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Accomodation: How to Manage
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Accommodation: How to Manage

In case you choose to travel abroad for health check-up, treatment, or recovery, make sure to arrange the lodging for your entire stay well in advance. First, accommodation will be needed for outpatient treatment and recovery if you are not planning to stay at the health resort facilities. You have an option of taking care of the booking part on your own or use services of a specialized medical tourism facilitator. In the latter case, the agency representatives will help you pick and book a hotel room or an apartment located within a walking distance from the medical centre. Sometimes the issue appears to be relevant for the accompanying persons as well.

Normally, medical tourism facilitators select a number of alternatives for the client during his/her stay abroad for the entire period of treatment, recovery, or check-up:

  • accommodation at a standard hotel of any class not far from the medical centre or health resort;
  • on-site hotel accommodation at the medical centre or health resort;
  •  in-patient ward at the medical centre including the attendants (a number of clinics offer special wards with separate rooms designed for relatives and accompanying persons of the patient);
  • apartment or villa rental (most frequently for patients after plastic surgeries or during recovery).

The cost of lodging depends on the hotel class, ward facilities as well as the period of stay.

If you made up your mind to undergo a complex diagnostic check-up and need neither all-day care nor long-term stay in the clinic, then you may settle down at the hotel located next to it or at the on-site inn. In case you arrive for a surgery, lengthy treatment, or recovery course, it would be most practical to stay right at the medical or recovery centre.

Modern clinics and centres arrange their wards so that their patients not only benefit from a thorough supervision of physicians and paramedical staff, but also feel comfortable and cosy like home. That is why wards in many private hospitals of Turkey and Singapore in particular bear the resemblance to luxury hotel rooms including a wide range of everything from medical equipment for monitoring indicators of vital functions in the patient’s body, comfortable furniture, shower, bathroom, TV, telephone, and Internet to other amenities by the patient’s choice. Moreover, the wards are designed to host both the patient undergoing treatment course and the attendant. They typically consist of two rooms and never give way to luxury suits.

Hotel classification system

The need for hotel classification by the level of comfort / range of lodging facilities and provided service came about in the middle of the XX century. There is a great variety of world hotel classification principles and criteria, all depending on the country’s national and geographical peculiarities and local traditions. The most widely applied hotel classifications are as follows:

  • level of comfort/lodging facilities and service (implies the condition of room inventory, furniture and bathroom equipment, meal quality, additional services offered, etc.)
  • key count (implying the general number of rooms available for visitors all at once: small — up to 150, medium — 150 to 400, large — above 400 rooms);
  • purpose functional (transit or special purpose)
  •  location (hotels may be located in the centre or within the city line, on the coast, in the mountains, near international airports, etc.)
  • infrastructure (restaurants, casinos, parking, fitness and spa centres)
  • operation time during the year (seasonal or open permanently)
  • meals included (full board and lodging, half board, and other)
  • conditions for long-term stay (short-term and long-term)
  • price policy (budget, economy, medium, first-class, apartment or boutique hotels).

We should also keep in mind that currently there are over 30 hotel classification systems in the world, which tentatively fall under 2 major groups: European (based on the French national system) and points scoring system widely adopted in African and Asian countries (designed basing on the Indian national system of hotel classification). Among others, the following systems are most widely used:

  • star rating — European classification system designed on the basis of the French national system, where hotels are rated by the number of stars one to five: higher star count means higher comfort level. This system is applied in most European countries and some countries of the Middle East and Asia.
  • letter grading is used in Greece. According to this classification, all hotels fall under four major categories: A, B, C, D plus the supreme category De Luxe (corresponds to a 5-star hotel). Category А corresponds to 4-star hotels, В — 3-star, С — 2-star, and lastly D — 1-star.
  • ‘crown’ and ‘key’ system is adopted in the United Kingdom. To transfer crowns into stars, you have to subtract 1 from the overall number of crowns.
  • category system is applied in Spain and Italy. Accordingly, hotels are subdivided into three categories: the first corresponds to 4 stars, the second — 3 stars, and the third — 2 stars. There is also a distinctive gradation within each category.

Apart from the most widespread hotel classification systems above there are others typical for particular countries only. Specifically, Malta has adopted along with the 5-star system a new one, whereby hotel categories are subdivided into “gold”, “silver”, and “bronze”.

On Maldives, hotels have the following categories: Standard, De Luxe, Junior Suite, Presidential Suite.

USA and Canada have no unified hotel classification. The approximate service level is indicated by letters: T (Tourist Class) — level of 1 or 2 stars, M (Moderate First Class) corresponding to 3 stars, F (First Class) — approximately corresponding to 3.5 stars, S (Superior) — comparable to a 4-star hotel, D (Deluxe и Superior Deluxe) — 5-star.

So what exactly is the meaning of ‘stars’?

1 star

One-star hotels are practically extinct as a category. These are hotels with the lowest prices and basic service package. WC and shower in rooms are not provided and are placed at the end of the corridor. Public TV and sofa are in the hall. In the rooms you will find fresh linen, towels and soap, but expect room cleaning and change of linen only once a week.

2 stars

Two-star hotels also offer their visitors only a basic service package, although room cleaning is performed on daily basis. The facilities include an en-suite bathroom, usually a TV in the bedroom. Such hotels also have a café serving a breakfast.

3 stars

Three-star hotels are extremely popular among tourists. They offer all necessary facilities for a comfort stay and at a liberal price, too. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, TV, fridge or minibar. Moreover, they may also provide for a writing desk with stationary, iron, and hair dryer. The room is cleaned every day, the linen and towels are changed once in three days. The main advantages of such hotels cover developed infrastructure and convenient location. The hotel premises may accommodate a café or restaurant, business centre, hairdressers, foreign exchange, gym, swimming pool, conference hall. Three-star hotels are usually located in close proximity to the centre or next to the metro station and major road arteries.

4 stars

Four stars are awarded to hotels with excellent service and wide range of facilities. Such hotels commonly offer several room types (single and double, semi-luxe, de-luxe, etc.), several bars, restaurant, gym, swimming pool, conference hall, massage and spa salons. Room facilities include new furniture, air conditioning, en-suite bathroom, TV, Internet, fridge, telephone, minibar, and other amenities. The cost of staying in such hotels is comparatively high.

5 stars

Five stars mark the best luxury hotels distinguished for the widest selection of services offered. The hotel premises accommodate apart from bars and restaurants also clubs, casinos, saunas, spas, massage rooms, hairdressers, shops, tennis courts, and golf fields. The suites are multiple-room spacious cosy apartments, fashionably and comfortably furnished, including a luxury bathroom complete with a hair dryer, shaver, toothbrush, and all kinds of personal care products. Room cleaning and change of linen is performed daily and room service is available round the clock.

Counting ‘stars’, do consider one essential point. Each country has a different approach to hotel rating while the level of comfort and services provided may vary greatly in hotels with the same number of stars. Note that the strictest rules of hotel classification apply in Switzerland, France, and Spain — the hotel not compliant with the declared class may be closed. However, a French 3-star hotel, on the one hand, hardly reaches out to a 2-star German hotel and, on the other hand, may well correspond to a Finnish 4-star.

Many Eastern countries have a tendency to overrate deliberately the star count. Here many hotels follow the principle: the more, the better. In the UAE, there is even a 7-star hotel, though the comfort level offered there is hardly the summit of ambition. Turkish hotels are an exception, most part strictly adhering to the European standards.

German hotels are permitted to claim any category at their own discretion, but typically their owners are careful not to mislead the demanding German customers. The similar situation is seen in the Czech Republic, where most hotels are targeted at the German and Austrian tourists.

One of the precise and exacting hotel classification systems is adopted in Switzerland. Operating there is a system of stars established by the Swiss Hotel Association (SSH).

As for Italy, the category is deliberately lowered by reason of tax to be paid for each star. Therefore many owners of truly 4-star hotels register them officially as 2- & 3-star and adding plus or super marks after the number of stars denoting that the hotel exceeds in level by one star. Their level of service really corresponds to a 3-star category.

Room Features and Facilitation

Rooms may be single (SNL), double (DBL), triple (TRL), apartment, suite.

Room Window View is typically indicated in the conditions of stay at the stage of booking a room and is paid for separately. This may be a room with sea view, garden view, or street view.

Bed quality, size, and type. By their type, rooms may be single bed, double bed, twin single bed, twin double bed, or double-double. There are also specifically designed beds — with a baldachin or water mattress; such extravagancies may be termed as queen-size or king-size.

Presence or absence of facilities in the room is designated as: public bath — a common bathroom for the floor; private bath/shower — bath/shower in the room; private bath/shower, WS — combination bath/shower and WC unit in the room; private bath/shower and private WS — bath/shower in the room, separate WC; wash hand basin.

Room facilitation with technology and telephone. Telephone is usually available in every hotel room starting from 2 stars. It is free for internal calls with hotel staff, while city and even international calls can be made at an additional cost. Although the charge for the latter is rather high.

Pay attention to the following designations in the hotel description: radio/colour TV; satellite TV; without TV; common, public TV — in the hall; phone, telephone; without phone; public phone, call-box for a charge; free public phone in the hall.

Hotel description may also contain the following: room with air-condition (with individual or centralised control), minibar, bar in room (which may be rather expensive to use, because the prices for drinks are generally five-six times higher than in the shop).

A hair dryer or hairfair is nowadays a mandatory attribute of both 4-star and 3-star hotels.

A safe is indispensably installed in suites, however, in Brazil in particular due to largely occurring thefts individual safes are provided in all room types starting from three stars. If there is no safe provided in your room, you can deposit your money and valuables in the safe of the hotel manager.

Quality of meals

Meals are an essential point accounted for by tourists when choosing a hotel.

  • Variety, quantity, and quality of offered dishes and beverages depend on the hotel category.

Nowadays, hotels offer about a dozen of various meal plans, therefore your tour description should necessarily indicate a meal plan and time for meal.

Typically, the cost of a standard room at an average 3-star hotel includes light breakfast (Continental Plan, bed and breakfast). The cost of half board room includes also an evening meal (Modified American Plan, breakfast and evening meal, half pension, half board), while full board provides for at least three meals a day (Full American Plan, breakfast and lunch and evening meal, full pension, full board). If your room description contains ‘bed or without meal’, it implies that meals are not provided at all. At the same time, the ‘all inclusive’ system along with three meals a day implies the possibility of having snacks and various drinks during the day as well.

Most often hotels offer the following designations of meal plans:

  • BB — bed and breakfast.
  • HB — half board (two meals a day: breakfast, dinner or evening meal);
  • FB — full board (three meals a day: breakfast, dinner, evening meal);

§  AI — ‘all inclusive’ (three meals a day plus additional meals, including soft and strong drinks during the day).

Along with meal type, the client may choose the form of restaurant service:

  • “a la carte” — free choice of dishes from the restaurant menu
  • “table d’hote” — service by the common fixed menu for all clients without right of choice
  • “smorgasbord”, or buffet service — free choice of dishes set on a common table with self-service.

Major terms and abbreviations applied internationally for characterising rooms, their facilitation, types of accommodation, and meal plans

Conventional designations:

ОB (only bed) — accommodation only

BB (bed and breakfast) — accommodation and breakfast

HB (half board) — accommodation, breakfast, evening meal

FB (full board) — accommodation, breakfast, dinner, evening meal

AI (all inclusive) — accommodation and meals by the all inclusive system (breakfast, dinner, evening meal, strong and soft drinks locally produced)

SGL (single) — room for one person

DBL (double) — room for two people

TRPL (triple) — room for three people

Suite — accommodation in a suite

EXBxtra вed) — extra bed provided

Chi (child) — accommodation for children

Ad (adult) — accommodation for adults

CH — older child up to 12-15 years

ch — small child

Room types:

double twin — room with two beds;

king size — room with one large bed for a married couple;

triple — room with two beds and sofa for accommodating a child;

single — same size room as a double twin, but with only one bed. Sometimes one person is accommodated in a double room, in which case the charge may be higher. This accommodation type is called double for single use.

junior suite — a room for two people with one bedroom of improved layout;

de luxe — same type room with more expensive furnishing;

suite — a room with a living room and bedroom with top quality furniture and equipment;

business — a spacious room with a computer and fax all ready for work;

family room (studio) — a room for family accommodation with two separate adjoining rooms;

president — the most luxury rooms in a hotel with several bedrooms, study room, two or three WCs.

Abbreviations by room type:

DBL — double room

SGL — single room

TRL — triple room

Accommodation types:

MB — main building

Sport-Area — type of building with sporting facilities

Pavilion — type of building with recreation facilities

BG — bungalo

ROH — run of the house, accommodation by the hotel discretion

Room — accommodation in a single room

Chale — an annex to the main building

Front first coastline

Room types by size:

Standart Room — standard room

Superior — room larger than standard

Suite — large with two adjacent rooms

Ex. SuiteSuite-type room with 2 bedrooms

Mini-suite — two-room suite but smaller than a Suite

Studio — a room larger than standard, with separated areas (sleeping area, working area, etc.)

De Luxe — enhanced-comfort room

Room window view:

Sea view

Garden view

City view

Beach room

Dune view

Dune room

Lagoon room

Mountain view

Pool view

Land view

Meal plans:

ВB — breakfasts

HB — half board

FB — full board

AI — meals all day including drinks (locally produced)

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Медицинский туризм, иностранцы посещают фитнес клубы Киева для улучшения здоровья. Appartment rentals, daily rent for relatives of patients