What Does Michelin Have in Mind for Its Hotel Guides?

To begin with, keys instead of stars

Michelin Guide cover
A copy of the 2023 edition of the Michelin Guide of France is pictured in Strasbourg, eastern France, March 6, 2023.
Gao Jing/Xinhua via Getty Images

When the subject of Michelin Guides comes up, your mind is likely to go to the restaurant world — after all, the guides’ distinctive star ratings system has helped make the reputation of numerous establishments around the globe. But that’s not the only thing the company is set to begin evaluating; as Heidi Pérez-Moreno at The Washington Post reported in October, the company is planning to expand into a new field soon — hotels.

There are many questions that follow naturally from this announcement — including, but not limited, to how the guides might treat a hotel that also includes a restaurant, and whether the hotel guide would use a star system similar to the restaurant guide. In the case of the latter question, the answer involves a slight shift: hotels will be rated on a scale of keys rather than of stars.

To gain a broader understanding of the hotel guide, Air Mail’s Adam Hay-Nicholls spoke with Michelin Guide director Gwendal Poullennec. Poullennec told Air Mail that the Guide‘s restaurant and hotel ratings would be separate from one another. “A great restaurant with poor rooms — we won’t recommend the rooms,” Poullennec said. “Likewise, a great hotel with a not-so-great restaurant — we will recommend you dine out.”

The hotel ratings project, Poullennec told Air Mail, has been in the works since 2018. He also hinted at what the hotel guide ratings would emphasize. “We won’t be featuring integrated resorts,” he told Air Mail. “We advise people to travel and discover cultures.” With over 5,000 establishments reportedly being scrutinized, something to look forward to in the new year.


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