Difference between a 4-Star and a 5-Star Hotel

Key Difference: The main difference is the service delivery – in 4-star hotels, you shall ask it and you will receive. However, in 5-star hotels service is provided even before the customer asks. They provide service according to your anticipation and what they believe you require.

When booking a resort, one automatically tends to check the stars that a hotel is associated with. It is often confusing for many people when booking hotels for their vacation to determine if they should book a 4-star or splurge a little and book a 5-star? What exactly is the difference between the two anyway?

Well, believe it or not, this questions comes up for a lot of vacationers and they are often confused as there is no proper explanation that can help one understand what the actual difference is. The reason for this is because there are no universal standards that can determine the rating of hotel. In some places, ratings work according to diamonds. North America has Forbes stars and the AAA diamonds that can help distinguish between the two, but much of the time a 5-star hotel may end up becoming a 4-star hotel because of nothing but a technical hitch, such as the distance between the rooms.

If one wants to understand exactly how good a hotel is or how it treats its customers, online reviews are their best bet. People who have stayed at that hotel are often considered as the best people to give opinion on how their stay went and if the hotel provides what it sells on its website or advertisement.

There are a few ways that expert travelers have claimed that can help distinguish between a 4-star and a 5-star hotel. The main difference is the service delivery – in 4-star hotels, you shall ask it and you will receive. Want to book a reservation, call up the desk and ask them to book it. However, in 5-star hotels service is provided even before the customer asks. They provide service according to your anticipation and what they believe you require. The hotel will call and ask if you wish to make reservations or recommend which restaurants you can make reservations at, etc.

Another major difference is that 5-star hotels come with a whole lot of amenities such as luxury suites, fitness room, spa, multiple restaurants (for residents and non-residents), 24-hour services, car services, etc. They aim to make their customers feel like superstars. 4-star hotels may not offer all of these services and the ones they may offer are most likely optional and charged extra. 4-star hotels aim to provide you the luxuries you ask for, but don’t aim to treat you like a hotshot.

There are many other smaller differences that are listed below. However, again if one wishes to know what exactly a hotel or a resort is like, it is best to look at the comments and recommendations from the people who have previously lived at the hotel.

Comparison between a 4-Star & a 5-Star Hotel:


4-Star Hotel

5-Star Hotel

Service Delivery

Service is provided as and when needed by the customer. They will provide prompt delivery upon asking by their customers

Service is anticipated and provided even before it is asked for by the customer

Customer Treatment

Customers may be treated individually or grouped together as one. For them all paying customers may usually equal the same

Each customer is treated individually and looked after as thus


Chocolate on pillow, swimming pool, built in bathroom to each room, Wi-Fi accessibility (payment extra), maybe a fitness center, fridge and microwave ovens in each room (optional), etc.

Thermostatically controlled showers, permanent luxury suites, fitness rooms including personal headphones or televisions and the latest magazines, additional facilities, such as secondary dining, leisure, business center, spa, etc.

Facilities and Services

Services provided by the hotel are ‘optional’, which means that they would usually charge extra for providing these services

Customary services such as valet parking, concierge service, 24-hour reception, and 24-hour room service, etc.


Is less expensive compared to 5-star

Is more expensive compared to 4-star


Doesn’t need to offer a full-on lunch service, however this may be offered

Must have at least one restaurant open to residents and non-residents for all meals seven days a week


Usually has bathrooms inside the rooms

Must have ensuite bathrooms


Are not required to offer up-to-date technologies but usually have Wi-Fi access or a computer rooms

Must offer up-to-date technology such as Wi-Fi services, availability to computers, etc.

Additional facilities

Is not customary to offer services such as spa or fitness center.

must have additional facilities, such as secondary dining, fitness center, business center, spa, etc.

Luxury Suites

May offer luxury suites but it is not compulsory

Must offer luxury suites with three rooms - bedroom, lounge and bathroom


Attention is provided to the large details, soap and towels in each room or turn down service is available for each client, etc. However, little details such as flower arrangement or chocolate on each pillow may be overlooked

A lot of attention is given to the details and each detail is treated with the utmost care, such as bedsheets, linen, color theme, flower arrangement, etc.

Staff to guest ratio

Higher guest to staff ratio

Higher staff to guest ratio

Image Courtesy: hotelpsm.com, gulfhotelbahrain.com

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