Rating, Symbols & Awards
All the national assessing bodies (including VisitEngland and the AA) now assess accommodation to the same criteria and award one to five stars. Star ratings reflect the overall quality of the experience and range of services and facilities offered:
* Simple, practical, no frills
** Well presented and well run
*** Good level of quality and comfort
**** Excellent service throughout
***** Exceptional with a degree of luxury
Camping and Caravan sites
These are rated either by a star rating from Enjoy England or a one to five pennants rating from the AA. They cover the categories Camping Park, Touring Park and Holiday Park.
• VisitEngland's Silver or Gold Awards are given in recognition of exceptional quality within a serviced accommodation's star rating or for outperforming a star rating.
Self-catering and service apartments are able to achieve a Gold award only.
• The AA's highly commended yellow stars are awarded to the top 10% of guest accommodation within the 3-5 star rating.
• The VisitBritain Rose Award is given to camping, touring and holiday parks with exceptional facilities.
Some businesses have joined an assessment scheme and are currently waiting for their inspection or rating. They will show the appropriate AA or VisitEngland symbol.
Since 2006, England has shared a ‘Common Standard’ for guest accommodation and hotels with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and the AA. Star-ratings are determined by the services and facilities provided for guests, but also by the quality of the welcome, service and hospitality of the staff, the food and the cleanliness. Having an official star-rating system helps potential guests know what to expect before they arrive.
Properties showing the Walkers & Cyclists Welcome logo offer facilities to meet the needs of those visitors - for example, drying facilities for clothes and secure areas for bikes.
Properties with the Families Welcome logo offer families the confidence that the accommodation has thought about their particular needs - for example, storage for pushchairs and children's food portions.
Accommodation displaying the Pets! Welcome symbol will offer pet owners a range of services for their pets from a scoop and bags for dogs to litter trays for cats. Please check at the time of booking for exactly which services are available and if there are any restrictions.
Sponsored by Kellogg’s, this award recognises those hotels and guest accommodation businesses where the owners, managers, chefs and staff have gone the extra mile to ensure the breakfast will exceed expectations.
VisitEngland’s unique Gold and Silver awards are given in recognition of exceptional quality within a property's star rating, or for outperforming a star rating. Serviced accommodation (hotels and guest accommodation) are eligible to receive either a Silver or Gold award, whereas self-catering and serviced apartments are able to achieve a Gold award only.
AA Gold Stars are awarded to the very best of Guest Accommodation within the 3, 4 and 5 star ratings
As members of the national Farm Stay UK group, quality is regarded as fundamental and all properties must be inspected under the National Tourist Board/AA grading schemes.
The National Accessible Scheme (NAS) is the only scheme that rates the accessibility of visitor accommodation throughout England. Many travellers with access needs struggle to find suitable places to stay; the NAS allows these people to make an informed choice.
Gold, silver and bronze ratings are awarded to caravan and camping parks, which can demonstrate active concern for the environment.