‘Somewhere Unique’ has once again been awarded the highest possible quality rating for accommodation (for our category) of 4.5 stars by ‘Star Ratings Australia’.
Star Ratings are an internationally recognised symbol for quality accommodation standards. A Star Rating is determined by more than 200 criteria that have been ranked by Australian travellers according to what’s important to them. The process is managed by ‘Star Ratings Australia’ (on behalf of the Australian Auto Clubs).
The inspector had been very friendly on the phone when we set up the appointment. When the time came for his arrival I drove down to Lowanna just as the rain intensified and turned the dirt to mud. The summer had been a long hot cloudless season, but then heavy rain arrived with the inspector. Regardless, he was as friendly and professional in person as he had been on the phone.
I showed him around the retreat and he was noticeably impressed, but I realised his personal feelings meant very little against the 200 criteria on which he would base his assessment. While we chatted and he asked occasional questions, he opened every cupboard, wiped very surface with his hand, and ran his finger along every skirting. He pulled at the bed linen, and even checked the type of mattress. He carefully unfolded the bathroom towels to check brands and quality. He tested all equipment and switched every light. He was unfailing in his relentless assessment of every element of the retreat.
Relieved that he was completing his thorough inspection, I began to relax, but then he suggested that we move on to the other retreat. As the rain was continuing to fall we drove up to Allawah. He then proceeded to undertake exactly the same inspection of that retreat with the same comprehensive fastidiousness.
After some time, he turned to me with a smile and confirmed that both retreats had completely passed the inspection and ‘Somewhere Unique’ would retain its star rating of 4.5 stars. He explained that this was as higher ranking as was possible for two retreats in the self-catering category. He explained that four star properties are those which offer a deluxe guest experience, which means a wide range of facilities and superior design qualities, typically complemented by service standards that reflect the varied and discerning needs of the guest. He said that the extra half a star indicated further modest improvements in the quality and condition of guest facilities (than at the four star level).
With a handshake and a congratulatory remark, the inspector left. As the sun burst through the retreating clouds, I enjoyed the pride of retaining a 4.5 star rating, which provides prospective guests with a tangible endorsement of the highest quality standards which we offer at ‘Somewhere Unique’.