In the United States, star rankings are a general guide to the luxury and amenities that a given hotel offers. These rankings are assigned by many different sources, including the hotels themselves, and there is no nationally recognized system to ensure uniformity. Still, star rankings can be useful in giving a general idea of what you can expect from a new hotel.
As a rough guide:
A 1-star hotel provides a limited range of amenities and services and adheres to a high standard of facility-wide cleanliness.
A 2-star hotel provides good accommodations and better equipped bedrooms, each with a telephone and attached private bathroom.
A 3-star hotel has more spacious rooms and adds high-class decorations and furnishings and color TV. It also offers one or more bars or lounges.
A 4-star hotel is much more comfortable, larger, and provides excellent cuisine (table d’hôte and a la carte), room service, and other amenities.
A 5-star hotel offers the most luxurious premises, and the widest range of guest services, as well as swimming pool and sport and exercise facilities.
Star rankings in Europe are typically assigned by government agencies, based upon price and amenities offered. The more stars a hotel has been given the more luxurious (and expensive) it will be.