Quality has never meant so much
The vast majority of the accommodation featured in this guide has been quality assessed by either VisitEngland or the AA. Please be aware that ratings may change throughout the year.
or telephone VisitEngland on 01256 491111
For AA ratings, visit www.theAA.com or telephone: 01256 844455
All the national assessing bodies (Visit Britain*, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the AA) now assess hotels and guest accommodation (including B&Bs) to the same criteria and award one to five stars. The star ratings reflect the overall quality of the experience.
When choosing your accommodation look for the Quality Rose, the official marque of the Visit England national tourist board rating scheme.
The Visit England professional assessors visit every year, carrying out a routine day visit or an overnight stay in the case of serviced accommodation. On these occasions, they book in as you would, as a normal guest and test all the facilities and services. A quality score is awarded for every aspect of the experience including the comfort of the bed, the quality of the breakfast and dinner and, most importantly, the cleanliness. They also score the warmth of welcome.
Places that ‘go the extra mile’ to make your stay a special one, will be awarded a high star rating and hotels and guest accommodation may achieve a Gold or Silver award.
For self-catering accommodation, the layout and design of the accommodation and the range and quality of the kitchen equipment is assessed, as well as the quality and comfort of the bedrooms and bathrooms and most importantly, the cleanliness.
Higher star-rated accommodation tends to have more spacious bedrooms and bathrooms, and in hotels a higher staff to guest ratio, so service should be very attentive. At five star, you can really expect to be pampered in luxurious surroundings!
For serviced accommodation, there are two separate schemes – one for hotels and one for guest accommodation.
Hotels have to be licensed, offer dinner at least 5 nights a week (unless categorised as a Metro Hotel) and have all rooms en suite or with private bathrooms.
The different hotel categories are: Hotel, Small Hotel, Country House Hotel, Metro Hotel Town House Hotel and Budget Hotel.
Guest accommodation categories are: Guest Accommodation, Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses, Inns, Farmhouses and Restaurants with Rooms. They tend to be personally run by the owners.
Gold and Silver awards for Hotels and Guest Accommodation
Silver Awards recognise exceptional quality at all levels and Gold Awards are given to the very ‘best of the best’.
Holiday, touring, and camping parks and holiday villages:
Visit England awards star ratings reflecting the overall quality of the park from one to five stars - five stars being reserved for parks of exceptional quality.
100% Quality Assessed with Visit England means that the star ratings provided to the accommodation, are independently assessed every year to National Quality Standards.
Visit England ratings made easy:
* Simple, practical, no frills
** Well presented and well run
*** Good level of quality and comfort
**** Excellent standard throughout
***** Exceptional with a degree of luxury
If you choose to stay in any of Visit England’s quality-assessed accommodation, you can be confident that it has been checked out before you check in. For more information on the Visit England Quality Rose assessment schemes and the star ratings, go to www.visitEngland.com
This award recognises those hotels and B&Bs that offer their guests a quality and choice of breakfast, service and hospitality that exceeds what would be expected at their star rating. It will help visitors find those places where the owners, managers, chefs and staff have gone the extra mile to ensure the breakfast will exceed expectations.
The Jurassic Coast Quality Business Scheme aims to help meet the expectations associated with World Heritage status for a quality-led sustainable tourism experience successful businesses have to demonstrate a range of good practices and a commitment to raising standards of customer care.
This award shows the mobility entry level standard (M1) of the National Accessible Scheme (NAS) based on the needs of older and less mobile visitors.
*VisitBritain is the national tourism agency, marketing Britain worldwide and England in Britain, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. Quality is a major element of VisitBritain’s strategy to improve tourism products and services and the standard of welcome visitors receive. Visit Britain assesses more than 23,000 accommodation businesses across nine different Visit England schemes. These assessments are undertaken by Quality in Tourism on VisitBritain’s behalf.
If you have any issues that have not been resolved by the proprietor/manager and which you would like to bring to our attention, please write to:
For Visit England star rated accomodation:
Visit England Assessment Services
Fanum House, Basing View, Basingstoke, RG21 4EA
Tel: 01256 491111
For AA ratings:
The AA Hotel Services
Floor 14, Fanum House, Basingstoke, RG21 4EA
Tel: 01256 844455
W: www.theaa.com/travel/index.jsp (you can find out whether an accommodation is assessed by the AA using this website)