Hotel status

Last update 14.09.2018

Business managers who intend to operate a hotel, a motel, a boarding house, an inn or a restaurant must have:

The status is granted to establishments that comply with the provisions in terms of safety, hygiene and comfort.

The General Directorate for Tourism will verify that these provisions are complied with at the time the application for the hotel status is submitted.

Who is concerned

The hotel status is mandatory for every establishment offering accommodation to travellers in return for payment and also for every restaurant.

The status allows the use of the following names in its trade name and other registrations:

  • hôtel;
  • motel;
  • pension or pension de famille (boarding house, bed & breakfast);
  • auberge (inn);
  • restaurant;
  • or any synonym or derivation of these names.

Prerequisites

The hotel status will only be granted if the establishment can provide the following:

  • electric lighting;
  • ventilation and sufficient light (luminosity) to meet normal needs;
  • perfectly maintained furniture and bedding;
  • and other specific equipment required for its category (see below).

Hotel

In order to be called a hotel (or a synonym thereof), the establishment must meet the following obligations:

  • have at least 10 bedrooms (except for special cases duly acknowledged and approved by the Ministry); each room must be well lit and ventilated and have:
    • at least one washbasin (with hot and cold water), appropriate electric lighting in either the room itself or the adjacent shower/bathroom, a carpet and a socket for electric shavers plus an emergency call system;
    • a number or distinctive sign outside the room allowing for its identification;
  • in the event meals are being served, have at least one room or a section of a room which must be used as a dining room;
  • have the following for the exclusive use of the guests:
    • at least one bathroom with a shower or a shower room (with hot and cold water) for every 10 rooms or a fraction thereof should they not be equipped with a shower or bathroom; every shower or bathroom must be easily accessible and be on the same floor as the hotel rooms;
    • have at least one flush toilet for every 5 guest rooms which are not equipped with a flush toilet and at least one flush toilet on each floor accessible to the guests;
      the ventilation system of the toilet must be directly connected to the outside air and be independent from the other rooms, hallways, staircases or passages; access to the toilet must be well lit during night time;
    • a reading room or lounge separate from the dining room.
  • have:
    • an elevator if there are more than 3 floors above the ground floor and which are accessible to the guests;
    • the possibility of permanent and sufficient electric lighting of the premises, the bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, staircases, passageways and elevators;
    • the possibility of permanent and appropriate heating of the premises which are open to the public, the bedrooms, shower and bathrooms, used passageways (except for establishments which are only open in summer);
    • a connection to the telephone network;
    • if the reception desk is not staffed permanently, a night bell which allows registered guests to have the hotel open the doors.

A separate building with guest rooms which is only accessible by leaving the main building is considered to be an annexe. Annexes must satisfy the same conditions as the main building. Every document, mail or commercial which advertises the guest rooms located in an annexe must contain the wording 'annexe'.

Motel

In order to be called a motel (or a synonym thereof), the establishment must meet the following obligations:

  • it must be located outside built-up areas;
  • be directly accessible via an open road for motorised vehicles;
  • have at least 10 bedrooms for the exclusive use of guests;
    • at least half of the rooms in each building must be equipped with a shower or bathroom and a flush toilet;
    • where the guest rooms do not have sanitary installations, there must be one common shower or bathroom and a flush toilet for every 5 rooms or fraction of 5 rooms;
  • offer the possibility:
    • for travellers (without obligation) to have a meal in a restaurant belonging to the motel or near the motel;
    • for vehicles:
      • to be parked in a parking or private garage belonging to the motel;
      • benefit from services such at tire pressure control, supply of gas, oil and coolant at the motel's service station or at a station nearby.

Boarding house

In order to be called a boarding house (pension or pension de famille) or a synonym thereof, the establishment must meet the following obligations:

  • have at least 4 bedrooms (except for special cases duly acknowledged and approved by the Ministry); each room must be equipped with a washbasin with running water in the room or in the adjacent shower or bathroom;
  • in the event meals are being served, have at least one room or a section of a room which must be used as a dining room;
  • at least have, for the exclusive use of the guests:
    • one shower or bathroom (with hot and cold water) for every 10 guest rooms or a fraction thereof, if they are not equipped with a shower/bathroom; every shower or bathroom must be easily accessible and be on the same floor as the guest rooms;
    • have one flush toilet for every 5 guest rooms or fraction thereof which are not equipped with a flush toilet;
      all the toilets must be fixed installations; the ventilation system of the toilet must be directly connected to the outside air and not lead into any of the other rooms, hallways, staircases or passages;
  • have:
    • the possibility of permanent and sufficient electric lighting of the premises, the bedrooms, hallways, staircases, passageways and elevators;
    • the possibility of permanent and sufficient heating of the premises that open to the public, of the bedrooms (for at least 4 rooms and one third of the total available rooms), shower and bathrooms and used passageways (except for establishments which are only open in summer);
    • connection to the telephone network;
    • if the reception desk is not staffed permanently, a night bell which allows registered guests to have the doors opened for them.

Inn

In order to be called an Inn (auberge) or a synonym thereof, the establishment must meet the following obligations:

  • each room must be equipped with at least one washbasin with running water in the room or in the adjacent shower or bathroom;
  • in the event meals are being served, have at least one room or a section of a room which must be used as a dining room;
  • have at least one flush toilet reserved for guests only for every 10 guest rooms or fraction thereof which are not equipped with a flush toilet;
    All the toilets must be fixed installations; the ventilation system of the toilet must be directly connected to the outside air and not lead into the other rooms, hallways, staircases or passageways;
  • have:
    • the possibility of permanent and sufficient electric lighting of the premises, the bedrooms, hallways, staircases and passageways;
    • connection to the telephone network;
    • if the reception desk is not staffed permanently, a night bell which allows registered guests to have the doors opened for them.

Restaurant

In order to be called a restaurant (or a synonym thereof), the establishment must comply with the following obligations:

  • have a room which can be used as a dining room;
  • offer at least one hot meal between 12.00 and 14.00 and between 19.00 and 21.00;
  • display the menus and prices on every table and by the entrance to the establishment so that they can be read from the outside;
  • establish and issue a bill with the client's detailed expenses.

How to proceed

Business permit application

The business manager must make sure to have a business permit before he can apply for the hotel status.

A business permit is subject to legal requirements in terms of qualification and professional integrity in the profession.

Compliance with these provisions is verified by the General Directorate for SMEs and Entrepreneurship at the time the application for the business permit - Horeca is submitted.

When the business permit is granted, the business manager will receive a permit of the type "commerçant - Etablissement d'hébergement" (trader - accommodation establishment) following which he can apply for the hotel status for his establishment.

Application for the hotel status

Applications for the hotel status must be submitted to the General Directorate for Tourism in the form of a signed and completed hotel status questionnaire.

The Department will process the application within 3 months.

If the hotel status is granted, the establishment will receive an authorisation allowing it to display the name requested (hôtel, motel, pension, pension de famille (boarding house), auberge (Inn), restaurant or other).

Who to contact

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