Gradings & awards staying in Dorset

All accommodation featured on is required to meet one of the following standards:

National Quality Assessment Scheme: VisitEngland and The AA

Dorset Approved Visitor Accommodation Scheme (accredited by VisitEngland)

Visit Dorset Accommodation Charter

Quality in Tourism - Safe, Clean & Legal™

The Safe, Clean & Legal scheme™ from Quality in Tourism ensures that businesses have the correct documentation and checks in place, from fire safety to food safety, confirming that the accommodation meets or exceeds minimum standards. 

The accreditation demonstrates the accommodation's commitment to standards, reassuring potential guests that they have appropriate standards and that they have been inspected by an independent third party.

The scheme has been running since 2018, but has been updated to reflect additional requirements and standards for travel in the post-COVID era. 

National Quality Assessment Scheme

The National Quality Assurance Scheme operated by VisitEngland and the AA  use a star rating system of 1-5 stars; all rating levels offer clean, well-run accommodation with 5 stars indicating an exceptional degree of luxury.

Dorset Approved Visitor Accommodation Scheme (DAVAS)

The Dorset Approved Visitor Accommodation Scheme ensures that the property has met all legal requirements regarding health and safety and that good customer practices are being implemented. This scheme is accredited by VisitEngland using criteria implemented nationally.

Some properties may appear as ‘awaiting inspection’ which means they have applied for but not yet received their quality rating/inspection.

Visit Dorset Accommodation Charter

Accommodation businesses that are not assessed as part of one of the above schemes must agree to the terms of the Visit Dorset Accommodation Charter.  The charter stipulates that the business must fulfil all legal obligations and responsibilities, maintain good standards of service and cleanliness, welcome all visitors courteously and without discrimination and have a cancellations & complaints policy. The businesses will sign the charter to confirm that these terms and conditions have been met. Download a copy of the Visit Dorset Accommodation Charter here.

Quality Recognition

Additional awards are given to properties that demonstrate exceptional quality at all levels.

Under the AA Scheme, Gold Stars are awarded for outstanding quality, Red Stars for those achieving over 80%, rosettes for food, dinner awards for a special dinner and breakfast awards for a superior breakfast.

Under the VisitEngland scheme, Gold and Silver Awards are awarded to those who exceed expectations within their rating and breakfast awards are given to those whose breakfasts are of exceptional quality.

Some properties offer facilities particularly suited to visitors with special needs and these are recognised with the relevant symbol. Some properties offer facilities for walkers, cyclists, families or pets.

Other businesses have shown their commitment to operating in an environmentally sensitive manner through participation in the Green Tourism Business Scheme or the David Bellamy Conservation Awards for holiday parks.

Look out for the different award logos on this website including the Dorset Tourism Award which is judged by industry leaders and past winners on behalf of Services for Tourism Ltd.


What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.