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Forbes hotel ratings

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Lodge at Torrey Pines

Lodge at Torrey Pines

Image courtesy Lodge at Torrey Pines
How are Forbes Travel Guide Star ratings (formerly the Mobil Star ratings) assigned? Is there really a difference between a Two Star and Three Star hotel? Is a Five Star hotel worth the money? Decoding Forbes hotel rating system can help you figure out how to get the most for your money.

What Hotels Are Rated?
Forbes Travel Guide rates hotels in North America. Of the approximately 50,000 hotels, Forbes Travel Guide recommends and rates about 8,000. Of those, only a few dozen earn the Five Star rating. The ratings are intended to be independent. Forbes Travel Guide has rated hotels since 1958.

Forbes Travel Guide Travel Guide "inspectors" appear at a hotel property unannounced. They inspect the hotels and rate them as a One, Two or Three Star hotel. If the hotel is a candidate to qualify for a Four or Five Star rating, an inspector is sent undercover to evaluate the hotel's service. The inspector will typically spend two or three nights at the hotel, experiencing all of the facilities and rating the service on a checklist of more than 500 items.

Does the Star Rating Effect the Room Rates?
Sometimes, but not always. You can count on a One Star hotel being much less expensive than a Four Star hotel. Between the Two, Three, Four, and even Five Star hotels, however, there is a wide range of prices. A lower Forbes Travel Guide Star rating does not by any means guarantee a lower room rate.

Next: 2009 Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Hotels

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