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Austrian Star Classification - Hotels, Inns and Guest Houses

In the 1950's hotel classification began in Austria and is continuously monitored and adapted to the newest quality standards. There are many establishments in the Kitzbühel Alps which are quality approved. The ratings are awarded by various institutions which set the criteria and then undertake the assessment. Participation is voluntary and left to the hosts themselves, which is why the absence of such an award does not necessarily accredit the quality of the establishment.

General Evaluation Criteria

Overall impression and state of condition (furnishings and facilities) as well as the impeccable cleanliness and hygiene of a business are the basic requirements for inclusion in the Austrian Hotel Classification.

Additionally, the following points must be considered for the classification in each category:
• The quality of service, this includes appearance, clothing, friendliness and competence of the management and the employees.
• The exterior appearance, including sign posting, access, rights of way, parking facilities, gardens.
• On-site leisure and additional facilities (eg. swimming pool, sauna, meeting rooms, gardens, parking garage).
• Guest satisfaction (frequency of and dealing with guest complaints).

Definition and distinction between the individual categories

One star *

Simply furnished ie. basic facilities which are necessary for a normal length of stay, are particularly clean and in immaculate condition. Very price-conscious guests seeking basic services. The guests appreciate the competitive price.

Two star **

Practical facilities with comfort, price-conscious guests seeking, in addition to the basic overnight stay, limited extras (TV, drinks etc.)

Distinction from one star
The rooms are more comfortable.

Distinction from three star
The quality of facilities are judged on functionality and cleanliness, the actual items are of less importance.

Three star ***

Hotel, inn, guest house, bed & breakfast etc. with sophisticated, uniform furnishings and homely character. Guests expect more than just the basic overnight stay services, in addition to modest comforts (bath/shower, food, drinks etc.), more upscale services available (reception, drinks, snacks etc.)

Distinction from two star
Refined materials, more spacious, seating area / desk options in the room and in general guests lounge.

Distinction from four star
Smaller area,in good condition, older furnishings possible.

Four star ****

First-class facilities, ie. very spacious area with high-quality, contemporary furnishings, good sound insulation. Often, and in particular in holiday hotels, with extensive in-house facilities (spa, sport, gastronomy, conference facilities), very high level of service.

Distinction from three star
Generous spacious area, very high-quality facilities due to high maintenance costs, in very good condition. The guests expect a very high level of service and attention.

Four star superior ****S

Superior is based on a first-class, high-quality, immaculate and contemporary uniform 4*, hardware in the complete hotel area for a clear "more" on service, quality approved by a mystery guest control in accordance to the classification. 4*Superior is a quality and marketing label for top businesses in the 4* category (no separate star category).

Distinction from four star:
A clear "more" if not "flawless" service, appropriate hardware in all areas relative to 4* category.

Five star *****

Exclusive, luxurious facilities, namely noble, high-quality and elegant materials with consistant style; architecture, facilities, ambience, services equivalent to that of luxury international hotels. Only a few hotels reach this high standard.

Distinction from four star:
More luxurious, distinctive character, flawless condition of all hardware, perfect quality of service with very high personnel engagement. The rooms are very generously spacious, some with separate sleeping and living areas (suites). The guests expect international luxury hotel service, without compromise.

Classifications system in Austria

The Austrian hotel classification is a standardised, valid system throughout the country and provides guests and travel companies with a reliable indication as to the quality of the hotels and accommodation providers on offer.

The allocation of a star category takes place at the request of the business, carried out by independent commissions. Regular inspections and self-control ensure the quality is maintained.

The classification of hotel and accommodation providers is distinguished by its form of trade eg. Hotel Garni or Bed & Breakfast establishments as opposed to full-catering establishments eg. Hotels, Inns etc. The difference between the two categories is defined by the catering facilities. Specific guidelines apply to apartment houses or similar businesses which offer no or minimum services.


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