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CONSUMART: Hotel ratings

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HotelThe hospitality industry is a major economic contributor to the national GDP; the hospitality industry is of critical importance to the development of travel and tourism.

It plays a vital role in the Nigerian economy by providing jobs for millions of Nigerians directly and indirectly and also enhancing the local economy by patronising small and medium scale businesses.

The operations of hotels in the country are haphazardly carried out. The Nigerian government enacted The Nigerian Tourism Development Act 1992, establishing the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) as a statutory authority empowered to promote, develop and regulate tourism and hospitality. It is also mandated to register, classify and grade hotels and tourist establishment. The 36 states of the federation are required to have a State Tourism Board, and all hotels and tourism establishments are required by the law to give full cooporation to NTDC inspectors in the discharge of their duty.

The Supreme Court Judgment of July 2013 between the federal government and Lagos State Government over the power to license and regulate hotels in Lagos State has thrown the spanner in the works.

There are no laws protecting guests at hotels. Most states do not have administrative bodies or agencies that have the responsibility of regulating hotels. These bodies are supposed to license these hotels annually and conduct inspections regularly. This is not currently enforced in most states. In other climes of the world, it is compulsory for guests to provide valid identification before checking into any hotel establishment. Cameras are also mandated in all hotel premises to ensure the safety of guests.

There is no rating system for hotels in this country to enable consumers make an informed choice because most Nigerian hotels rate themselves. Hotel ratings are often used to classify hotels according to their quality. From the initial purpose of informing travellers on basic facilities that can be expected, the objectives of hotel rating has expanded into a focus on the hotel experience as a whole. Today the terms ‘grading’, ‘rating’, and ‘classification’ are used to generally refer to the same concept, that is, to categorise hotels.

Most so-called five-star hotels in this country are overpriced and offer substandard service. What is obtainable in the same international hotel brands outside the country are of much better quality, standard and better priced.

There are a wide variety of rating schemes used by different organisations around the world. Many have a system involving stars, with a greater number of stars indicating greater luxury.

Hotel class

A hotel’s star rating is an indicator of the general quality of a particular hotel and is wholly dependent on the data available to us. The descriptions below indicate what you should be able to expect from a hotel in each of the star classes. These descriptions provide general data, based on the many sources of information that go into our star rating. Circumstances such as ongoing renovations, overbooking and specific guest needs can affect the quality of your stay. (Be sure to let the hotel know any special requests or requirements you have at check-in.) Star ratings do not necessarily reflect all the amenities or services that might be available at a hotel and some amenities and features may not be available in every room or at every property with a particular star rating. The features and amenities described here are often not available at holiday rentals, apartments, inns, bed-and-breakfasts, and other specialty hotels.

Economy

A one-star establishment is expected to offer clean, no-frills accommodation with minimal on-site facilities for the budget traveller for whom cost is the primary concern. Guestrooms generally are small, functionally decorated and may not have a private bathroom, in-room telephone, or amenities. On-site dining is usually not available. Public access and guest reception may not be available at all hours.
Value

These limited-service establishments are expected to offer clean, basic accommodation. These properties may offer some business services but generally lack meeting rooms, baggage assistance, and full fitness and recreation facilities. On-site dining is usually limited to coffee or continental breakfast service. Guestrooms generally offer private bathroom, telephone, TV, and limited amenities.

Quality

Three-star establishments place a greater emphasis on style, comfort, and personalised service. They generally feature on-site dining room service, a pool and/or fitness centre, a gift shop, and may provide baggage assistance. Conference rooms for meetings and extended services for business travellers are usually offered. Guestrooms offer more extensive amenities and more careful attention to decor and comfort.

Superior

These upscale establishments usually offer a fine-dining restaurant, lounge, and room service with extended hours. Service features usually include baggage assistance, concierge service and valet parking. A conference centre with up-to-date technology and full business services are usually offered. Public spaces and guestrooms are thoughtfully designed and constructed with high-quality materials. Guestrooms generally offer stylish furnishings, high-quality bedding and bath products and a wide array of amenities.

Exceptional

The finest hotels in the world. A five-star hotel is characterised by luxury appointments, superlative service, and the highest standards of comfort. Five-star hotels offer originality in architecture and interior design, high-grade materials in construction and decor and such special touches as fresh flowers and plants in abundance. These properties also maintain a high staff-to-guest ratio, gourmet dining and 24-hour room service.
Guestrooms offer ample space, the finest furnishings and decor, premium bedding, and luxury bath products. Room amenities generally include high-speed Internet access and CD and/or DVD players. Five-star resorts may offer additional recreation facilities such as tennis courts and golf-course access. On-site spa services, a top-notch fitness centre and a pool are generally available.

Half-star ratings

We have adopted the half-star as a unit of measurement in our five-star scale. The great variety of property types, the wide array of amenities, and the range of property-class characteristics around the world require a classification system of greater precision, which the half-star provides.
Not rated

These hotels have not yet been rated.
Excerpt of the catalogue of criteria
100 per cent of the rooms with shower/WC or bath tub/WC
Daily room cleaning
100 per cent of the rooms with TV together with remote control
Table and chair
Soap or body wash at the wash basin
Bath towels
Reception service
Publicly available telephone for guests
Extended breakfast
Beverage offer in the hotel
Deposit possibility

Breakfast buffet
Reading light next to the bed
Internet access in the room or in the public area
Payment via card
Body wash or shower gel at the shower/bath tub
Linen shelves
Offer of sanitary products (e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit)

Reception opened 14 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside, bilingual staff
Lounge suite at the reception, luggage service on demand
Beverage offer in the room
Telephone in the room
Hair-dryer, cleansing tissue
Dressing mirror, adequate place or rack to put the luggage/suitcase
Sewing kit, shoe polish utensils, laundry and ironing service
Additional pillow and additional blanket on demand
Systematic complaint management system

Reception opened 16 hours, accessible by phone 24 hours from inside and outside
Lobby with seats and beverage service, hotel bar
Breakfast buffet or breakfast menu card via room service
Minibar or 16 hours beverages via room service
Upholstered chair/couch with side tables
Bath robe and slippers on demand
Cosmetic products (e.g. shower cap, nail file, cotton swabs), vanity mirror, tray of a large scale in the bathroom, heating facility in the bathroom
Reception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff
Valet parking service
Concierge, page boy
Spacious reception hall with several seats and beverage service
Personalised greeting for each guest with flowers or a present in the room
Minibar and food and beverage offer via room service during 24 hours
Personal care products in flacons
Internet-PC in the room on demand
Safe in the room
Ironing service (return within one hour), shoe polish service
Turndown service in the evening
Mystery guesting

10 Best Hotels in the world.
The Oberoi UdaivilasUdaipur, India 99.29
Hotel Castello di Casole—a Timbers ResortCasole d’Elsa, Italy 98.00
Ashford CastleCounty Mayo, Ireland 97.33
Triple Creek RanchDarby, Montana 97.33
5. The Oberoi RajvilasJaipur, India 97.26
6. Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul at Sultanahmet 96.57
7. Singita Sabi SandKruger National Park Area, South Africa 96.47
8. Farmhouse InnForestville, California 96.00
9. The PeninsulaShanghai 96.00
10. Sunset Key Cottages, a Luxury Collection ResortKey West, Florida

Although there is no reliable data for Nigeria it is certain that the industry is underdeveloped with enormous potential for remarkable growth. The hospitality industry can easily create more jobs than oil and gas, banking and telecommunications combined.

For instance, there are currently very few hotels in Nigeria and they are poorly regulated compared to what obtains in other climes. According to www.tripadvisor.com, the travel website, there are about 165 hotels in Nigeria with 60 of them in Lagos out of which only three are rated 5-Star. This contrasts sharply with some leading destinations around the world such as Dubai with about 500 hotels, London about 1,100, Paris about 1,800 and New York with over 2,000 hotels. Given the enormous size and even bigger potential of the hospitality industry, it is clear why the desire to regulate the industry is a big deal.

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