There is nothing like anticipating a holiday to a destination you have always wanted to go to as well as knowing that you will be enjoying the opportunity of staying at a luxury lodge or other luxury accommodation for the duration of your visit. We all love the idea of luxury accomodation whether it is a guesthouse, lodge, or hotel. Many people wonder how a hotel or lodge receives a luxury rating. The rating process itself uses stars that indicate the level or standard of an establishment and reviewers use them to rate anything from movies to restaurants, TV shows to hotels. The rating system usually involves between one and five stars to indicate the level of service and/or quality being offered and naturally the more stars a hotel or lodge has, the more luxurious the accommodation it provides.

Traditionally the rating system that is used independently assesses the establishment in question and the rating it achieves will depend in large part on the facilities that it has to offer its guests. For example a luxury lodge will be rated as a luxury establishment if it meets certain criteria which are assessed during the rating process and will cover areas such as

The dining opportunities and services on offer The entertainment provided The surroundings of the establishment as well as the views on offer The size and comfort of the rooms and other amenities including spas, fitness centers, etc. The establishment’s location

The rating system and criteria that must be met will differ from country to country. In South Africa the Tourist Grading Council of South Africa uses a specific set of rules when determining the rating that a particular hotel, guesthouse, lodge, etc. will receive and these range between one and five stars. So far no international rating or classification system exists although such a system has been proposed. If such a system were to be set up the rating standards governing accomodation would need to be the same throughout the world or at least in those countries involved. Of course such a system has yet to be implemented.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa is responsible for the control of quality as far as hotels and other tourist accommodation is concerned. Their five star system also employs feedback options so that guests are able to give their input with regards to their experiences whenever they have stayed at a graded luxury lodge or some other type of luxury accommodation.

The majority of hotels and lodges, as well as other types of establishments volunteer to participate in the grading system and will happily display their stars and grade on all their promotional material and at strategic points in and around the establishment. This has both advantages and disadvantages. One obvious advantage that springs to mind is the fact that by volunteering an establishment is able to show their willingness to render service and provide accommodation that will meet exacting standards.

Once they have achieved a star grading they are then subject to annual quality checks to ensure that the standards are being upheld. Currently there are more than 8000 hotels, lodges, etc. throughout the country that have been graded.

Cherine Hattingh is the owner of Southview Lodge, a 4 star lodge accommodation located in Johannesburg, South Africa. For further information in relation to booking please visit our site http://www.southviewlodge.co.za/