Gastfreund Blog

Going digital for stars: New criteria for hotel classification

The hotel industry is constantly changing. So it only makes sense that the criteria for hotel classification are also regularly adapted to the current situation. For the period between 2025 and 2030, topics such as sustainability, digitalisation and staff shortages in the industry will be taken into account in particular. Find out how these are specifically reflected in the new criteria catalogue by Hotelstars Union in this article.

Who sets the criteria for hotel classification?

The hotel associations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and 18 other European countries use the uniform criteria catalogue of the Hotelstars Union (HSU). That regularly adjusts the criteria that accommodation must fulfil to get awarded up to five stars. The catalogue for the period 2025 to 2030 comprises 239 criteria. While some of these are minimum requirements for individual star categories, others provide additional points for the overall result. In the end, both are decisive for the hotel classification: a 1-star-hotel for example, must achieve a total of 95 points, 49 of which are covered by the minimum criteria.[1]

Criteria catalogue 2025-2030: What’s new

More digitalisation – more opportunities to reduce staffing levels

Staff shortages are currently one of the biggest challenges in the hotel industry. In the new criteria catalogue, the HSU is responding to this with more opportunities for digitalisation and automation: For example, if a hotel offers 24-hour self-check-in and check-out, this can replace the personal reception service in the 1- and 2-star categories. The minimum requirements for manning the reception desk have also been slightly relaxed for 3- and 4-star hotels. Important: For all categories, guests must still be able to reach someone by phone or digitally around the clock.

Our tip:
With the Digital Guest Directory by Hotelcore, you can kill several birds with one stone when it comes to hotel classification. It is available to your guests around the clock and provides information on everything worth knowing, even outside reception hours. Thanks to chat, enquiry forms and contact details within the Digital Guest Directory, you can also cover 24-hour availability without any problems. With an active interface to your property management system, you might also be able tick the box for self-check-in and check-out. Your guests then complete this directly in the Digital Guest Directory.

Table comparing star classification 2020-2025 vs. 2025-2030

Starting from 2025: The new catalogue of criteria for star classification allows shorter reception times overall and provides more space for digital alternatives such as self-check-in and check-out. Source: [2,3]

Reduced workload in service

Hotels are also gaining more flexibility in terms of staffing when it comes to catering. The biggest changes here are for hotels in the 4-star category:

  • In future, service at the breakfast buffet will only be compulsory from 5 stars upwards.
  • Room service only has to be available for twelve hours instead of 16 for the same number of points.
  • Hotel restaurants no longer have to be open five days a week.
  • For the first time, self-service kiosks are permitted as an alternative to minibars, maxibars or room service.

Sustainability in hotel classification: linen change, mattress care and certification

A further change in the catalogue of criteria relates to the changing of bed linen: whereas it was previously mandatory for 4- and 5-star hotels to change bed linen twice a week, once will suffice in future. However, an additional change of bed linen must be possible on request.

The new criteria also contain recommendations for the care and cleaning of mattresses. These are not only intended to fulfil the hygiene requirements of guests, but also to extend the service life of mattresses. This in turn contributes to greater sustainability. Also new are ten possible plus points for hotels that calculate their carbon footprint in accordance with the“Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative“.

[1], press release from 24.04.2024:
[2 ], Criteria catalogue 2025-2030,
[3 ], Criteria catalogue 2020-2025,

This text has been translated automatically.


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