Is there really a 7-star hotel in the world?

In addition to Burj al-Arab in Dubai (UAE), there are a few hotels in the world that have a 7-star rating. However, in fact, this rating is not officially recognized.

In the culinary world, the Michelin star helps evaluate restaurant quality. In the hotel sector, there has never been a similar law. We often hear about further 1-star, 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, or 5-star hotels. However, in fact, there is no common standard in the world to make these assessments.

Different countries use different systems in determining hotel quality. For example, in Europe, there are HOTREC (Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs, and Cafes in Europe). This organization has built a star rating system for 24 countries since 2004.

AA (British motoring association) and the Tourism Authority of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are hotel star rating organizations in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, in the US, the prestigious Forbes magazine has been using its star system since 1958 based on surveying about 8,000 hotels per year and deciding the number of stars based on 800 different criteria.

Even the star system (1-5 stars) familiar to many people does not have a common set of standards all over the world. So, why do 7-star hotels still exist?

Legend of the first 7-star hotel - Burj al-Arab

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Burj al-Arab

Located in the luxury Dubai city (UAE), Burj al-Arab is still considered the most famous 7-star hotel in the world. The architects had to use 1,790 m2 of 24-carat gold to embellish the hotel interior. Besides the beautiful design, luxury Burj al-Arab is even more spectacular when owning its own helipad yard. The staff/room ratio is also really impressive with an average of 8 staff/room, working at 24/24.

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Burj al-Arab

Coming to Burj al-Arab, visitors will not find normal rooms because this hotel only serves "suites", the most advanced room type, usually arranged on high floors with special equipment by hotels and resorts.

Is Burj al-Arab a 7-star hotel? The short answer is no.

In fact, although it is famous as the first 7-star hotel in the world, Burj al-Arab has never received any official recognition papers, even if the quality of this hotel far exceeds the 5-star rating often.

Where did the two plus stars come from?

According to many anecdotes, the origin of the concept of "7 stars" began in 1999 when Burj al-Arab officially went into operation.

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Burj al-Arab

During the pre-opening period, an English journalist was invited to stay to experience. She was too impressed with the quality of the hotel and used the phrase "7-star hotel" in her review later. Over the past two decades, a British journalist's comment accidentally created a "7-star" label for Burj al-Arab.

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Burj al-Arab

Although it’s not an official 7-star hotel, Burj al-Arab also laid the foundation for other hotels around the world to naturally add 2 stars for themselves. For example, Seven Star Galleria in Milan (Italy) even hired a company to create a 7-star ranking so that they could be recognized as the first European hotel to win the title.

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Seven Star Galleria

By: Gitta Russell

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