Quality Accommodation

The aim of Vakinn is to increase quality, safety and environmental awareness within Icelandic tourism and at the same time to strengthen a sense of social responsibility among actors in the field.

The classification for accommodation is based on two types of criteria:

  1. General quality criteria.
  2. Specific quality criteria for each type of category.

Vakinn offers certification for six accommodation categories; star rating for hotels and certification for others, for ex. certified guesthouse, certified hostel etc.

The categories are as follows:


  • Hotels
  • Guesthouses
  • Home accommodation                                                                                                         
  • Hostels
  • Holiday homes and apartments
  • Camping sites

The quality criteria for all types of accommodation are based on similar basis and focus on factors like for example access and environment, security, shared areas, room facilities, cleanliness, service and education and staff training.

As mentioned above Vakinn offers star rating for hotels with the superior possibility for hotels classified with three to five stars.

All minimum requirements within each star category must be fulfilled. If service and facilities are far above the minimum requirements in a particular category, there is the possibility of superior classification.

The minimum score for each star rating is as follows:

  • Three star hotel - 180 points
  • Three star hotel superior = 280
  • Four star hotel= 280 points
  • Four star superior = 425 points
  • Five star hotel= 425 points
  • Five star superior= 480 points

Also, the minimum requirements increase as the stars increase. Thus, a four-star hotel must meet more minimum requirements than a three-star superior, although the number of points may be the same, cf. table


 61% of foreign tourists in Iceland claim that it is important to their choice of tourist service company that the company has a recognised quality certification. 72% claim that an environmental certification is important or very important*

* A survey from the Icelandic Tourist Board among foreign tourist in Iceland during the winter of 2017-2018

Star rating for hotels

Travelers all over the world use star rating to guide them in their choice of accommodation. Although the rating systems are not uniform and can be based on varying factors the stars have an international appeal and are helpful when it comes to choosing suitable accommodation. This is beneficial to clients as well as providers of accommodation. Furthermore, the experience of star rating, which includes an independent third-party audit, has proved to be a valuable tool for establishments seeking to improve their performance. It is safe to conclude that Vakinn´s quality system will further quality and professionalism within the Icelandic accommodation sector and strengthen Iceland's competitive edge in the long run.