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What is Difference Between 4-star and 5-star hotel

There are a few ways that expert travelers have claimed that can help distinguish the difference between 4-star and 5-star hotels (hotel rating). Let’s see in this blog.

Difference between 4-star and 5-star hotels

The core distinction lies in the level of service – at a 4-star hotel, you need to request a service to get it, whereas at a 5-star hotel, services are offered proactively based on your expected needs and what the hotel perceives you might need.

Difference between 4-star and 5-star hotels
 Suite Room – Type of room in a 4 stars hotel in Hanoi

Reserving a resort often involves checking its star rating. Many travelers find it perplexing to decide between a 4-star and a 5-star hotel for their holiday. What sets them apart?

Surprisingly, this is a common dilemma as there is no clear guidance on the key differences. This is due to the absence of global standards for hotel ratings. Some regions use diamonds for ratings, while North America uses Forbes stars and AAA diamonds. Consequently, a 5-star hotel might be classified as a 4-star due to minor technicalities, such as room spacing.

To gauge a hotel’s quality and customer service, online reviews are invaluable. Past guests are usually the most reliable sources for insights on the hotel’s offerings and whether it matches its online portrayal.

Seasoned travelers have identified several ways to differentiate a 4-star from a 5-star hotel. The pivotal difference lies in service delivery. At a 4-star hotel, you must request a service to receive it. For example, you need to call the desk to make a reservation.

Conversely, 5-star hotels offer services proactively, based on your expected needs and their perception of what you might need. They might call to inquire about your reservation preferences or suggest restaurants for reservations, etc.

Difference between 4-star and 5-star hotels
 5 stars hotel in Hanoi Vietnam

Another key difference is the amenities. 5-star hotels typically offer a wide array of amenities, including luxury suites, fitness centers, spas, multiple dining options (for both guests and non-guests), round-the-clock services, car services, and more, all aimed at making guests feel like VIPs.

Conversely, 4-star hotels might not offer all these amenities, and those available might incur additional charges. 4-star hotels focus on providing the luxuries you request rather than making you feel like a celebrity.

While these are some significant differences, there are many other minor ones. However, to truly understand a hotel or resort’s quality, it is recommended to consult comments and recommendations from past guests.

>>> See more: Best 4-star hotel in Hanoi Vietnam

Comparison between a 4-Star & a 5-Star Hotel

The differences between a 4-star and a 5-star hotel can be significant and vary across several dimensions, including service delivery, customer treatment, amenities, facilities and services, price, restaurants, bathrooms, technology, additional facilities, luxury suites, attention to details, and staff-to-guest ratio.

Service Delivery:

In a 4-star hotel, service is provided as and when needed by the customer, meaning they will provide prompt delivery upon asking by their customers.

On the other hand, a 5-star hotel anticipates and provides service even before it is asked for by the customer.

Difference between 4-star and 5-star hotels
 Spa in a 4 stars hotel in Hanoi Vietnam

Customer Treatment:

In a 4-star hotel, customers may be treated individually or grouped together as one, meaning all paying customers may usually be treated the same.

However, in a 5-star hotel, each customer is treated individually and looked after as such.


A 4-star hotel may offer amenities like chocolate on the pillow, a swimming pool, built-in bathroom to each room, Wi-Fi accessibility (payment extra), maybe a fitness center, fridge, and microwave ovens in each room (optional), etc.

Meanwhile, a 5-star hotel offers thermostatically controlled showers, permanent luxury suites, fitness rooms including personal headphones or televisions and the latest magazines, additional facilities such as secondary dining, leisure, business center, spa, etc.

Facilities and Services 4-star and 5-star hotel:

In a 4-star hotel, services provided are ‘optional,’ meaning they would usually charge extra for providing these services.

However, a 5-star hotel offers customary services such as valet parking, concierge service, 24-hour reception, and 24-hour room service, etc.


A 4-star hotel is less expensive compared to a 5-star hotel, which is more expensive compared to a 4-star hotel.


A 4-star hotel doesn’t need to offer a full-on lunch service, although this may be offered.

A 5-star hotel must have at least one restaurant open to residents and non-residents for all meals seven days a week.


A 4-star hotel usually has bathrooms inside the rooms, while a 5-star hotel must have ensuite bathrooms.


A 4-star hotel is not required to offer up-to-date technologies but usually has Wi-Fi access or computer rooms. Meanwhile, a 5-star hotel must offer up-to-date technology such as Wi-Fi services, availability to computers, etc.

Additional Facilities:

It is not customary for a 4-star hotel to offer services such as a spa or fitness center. However, a 5-star hotel must have additional facilities, such as secondary dining, fitness center, business center, spa, etc.

Luxury Suites:

A 4-star hotel may offer luxury suites, but it is not compulsory. However, a 5-star hotel must offer luxury suites with three rooms – bedroom, lounge, and bathroom.


In a 4-star hotel, attention is provided to the large details, such as soap and towels in each room or turn down service available for each client, etc. However, little details such as flower arrangement or chocolate on each pillow may be overlooked.

On the other hand, a 5-star hotel gives a lot of attention to the details, and each detail is treated with the utmost care, such as bed sheets, linen, color theme, flower arrangement, etc.

Staff to Guest Ratio:

A 4-star hotel has a higher guest-to-staff ratio, while a 5-star hotel has a higher staff-to-guest ratio.

Overall, 5-star hotels offer a more personalized, luxurious, and comprehensive experience compared to 4-star hotels. They are characterized by their attention to detail, higher staff-to-guest ratio, and provision of premium services and facilities.

Difference between 4-star and 5-star hotels
 5-Star Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam

In conclusion, the primary differences between 4-star and 5-star hotels lie in the level of service, amenities, and attention to detail. A 5-star hotel provides a more personalized and luxurious experience, anticipating and meeting customer needs even before they are expressed. They offer more facilities, have a higher staff-to-guest ratio, and pay meticulous attention to every detail, from the decor to the quality of linen and amenities provided.

On the other hand, 4-star hotels offer a high standard of service and facilities but may charge extra for some services and may not offer the same level of luxury, personal attention, and comprehensive amenities as 5-star hotels. Ultimately, the choice between a 4-star and a 5-star hotel depends on the traveler’s preferences, needs, and budget.

>>>See more: Hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter

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