Govt mandates beefed-up facilities at 'Star' category hotels

The ministry of tourism has issued revised guidelines for classification and reclassification of hotels with the aim of providing higher level of services to customers as also to make customers aware of their rights even before their arrival.

The new guidelines, which would make hotels more visitor-friendly and hospitable, were formalised on the basis of suggestions from the tourism and hospitality industry, minister of state for tourism K Chiranjeevi said.

As per the revised guidelines, all 'Star' rated hotels should clearly indicate on their website under the head 'Facilities and Amenities provided on complimentary basis' that it  provided to its guests ''free of cost'' like complimentary breakfast (indicating broad classification like Indian, Continental or American breakfast), iron and iron-board facility, shoe polishing facility, shoe horn and slippers, dental kit, shaving kit, etc. 

If any facility is provided only 'on request' but is included in the room rent, that should also be mentioned on the hotel's web site under the head 'Facilities and Amenities provided on complimentary basis'. All such facilities should also be mentioned to the guest when the hotel staff introduces the room to him / her on arrival.

In case the 'complimentary' breakfast is not a buffet, the guest must be shown a list stating in English the name of all complimentary items.

Beginning 1 April 2016, all new 'Star' hotels should provide water sprays or bidets or washlets or other modern water-based post-toilet-paper hygiene facilities.

All hotels in the 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe category hotels should provide a telephone within an arm's reach of the toilet seat or provide a mobile internal telephone.

All 'Star' hotels should provide at least two multi-purpose sockets capable of handling US, European  Community and Japanese plugs at or just above the table level. It should be possible for guests to charge a laptop and cell phone simultaneously.

All 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star deluxe hotels should provide tea / coffee making facility in the room on complimentary basis. The iron and iron-board facility should be made available on request in the room in 1 to 3 Star category hotels on complimentary basis and in all rooms in 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe hotels on complimentary basis.

This has to be stated on the hotel's web site under the head 'Facilities & Amenities provided on complimentary basis' and mentioned to guest while checking in.

For hotels that have come into operation or will come into operation before 31 March 2016 these facilities will be mandatory from 1 April 2022.

However, till such time as this facility is provided on a permanent basis, it will be mandatory for all star hotels to provide multi-socket adapter plugs on request.

All 3 Star, 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe hotels should provide a hair dryer facility in the room on complimentary basis. In 1 Star and 2 Star, this facility will be made available on request on complimentary basis.

All 3 Star hotels should have a mini fridge in the rooms and all 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe hotels should have the facility of mini bar with effect from 1 April 2014.

Air-conditioning common areas like lobby, restaurants, verandas, bar where they are open on one or more sides will not be mandatory for beach, lake, backwater, river, hill, mountain, forest or nature hotels and resorts.

All 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe hotels should provide a luminous LED wall clock with numerals of three inches or more on display near their swimming pools.

While it is not mandatory for all 5 Star deluxe hotels to have air-conditioned porches and heated swimming pools, the ministry say it would be desirable facility.

All 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star deluxe hotels should install blackout curtains by 1 April 2015.

All 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe hotels should provide luggage racks, portable or fixed, for two large suitcases by 1 April 2015. This will have to be stated on the hotel's web site under the head 'Facilities & Amenities provided on complimentary basis' and mentioned to guests while checking in.

The bathrooms of all Star hotels should have hooks for at least 3 garments in the bath room.

All 4 Star, 5 Star and 5 Star Deluxe hotels should provide a safe in the rooms.

It will be mandatory for all hotels classified under the category 1 to 4 Star to display their classification status prominently outside the hotel and at the reception from 1 April 2014 as per a scheme to be evolved in consultation with FHRAI and HAI.

Henceforth time-sharing accommodation will also be considered for classification as per the guidelines for classification / re-classification of hotels, the ministry stated in its release.