Knowing your Rs from your elbow.
We like to think that we're not entirely stupid, but even we get a bit confused by all the different classifications of overseas hotels and apartments.
Some properties run from one to five star, some categorise themselves by key ratings, some don’t bother at all and some have different ratings from different tourist authorities. Add to the mix the fact that different properties in different countries (or even different properties within the same country but in different regions) have widely varying classification systems and you end up with the perfect recipe for confusion. What’s more, in some places taxes are higher for properties with a higher official rating, so it’s in some property owners’ interests to keep their hotel’s rating lower than it might actually deserve! Crazy, eh?
And anyway, all these classifications tend to exist for the benefit of our heterosexual friends (kids’ disco, anyone?) so, all in all, they’re a bit of a waste of time.
Step forward Respect’s ‘R rating’, our in-house system of accommodation classification which we launched in 1998. .
R ratings, which are reviewed for every property annually, take into account the aspirations of gay holidaymakers rather than the priorities of our straight cousins. So, for example, we’ll take far more notice of, say, a hotel’s proximity to a gay beach, while we’re likely to pretty much ignore whether or not a particular property offers a babysitting service. Of course, it’s not just our view that counts; when awarding R ratings we pay special attention to any feedback, including customer questionnaires, that either we or our overseas staff have received from guests in the past.
Classification starts with R, meaning basic, going all the way to RRRRR, meaning top-notch and really quite swanky. And, because we can be a little bit prissy sometimes, the occasional property is suffixed by a plus sign, so a property classified as RR+ is better than one classified as RR but not quite as good as one classified as RRR.