service in UK
for hotel and guest accommodation
- Hotels or guest accommodation assessed by the AA are rated under a set
of common quality standards agreed by the AA and the UK tourist authorities
(VisitBritain, VisitScotland and VisitWales).
- The common standards make types of accommodation
easy to understand and give you confidence that establishments can meet
the standards you require.
- Accommodation is assessed under three broad categories: Hotel, Guest Accommodation and Budget Hotel.
accommodation offering full hotel service
with ample grounds or gardens set in a rural or semi-rural situation;
the property has an emphasis on peace and quiet.
establishments having a maximum of 20 bedrooms, and personally run by
property of distinctive style with a maximum of 50 bedrooms, set in
a town or city centre; possibly no dinner but room service is available
A town or
city property providing full hotel services except dinner, close to
a range of places to eat.
Guest accommodation categories
provided in a private house by the owner for up to six paying guests.
for more than six paying guests, with the owner and staff providing
more services, eg dinner.
or Guest House accommodation provided on a working farm.
provided in a fully licensed establishment. The bar will be open to
non-residents and provide food in the evenings.
offering a maximum of 12 bedrooms
that meets the minimum entry requirements can choose to use this general
AA accommodation scheme
The AA is
one of the UK's most recognised and trusted brands. We have been recommending
and acknowledging hotels for over a century, and in 2008 celebrated
100 years in the hospitality industry.
If you run
a hotel, guest house, self catering or camping park you will understand
the benefit of being associated with a well-established recognition
scheme. An AA rating can make a big difference to how customers view
AA has developed
Common Quality Standards for inspecting and rating hotels and guest
accommodation. These standards and rating categories are now applied
throughout the British Isles. Any hotel or guest house applying for
AA recognition receives an unannounced visit from an AA inspector to
are determined by the services and facilities provided for guests, but
also by the quality of the welcome, service and hospitality of the staff,
the food and the cleanliness. Having an official star-rating system
helps potential guests know what to expect before they arrive.
Types of accommodation
many types of holiday accommodation in the UK from hotels and B&Bs
to campsites and apartments and cheaper accommodation like hostels and
campuses. There are:
- Hotel & Guest accommodation
- Hostel & Campus
- Holiday Village & Campsites
- Self-catering accommodation
- Hotels in Britain come in
all shapes and sizes, from the charming country house hotel with ample
grounds and picturesque gardens to impressive modern structures in city centres.
- They offer a range of facilities
and services, depending on location and price. Town House hotels are
located in city centres, with a small number of
luxury rooms, beautiful furnishings, attentive staff and superb cuisine
(or, if without a restaurant, offering 24 hour room service). Metro
Hotels are also found in the centre of town and provide full hotel services
with the exception of dinner.
- As the name suggests, Country
House Hotels are found in beautiful rural locations. They are often
luxuriously appointed, set in their own grounds, and the rooms frequently
have special features such as four-poster beds. Some may have leisure
facilities like swimming pools or health spas and may be able to arrange
country sport activities such as clay pigeon shooting and fishing.
- Prices can vary widely from £70.00 per night outside London
to over £200.00 in
London, based on two people sharing a room with breakfast. Many large
hotels have special offers at weekends and in the low season.
- Stay in a family run B&B
and really experience the British way of life. A home-cooked meal in
a comfortable homely environment can make all the difference to your
- You’ll get a
friendly welcome from resident owners who’ll want to
give you every home comfort with that personal touch. They’ll also be keen to offer you
local knowledge and recommend places to visit.
- You’ll find Guest
Accommodation almost everywhere in Britain, from Victorian houses in
the city to converted farms in the countryside. Some places may have
just one room to let, while others may have more than 10. Whatever the
size, they are all comfortable and inviting.
- Quality ranges from the simple
to the luxurious. Bathrooms aren’t always
en-suite, but many offer them as standard.
- The main appeal to this type
of accommodation is the homely feel. Relax and take in the hospitable
atmosphere, and don’t be surprised
if you find yourself enjoying breakfast with the family round a big
table in the kitchen.
- Great for those on the move.
Hostels offer simple accommodation at a budget price, and are ideal
whether you’re travelling
on your own or as part of a group.
- Youth hostels are relatively
low-cost and traveller-friendly. They’re very popular in large cities,
but you can also find many delightful village hostels in rural areas.
- They generally provide private
and shared rooms for individuals, couples or groups. Hostels are usually
self-catering, although they sometimes provide hot meals and refreshments.
- There are a number of large
hostel associations such as the Youth Hostel
Association and the Scottish Youth Hostel Association,
which operate quality accommodation throughout Britain, but there are
also thousands of great independent hostels around the country.
- Most hostels allow member
and non-member guests, although members and owners of an International
Hostelling Card may enjoy more benefits. Check with the individual hostel
and the international hostelling organisation in your country for further
- Whether you're backpacking
all over Britain, or taking a short city break, youth hostels are a
great way to travel on a budget and have a fantastic social experience
at the same time.
- Britain is scattered with historic and well-known
universities. During holiday periods many open their campus doors offering
good value comfortable accommodation for every type of visitor.
- Britain’s university cities are famous
for their historic architecture, spectacular cathedrals, soaring towers
and well-mannered locals. There are dozens of Campus locations throughout
Britain and wherever you go you’ll find countless interesting
places to visit and things to do nearby.
- You’ll also benefit from the fact
that most universities have an excellent range of services including
shops, banks, laundries, bars, lounges, TV rooms and sports facilities.
These are designed for students, so will be either on campus, or conveniently
located in the surrounding area.
- There’s a choice of bed and breakfast,
half-board or self-catering accommodation available. Whatever you choose,
campus accommodation is an excellent way to discover a local area while
keeping to a budget.
- Traditional British holiday villages have been
popular for over 40 years. Offering a fun and entertaining environment
they continue to attract an ever-growing number of enthusiastic visitors
from around the world.
- British holiday villages come from an era when
international travel was less common and the British public demanded
high quality holidays at home. Today they are as popular as ever with
both local and foreign visitors.
- From the more traditional holiday camps, to the
modern climate-controlled sites, holiday villages are a great way of
combining accommodation with on-site leisure facilities and entertainment.
- British holiday villages welcome all types of
visitors and are ideal for families. With pools, sports centres, horse riding, evening entertainment,
and many other activities you can’t help but have fun. Many also
have a ‘Kids Club’, so Mum and Dad can relax a
little more during their stay.
- Holiday Villages offer something to suit all
ages and interests, and are the perfect environments for doing as much
or as little as you like.
- Camping was born in Britain
and, despite the occasional rain-shower, is enjoyed by millions every
year. You’ll find a
huge variety of sites in Britain, from secluded forest locations to
- Whatever your preference,
if you’re an outdoor
enthusiast, you’ve got a
- Holiday, Touring & Camping
parks are excellent for families, and offer great value for money in
a friendly environment. You’ll find them
both near the coast and in the heart of the countryside. Some parks
have caravans or chalets for hire, which are often very spacious, accommodating
between two to eight guests. You can also expect all the modern conveniences
such as a shower, kitchen and television.
- It’s best to
bring your own tent if you want to camp, as very few sites have tents
for hire. Pitches start from around £5 depending
on the facilities and location. Caravans and motor-homes are welcome
at all touring parks, which often have connections to water, drainage,
electricity and perhaps a TV aerial.
- If outdoor pursuits are your
thing, or you simply want to relax and enjoy the scenery, a touring
or camping holiday will certainly leave you with fun and happy memories.
- Self-catering accommodation,
known in North America as vacation rentals, offer great value for
longer stays and for families. Many rental properties have
gardens, children’s play equipment, books and
televisions. And of course cooking equipment so you can eat in whenever
- Meet your neighbours at the local shops, markets,
and nearby farms that sell eggs and other local produce. You’ll get a real insight into
the British way of life as well as priceless local knowledge.
- If you stay on a farm, there
may also be fun activities to do like horse riding, fishing or watching
the farmer milk the cows. Generally, all self-catering properties are
supplied with household equipment such as cutlery and crockery, although
very often you’ll be charged
extra for linen or towels as well as for gas and electricity.
- Serviced apartments offer
the comfort, privacy and flexibility of a self-catering property, together
with the added benefits of many hotel-type services - such as maid service,
internet access points, room service and concierge/reception.
- Serviced apartments can be
found in most major cities and make great base from which to explore,
as most are only minutes away from the major attractions and shopping
How to start a
- There is a mass of legislation pertaining to
hotels. Apply for permits and licenses. To start a hotel as a business,
you’ll need to apply for a business
license and tax identification number. Many cities have additional permitting
requirements, including a permit to operate, manager’s license for the person working
behind the front desk and licenses for selling food and alcohol. Hotels
offering beauty spa services or a swimming pool will need to acquire
additional licenses for those amenities. Liability insurance is a must.
- It’s possible to get started in
the hotel business by buying into a well-known franchise.This can be less expensive than
starting from scratch, but will still require yearly franchise fees.
- The hotel industry attracts a high number of
immigrant workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When
hiring staff, ensure that all employees hold appropriate work permits.
Location: Hampshire (native
county of Jane Austen)
- Style: Rococo (style of 19th century)
- Services provided: restaurant (24 hours), swimming
pool, beauty salon, big library.
Occupancy: for 100 people
Categories of rooms: Sngl, Dbl, Suites, Apartments
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