CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

France’s Hotel Rating System Explained

PUBLISHED: 13:26 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:48 17 September 2018

Find out what to expect in your French hotel room.

Find out what to expect in your French hotel room.


Get to grips with France’s star system for hotels with our handy guide.

With no standardised hotel rating system in Europe, knowing exactly what to expect from your accommodation can be tricky.

France isn’t part of the Hotelstars scheme, adopted by 17 European countries including Germany, Sweden and Greece; instead, public tourism body Atout France is responsible for administering its stars.

In 2009, its outdated and unclear ratings system was massively overhauled and an extra star category (five – the highest was previously four) was added to highlight those stand-out stays.

Unlike other countries, a key component of the ratings in France is the size of both the bedrooms and the hotel’s communal areas.

What can I expect from a one-star hotel?

Not a lot, if we’re honest! Your double room will be at least 9m², which doesn’t include the bathroom (either private or shared). The reception must be at least 20m² and there must be someone there to welcome you at least eight hours a day.

One-star hotelsOne-star hotels

What can I expect from a two-star hotel?

You’ll enjoy a higher level of comfort than the rudimentary one-star digs, but there’s still no obligation for your double room to be any bigger than 9m². This time the reception must be at least 30m² and open for at least ten hours a day. What’s more, it has to be staffed by someone who can speak at least one official European language, as well as French.

Two-star hotelsTwo-star hotels

What can I expect from a three-star hotel?

Again, comfort standards will be upped; your double room will be at least 13.5m² and this time it must have an en-suite. The reception, again at least 30m², must be open for at least ten hours a day, and once again manned by someone who can speak at least one official European language as well as French. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a range of guest services: internet in public areas, a bar and some communal lounges.

Three-star hotelsThree-star hotels

What can I expect from a four-star hotel?

Here, you’ll benefit from a personalised welcome from your hosts. Your double room will be at least 16m² and equipped with everything you could need, including WiFi, a desk, international TV channels and aircon. If your hotel has more than 30 rooms, the reception must be open 24 hours; less than 30 rooms, and it should be at least 12. In addition, there will be at least 70m² of communal areas for relaxing.

Four-star hotelsFour-star hotels

What can I expect from a five-star hotel?

Plenty, that’s for sure! You’ll be given an exceptional welcome by staff who must speak at least two foreign languages, one of which being English. Make the most of 24hr room service, in-hotel dining options, chauffeur and concierge services, plus safes and bathrobes in your spacious 24m² en-suite double. You can also expect some additional luxuries such as a swimming pool, massages, tennis courts, hairdressers or spa facilities.

Five-star hotelsFive-star hotels

What about ‘Palace’ hotels?

In 2010, another rating was created for those extra-special five-star establishments: Palace. Only 24 hotels in France have been awarded this special accolade, including the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, Paris’ Hôtel George V and Hotel les Airelles in Courchevel.

The luxurious Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes. Pic: Oetker CollectionThe luxurious Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes. Pic: Oetker Collection

To qualify, the hotel must excel in some of the following (but not limited to): heritage and character, geographical location, historical interest, range of services provided, gourmet offerings and environmental policies.

Be careful: hotels are still allowed to use the word ‘palace’ in their name even if they are not rated as such.

Liked this? You’ll also enjoy:

Stay the night at a UNESCO World Heritage Site in France

Stunning beach hotels in France for all budgets

10 of the most beautiful places to stay in France

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Friday, December 7, 2018

These welcoming and wonderful Christmas markets are just a short trip across the Channel away, so what are you waiting for?

Read more
Thursday, December 6, 2018

When it’s cold outside, indulge your love of French food and drink at one of these stylish pop-ups and events closer to home

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Discover the Christmas delights of northern France with our top five Christmas markets in the region

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From lakeside jazz festivals to chestnut fairs, get stuck in with these events taking place across France in December 2018

Read more
Thursday, November 22, 2018

You can ditch the airport queues and long drives, and hit the rails instead, says Daniel Elkan. The French Alps has an abundance of ski resorts that suit families, easily accessed by train.

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Budget travellers can pay nothing to stay at bed and breakfasts around the world during Barter Week in exchange for manual, creative or teaching activities

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Find out when your favourite French ski resort opens and closes this year and start planning your ski trip to France

Read more
Winter trips
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Find out what events are taking place in France to commemorate the Armistice centenary.

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

The full route of the 2019 Tour de France was announced in Paris on 25 October

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

From hot air balloon gatherings to scallop festivals, there’s always something fun and unique going on in France in November

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now