Due to our claim "More security and transparency for guests", the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) established in 1996 an official hotel classification system in Germany that has been demanded by consumer associations for several years. In the meantime, nearly 9,000 establishments have asked for an assessment on a voluntary base according to the uniform nation-wide criteria of the "German Hotel Classification".

Guests are given an expressive and reliable short message about quality standards of hotels within a star symbol scheme. The classification is open to all licensed types of accommodation facilities.

The hotel classification is an incentive aimed at raising quality standards and improving the chances for independent medium-size hotels to be booked via computer reservation systems.

The diversity of establishments is taken into account by 270 criteria of the "German Hotel Classification". The system is based on minimum criteria and weighting points for each category.

The assessment is based exclusively on objective criteria. Individual evaluations are emotional and subjective. This is why the hotel rating does not mirror subjective aspects. Nevertheless, aspects of the general conditions of the building, the furniture and the basics of accomodation facilities are included.

The brand product "German Hotel Classification" is masterminded by DEHOGA. Together with our touristic partner organizations and 18 regional classification institutions we guarantee that hotels all over Germany are rated in a fair and objective way.

All new classified hotels are controlled at the beginning of the classification term to assure that "cheaters" have no chance. The rating must be repeated regularly. Its validity is limited to a three years term. In cases of dispute arbitration procedures under the auspices of the chambers of commerce take place, not to mention the possibility of going to civil courts.

All criteria for the rating of hotels according to the "German Hotel Classification" are public and freely accessible. Everybody has the chance to verify specific ratings and is heartily invited to do so. A complaint management system takes care of each valuable contribution. Intensive PR activities inform guests about the development of the classification.

Since the grading scheme has been settled from its very start as a dynamic system obeying market requirements, it had to be already completely relaunched in 1999 in order to still match consumer needs. In early 2005 and 2010 all criteria have been controlled and updated again so that the new list of criteria is a serious basis to offer transparency, high quality and reliability to all guests and consumers.

On December 14th, 2009, an important step was taken towards harmonised hotelstars in Europe: the hotel associations from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland created the “Hotelstars Union” under the patronage of HOTREC – Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe. In the meantime, the following countries joined the star family: Estonia (2011), Latvia (2011) and Lithuania (2011).

The partnership is providing a harmonised hotel classification with common criteria and procedures in the participating countries. The Hotelstars Union enhances the reputation and quality of the hotel industry in the participating countries by creating transparency and security for the guests and thereby encouraging hotel marketing. The members of the Hotelstars Union take a challenging step on the road towards a European hotel classification; an agreement that relies on the 21 principles of HOTREC for the development of hotel classification systems, which are binding for the members of the “Hotelstars Union”.

The membership in the Hotelstars Union is open to other HOTREC members. The joint hotel classification is a dynamic system. Its criteria and procedures are checked regularly and developed further according to the expectations of the guests.