Classification of hotels by comfort level

Are you running a hotel in the Brussels-Capital Region? Now you can get an official recognition of your hotel's comfort level under the region's star-based classification system.

Whom does this concern?

Hotels registered as tourist accommodations. The establishment's registration number must not have been suspended or withdrawn.

Which criteria should you comply with?  

The classification is based upon a number of criteria relating to the quality and the equipment of the establishment. 
Those criteria include the hotel's layout, equipment, surroundings, access and maintenance, as well as the reception and services offered. Some criteria are mandatory depending on the comfort level you apply for, others are optional.

What is the aim of the classification by comfort level? Is it mandatory?

Granting stars is aimed at harmonising the comfort level of registered hotels, based upon a number of criteria. Applying for classification is voluntary, so not mandatory, unlike the registration of tourist accommodations. 
New hotels can submit their classification request along with the prior declaration form (in French or in Dutch) they have to fill in to be registered as a tourist accommodation.

What is the procedure to receive stars?

Step 1 : Fill in the pre-audit questionnaire, which is available through the online tool hyperlink to the tool and the criteria list.

Do the pre-audit

Step 2 : Send the following documents to Brussels Economy and Employment:

  • The pre-audit form, completed using the online tool (button above) and signed by the operator. 
  • The application form for classification in French or in Dutch, stating at least the comfort level applied for, the registration number, the changes that might have occurred after registration, the contact details 
    and the agreement to undergo inspections. 
  • If applicable, the application form in French or in Dutch for derogations to one or more criteria:
    • explanations about the financial or technical reasons to justifo the demanded derogation
    • explanations about the compensations the operator proposes to ensure a comfort level equivalent to what is laid out in the criteria for the level concerned

Step 3 : If the classification request is deemed complete, an audit by Brussels Economy and Employment must take place in order to grant the number of stars applied for.
The manager will be notified of the granting or refusal of the comfort level based upon the conclusions of the expert's audit report. 

Step 4 : You will receive a classification certificate and a small plate with a logo indicating the comfort level. If the classification is refused, it is possible to appeal against this decision.

 

Frequently asked questions

  • Respecting the criteria associated with his comfort level 
  • Displaying the logo plate that shows his comfort level in a visible way
  • Not claiming a comfort level other than the one obtained, in any publicity 
  • Reporting any changes in elements addressed by a classification criterion within 60 days from their occurrence
  • Informing tourists on changes that might affect the classification level obtained
  • You can mention your comfort level in any communication or publicity.
  • Better visibility for the hotel's comfort level thanks to the logo plate.
  • A list of the classified establishments is provided on the website Visit.brussels 
The stars are granted for an undetermined period of time, provided the establishment keeps complying with the comfort criteria. 
Within three years from the notification of the granting decision, Brussels Economy and Employment will come and check if the establishment still meets the criteria. If not, it is requested to correct the non-conformity within a given period of time. Failure to meet the criteria may result in the withdrawal of the comfort level. 

The inspections are carried out by a quality auditor sent by Brussels Economy and Employment. The date on which the inspection in the establishment will take place, will be notified in advance.

 

A fine ranging from 10 to 4,000 euros can be inflicted if the manager:

1° does not meet the obligations (as described in articles 14,3° until 5° of the ordonnance) 
2° obstructs inspection
3° uses a logo that is not in accordance with the comfort level obtained
4° uses a graphic representation that could be confused with the comfort level logo
5° indicates that their establishment is classified without possessing a classification certificate 

Yes, the level granted is subject to revision if the establishment matches the criteria associated with a lower or higher level. This may occur upon request of the manager (who should then fill in a new application form and pre-audit questionnaire) or following inspection.
 
A comfort level can be withdrawn if the manager does not meet the obligations. 
 
The following decisions can be appealed against:
  • Refusal of a comfort level
  • Refusal to revise a comfort level (upon request of the operator)
  • Withdrawal of a comfort level
  • Revision of a comfort level following inspection 
The manager may attach an application form for a derogation to his appeal and may also indicate his wish to be heard by the appeals commission.
 
An appeal is not suspensive, unless it is made against a decision to withdraw or revise a comfort level at the initiative of Brussels Economy and Employment. In that case, the decision is suspended until the Government has pronounced itself on the appeal. (Add hyperlinks to ordinance and decrees)

The operator can ask for a derogation, possibly coupled with compensation measures, regarding one or several criteria, if he provides proof that it is technically or financially impossible for his establishment to respect the criterion/criteria.

Derogation request form in French and in Dutch

No, a separate classification request is required for each hotel. This is because the comfort level may differ between establishments. Each establishment must therefore be visited by the quality auditor.
Operators who have obtained a classification granted by the French or the Flemish community commission will receive a letter from those institutions within a year after the ordinance has come into force. The letter invites operators to apply for a classification if they wish to do so. Operators who have stated in writing their wish to be classified, have two years’ time to submit their application.