Michelin Guide: Michelin Guide Ratings for Hotels
Michelin’s rating system for hotels is far less complex than for restaurants. Hotels are ranked on a scale of one to five houses, with five being the highest rating. The houses are either red or black, but, as with restaurants, there are far fewer red entries than black. Hotels are rated based upon facilities and comfort, with red houses awarded to what the guide refers to as “pleasant” hotels. An example would be a hotel in a former chateau or abbey. Unlike restaurant ratings, hotel ratings tend to remain static from year to year.
Michelin highlights particularly quiet hotels with a rocking chair symbol. A black rocking chair signifies a quiet hotel, while a red symbol indicates a quiet and secluded hotel or a hotel that is very quiet. A hotel situated on the border of a park on the outskirts of a residential area might receive a black rocking chair. If the hotel was instead up a winding mountain road and in the middle of a park, the rocking chair would be in red. The rocking chair symbol has nothing to do with the comfort of a hotel, only its location.
If you are looking for a room with a view, the Michelin guide has a symbol for you. The letter V placed on its side with a line in the center indicates hotels with particularly good views. Some entries show four V’s arranged in a circle with the smaller part of each letter touching. This indicates that the view will be panoramic. The V’s can be red or black, with red reserved for the most spectacular views. A view of rolling fields, would probably receive a black V, while a view of the Alps would probably merit a red V.
The letter M placed inside a box indicates modern hotels. If you prefer quaint older hotels, avoid entries with this sign. Finally, there is a hotel symbol similar to the Bib Gourmet symbol used for restaurants that signifies comfortable hotels at reasonable prices. This shows our old friend the Michelin Man sleeping on a pillow.
It is more difficult to generalize about the pricing of hotels based on their ratings than it is with restaurants. Much depends on the hotel’s location, with hotels in the most popular tourist areas generally priced more expensively than similarly rated hotels in the country. Prepare to pay upwards of $600 per night for a five house black hotel, $400 for four, $250 for three, $125 for two, and $75 for a one house hotel. There is always a significant price premium for staying in a red house hotel as compared to a similarly rated hotel in black. A hotel with two houses in red, for example, is likely to be more expensive than one with three houses in black.