A five star hotel seems to be the universal testament to excellence. It isn’t – not officially, at least – but we all see some grandiose vision of beautiful hotel when we hear the term. And why not – grading systems exist for a reason, and that is to tell the best apart from the rest. And the best deserve a little space from the rest – they also deserve to be rested in.

But how do you find the right five star hotel to stay in over the course of your travels? And what exactly quantifies a “five star hotel”, setting it aside from all of its competitors? Is it just about the food, the bedding, and the staff – or is there more to it? Is it about excellence or style, grace or comfort? Let’s have a little look and see!

Nearly Unanimous Respect

When you’re beginning your search for great five star accommodations online, one of the most comprehensive and informative – but also at times wholly inaccurate – source of information are public reviews. Review websites where people can come together and, without financial bias, discuss the qualities of any one hotel are usually where you’ll find your best shot at the truth behind a hotel.

Sure, some people will always complain – they’re born to see the negativity in almost anything. But if you can find a hotel with a nearly perfect record of public trust and respect, then you’re on the way to finding something truly qualitative – in a proven way. Of course, you have to pay attention to your search categories – look for high-end hotels, on the loftier end of the price spectrum, and look only on reputable sites.

Style and Class over Price

A real five star hotel isn’t about offering the fanciest luxuries to the super rich. These are tacky, untested attempts at creating something of fluff, without actual substance. Even world-renowned hotels can just be tricky marketing schemes, built entirely out of hype and plated gold, without a firm and strong foundation of qualitative character.

Hotels are a big and common business. Statista shows that the industry has been on the rise globally since its decline during the world recession, with a current market share over 450 billion US dollars. In India, the hotel industry is rising steadily as Statista.com shows. But truly world-class hotels are there to serve you real quality – through impeccable service, sentimentality, tact for each and every customer, and an experience like absolutely no other. Real world-class hotels will make you feel like royalty, pampering you – but without pandering to your ego. World-class hotels will woo you with pure class and excellence, rather than cheap charms.

One night in five star hotels, like The Imperial, should be the kind of night you would remember for the rest of your life.

Not Just Superb Quality, but Also Consistency

Five-star establishments necessitate perfect service – that means every napkin is folded perfectly, every bed is made without fault, each meal is prepared in the same, perfect manner, and service is available 24/7 without a single minute of an exception. But there’s more to it than that. Service cannot just be impeccable – it has to be impeccable forever. To last through decades without a single moment’s decline – that is the true magic to a world-class hotel.

Many hotels can achieve the hype and the momentum to make excellence last for the first few months, maybe even the first few years. But it’s the tried, true and tested hotels that really make it into the five-star range – and you’ll be able to tell instantly if a hotel carries this quality by the amount of regular patrons it has. People who travel all over the globe and always return to the same accommodations, because they know that no matter what, they can always count on excellence and quality.

Expansive Services

Hotels have to cater to customers of all kinds. That can mean many, many things. For one, breakfast has to come in a number of options for different tastes and cultures, and it has to be available all day. The other food options all have to carry over a variety of cuisines. Then, there’s what’s to offer in the rooms.

Every room requires a high-end television with access to at least twelve channels, and a game console in some hotels. Telephones have to have a direct line to room service and the concierge, as well as any other local emergency services. Finally – and this is more recent addition – mandatory Wi-Fi all throughout the hotel to help guests stay connected during a visit. Wi-Fi has become especially important in the hospitality industry – according to Instel.es, the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism funded a program to help hotels implement Wi-Fi services because of the impact they have.

In the end, the most crucial difference between a five-star hotel of excellence and just any old hotel, is the human element. Choosing a five star hotel is about choosing a hotel with extremely professional, competent, and helpful staff who absolutely love their job, and feel proud in their work.