What Star Ratings for Vacation Rentals Mean

Star Ratings for Vacation Rentals are not the same as those traditionally used for hotels or restaurants.

In providing a star rating for a vacation rental, a guest is not rating the quality or level of service an establishment provides, but rather how well the property and owner/manager meet their commitment to provide guests what they promise.

Certainly guests have a right to expect certain basics; that the property is clean and safe, and that communication is helpful and complete. However, a mountain shack in the woods with no plumbing could be a 5-Star shack in the woods, as long as it delivers exactly what it promises to guests (or better).

In providing a review, Vacation Rental Guests are never expected to evaluate a property against all other accommodation options. The variety of properties available, and the wide range of amenities they provide, is simply too great for any guest to be expected to assess their particular experience against them all.

Rather, the purpose of a review and star-rating is essentially to let other future guests know what they can expect if they rent that particular property. The listing or advertisement should tell future guests all they need to know about a property, so it is up to each guest to decide if any one property will meet their needs.

What the star rating tells future guests is how well the property and owner manager kept their promises to you. Is the property as described? Was the service adequate to your needs? Were their any problems? Or anything you feel future guests should know about, good or bad?

Every property can be a five star property if it provides what it promises and leaves you feeling properly taken care of.

With this in mind, here’s what the 5-Star Rating system for Vacation Rentals means:

5 Stars

  • I’m Happy!
  • Overall Grade 80 – 100%
  • Would definitely recommend to others.
  • Home was very clean and well maintained. Any issues were minor or resolved quickly on request.
  • Communication was plentiful and helpful.
  • Owner available and cared about my stay. Courteous, helpful and responded in a timely fashion.
  • Property is as described in online listings and info.

4 Stars

  • I’m okay.
  • Overall Grade 60 – 79%
  • May recommend to others.
  • Home was clean and maintained, with most issues resolved upon request during our stay.
  • Communication was good.
  • Owner available most of the time. Responded within a day or so and was helpful.
  • Property mostly as described, with only minor issues.

3 Stars

  • I’m on the fence.
  • Overall Grade 40 – 59%
  • Likely not recommend to others.
  • A number of cleaning and maintenance issues found, and not resolved upon request.
  • Communication was okay. Could have been better.
  • Owner available some of the time. Responded a day or two later and was somewhat helpful.
  • Property as described, but discrepancies.

2 Stars

  • I’m disappointed!
  • Overall Grade 20 – 39%
  • Won’t recommend to others.
  • Significant cleaning and maintenance issues were found, reported and not resolved.
  • Communications incomplete or had multiple errors, leaving many questions.
  • Owner or manager unavailable or indifferent to assist.
  • Property somewhat as described, with a few significant issues or surprises.

1 Star

  • I’m upset!
  • Overall Grade 0 – 19%
  • Actively warn others to avoid.
  • Home was unacceptably dirty, or in poor condition. Complaints ignored.
  • Communication was bad and seriously lacking.
  • Owner or manager indifferent to our needs. Rude and unhelpful.
  • Property not as described. Practically deceptive.