Star ratings, from 1 to 5, show the standard of quality for hotels, guest accommodation and self-catering. The following brief summary gives the main standards within their ratings. For a much more detailed break-down of what is expected at each level, you can view our comprehensive quality standards:
Download Common Quality Standards for AA recognised hotels
Download Common Quality Standards for AA recognised guest accommodation
Download Common Quality Standards for AA self-catering
Download Common Quality Standards for AA serviced accommodation
Hotel star ratings
1 star: Courteous staff provide an informal yet competent service. All rooms are ensuite or have private facilities. A designated eating area serves breakfast daily and dinner most evenings.
2 stars: A restaurant or dining room serves breakfast daily and dinner most evenings.
3 stars: Staff are smartly and professionally presented. The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents.
4 stars: Professional, uniformed staff respond to your needs or requests. Well-appointed public areas. The restaurant or dining room is open to residents and non-residents. Lunch is available in a designated eating area.
5 stars: Luxurious accommodation and public areas. A range of extra facilities and a multilingual service available. Guests are greeted at the hotel entrance. High quality menu and wine list.
Guest accommodation star ratings
1 star: Minimum quality requirements for cleanliness, maintenance, hospitality, facilities and services. A cooked or substantial continental breakfast is served in a dining room or eating area, or bedroom only.
2 stars: Courteous service, well-maintained beds. Breakfast prepared with a good level of care.
3 stars: Friendly welcome, and good-quality, well-presented beds and furniture. A choice of good-quality, freshly cooked food is available at breakfast.
4 stars: Attentive, more personalised service. At least half of the bedrooms are en suite or have private bathrooms. Very good beds and high quality furniture. Breakfast offers a greater choice, and fresh ingredients are cooked and presented with a high level of care.
5 stars: Awareness of each guest's needs with nothing being too much trouble. All bedrooms are en suite or have a private bathroom. Excellent quality beds and furnishings. Breakfast includes specials/home-made items, high quality ingredients, and fresh local produce.
Self catering and serviced accommodation star ratings
1 star: Minimum quality requirements for cleanliness, maintenance, fixtures, fittings, and furnishings. Items provided are adequate and functional, all in working order, and are fit for the purpose intended.
2 stars: A good standard of quality overall is required. Improved coordination and use of space, and a wider range of items provided.
3 stars: Detailed evidence of care and external maintenance. A good provision of local information and additional recreational items. Well-finished fittings and decor and a kitchen well-stocked with cookware, crockery, cutlery and utensils.
Very good to excellent standards throughout, with high quality coordinated furniture, fixtures and fittings. Ample space with well-planned layout of furniture; high quality and very good range of kitchen equipment.
5 stars: Exceptional and outstanding levels of comfort throughout, with an excellent range of items. High quality furniture with striking interior design. An excellent range of kitchen appliances, cookware, crockery, cutlery and utensils, all in pristine condition.
Other awards and classifications
AA Merit Score
In addition to the star rating, we give each hotel an AA Merit Score as a percentage. This indicates the level of quality achieved within each star rating, which helps you to compare hotels with the same number of stars.
Red Star Award: AA Inspectors' Choice in Britain & Ireland
The AA's supreme accolade for hotels, regardless of size or type of operation. A hotel awarded red stars has been selected by the AA as one of the best hotels in the British Isles, offering excellent levels of quality throughout, outstanding levels of hospitality and service.
Hotel Silver Star Award
Highly recommended hotels offering a superior level of quality within their star rating, high standards of hotel keeping in particular hospitality, service and cleanliness and hold an AA Rosette award for the quality of their food.
Guest Accommodation Gold Star Award
The AA's supreme accolade for guest accommodation, regardless of size or type of operation. AA Gold Stars are awarded to the very best properties offering excellent levels of quality throughout and outstanding levels of hospitality and service. The AA's supreme accolade for self catering offering excellent levels of quality and facilities.
Guest Accommodation Silver Star Award
Highly recommended guest accommodation offering a superior level of quality within their star rating, high standards of hospitality, service and cleanliness.
Breakfast and Dinner awards
For guest accommodation, the eggcup and pie symbols indicate a very special breakfast or dinner, with an emphasis on freshly prepared local ingredients.
Hotel, guest accommodation or self catering may have an 'unconfirmed' symbol because their star rating has not been confirmed. This may be due to a change of ownership, or the establishment has only recently joined the AA rating scheme, or we are working with the management/owners whilst works and changes take place to achieve an AA star rating.
AA Associate recognition
Establishments inspected and rated by VisitBritain, VisitScotland or VisitWales can pay to belong to the AA Associate hotel/guest accommodation scheme. You can be confident that all AA Associate-recognised establishments have star ratings that meet the common quality standards.
These establishments are not rated or inspected by the AA but are displayed for purely advertising reasons only.