Star Ratings

The organisation in charge of tourist accommodation classification in France is Atout France. They have a rigorous classification system which complies with international standards for different types of accommodation: hotels, campsites, self catering accommodation etc.

It is the responsibility of the accommodation owners to apply for a star rating which means that many accommodations are 'unrated'.

There are also some other organisations in France who have their own accommodation ratings such as the Gites de France. They use 'ears of corn' to classify their accommodation and have devised their own criteria for accommodation to comply to for each number of ears of corn. If an accommodation wants to be on the register of Gites de France, they are inspected and given an 'ear of corn' rating according to this criteria.

At Undiscovered Mountains in the Southern French Alps, we use a lot of different accommodation types, some of which have applied for an official star rating, some of which remain 'unrated' and some which are also on the Gites de France register so have an 'ear of corn' rating.

To simplify this, we have used stars for all accommodations that are rated with the name of the organisation responsible for that rating written underneath. For example, for Gites de France rated accommodation, we have used 3 stars for 3 ears of corn. In general, we use the Gites de France Rating for most of our self catering and bed and breakfast accommodation and Atout France for hotels and campsites where they have applied for a rating.

For detailed information about the different criterias demanded by these classification systems, please read the following explanations, pdfs and follow the links where appropriate.



If you would like to look at the criteria for hoteliers to get their stars have a look at the hotel classification grid. It is quite complicated and aimed at hoteliers rather than tourists. A simplified grid of what to expect is written below.

On the grid there is a list of elements that describes types of services, equipment and hotel qualities. Next to these are the different star ratings possible for a hotel, a point score and whether it is a compulsory element (marked with a red X) or non-compulsory element (marked with a blue O) for that rating.

To obtain it's star rating a hotel must obtain the 95% of the number of points allocated to that star level for the compulsory elements and acquire a certain number of points from the non-compulsory elements. If they are lacking a certain number of compulsory points for a specific rating they can make up the defecit with three times the number of non-compulsory points.

Amount of points required:

Star Rating Compulsory Points Non Compulsory Points
1 141 24
2 161 45
3 177 83
4 226 112
5 298 118

To simplify this:

Star Rating What to expect

Budget Hotel

  • Minimum of 9m2 for a double room (excluding bathroom)
  • Private or communal bathrooms
2* and 3*

Mid Standard Hotel

  • Foreign language spoken
  • Host present for 10h per day
  • Mnimum of 13.5m2 for a double room (bathroom included) for 3* hotels
  • More spacious reception and lounge areas - at least 50m2 for 3* hotels
4* and 5*

High Quality Hotels

  • Spacious rooms - a minimum of 16m2 for 4* and 24m2 for 5* hotels for a double room (bathroom included)
  • Internet access in all rooms
  • 24 hour reception for hotels with more than 30 rooms
  • Two foreign languages spoken (English is one) for 5* hotels as well as 24hr room service, porters and a restaurant.
  • Other services should be available in a 5* hotel such as concierge, car service...


Campsites have a similar grid to work to with points and here is the simplified version of what to expect.

Star Rating What to expect

Budget Campsite:

  • 100 pitches per hectare
  • Installation of basic but quality facilities
2* and 3*

Mid Standard Campsite:

  • Stabilised grounds
  • Reception office
  • Tourist information
  • At a 3* campsite there should be someone who speaks English
4* and 5*

Quality Campsite:

  • 80 and 70 pitches per hectare
  • 24 staff presence
  • 50% of pitches have an electricity supply connection
  • Meeting room
  • Internet access
  • Restaurant
  • Washing machine


Please have a look at the Gites de France website for a details of their classifications for the different ears of corn.

For information, the word Gite is the term used for self catering apartments and properties.