Forbes Travel Guide published its 59th list of worldwide “Star Rating” hotels, spas and restaurants, including 22 new five-star hotels and 76 four-star hotels.
New Five-Star hotels range from “the brand-new fresh and inventive” Faena Hotel Miami Beach to the recently restored Ritz Paris. Boutique hotels also made a strong Five-Star showing, including Cabo San Lucas' 87-room The Resort at Pedregal, London's 30-room Hotel 41 and Rome's 14-suite Portrait Roma. Criteria for selection include physical features of each hotel, as well as “gracious, intuitive service.”
In the Spa category, “the brand-new and sumptuous” Meadowood Spa, Napa Valley, earned five stars, as did the Rosewood Spa, Mayakoba, Mexico. Globally, cities with the most Five-Star spas include: Macau (7), Hong Kong (5) and Shanghai (4).
"We are excited to recognize the 2017 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants and spas with a strong culture of service,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide, who noted how the “confusion and clutter” of online travel sites can leave travelers wondering where to stay, dine and relax.
Forbes Travel Guide rates properties in 42 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and plans to add the Middle East and Africa in 2018.
U.S. cities with the highest number of Five-Star hotels include: New York (8), Beverly Hills (5), Las Vegas (5) and Miami (5). Globally, cities with the most Five-Star hotels include: Macau (10), Paris (10), London (9) and Hong Kong (8).
Bali, Puerto Rico and Manila among top rising luxury destinations
Among the new destinations, Bali was a big winner, garnering three Five-Star hotel awards (Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, and The Villas at Ayana), 10 Four-Star hotels and five Four-Star spas.
“We probably receive a new request for Bali every week,” said Erina Pindar, a managing director at SmartFlyer in New York. “Most of the time we will have couples traveling to Bali, either a honeymoon or a getaway. They tend to be in their 30s-40s. During Bali’s festival season, we will get requests for families with their kids.”
Puerto Rico’s The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort received top honors with Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the island’s first Five-Star spa, Spa Botánico, at Dorado Beach.
Manila debuted with two Five-Star hotels (Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Sky Tower at Solaire Resort and Casino), and four Four-Star properties (Fairmont Makati, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, Raffles Makati, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila).
Numerous European destinations debuted with their first Five-Star properties: Budapest (Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest), Barcelona (Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona), the French Riviera (Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel) and Venice (Belmond Hotel Cipriani).
Triple Crown winners
An elite group of 11 properties earned Five-Star awards for their hotel, restaurant and spa, including: Banyan Tree Macau; The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs; The Cloister in Sea Island, Georgia; Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego; The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong; Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; Mandarin Oriental, Macau; Mandarin Oriental, Miami; Montage Laguna Beach; Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island; and Wynn Las Vegas.
“Staying at The Wynn means "winning," no matter how you do on the slots. The resort and the rooms are fabulous,” said Camille Pepe Sperrazza, owner, The World Awaits Travel LLC, New York.
Margie Jordan, Jordan Executive Travel Service, Jacksonville, FL, has a regular clientele booking Mandarin Hotels. “They know the consistency in service and they're never disappointed in the accommodations,” Jordan said. “It's one of those brands that consistently delivers an excellent experience from the restaurants and service to the quality of accommodation.”
“It’s the seasoned world travelers or corporate executives looking for a much deserved break. They average in their 50s to mid-60's. But I’m seeing younger clients who appreciate Mandarin as well. When it comes to Mandarin in Las Vegas, it's mostly millennials that show interest there,” Jordan said.
In the United States, the greatest number of Five-Star restaurants are in: New York (7), California (6) and Nevada (6). Cities in the United States with the most Five-Star restaurants include: New York (7), Las Vegas (6) and Chicago (3). Las Vegas' fine-dining scene is seeing an uptick with three new Five-Star restaurants: Le Cirque Las Vegas and Picasso, both in Bellagio, and Wing Lei in Wynn Las Vegas. Globally, cities with the highest number of Five-Star restaurants include: Macau (11) and Hong Kong (8).
In the United States, the greatest number of Five-Star spas are located in: California (8), Florida (5) and Nevada (5). California's two new Five-Star spa additions are Meadowood Spa in Napa and The Spa at Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles.
To view the complete list of 2017 Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating recipients, click here.