hotel stars

Hotel Stars



pre- correlate run/ran/run (2)
rate above all expectation
reduce knock off determine
factor consider occupancy
journal appraisal according to
identify influence coefficient
bill (3) identical seek/sought/sought
input average summarize
result minimum naturally (2)
facility constant hold constant
analysis vice versa in other words
relate advertise satisfaction
post (4) virtually assessment
exceed inherent suggest (2)
require maintain on the other hand
display standard promote (2)
oblige comment requirement








Hotel Stars

You run a hotel. Naturally you want to increase occupancy rates. If so, you may want to consider . . . knocking a star off your logo and even reduce rates.

Now why would anyone do that?

It’s because price and hotel-star category are factors in determining a visitor’s expectations.

And it turns out that, all else being equal, lower pre-visit expectations lead to higher post-visit appraisals and vice versa. That according to Marta Fernandez-Barcala writing in the European Journal of Tourism.

Online Reviews

She and her team sought to identify the factors that determine or influence hotel reviews by guests.

For data, they turned to, a website that posts hotel assessments.

Here visitors can rate and comment on their hotel experiences. Their inputs are averaged and summarized before being displayed online.


Fernandez-Barcala’s results showed that the age of facilities negatively correlates to the reported quality of a hotel by guests (i.e., the older the facility, the lower the ratings).

There was also a negative relationship between room rates and hotel star category, and quality appraisals, holding constant other factors.

In other words, the more expensive a hotel is and the higher its star category, the lower former guests rate them compared to cheaper, lower-stared hotels of similar quality.

3-Star, 4-Star, 5-Star

In her analysis, Fernandez-Barcala compared 3, 4 and 5 star hotels. The resulting coefficients become more negative the higher the star category, once other characteristics, including price and services, are controlled.

What this suggests is that guests relate quality with what they expect: the higher their expectations, the lower will be their satisfaction.

Hypothetical Situation

Another way of looking at this is to consider three, virtually identical hotels.

All are inherently “4-Stars”.

If the first hotel advertised itself as 4-stars, it would receive an average post-stay rating. If the second billed itself as 3-stars, it would get a more positive rating. If on the other hand, the third hotel promoted itself as 5-stars, it would have a more negative assessment.

Minimum Requirements

In order to be classified in a certain star category, hotels are required meet and maintain the minimum quality standards.

However a hotel is not obliged to take on a higher star rating even if it exceeds the minimum requirements of a higher category.

The reality is that hotels vary greatly in their mix of pricing, star-category, and above all, user-experience.

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1. The main idea of the article is a feature of luxury, 5-Star hotels. True or false?

2. Where did the researchers gather their data?

3. What is How does it operate?

4. Is there a relationship between the age of hotel facilities and guest evaluations?

5. Customer expectations influence their satisfaction with their hotel stay. Is this right or wrong?

6. Give examples of customer expectations and satisfaction.

7. What is the message of this study? Have you heard of the adage “under promise and over deliver”?

A. I have stayed in many different hotels. Yes or no?

B. What was your best hotel experience? Why was it great? What was your worst hotel stay?

C. Do you access and use platforms such as or

D. Can you think of other examples of this study?

E. Could you apply this to your company or organization?

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