What’s the difference between 3* and 4*?

“What’s the difference between a three and four star lodge?” Is a question we frequently get asked.  It’s a good question and this week’s blog post looks into how the grading works.  All Barend Holiday Lodge accommodation is independently graded by Visit Scotland – Scotland’s national tourist board.  Visit Scotland has a strict set of criteria, which every lodge is marked against.



4 star Kitchen within a 3 star Lodge (19)

In general, 4 star self catering accommodation is of a higher quality, with better furnishings and fixtures.  More attention is paid to the comfort of guests; lighting, use of space and heating are also graded.  Barend Holiday Lodge’s 4 star lodges include a welcome pack of local goodies as well.  All our four star accommodation has a minimum of 2 bathrooms, and in some cases 3.

Three star self catering accommodation is of a generally good quality.  Accommodation towards the top of the three star band will have many elements that are 4 star.  However, it is possible that individual elements may show some signs of wear and tear within the 3 star band.

Rest assured however, that whether you choose 3 star or 4 star accommodation with Barend Holiday Lodges, you will receive a high level of care.  All lodges are furnished with high quality linen, bedding and towels (of 4 and 5 star standard), on-site reception services and free swimming, sauna and golf.

So, how are the grades given?

Within a room there are marks for elements such as: heating and lighting; decoration; flooring; furniture, fixtures and fittings.  Each of these areas is given a mark out of 5 and then the overall room gets a percentage.


Take flooring for example; 5 star would expect absolute top quality flooring (wool carpets, thick underlay, perfectly laid, no marks etc).  A three star carpet would be of acceptable standard; it may have some signs of wear and a few marks are permissible.  A four star carpet would have thicker underlay, show little or no sign of wear and be of good quality.

This process is then done for all the elements within a room and an average score given.  It is therefore possible that in a 3 star room there may be one or two elements that are given just 2 stars, providing that there are other elements graded 4 or 5 star.

Further, it is possible that within a 3 star cabin you could still have some rooms that are actually of 4 star standard.


4 star Lounge (lodge 2)

This is often the case where owners have modernised their kitchens and bathrooms.  However, to be categorised as a 4 star lodge all rooms within the accommodation must meet 4 star standard.

Space and Comfort

It isn’t just the quality however.  Grades are also given for space and ease of use.  Therefore our 8 person lodges tend to receive lower marks for the space and ease of use, particularly for the kitchens.  For this reason, it is possible to have a lodge sleeping 8 people that has very high quality furnishings and fittings, but it is unlikely to receive 4 stars overall.   For this reason all our 4 star accommodation sleeps a maximum of 6.

More Information

If you would like any more information on our 3 or 4 star cabins, please use the quick links on the right.

We hope you find this useful, but if you would like any further advice or information, please feel free to give us a call on 01387 780663.  Being based onsite and with a small team of 3, we know all the lodges well and can advise on the most suitable one for you!


See also

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