Since the invention of Trip Advisor, it seems most of us would rather rely on the opinions of other travellers who have "been there, done that", than the number of stars listed by a hotel name.
Why, well, every country seems to have its own star rating system and what one country deems a four-star hotel, another may well rate a 2-star property - so how do we know we are getting what we are paying for?
Social media outlets that offer advice and opinions are all well and good, but just because one traveller didn't like the colour of the wallpaper, or thought the orange juice at breakfast was slightly sour, doesn't necessarily mean the hotel is bad, and we have to accept that the review may well have been written by a competitor. So, we really need to read between the lines, and combine the hotel star rating with an overview of all opinions to get a better idea of what the property is really like.
After travelling to over 40 countries, I truly believe you get what you pay for, and while I understand everyone has a travel budget, I don't understand why someone would book a 2-star hotel when they are used to, and expect the luxurious amenities they have at home! It doesn't work like that...
Like most people I enjoy staying in five-star properties, but they can be very expensive, and unless you are going to spend a great deal of time in your hotel room or using the hotel facilities, then they are often not worth the investment. I prefer to save these hotels for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthday treats or romantic beach breaks, when we really make the most of the luxurious rooms, great facilities and five-star service.
We generally opt for four-star hotels where you get all the little luxuries you are used to at home such as quality bed linens, tastefully decorated rooms, clean bathrooms and electrical goods, without the pomp and ceremony offered by five-star hotels.
In most European countries, three-star hotels are decent properties with nice rooms, adequate facilities, and are therefore perfect for a weekend city break, but when you compare the prices of a three-star hotel with a four-star, you will probably find that there isn't much between them, so location may be your deciding factor.