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Star and bubble ratings: What’s the difference?

What’s a star rating, where does it come from, and where does it appear on TripAdvisor? How about bubble ratings?

Hoteliers often ask us these questions, so we’ve answered them here, along with perhaps the most important question of all: How do travelers use this information to plan their trips?

Star ratings
Star ratings reflect the hotel class of a property and give travelers a sense of what type of accommodation to expect. They appear next to property names on a destination search results’ page, and next to the property name on an individual listing.

The star rating, as it appears on a destination search results' page

The star rating, as it appears on a property's listing page.

Travelers can filter search results by them, as well. If a traveler is only interested in considering 3-star hotels, for example, they can use the “Hotel class” box at the top of the List View, Map View, or Deals & Offers page to request only that data.

Use this filter to search for hotels in a specific hotel class

Star ratings are provided to us by third-parties, not determined by TripAdvisor. Expedia is our primary source but if they do not have a star rating for your property, we check with Giata. If neither company has the data, a star rating will not appear for your listing.

If you have a question about your star rating on TripAdvisor, what should you do? Email us if it doesn’t correspond to the one shown by these third parties. If the rating does match but you think it is incorrect, please contact Expedia ( or Giata directly and request a review.

Bubble ratings
Bubble ratings come directly from traveler feedback and are a measure of how travelers have rated a property. Every accommodation listed on TripAdvisor that has at least one review has a bubble rating. Your overall traveler rating is shown towards the top of your property’s listing, while the individual ratings that contribute to them are shown next to each review.

The overall travel rating.

An individual traveler rating.

A summary of how many one through five star ratings you have is also included on your listing so travelers can see the distribution at a glance.

A summary of traveler ratings.

Your bubble rating corresponds closely to your ranking on the TripAdvisor popularity index. While the popularity index is calculated by a complex algorithm, the quantity, quality, and age of your reviews are the primary factors.

By default, properties are ordered by popularity index ranking with the most highly rated properties shown at the top. Travelers can either change that ordering so the lowest rated properties display first, or choose to order by price.

If you have a query about your property’s ratings on TripAdvisor contact us and specify that it is a ‘ratings question.’

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