The Difference Between a 3 Star Hotel and 4 Star Hotel According to a Family Travel Expert

Have you ever wondered what the real difference is between a three-star hotel and a four-star hotel? Do you think it will be better, more luxurious, with better service? Well, you may be surprised to find that just spending more money on a hotel does not necessarily mean that you will get more for your money.

When we travel with my husband and 3 children, we almost always stay in 3-star hotels and sometimes in 2.5-star hotels. Our overall experience was enjoyable with mostly happy memories and minimal complaints.

We recently decided to improve our normal hotel stays from 3-star to 4-star in order to try to figure out what the difference is. We booked through for $ 65 per night (before taxes and $ 80 after taxes), which saved us a significant amount of money in the room, but we quickly taken aback by some hidden expenses as soon as we arrived.

Our 4-star hotel provided us with the following experiences:


When we arrived, the hotel was stunning, with marble floors, granite columns, impressive lighting, and outstanding architecture. The girl at the reception seemed a little new, and although she remembered all her lines, she lacked self-confidence.
Extra charges. When we move from a twin room to a king-size bed, we never informed that this would be an additional $ 48 surcharge beyond the price we had already pre-paid on Hotwire.

Extra charges

we told that we can park our car valet, or we can leave it in the hotel garage, both of which were at least for an additional fee of $ 10 (this was never mentioned in Hotwire when we originally booked number),


When we got to the 3rd floor, I examined every inch of the hotel along the way. The elevator was beautiful with laminated wooden floors and mirrors. I surprised when, upon entering our hotel room, I discovered that I had experienced nicer and larger rooms in 3-star hotels. The paint on the bathroom door chip, and there and there were small patches of wear.
Technology. The technology was top notch with a 51-inch or larger LCD flat-screen TV, a desk with PC Internet access, and a trendy modern alarm clock with iPod connection.
Soundproofed rooms. When we settled, it was obvious that the walls were not as soundproof as one would hope, and here we could knock, knock and talk to other visitors of the hotel as they passed our room.

24-hour help at the reception was a wonderful feature that I took advantage of when the high-tech (and very loud) alarm clock in the room next door worked at 4 in the morning and continued to ring for more than an hour. I called the front desk staff, who quickly took care of the problem.


The pool was top notch and very child-friendly with a glass ceiling so that sunlight (or moonlight) could shine onto the pool. The jacuzzi was very nice, although none of the planes worked. But at least the water was warm.
Activities and leisure products –

there were many toys for children to play with, well-stocked towels and lots of pool furniture. There was also a backyard outside with a barbecue pit, a hammock and other sun loungers.

Four-star services

this 4-star hotel had a very organized folder in which all services were presented, from airline phone numbers, baggage services that pick up and check your belongings for the flight, to local childcare services and much more. But when I asked for information about the local nanny service in the customer service department, he literally had no idea about the service and was very apologetic. I waited until he finally found one phone number of a local childcare company in the area and, with complete uncertainty, handed me a written number to try and see if it works. So much for a 4-star service.

When we checked out, we found that our $ 80 room rate from Hotwire now turned into a $ 155 hotel with a 3-star service. When traveling with family, parents must be sure that their budget will not decrease due to unforeseen expenses, and it is important to be able to know in advance what expenses will be during the trip. So, in general, I will seriously review the possibility of staying in a 4-star hotel and stay for a while in 3-star hotels, as they always seem predictable in terms of price, comfort, and service.


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