Forbes Travel Guide now rates properties in 29 countries throughout The Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and expects to double its size again in the next year with expansion into the Middle East and Africa. The 2016 Five-Star hotel winners now total 154 — the most in Forbes Travel Guide’s history. The company continues its uniquely selective process for recognizing the finest properties in the markets it rates, rewarding intuitive, gracious service — which makes winning an award one of the most prestigious achievements in the industry.
Forbes Travel Guide also recognized a total of 410 Four-Star hotels, 187 Four-Star restaurants and 180 Four-Star spas, as well as its list of 159 Recommended hotels and 68 Recommended restaurants in the markets it rates — the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Costa Rica, England’s Home Counties, London, the French Riviera, Paris, Berlin, Florence, Milan, Rome, Geneva, Bangkok, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.
A Snapshot of the List: Highlighting the Big Winners and Trends
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts made the strongest showing among hotel brands, with six new Five-Star hotels in Florence, Italy; Geneva, Switzerland; Hangzhou, China; Papagayo, Costa Rica; Paris, France; and Whistler, Canada. It also dominated the overall Five-Star hotel list, nabbing 26 of the 42 spots. This is the first time in the company’s history it has achieved six new Five-Star hotels in a single year.
Paris was the year’s biggest winner among new destinations, debuting with nine Five-Star hotels: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris; Hôtel Plaza Athénée; La Réserve Paris; Le Bristol Paris; Le Meurice; Le Royal Monceau — Raffles Paris; Mandarin Oriental, Paris; The Peninsula Paris; and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris.
Italy also scored high, with eight hotels earning Five-Star accolades in the country’s first year as a rated destination. Rome continues to be a hot luxury destination, boasting four Five-Star hotels (Hotel de Russie, Hotel Eden, Hotel Hassler Roma, J.K. Place Roma). Florence clinched three Five-Star awards (Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Hotel Savoy, Portrait Firenze) and Milan took one (Mandarin Oriental, Milan).
In the Asia-Pacific region, Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake became the first-ever Five-Star hotel in that newly rated destination. China now has a total of 10 Five-Star hotels, with three first-time winners this year. Palace Hotel Tokyo became the first Japanese-branded hotel ever to receive Five-Star recognition. Peninsula achieved two new Five-Star awards, one in Tokyo and another in Bangkok.
Distinctive independent boutique properties around the world continue to gain recognition, including The Goring, London; J.K. Place Roma, Rome; La Réserve Paris; and Portrait Firenze, Florence. All garnered Five-Star awards for the first time.
Coworth Park, set in the English Royal County of Berkshire, also earned the top honor — demonstrating that the highest levels of service and facilities can be found in all locations, at all property types and in all parts of the world.
Langham Hotels & Resorts nabbed its first Five-Star award in the U.S. The Langham, Chicago won the top honor for both its hotel and spa.
The Caribbean and Mexico scored big wins. In the Caribbean, large branded hotels such as Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve joined independent boutique properties like Barbados’ Sandy Lane Hotel in earning first-time Five-Stars. Mexico had six Five-Star hotels on the list in Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Punta Mita.
In the U.S., Wequassett Resort and Golf Club became the only Five-Star hotel on Cape Cod, its first time winning the coveted honor. It joined Five-Star properties from destinations as diverse as New York City (eight Five-Star hotels); Las Vegas (five Five-Star hotels); and Park City, Utah (two Five-Star hotels).
About Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the originator of the prestigious Five-Star Rating system, and has provided the travel industry’s most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. Forbes Travel Guide has a team of expert inspectors who anonymously evaluate properties against up to 800 rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better-informed travel and leisure decisions. Forbes Travel Guide is the most prestigious standard for luxury hospitality worldwide. For more information about Forbes Travel Guide, visit www.forbestravelguide.com.