Hotels and Pensions in Austria

Every country seems to have their own rules and regulations when it comes to rating hotels. Austria, in the past, has been no different.

Hotel sign

However, since the beginning of 2010, Austria has joined an international organisation which is attempting to standardise hotel ratings over a number of countries.

So far, Germany, the Czech Republic and Sweden have all joined Austria in the Hotel Stars Union, with Hungary, Switzerland and the Netherlands all scheduled to join in the future.

So what does it all mean?

Essentially, the concept of the number of stars remains and are standardised over the participating countries according to particular criteria (some of them are translated below).

There is also a Superior section for each star "number" category. The idea of this is to move away from a measuring of the numbers of this item or opening times of that facility and to express a level of service. These Superior awards are made after a visit from a "mystery guest".

Here are the general descriptions for some of the higher categories, which have been translated from the original. (Each category also has an extensive points grading system.)

Five Star Hotel Category

A five star hotel should exhibit exclusive and luxurious decoration and equipment, using high-quality and elegant materials throughout. The architecture, decoration, ambience and services offer should reflect the standards expected of international luxury hotels, as should the general level of guests.

Difference to Four Star Category: a more luxurious and umistakeable character and facilities without blemish. Accommodation should be roomy, for example, with separated sleeping and living quarters in suites. Guests should expect and receive a level of international luxury hotel facilities and service without compromises. Hotel service should be perfect with a very high level of staff commitment, which will be graded through the Msytery Guest checks.

Some Requirements:

  • reception staffed 24 hours with multi-lingual staff
  • doorman or car valet service
  • concierge, hotel pages
  • reception hall with seating areas and drinks service
  • personalised welcome with fresh flowers or gift in room
  • minibar and meals and drinks available 24 hours from room service
  • body care products in individual containers
  • internet-PC in room on request
  • safe in room
  • ironing service (within one hour), shoe cleaning service
  • evening turndown service
  • Mystery Guest control checks

Four Star Hotel Category

First class decoration and facilities, with, for example, roomy accommodation with a high quality and modern décor and good soundproofing. A high level of service, especially in the extensive facilities on offer from holiday hotels (e.g. wellness, sports, gastronomy and seminar facilities).

Difference to Three Star Category: larger rooms and facilities, a very high quality of decoration in a very good state of repair. Guest expectations are of a high level of service.

Some Requirements:

  • separate reception staffed for 18 hours and available for 24 hours
  • lobby with seating area and drinks service, hotel bar
  • breakfast buffet or breakfast menu with room service
  • minibar or drinks available 24 hours from room service
  • couch or chair with table
  • bath robe, slippers on request
  • cosmetic articles (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton buds), vanity mirror, extensive shelf space in bathroom
  • internet connection and internet terminal
  • à la carte restaurant

Three Star Hotel Category

Quality and consistent decoration and facilities with a cosy character. Guests expect something more than the simple basics and comforts (bath/shower, meals, drinks, etc.) and a level of service of a certain quality (reception, drinks service, snacks, etc.)

Difference to Two Star Category: genuine materials, larger rooms and public spaces, facilities (e.g. seating area, desk) in rooms and public areas
Difference to Four Star Category: smaller rooms and public areas, older decoration if in good condition

Some Requirements:

  • a separate reception that must be staffed for 14 hours and be available 24 hours a day, dual language staff (German/English)
  • a seating area at reception and a porter service
  • drinks available in room
  • on request a (mobile) telephone in the room
  • internet connection in the room or in public area
  • heating in bathroom, hairdryer, paper facetowels
  • full-length mirror, storage of cases
  • sewing kit, shoecleaning equipment, washing and ironing of guest laundry
  • supplementary pillows and blankets on request
  • a methodical way of dealing with guest complaints