by: Damien Keller
When traveling, many of us aspire for the 5-star experience, but the reality is that for most of us, both leisure and business travelers, the 5-star hotel experience is not realistic. Naturally, the next step is to search for a 4-Star property expecting its the next closest experience. But what many travelers dont realize is that the gap between a 5-star and 4-star property is much greater than it is between a 4-star and 3-star property. Comparing a 4-star vs. a 3-star, having more stars does not necessarily mean best value or imply a better product.
Whats in a star rating? For detailed analysis, you can read more here where we share our insights on the difference between a 3 and 4-star hotel.
And for those who filter hotels by star rating when searching online, what you dont know is that youre missing out on great value the 3.5-star hotel experience. Why? Because when searching for a 4-star experience, travel search sites will filter for those properties and above only, and aside from room rates, there is little difference between the 3.5 and 4-star hotel. In fact, 3.5-star properties tend to offer an overall better guest experience. Lets break down the biggest differences between these types of hotels (not limited to).
4-star hotels generally have:
3.5- star hotels tend to have:
A prime example and well-regarded 3.5-star hotel brand are the Joie de Vivre properties, as highlighted by their philosophy, Dream Makers. The brand believes in going beyond guest expectations in order to make their stay comfortable and personalized. Xavier Bon, general manager of the brands San Francisco property, Hotel Kabuki, sums it up nicely: 4-star service is free at Hotel Kabuki.
In fact, the hotels staff is known throughout the industry and by guests from around the world not only for diligently handling special requests, but also, their willingness to go that extra step even getting chicken soup for those who are feeling under the weather. And from top down, each staff member routinely greets each guest by name to provide a truly welcoming, personal experience, one that is incomparable to 4-star hotels.
Galleria Park, another well-known Joie de Vivre property located in San Francisco, is also known for its hospitality and personal guest services. Hotel guests frequently comment that the staff is extremely welcoming and respond quickly to personal requests. In fact, to further enable the hotels interaction with guests, the property recently deployed its Guest Services Mobile Solution. Through the hotels mobile app, the hotel can interact and better serve their guests from anywhere, anytime, and guests can check-in and check-out while on or off-property as well as submit special requests, like late check-out.
For those looking to book their next hotel, Virgo recommends that you start to expand your filters and include 3-star properties. Remember, many travel sites do not filter by 1/2 star ratings so those who keep it to 4-stars are missing out on the many great 3.5-star hotel experiences.