Our self catering holiday cottages are rated for quality by Quality in Tourism who provide the official tourist board star grading. The grading scheme is complex but it is important to realise a few key aspects when choosing a self catering cottage.
All self catering properties with any star grading (1 Star to 5 Star) have to comply with some basic standards. There must be enough comfortable seating, dining room chairs, beds, crockery and other essential facilities for all the guests the property is advertised to sleep. Once these basic requirements have been met the assessment deals with the quality of these facilities and additional items provided such as tumble dryers, WiFi internet, telephones and television packages. It is assessment by Quality in Tourism of all these aspects that results in the overall self catering star grading.
1 Star and 2 Star holiday properties fall below the standards Island Cottage Holidays feels are acceptable and we have no self catering cottages at these gradings.
3 Star self catering properties, in very simple terms, must have ‘good’ facilities in all of the key areas as it is defined by the assessor. 3 Star self catering properties could be very good in some areas but may be let down by one facility. If only one area falls below the standard of 'very good' the cottage will only obtain a 3 Star grading.
4 Star self catering properties sit within the widest bracket of quality. In simple terms a 4 Star cottage must be ‘very good' in all the key areas as it is defined by the assessor. 4 Star self catering cottages will have a better standard in more areas than 3 Star cottages but there is a good deal of variation between self catering properties within this grading. To get a clearer picture of the quality of a property it is worth reading the description to check it meets your requirements and taking into account the cottage rental cost. If you are looking for a higher quality of facilities you may also want to look out for the 4 Star Gold Award grading. The gold award means that the self catering cottage is in the top end of the 4 star grading and will have many facilities which are at a 5 Star level of quality.
The 5 Star grading signifies that the self catering cottage has ‘excellent’ facilities is all of the key areas as it is defined by the assessor. Space and quality are both important in a 5 Star property. The very best of the 5 Star properties are awarded the 5 Star Gold Award grading which signifies a very high degree of excellence.
The Star Grading scheme alone is not perfect for conveying the suitability of a property. A 3 Star cottage may suit someone equally well as a 5 Star cottage if the facilities which a guest views are important, such beautiful views, tranquility, or lots of space, are ‘excellent’ in the 3 Star property and the facilities they don’t regard as important are only ‘good’. Likewise a 5 Star property may be unsuitable to a guest who values a traditional style property with traditional facilities which don’t rank so highly in the rating scheme. When looking at a 4 Star property in particular it is best to read the description of the property to check it is suitable as there is a great deal of variation in this category.
Our advice is to use the scheme advisedly as part of your decision when choosing your perfect self catering holiday cottage.