Definitions of Accommodation Facilities

Official definitions of accommodations facilities as laid out by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Kindly note: Only establishments that cater for transient guests (travelling public) are considered under the following definitions.


A hotel provides formal accommodation to the traveling public, has a reception area, en-suite bathrooms and offers a dining facility. Servicing of rooms must be done 7 days a week. In general a hotel makes food and beverage services available to guests, these may be outsourced or provided by the hotel. A hotel must have a minimum of 4 rooms.

Guest House

A Guest House is either a existing house, converted house or has purposely been build as a residential dwelling to provide overnight accommodation, must have more than three rooms, meals and beverages must be provided and the public areas are for the exclusive use of the guests. A Guest House is a commercial operation that is owner managed. The owner/manager either lives off-site or in a separate area within the property.


Bed and Breakfast accommodation is more informal accommodation with limited services that is provided in a family (private) home with the owner/manager living in the house or on the property. Breakfast is usually served. The bathroom facilities must be en-suite. If not, exclusive use of bathroom facilities per room is ensured. In general the guest shares the public areas with the host family.

Country House

A Country House is either a existing house, converted house or purposely been build as a residential dwelling to provide overnight accommodation which has public areas for the exclusive use of the guests. A Country House is situated in natural, peaceful surroundings, such as near a lake or nature reserve and offers all the services of a hotel, including dinner.


A Lodge is a formal accommodation facility located in natural surroundings, beyond that of the immediate garden. The rates charged are usually inclusive of an experience offered at the Lodge, with daily serviced rooms. In general food and beverage services is provided.


A Restaurant is an establishment offering varying types and levels of service, including a meet and greet service and serving food and beverages in a designated eating area. If the restaurant chooses to serve alcohol it must have an alcohol license. A restaurant must have a sub-brand which indicates the type of food served, eg. Italian Food.

Self-Catering Accommodation

A house, chalet, bungalow, flat, studio, villa, houseboat, tents or similar accommodation where facilities and equipment are provided for guests to cater for themselves, with the owner/manager contactable 24/7. The facilities should be adequate to cater for the maximum advertised number of residents the facility can accommodate. Bathroom facilities may or may not be en-suite and or private.

Caravan and Camping

Caravan and camping accommodation is a facility that provides ablution and toilet facilities and space for guests to provide for their own accommodation, such as a tent, motor home and or caravan. There should be a meet and greet service.

Backpackers and Hostels

A Backpackers and Hostel is an accommodation facility that provides communal facilities, including dormitories yet may offer a range of alternative sleeping arrangements.

MESE (Meetings, Events And Special Events)

Conference Centre

A facility that provides a dedicated environment for meetings, especially small to medium sized events. Dedicated meeting and breakaway rooms are designed for maximum productivity. To minimise distractions, these rooms tend to be separated from food service facilities and high traffic areas.

Meeting rooms are clustered near one another and interspersed with informal gathering spaces, such as lounges, patios and courtyards. This layout encourages interaction and networking among attendees, even those participating in different meetings. Separate dining facilities must be available to accommodate conference groups on a flexible meeting schedule at the convenience of each group and to accommodate the capacity of the conference facility for lunch in no more than two groups of one hour each.

Exhibition Centre

This is a facility whose purpose it is to host trade shows, public shows, conventions and other large functions and that combines exhibition space with a substantial number of smaller meeting and event spaces. A convention centre may be purpose built or converted. It will generally not have accommodation. Convention centres typically offer sufficient floor area to accommodate large numbers of attendees. They typically have at least one auditorium and may also contain concert halls, lecture halls, meeting and conference rooms.

Special Events

A special event venue is a purpose built or adapted facility that can accommodate a special event, indoor and or outdoor, with facilities for attendees to sit and or stand in order to view the event. Special events includes; Sporting events, concerts and religious gatherings.