As Forbes Travel Guide celebrates the 60th anniversary of its prestigious Star Rating list, new hotels are celebrating receiving the top distinction for the first time.
The 2018 award winners include 27 new Five-Star hotels. Top honors were awarded to recently opened properties including the sleek Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, the Baccarat Hotel New York and the new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, highlighting hotels “becoming increasingly vested in their pre-opening strategies, including recruitment and training practices.” The new Trump Hotels in Washington, D.C., and Vancouver also achieved Five-Star ratings.
In the U.S., New York City has the highest number of Five-Star hotels with 10, followed by Beverly Hills (6), Las Vegas (5), and Miami (5).
Independent hotels also made a strong showing. First-time Five-Star awards went to: private luxury ranch Le Richemond Genève, Magee Homestead in Wyoming; 250-acre countryside estate Meadowood Napa Valley in California; golf retreat Nemacolin Woodlands Resort — Falling Rock in Pennsylvania; and the historic Williamsburg Inn in Virginia.
The 200-mile stretch of coastline along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Riviera Nayarit, continues to be a premiere luxury destination. Helping to cater to the upmarket demand, the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort earned its first Five-Star award, and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit achieved its first Four-Star honor.
For the first time, the Middle East was included in the Forbes Travel Guide. The region picked up four Five-Star hotels (Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai; Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre; and Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach), as well as 21 Four-Star hotels.
Other new destinations added this year include: Amsterdam, Aruba, Chengdu, Hokkaido, Jamaica, Madrid, Marrakech, Okinawa, Panama, Prague, and Vienna.
Morocco’s Marrakech debuted with two Five-Star hotels (Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech; Royal Mansour Marrakech), as well as a pair of Four-Star properties (Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, La Mamounia).
Of the new European destinations, Amsterdam gained Four-Star ratings at the Conservatorium, De L'Europe Amsterdam and Hotel Okura Amsterdam, with Prague also picking up two Four-Star hotels (Augustine, A Luxury Collection Hotel; and Mandarin Oriental, Prague). In Vienna, Four-Stars were awarded to Hotel Sacher Wien, Palais Coburg, Palais Hansen Kempinski and The Ritz-Carlton Vienna.
This year, 13 elite properties garnered a Five-Star rating for their hotels, restaurants, and spas. The elite group includes: 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; Meadowood Napa Valley; Montage Laguna Beach; Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island; The Peninsula Hong Kong; Wynn Las Vegas; and Wynn Palace, Macau.
Forbes Travel Guide rates properties in 50 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. It will expand to inspecting in 60 countries in preparation for its 2019 Star Ratings.
For a complete list of 2018 Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating recipients, click here.