Over 70 hotels throughout Israel have already received their official star ranking based on the HotelStars European classification system, using 270 criteria adapted to the realities in Israel At this stage, the classification is voluntary, and many more hotels are expected to join the Israeli Tourism Ministry-led initiative to provide transparency and standardization in hotel classification.
Israel hotels are not allowed to publicize hotel star ratings for sales or marketing purposes other than those under the Hotelstars system. The regulations also stipulate that hotels must publicize their rates inclusive of all charges, excluding taxes. For foreign tourists, the price published will be exclusive of VAT, while noting that these prices are for foreign tourists only.
These hotels include five star superior, such as the Mamilla, King David and David Citadel hotels in Jerusalem, the Dan, Isrotel Royal Beach, Sheraton and Carlton in Tel Aviv and Dan Eilat and Herod’s Vitalis and Palace in Eilat – among others. Three star hotels include the Agrippas Boutique and Jerusalem Tower in the capital, and the Sea Net in Tel Aviv; three star superior hotels include the Jerusalem Gardens and the YMCA Three Arches, as well as the Gilgal and Maxim hotels in Tel Aviv. Among those hotels listed as four star – Caesar and Jerusalem Gold in the capital, Colony in Haifa and the Sport Club in Eilat. Four star superior hotels in Jerusalem include the Yehuda Hotel (the first hotel in Israel to receive the official ranking) and Dan Boutique, as well as Isrotel Tower Tel Aviv and Leonardo Plaza Ashdod.
Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevy believes that the ratings system will bring great benefit to tourists, hoteliers and the tourism industry in general: the system will lead to increased transparency and consequently increased consumer confidence, an improvement in the level of service and international standardization that will make it easier for marketing in Europe in particular, where the system is well-known. The official hotel classification is designed to be a helpful tool for tour operators and travel agents, assisting them to assess hotel quality and improve their service to the client.
The Hotelstars system has been adopted by 14 European countries: Austria, Estonia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Holland, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Greece.