There’s no one answer. The 5-Star hotel and restaurant standards varies for different people depending on personal requirements and expectations. There’s no question that some part of a 5-Star ranking is subjective. But here’s a summary of a few musts and there are additional criteria.
1 – Service that makes people feel like stars and important. It’s when the staff gives you the feeling they love their work and it’s not simply a job — that’s 5-Star. They genuinely want to please guests and if it means going out of their way and doing something extra, the client won’t know if it’s an imposition.
2 – Hotels where the staff is impeccably dressed and caters to clients’ needs and wants. For example, high tea being served using silver and perfectly white pressed linen. Cocktails should be served on a tray accompanied by cloth cocktail napkins and well-presented hor d’oeuvres.
3 – Cleanliness and décor are big 5-Star factors plus total attention to detail. There’s nothing like a room with a wonderful view where the bed linens are ironed and there are flowers. The bathrooms should be elegant and you shouldn’t have to grope for the soap or be confronted by scratchy towels. Noise from the hall or adjoining rooms should not be heard.
4 – Five-star service requires an effort on the part of the staff to understand the individual being served and to specifically tailor the service so that he or she feels completely at ease.
5 – The 5-Star service is uninterrupted by negotiation or by the customer having to explain or educate the personnel about their expectations. A five star establishment has already calibrated its service to the highest level.
6 – Every 5-Star restaurant is flawless when it comes to food and service. A large staff serves the courses but they’re choreographed to make it seem as though only one person waiting on you. There is no noise or bumping into other dining room personnel as wine is poured or during the meal. Guests aren’t rushed but when they ask for the bill, it should be processed in a timely manner.
7 – With 5-Star service the staff is more than gracious, always smiles, is willing to go more that all out to please clients, anticipates their needs and follows up. For example, I was bowled over when I returned to one hotel after a two-year hiatus and it had a VERY soft pillow in my room when I arrived. Plus, there was a yogurt waiting for me each night because I take a medication that requires it at bedtime. I didn’t have to ask because it was entered in the hotel’s data bank. I call that impressive since how could they know I’d ever return. And even more amazingly, I was treated as if I were a regular.
Now it’s your turn to add what makes a hotel or a restaurant a 5-Star experience for you.
Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.