A new tourist accommodation classification has come into force in France. The accommodation rating system has been brought into line with the new expectations of customers and takes into account requirements in terms of new technologies, sustainable development, staff training and disabled access.

As of 23 July 2012, the new tourist accommodation rating system resulting from the law adopted in July 2009 is now the only valid classification. Therefore, stars awarded before 27/12/2009 for hotels and before 01/07/2010 for other forms of accommodation are now obsolete and cannot be used commercially.

The new star rating for tourist accommodation affects hotels, campsites, residential leisure parks, tourist residences, holiday resorts and furnished tourist accommodation. The following criteria apply:

  • Qualitative rating criteria: obtaining a rating is now conditional on compliance with a new level of quality requirements relating to facilities and services delivered. 
  • Modern rating criteria: the rating criteria are developed in full consultation with all the national partners concerned (professional bodies, consumer bodies, the State). Laid out according to a system of scoring, they are now revised every 5 years.
  • A rating awarded for 5 years: star rating is voluntary and the monitoring of accommodation is carried out by accredited monitoring bodies, in accordance with the officially recognised rating criteria. In order to retain the benefits of their star rating, the accommodation will now be evaluated every 5 years.
  • A single rating system ranging from 1* to 5*: in order to provide reliable benchmarks for tourist customers, all forms of accommodation now enjoy a rating between 1* and 5*. All rated accommodation is therefore evaluated according to the three following areas: quality of the comfort of the facilities, the quality of the services offered by the establishments, best practices in terms of respect for the environment and welcoming disabled customers.
  • Online rating process: in order to manage their rating request, accommodation operators will now sign up online and will complete the rating process through the members’ area, from sending initial information to the accredited monitoring body to the publication of the rated establishment on the website. 

The list of rated establishments is available at:
www.classement.atout-france.fr

In terms of hotel accommodation, the key commitments by category are as follows:

  • 1 star, budget hotel. The minimum surface area of a double room must be 9 m² excluding bathroom facilities, which may be en-suite or shared.

  • 2 and 3 stars, mid-range. In these hotels, staff must speak at least one official European language in addition to French. The reception is open for at least ten hours per day. The minimum surface area of a double room must be 9 m² excluding bathroom facilities for 2 stars and 13.5 m², including bathroom facilities, for 3 stars. The difference between these and a 1 star hotel is also judged on the surface area of the communal areas, the lounge in particular, which must be at least 50 m² in a 3 star compared to 20 m² in a 1 star.

  • 4 and 5 stars, top-of-the-range and luxury hotels. Rooms are spacious, at least 16 m², including bathroom facilities, in a 4 star, and 24 m² in a 5 star. In hotels with more than 30 rooms, the reception is open 24 hours a day. Two European languages, including English, are required in a 5 star hotel, as well as room service, accompanying guests to their room and the option to dine in the hotel. Other benefits are typical of 5 star hotels, such as a valet parking service, concierge and specific in-room facilities such as a safe and Internet access. Air conditioning is mandatory.

Please note: the “hotel” rating does not require a minimum number of rooms.
(Sources: Atout France)