Hotel & B&B Ratings

AA Star Ratings

The accommodation ratings on ExploreUK use the AA's star system. Stars indicate that an establishment has been visited by a qualified AA inspector.

There are two accommodation rating schemes, one for hotels and one for guest accommodation (i.e. B&Bs, Guest Houses, Farmhouses and Inns).

Accommodation inspections take place under quality standards agreed between the AA, VisitEngland, VisitScotland and VisitWales. There are various requirements that an establishment needs to meet at each rating level. Establishments rated by the AA pay an annual fee and receive an unannounced visit from an AA inspector, who then recommends the appropriate rating. Return visits by an inspector confirm that standards are maintained. Ratings are not transferable if an establishment changes ownership.

AA Hotel Scheme

Hotels are classified on a scale of one to five stars, with one being the simplest and five the most luxurious.

Red stars indicate the very best hotels in Britain and Ireland.

Silver stars indicate places that are highly recommended for their standards of hotelkeeping and the quality of their food within their star rating.

Black stars indicate the standard of facilities at the hotel.

Hotels in the scheme fall into one of six types:

  • TOWN HOUSE HOTEL: a small, individual city or town centre property.
  • COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL: quietly located in a rural area.
  • SMALL HOTEL: has fewer than 20 bedrooms and is owner-managed.
  • METRO HOTEL: a hotel in an urban location that does not offer an evening meal.
  • BUDGET HOTEL: these are usually purpose-built modern properties offering inexpensive accommodation. Often located near motorways and in town or city centres.
  • HOTEL: any hotel in the scheme that isn’t one of the above.

Associate establishments – these are rated by VisitEngland, VisitScotland or VisitWales and have paid to be listed by the AA on a marketing-only basis.

AA B&B and Guest Accommodation Scheme

Accommodation is classified on a scale of one to five stars, with one being the simplest and five being more luxurious.

Gold stars indicate the very best places within the 3-, 4-, and -5-star ratings.

Silver stars indicate places that are highly recommended for levels of hospitality, service and cleanliness within their rating.

Black stars indicate the standard of facilities at the B&B.

Places in the Guest Accommodation scheme fall into one of seven types:

  • B&B: accommodation provided in a private house by the owner for up to 6 paying guests.
  • INN: a fully licensed establishment, where the bar is open to non-residents. Food is available in the evenings. B&B: bed and breakfast in a private house, run by the owners, with no more than six paying guests.
  • GUEST HOUSE: a more commercial establishment, with more than six paying guests. Usually more services are available than in a B&B; for example, dinner.
  • FARMHOUSE: B&B or guest house rooms on a working farm or smallholding.
  • RESTAURANT WITH ROOMS: a destination restaurant, where the restaurant is the main business and is open to non-residents at least five nights a week. Food is of a high standard, and there is a maximum of twelve bedrooms.
  • GUEST ACCOMMODATION: any establishment which meets the entry requirements for the scheme can choose this description.
  • ROOM ONLY: breakfast is usually not available.

To find out more about the schemes, please email [email protected]