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Hotel’ing Tall Tales?

The Feb. 21 edition of Hotel Business reports on the increasing debate within the lodging industry over the concept of a six-star rating. Several properties have already been dubbed six- and seven-star hotels, and critics indicate that the standards for what might surpass the already-existing five-star rating are unclear.

While I can understand the never-ending pursuit of excellence and innovation that might well develop such high-end lodging properties, I wonder whether the question is moot. With the 2005 Mobil Travel Guide listing only 31 properties across the US that even rate five stars — less than 1% of those listed in the guide overall — what point does a six-star rating serve? Why not just aim for the already-existing top of the line? Might this be a case of setting a new industry standard before the initial standard is even met?

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