels must have a guest lift, a service lift or luggage lift. In addition, for a comfortable stay all year round, it is essential that all areas of the hotel are adequately heated in the winter or that air conditioning is guaranteed in the summer months. The climate must always be ideal, for an all-round comfortable experience ensuring clean, healthy air at all times.
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The services guaranteed by a luxury hotel
Among the services guaranteed by a luxury hotel are, firstly, a 24-hour reception and check-in service, with qualified staff able to speak at least three languages.
There must also be a night porter and luggage service available at all times.
In the case of private rooms, there must be a system of safekeeping for valuables, with safety deposit boxes in every room.
Bar service can be requested directly from the rooms at any time, day or night, while a staff member is available at the hotel bar for 16 hours out of 24.
For all-round comfort, food and beverage services are also available to guests. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can request both breakfast and meals in your room, or eat in the restaurant.
Room cleaning is guaranteed at least once a day and it is at the discretion of the customer to request that it does not take place daily (for example, for personal reasons related to ethical choices or due to respect for the environment). Moreover, the rooms are generally tidied again in the afternoon. The cleanliness of a five-star hotel is impeccable and complemented by other essential amenities for a luxury stay, such as same-day laundry and ironing service.
Other guaranteed amenities are also worthy of mention, such as convenient on-site parking 24 hours a day for guests’ vehicles, use of Wi-Fi in every room and communal areas, as well as a fax and photocopying service, in addition to computer workstations.
Who decides how many stars a hotel has?
Hotels that meet all the requirements and standards indicated above receive the prestigious 5 stars, a recognition of the quality of their image and services. In the past, the region or even the municipality, in which the hotel was located, was responsible for assessing and, therefore, deciding the number of stars. This, however, led to very mixed criteria which did not guarantee compliance with certain standards.
Following the enactment of the 2008 Decree, however, in Italy there are specific requirements which must be assessed and the staff of the province are responsible for assigning the number of stars to the hotel. Qualified experts are delegated to inspect the hotel and assess all its characteristics in order to classify it appropriately and in a manner that complies with national parameters. All ratings must be applied to every newly built hotel, as well as to hotels that decide to renovate and make changes to the interior or exterior of the building.
Therefore, if the statutory requirements are not maintained over time, hotels may be downgraded according to the quality of the spaces and services offered.
In the rest of Europe, on the other hand, specific bodies have been set up. In particular, Hotrec-Hospitality Europe is a consortium which includes forty trade associations from the European Union and hotel federations from ten different countries. This organisation has established common criteria for all member countries which must be observed and monitored. The standards are outlined in a document known as Hotelstars Union, i.e. a unified system of hotel classification. Other countries, such as France or the United Kingdom, continue to have their own national standards, as is still the case in Italy.