With the development of a whole new level of service and amenities at hotels around the world, ProfessionalTravelGuide.com aims to shake up the hotel industry with the debut of the Six Star rating for luxury hotels in summer 2009. The new category will be added to the industry?s official Five Star Rating System, the Star Service, which is owned and operated by ProfessionalTravelGuide.com.

The upcoming launch was announced by Peter Nicas, CEO and Editor-In-Chief of ProfessionalTravelGuide.com, who also revealed that the site will simultaneously unveil a six-star system for airlines, rating first-class, business class and coach services. A six-star rating system for luxury cruise ships will follow in the fall.

Star Service developed the star ratings system in 1939 and is the most stringent of ratings systems for the hotel industry. The Star Service ratings system is widely considered the industry standard and used extensively throughout the travel industry.

ProfessionalTravelGuide.com will delve into its extensive hotel database to choose hotels for the six-star designation, a select group of exclusive luxury hotels that represent the new cr?me de la cr?me of the hotel industry, setting the gold standard that all hotels should strive to attain. This robust database consists of more than 160,000 hotels and 10,000 of the world?s most in-depth hotel reviews, which are based on anonymous inspections from 325 professional reviewers located around the world.

ProfessionalTravelGuide.com offers consumers unprecedented free access to the renowned Star Service five-star rating system on its site. The Star Service ratings are also syndicated to such leading travel companies as Carlson Wagonlit, and to many of the major online travel research portals, online travel agencies (OTA?s) worldwide and most of the world?s travel agencies.

?Star Service is one of the most reputable hotel rating systems for travelers in existence today,? said Marshall A. Calder, senior vice president, marketing, The Leading Hotels of the World. ?It is one of the few systems that faithfully subscribe to an objective approach.?

The Six Star ratings, based on a very stringent set of more than 1700 criteria including cultural and emotive factors, will be awarded to hotels that are truly the most discerning of hotels around the world. Among the criteria are:

- A minimum one-to-one employee to guest service ratio
- Non-intrusive, seamless service attenuated to each guest and their needs
- Privacy for guests in public areas, dining, etc.
- Architectural uniqueness
- Local flavor of the location where the hotel is situated

Further details of the six-star criteria will be made public when CEO, Peter Nicas begins his worldwide tour of the six-star candidates.

?After staying in hundreds of the top hotels around the world, I have recognized over the course of the last few years that a new class of hotels is being built and operated, going beyond the current five-star designation,? Nicas said. ?One of the key factors in determining which of the current five star properties will be awarded the sixth star is the hotel?s commitment to scale, ensuring the ultimate in personal attention. The property must not only meet this criterion, but also transport the guest into a realm that makes even the most discerning and affluent feel as though they are someplace distinctive and captivating.?

Examples of hotels that will be considered for six-star status include:

Europe ? Austria?s Capella Schloss Velden
Africa - Namibia?s Susuwe Island Lodge
Middle East - Dubai?s One & Only Royal Mirage
South Pacific - Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan Ubud
Asia - Hong Kong?s Peninsula hotel and Japan?s Hyatt Regency Kyoto
South America - Argentina?s Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
North America ? Jackson Hole, Wyoming?s Amangani Resort and New York City?s Lowell Hotel.

?These luxury hotels aren?t available on your typical online travel website selling rooms for the lowest price possible,? Nicas said, ?Travelers who stay in six-star hotels overwhelmingly book their rooms through traditional travel agents or directly through the hotel?s web site, not via a traditional OTA.?

ProfessionalTravelGuide.com does not allow online booking and therefore includes all properties ? including the upcoming six-star designees ? in its extensive database, unlike other sites that only list properties whose inventory they are trying to sell. ProfessionalTravelGuide.com encourages its users to plan their trips using its extensive databases and wealth of information that until now has only been available to travel industry professionals. The site recommends that users then book directly through the hotel or travel agents to get the best pricing possible.

ProfessionalTravelGuide.com does not contain any user-generated content. It relies solely on unbiased reviews by professional journalists who possess the experience and knowledge necessary to distinguish a six-star hotel from a five-star runner-up.

Related Link: ProfessionalTravelGuide.com