Forbes Travel Guide reveals the 2018 Star Award winners, and the 60th annual list of the world’s best hotels, restaurants and spas is the largest one yet.
For 2018, we expanded our ratings into destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Aruba, Chengdu, Dubai, Hokkaido, Jamaica, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Marrakech, Okinawa, Panama, Prague, Sanya and Vienna. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, Forbes Travel Guide is now in 50 countries.
We verify luxury and have the data to back it up. Our incognito inspectors evaluate properties based on up to 900 objective standards. Forbes Travel Guide’s scoring system uses a proprietary algorithm that weighs service at 75 percent and the facility quality at 25 percent. Our standards — the most exacting in the industry —emphasize graciousness, thoughtfulness and personalized service.
See the full list of this year’s Star-Rated properties here. Below is a look at the winners:
- The recipients include 27 new Five-Star hotels, 70 new Four-Star hotels and 76 new hotels in the Recommended category.
- Among restaurants, five received first-time Five-Star honors, 24 won new Four-Stars and 10 earned new Recommend titles.
- The list also recognizes five new Five-Star spas and 29 new Four-Star spas.
- In its Forbes Travel Guide debut, the Middle East emerged with big wins. The region picked up four Five-Star hotels (Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai; Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre; Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach). It also tallied an impressive 21 Four-Star hotels and six Recommended hotels.
- South America captured its first Five-Star hotel. Tucked inside Brazil’s Iguacu National Park amid the Iguassu Falls and the jungle, Belmond Hotel das Cataratas leads the region in service excellence.
- Marrakech launched with two Five-Star hotels (Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech; Royal Mansour Marrakech), a pair of Four-Star properties (Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, La Mamounia) and two Recommended hotels (Amanjena, Selman Marrakech).
- New York City seized two new Five-Star wins: Baccarat Hotel and Residences and Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. The last time the city had a new Five-Star hotel was in 2016, with the addition of Park Hyatt New York. A new Four-Star hotel was added, too: Archer Hotel New York.
- Munich welcomed its inaugural Five-Star hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Munich. It joined Four-Stars The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel; Hotel Bayerischer Hof; and Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich, along with Recommended properties Hotel München Palace and Sofitel Munich Bayerpost.
- Japan had some significant gains. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto brought the Japanese city its first Five-Star accolade. Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto and Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel snagged Four-Stars awards. Kyoto Hotel Okura earned a Recommended honor. Over in Tokyo, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo won a Five-Star award. The Capitol Hotel Tokyu and The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho picked up Four-Star honors.
- Independent hotels made a strong showing. First-time Five-Star awards went to Le Richemond Genève, Magee Homestead in Wyoming, Meadowood Napa Valley, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort — Falling Rock in Farmington, Pennsylvania and Williamsburg Inn in Virginia.
- The new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is Hilton’s first Five-Star hotel in the Western Hemisphere. The brand also has Five-Star Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.
- Rosewood Beijing achieved a Five-Star rating — a first-time win for the brand in Asia. This was Rosewood’s first property in China, opening in 2014. The Peninsula Beijing also scooped up a new Five-Star distinction.
- These 13 hotels captured triple Five-Stars for their hotel, restaurant and spa: 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.