VisitDenmark, HORESTA and representatives from the industry via the Classification Board.

The Hotel Stars Union specifies its hotel criteria jointly with the participating countries. The criteria are revised continuously to ensure that they reflect guests’ needs and developments in the industry.

Administration and inspections are carried out by HORESTA.

The Classification Board may comprise up to three representatives appointed by VisitDenmark and three appointed by HORESTA’s directorate.

The Board’s primary duties are the continuous development of the quality label scheme and the processing of appeals and exemption cases from the classified companies. The Board also specifies changes to the criteria for the Hotel Stars Union in connection with the revision of current criteria.

Classification of the participating hotels involves an assessment of the companies based on over 250 objective hotel criteria set by the Hotel Stars Union. The participating hotels are inspected at intervals of approximately 24 months, to ensure that each company continues to meet the applicable criteria.

The inspector carries out a pre-notified visit and inspects a representative sample selection of hotel rooms as well as other areas and facilities available to guests. In some cases unnotified visits may be carried out. Following the visit, the hotel receives a confirmation of the number of stars attained or a list of criteria that have not been met, together with a deadline by which these must be met. Exceeding the specified deadline may have consequences for the number of stars awarded.

The number of stars is determined on the basis of the inspector’s evaluations according to the applicable hotel criteria. A criterion is considered to be met only if it is satisfied by the hotel, or the service or facility concerned is published for the guest (for example, on a website, app, room plan, TV or similar).

The criteria are set by the countries participating in the common European hotel classification in the Hotel Stars Union. The criteria are revised continuously to reflect developments as regards customers’ needs and wishes as well as general developments in the industry, technology, etc.

A focus on guests and flexibility are among the core values of the hotel classification. They are achieved through a combination of minimum criteria and optional criteria, which ensures that guests have the same experience of quality and service across the different types of hotel.

Minimum criteria cover common features for most hotel types at each star level. All minimum criteria for the star level must be met for stars to be awarded. There are also a number of optional criteria.

Optional criteria are all criteria that are not minimum criteria for the star category. The optional criteria enable hotels to earn extra points and possibly a Superior rating for many of the services and facilities that are intended for their particular segment.

Stars are awarded on the basis of the total number of points the hotel has attained for the minimum and optional criteria that are met.

Download criteria set (PDF)

The stars are awarded in accordance with over 250 different criteria. 1 - 5 stars are awarded, where the designation ‘Garni’ (e.g. ‘3-star Garni’) may be given for up to 4 stars for hotels that only serve breakfast. Hotels that have a significantly higher number of points than required for their star category but do not meet all minimum criteria for the next category may be awarded an additional ‘Superior’ quality label.

A brief summary of the most important characteristics for the different star levels is given below.

1 star

• Bathroom/toilet facilities
• Digital contact 24/7
• Desk/table
• Electricity socket in the room
• TV
• Soap/shower gel

2 stars

• Bilingual staff
• Breakfast buffet or breakfast platter
• Shampoo

On demand:
• Sewing kit + shoe shine kit

3 stars

• Bathroom/toilet in all rooms
• 10-hour staffed reception
• Electricity socket by desk and beds
• Adapter/charger
• Hairdryer

On demand:
• Baggage service
• Iron and ironing board
• Umbrella
• Extra pillow
• Safe

4 stars

• Lift if more than 3 floors
• 16-hour staffed reception/day-time staffing
• Laundry service
• Pillow menu
• Armchair or sofa
• International TV programmes
• Shoehorn in the room
• Flexible cosmetics mirror
• Minibar or 16-hour room service
• Bar/lounge area

On demand:
• Bath robe/slippers

5 stars

• 24-hour staffed reception and service
• Parking service
• Restaurant open every day
• Concierge/Guest Relations Manager
• Ironing service
• Turndown/supplementary room check
• Suites with separate bedroom
• 2 pillows per person
• Equipment for internal/external communication
• Bath robe/slippers
• 24-hour drinks service/room service

On demand:
Tablet/PC in the room