Five Stars for the Dream Vacation: How to advertise hotels with luxury

Many holidaymakers dream of holidays in the Luxury hotel, under five stars, is nothing. But what about seven-star hotels? And how can luxury differ from much more luxury?

To the outside concealed, ultraluxury Venice / Dubai. It was the sportsman’s celebrity wedding of the year: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ana Ivanovic married in Venice – and supposedly celebrated in a hotel with seven stars.

The “Aman” is directly on the Grand Canal, inside it is very noble and to the outside seems rather secret. But seven stars? Officially there is a maximum of five stars around the world. The brass sign at the entrance tells us that the “Aman” has only five stars. The same is true of the sail-like “Burj al Arab” in Dubai, one of the world’s noblest and most expensive hostels. It was the first hotel to have seven stars. You never even advertised it, says the operator Jumeirah.

But the best hotels in the world are a class of their own and offer only the most precious and expensive. There are golden iPads in the “Burj al Arab”, but eight guests come with a butler. The Limousine service with Rolls-Royce is for some sobered guest the standard.

The myth of the seven stars shows a difficulty: from five stars, upwards there is a lack of further differentiations. Theoretically, eight or even ten stars would be possible. But five stars are the end. Torsten Kirsten, a professor of tourism at the Jade University in Wilhelmshaven, says that this has become established worldwide. Everything else would rather confuse.

The stars should only give an orientation. “Dozens of individual criteria and their manifestations are combined to form a comprehensive judgment,” says Kirsten. The classification of the hotels is voluntary and only valid for three years. So, in any case, the matter is settled with the stars in Germany.

The list of criteria currently comprises 270 assessment criteria. They are objectively identifiable. Examples: Is there a hair dryer in the room? Can you pay by credit card? How long is the reception? Is there a breakfast buffet? Does the hotel have Wi-Fi? “The more stars, the more features need to be available,” explains Markus Luthe, Managing Director of the Dehoga Federal Association.

“The basis for the selection and the weighting of the criteria are representative guest surveys,” says Luthe. Glamor and glitter, marble and gold trim are therefore not decisive. The stylish design hotel with modern art on the walls in the metropolis can be just as five stars as the traditional Grandhotel with marble columns and chandeliers in the health resort.


As soon as one leaves German vacation geography, however, it is already difficult. “National standards, different criteria selection, and national practices make comparability more difficult,” says Kirsten. Attempts to evaluate across Europe are extremely difficult.

For these reasons, some hoteliers are quite free from the stars. For example, Carsten K. Rath, founder of the “Kameha Grand” near the airport of Zurich. Although it flashes, sparkles and sparkles with him in the entrance hall, rooms and suites. Everything is from the finest, expensive and partly quite unique. Nevertheless, a star is nowhere to be seen. “The times when people are orientated by stars are over,” says Rath. People were looking for brands rather than stars.

Per Rath, the star rating is a relic from the time when the Internet has not yet existed. Today, the guests could get information directly, in various ways. “If you are in doubt, you will be more confident in the opinion of other travelers who are on evaluation portals.” There, holidaymakers can often find more detailed information on how well a five-star hotel is from the point of view of the guests. Because the differences are indeed great – even if it is not equal to the “Aman” or “Burj al Arab”.