The original star-rating system was started by Forbes Travel Guide in the 1950s. Since then, several different evaluating bodies have assigned stars, so it's important to check who the evaluator is and what its system entails. For instance, The Kenya Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) is responsible for regulating tourism activities and services with the aim of ensuring high standards and quality of services. In the U.S., Forbes is still one of the leading star-assigning bodies, as is AAA. In the U.K., tourist authorities such as Visit-Britain and Visit-Scotland are in charge.

The Seriousness of Hotel Rating can be derived from the Commitment of International Regulatory Bodies like the AAA. With over 58 Million Members subdivided into different Clubs, they Travel the World annually spending more than 150 Million Room Nights in Hotels. Are you impressed? Yes, I admit those Numbers seem impressive. But how important are the Ratings. From Hotel Point of View, it’s a major ego Trip for the owner and Management Company to Merit those extra Stars. It’s Likewise a great Employee morale booster trust me. Furthermore, from bottom line perspective, it allows the Hotel to command and Justify Premium rates. But from a perspective of a traveler, these ratings may ultimately have far less of an impact on the quality of the experience and satisfaction in Service rendered.

Just recently, a rating Drill was done by the TRA and it’s no Surprise Most 5 star Winners Emerged from Nairobi Hotels. Among the city Hotels awarded 5 star Rating were The Ever dazzling Villa Rosa, Managed by Kempinski, Hemingway’s, and the Newly Marriott Acquired Sankara Hotel. Other 5 star Rated Hotels were the Likes of Radisson Blu in Uptown Nairobi and Nairobi Intercontinental Hotel.

The Coastal Town Managed a Max of three hotels that got five-star ratings. Medina Palms Suites and Villas in Kilifi, Leopard Beach Resort and Spa in Diani and Swahili Beach Resort.

Mombasa County this Time Recorded a Zero 5 star Rating as Majority of Its Hotels fell under the 4 Star Category.

There are so many Factors Hotel Trend Setters Consider before any Property is Labeled a 5 Star or a 1 star. One aspect Industry Players will rarely understand is the Time a Front Desk Agent takes to Check in a Guest. To qualify for a 4 Star Rating, basically a Hotel should be able to Check in a Guest in less than 3 Minutes and forty Eight Seconds. For a 5 Star Rating to be awarded, it must take Less than 3 Minutes twenty Seconds.

One Other Hidden Factor Before being awarded a 5 star Rating is that Upon Checking in, maximum time allowed for a baggage to get to a room is Seven Minutes and twenty Three Seconds. The Inspectors will award a Four Star Rating if the Luggage Reaches the Room in Less than Ten Minutes and Fifteen Seconds.

In other instances Various travel Firms and booking sites have their own star rating Methods, which would be considered unofficial but still be more or less reliable as long as the criteria for evaluating the hotels is consistent. It’s advised that if you don't know who is giving the stars, then don't base your decision solely off that rating.

The Situation gets even worse, when you recognize that in some countries the star system is nothing more than an arbitrary government-issued designation for taxation purposes. The more the stars in the rating, the higher the room Price-and the more the government can Tax. Corruption Right?

If a Hotel gets a 5 star rating because it has a Great Designer Golf Course but it’s not being used then how does that translate to a 5 star experience to a Customer?

I wouldn’t care less how many times an employee of Radisson Blu responds to my request by Saying “My Pleasure” or “Certainly” What I do care about is my Requests are Handled Quickly, quietly and efficiently. Unless the request is Illegal or immoral, White Glove Execution is Mandatory.

As a Traveler who wouldn’t want to be duped into the Rating Game, Here is a Pre-Check List I Normally Use to Evaluate a 5 Start to a 1 Star Hotel.

 How Accessible is the Elevator from your Room?

How Early Will Your Room be available for a Check in?

When is the Real Check out Time?

How does the actual size of a standard room compared to that of a deluxe room?

How close is the Front Desk to the Hotel entrance?

Is the Staff Cross Trained? This is to Handle any Guest request conversely during Peak Hours When the Hotel is Busy.

A few Small observations can go a long way towards refining your own personal rating system as well.

What Makes a Room a 1 Star- 5 Star?

 One-Star Hotel

Bed and a side table,Bathrooms are shared with others ,Refreshments are usually found in a vending machine. No any on-site facilities (Bar, Restaurant Etc.),No 24Hour Reception, No TV, a telephone or even daily housekeeping services.

Two-Star Hotel

24 hours Reception Desk,Rooms have clothing racks or closets,Availability of Telephones and TVs (Old TVs Probably),Private bathroom, but with only a shower (no tub),Maybe continental breakfast. (Maybe)

Three-Star Hotel

Restaurants and bars on-site,Porter Services,The rooms are generally larger, more comfortable and with more furniture.

Four-Star Hotel

The rooms are often bigger and fancier ,Large bed,Minibar,Safe,Workstation,Bathrobes & Modern TV.

The hotel usually offers valet parking, a spa, a gym, a pool and similar services.

Five-Star Hotel

Has all the amenities you'd hope to find in a hotel and more. ,Luxurious spas ,Gigantic lobbies,Provide welcome gifts and butler service.An over-sized bathroom lined with marble counters,Large vanity laden with high-end toiletries. Golf courses, tennis courts, health clubs with personal trainers and even child-care services.

Having Visited Several Hotels myself, I am to the Opinion that one shouldn't use these Ratings to be the only thing you use to judge a hotel. Look at the amenities and services provided, and read customer reviews about the hotel. In Kenya to be Precise, Visiting a 3 star Hotel Might be a Plan Compared to What the 5 Star Hotel Will Give You.