Ranking criteria

As I’ve been whisked around South Africa on a safari vehicle, desperately looking for hungry wild dogs that just wanna be loved but mainly wanna rip apart Bambi’s cousins, I’ve had plenty of thinking time.  Other than wondering how my dad always made his thumb vanish and then reappear, I’ve been considering if I should allocate a rank at the end of each review.  Answer: yes.  That was easy.

The problem is what metric to use?  A numeric value out of some arbitrary value?  Or some random metric I decide: “I hereby rank Park Hotel Vitznau as two Tyler Durden’s and 3 bowls of Lucky Charms”.  Where it gets tricky is where a property has elements that are luxurious, but completely fail in other areas, so the score will be the overall feeling I walk away with.  

I’ve decided to keep it simple.  Here’s the ranking criteria…


If you need to be somewhere, this is going to do the job.  Not the best job, but the job.  It’s not worth visiting just for the hotel itself, but it will do a good enough job that you don’t leave in such a state of anger that you now suffer haemorrhoids.


You’re being chased down the street by someone dressed in the Scream mask, wielding a razor sharp knife.  You’re going to get stabbed to death unless you run into a safe building.  Even so, you should not choose this hotel and instead take your stabbings like a man.   These are the properties that are a waste of your time, money, but worse of all, they were a waste of my time and money.


Worth visiting regardless of the safety to you and your loved ones, and completely ignoring your financial situation.  If I tell you the Taliban have opened a new property and you can only get to it through a minefield, then you better brush up on your ability to do everything one handed, cos you’re going.  These are the best properties.    The places you remember fondly for offering a truly world class, luxurious experience.  They offer excellent facilities, rooms, food, service.  They’re often in beautiful locations, have a low number of rooms and are exclusive.


I’ll be adding a new ranking section to reviews going forward, as well as make it a category so it’s easier for you to filter.


  1. Chad Gehlbach

    I think this is a great idea and look forward to seeing your (as always) objective reviews and (now) ratings.

    Would love to see price being a component of the rating. Sure a $10k per night hotel is great, but is it 10x better than a $1k per night hotel in the same area?

    • Price is a tough one. I try not to mention it as much anymore for several reasons:

      1) A lot of readers don’t care about budget
      2) It matters a lot less to myself than it did a few years ago
      3) We’re now staying in suites which can have a big price difference vs a standard room. Some of the top-end suites could cost per night more than a fortnight in a standard room. We’re sometimes getting significant upgrades, so it’s harder to gauge the value and do a fair comparison.

      Having said that, I will definitely be mentioning it in an upcoming review. It definitely has its place, just not in every instance. I quite like the way Andy Hayler does it, where it has a separate rating.

  2. Personally, I’m hoping you don’t score the next frontier of taliban travel as luxurious . I do rather like all of my limbs.

  3. Will you also be including past reviews with this new ranking system or just properties going forward? I would assume for example that CB, Velaa and Amanzoe would be considered Luxurious.

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