The quality grading scheme explained

There is one uniform assessment scheme for accommodation in London, which also applies to the rest of England – the National Quality Assurance Scheme. Accommodation is visited overnight, anonymously, by an assessor from the English Tourism Council, AA or RAC. This is an annual inspection.

Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfast
Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfast establishments are rated using diamonds. As with hotels and stars, the number of diamonds reflects the quality of each property. Factors such as cleanliness, service and hospitality, quality of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as food, are reflected in the rating. Quality is given priority in the ratings over facilities and services.

One Diamond
Clean and comfortable, full cooked or continental breakfast, clean bed linen, towels and fresh soap, adequate heating, hot water at reasonable timings for bathing and showers, an acceptable overall level of quality and service.

Two Diamonds
All the above, plus a higher level of quality and comfort in all areas.

Three Diamonds
All the above, plus well maintained, practical décor, a good choice of dishes for breakfast, a greater degree of comfort and guest care.

Four Diamonds
All the above, plus, very good quality and comfort, extra attention to cleanliness and warmth of welcome.

Five Diamonds
All the above, plus, excellent quality and comfort, ample space and a degree of luxury. A fine quality bed, high quality furniture and interior design, a high proportion of bedrooms with en-suite or private facilities, excellent levels of guest care.

Gold and Silver Awards
These are awarded to the Hotels and Guesthouses/B&Bs that provide the highest quality within their own rating band. eg. a hotel could be rated Two Stars with a Silver Award. Look out for these awards as they are one of the best ways of finding the cream of London’s accommodation at all levels.