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1-5 star chalets: The official classification rating system explained

In France, just like there is a rating system for hotels, there is also a classification system for rental chalets. Based on a detailed list of criteria, classification experts will award your chalet a star rating from 1-5.

But, if you’re a rental property owner in France, or a guest, you’ll want to know what differentiates a 1-star chalet from a 5-star chalet, so that you can set realistic expectations for the outcome.

In this post, we cover the following points:

  • What is the official classification system in France?
  • What type of property does it apply to?
  • What sets a 5-star property apart from the rest, and what are the determining factors for each category?

Read on to discover more about the official classification rating.

What is the official classification rating system in France?

The official classification is a voluntary process for the owner of the holiday rental property and is an opportunity to optimise rentals. However, it is by no means compulsory.

The classification is awarded using stars from 1* to 5*. To achieve a star rating, there are 130 criteria categorised into 3 groups:

  • Equipment – 50% of the points
  • Services – 30% of the points
  • Sustainability – 20% of the points

How does the rating system work?

The classification is based on a point system, with each requirement assigned a number of points. Some conditions are “mandatory”, and others are “optional” or “à la carte”.

To achieve a certain rating, you must score a number of “compulsory” points and a number of “optional” points for the desired category.

A certain number of prerequisites apply to all properties regarding quality and standards.

For example, all classified properties must be furnished and have a living area intended to accommodate one or two people. It must have a minimum surface area of 9m² where the kitchen is separate or at least 12m² where there is a kitchen area in the living space.

More details regarding minimum surface areas can be found on page 15 of the Atout France guide.

There is also a list of 5 mandatory criteria in relation to cleaning, which are worth 5 points each:

  • The bathrooms and toilets are clean and in good condition,
  • The floors, ceilings and walls are clean and in good condition,
  • The furniture is clean and in good condition,
  • The beds are clean and in good condition,
  • The kitchen and all its equipment are clean and in good condition.

What type of property does it apply to?

The rating process is a standard nationwide procedure, which applies to all types of properties.

For example, the criteria are the same for a villa in the south of France, a luxury chalet in the Alps or an apartment in the centre of Paris.

What’s the difference between a 1,2,3,4 and 5-star property?

Owners should refer to the full list of official criteria before having their property audited. However, to give you a brief idea of the different expectations from 1 to 5 stars, we’ve highlighted the minimum requirements for each rating.

Do note that additional points are awarded for optional facilities/desirable assets such as swimming pools, attractive views, access to local amenities, obtaining the “Tourisme et handicap” (Tourism and Handicap) label and much more. Therefore, it’s definitely worth investing in additional facilities to gain more points (which help you acquire a higher rating), however, they aren’t preconditions.

In short, if you want to achieve a certain star rating, begin by ensuring you can reach the basic demands, then consider what else you can invest in to improve your score.

You can also download Atout France’s full guide here, which explains all of the criteria in more detail. However, do note the guide is in French only.

What makes a 1-star property?

Definition of 1-star: Simple but adequate accommodation.

What do you need for a 1-star rating?

  • Electric plugs in all rooms
  • All lighting works
  • Blackout blinds or curtains in each bedroom
  • A heating system within the property
  • A laundry rack or tumble dryer
  • Cleaning products and equipment available
  • Cupboards/wardrobes within the property
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Sofa and coffee table
  • Single bed size 80×190
  • Double bed size 140×190
  • A pillow per guest
  • 1 duvet per bed or 2 blankets
  • Mattress protection
  • A light close to the bed and a switch
  • Towel racks
  • A mirror in the bathroom
  • An oven
  • Kitchen hood
  • Coffee machine
  • Fridge
  • Bin
  • Access to a lift if the property has more than 4 floors
  • A car park nearby
  • Tourist brochures
  • Bed linen and towels
  • An A-Z property guide

What makes a 2-star property?

Definition of 2 stars: Comfortable accommodation.

What do you need for a 2-star rating?

The following are in addition to the criteria required for the 1-star rating.

  • Wifi
  • A smart TV with remote
  • Single bed size 90x190cm
  • An electric plug close to the mirror in the bathroom
  • A microwave
  • A minimum of 2 small household appliances
  • A kettle
  • A toaster
  • The owner or manager to welcome guests on arrival
  • Extra cleaning to be offered as a supplement if needed

What makes a 3-star property?

Definition of 3 stars: very comfortable accommodation.

What do you need for a 3-star rating?

The following are in addition to the criteria required for the 1 to 2-star rating.

  • A radio
  • A washing machine for guest use
  • A cupboard or wardrobe in each bedroom
  • One bedside table per guest
  • 2 lights in the bathroom including one facing the hand basin
  • Toiletries on arrival
  • A cupboard in the bathroom
  • A hairdryer
  • A dishwasher
  • A freezer
  • A lift from the 3rd floor up
  • A private car space
  • Baby equipment on demand
  • Table linen

What makes a 4-star property?

Definition of 4 stars: very comfortable, high-quality accommodation.

Guests can expect very high standards from a 4-star property and should find all they need for a comfortable, high-end stay.

Beds will be made up for the arrival of guests, a greater range of tableware will be available, and an espresso machine is essential, as well as a welcome gift.

What do you need for a 4-star rating?

The following are in addition to the criteria required for the 1 to 3-star rating.

  • Access to additional channels not included in the TNT offer
  • Double glazing windows
  • An electric tumble dryer for properties of 6-person capacity or more
  • A switch or control system for lighting near the bed
  • A shower room equipped with;
    • A washbasin with hot water and a larger-than-standard shower,
    • And/or a bathtub equipped with a hand shower and larger-than-standard shower screen
  • Additional tableware: 1 champagne glass and 1 aperitif glass per person
  • An espresso machine
  • A dishwasher for properties of 2-person capacity or more
  • A light leisure, relaxation or sports facility (examples include at least 3 board games, at least 2 outdoor games, a hot tub, table tennis/football, etc)
  • Electrical adaptors
  • A website dedicated to the property, which must also exist in a second language

What makes a 5-star property?

Definition of 5 stars: very high standard accommodation in a luxurious setting.

A 5-star rating is the highest classification you can receive. However, it’s important to note that different groups have different perceptions of ‘luxury’. Two properties could have a 5-star rating, however, one may have just hit the threshold, whereas another may offer significantly more in terms of facilities, decor and space.

What do you need for a 5-star rating?

The following are in addition to the criteria required for the 1 to 4-star rating.

  • 2 paid international channels
  • Air conditioning
  • Equipment to stream movies such as Netflix or Amazon prime
  • A bluetooth speaker
  • At least one WC in the bathroom (private)
  • Electric towel racks

Extra tips

  • If possible, aim to achieve the green label by meeting the requirements in section 3.2 of the criteria.
  • If your property is not wheelchair accessible, there are still measures you can take to make it accessible to people who are visually or hearing impaired. For example, offering your property booklet (A-Z guide) in larger letters or providing an audio version.

So, there you have a short introduction to what’s expected of chalets with a 1 to 5-star rating. If you found this article useful, we think you’d also enjoy:

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If you want to find out more about the star rating system in France, contact our team of experts at OVO Network, who can help you with your chalet design, rental and rating.

If you want to own a successful holiday rental business and enhance the resale value of your property while hardly lifting a finger, then contact OVO Network today or try our free short-term rental income calculator.

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