If a hotel demonstrates exemplary service in distinct, elegant surroundings, it can potentially be rewarded with a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star designation. When that property extends those elements to its restaurant, it may earn another top honor. And when the hotel brings those same philosophies to life at its spa, it not only opens the door for yet another Five-Star, but it steps into rarified air as a triple Five-Star winner.
A mere 16 hotels in the world were bestowed Forbes Travel Guide’s highest mark for their lodging, restaurant and spa this year — and a mighty handful of those even eclipsed the triple Five benchmark by having multiple culinary triumphs. The triple Five-Stars make up only .94 percent of all rated properties in the 2019 Star Awards.
The following collection is a spotlight on well-rounded wonders but also a declaration of how hard work and a team’s focus on a sole goal can lead to astonishing results.
Triple Five-Star The Cloister
Sea Island opened its critter-filled Nature Center on March 1. Not that the private coastal Georgia escape needed any help luring guests. With its modern-yet-majestic hotel, the stunningly grand Georgian Room restaurant and the sublime, 23-room spa, the destination already had more than enough to drive you wild. Add in the fact that neighboring The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club provides a Five-Star stay and world-class greens, too, and you really start to grasp the island’s animal magnetism.
Triple Five-Star Meadowood Napa Valley
We could gush for days over the clean, inviting accommodations at this Napa institution. The same could be said for an all-suite spa that not too long ago re-emerged from a makeover that somehow left the space even more of a natural wonder than it was originally. But the ultimate experience here belongs to The Restaurant at Meadowood, where chef Christopher Kostow leads a team of epicurean magicians that transports you to a world of theatrical motions and tasty morsels you’ll never forget.
Triple Five-Star Montage Laguna Beach
This Orange County escape has a festive spirit that shines across the calendar. Visit in April and the Five-Star destination eatery, Studio, will cook up an exquisite Easter brunch. Come near Christmas and the public spaces are decked out in gingerbread houses and elaborate trees. And if you stop by Spa Montage Laguna Beach any time of year, you’ll find the sanctuary pairing with skincare brands such as Valmont to give your body a seasonal pick-me-up.
Triple Five-Star Banyan Tree Macau
Envelop yourself in serenity at this all-suite Macau marvel, where every accommodation comes with its own heated relaxation pool. For deeper bliss, visit the spa for treatments like the Royal Banyan (which includes an herbal pouch massage, jade face rubdown and herbal bath). Then nourish yourself at Belon, a glittering steakhouse with a two-story wine cellar. When you feel like emerging from your cocoon, head to the hotel’s 43,000-square-foot sky-wave pool, the biggest of its kind in the world.
Triple Five-Star Fairmont Grand Del Mar
You won’t want to leave the grounds of this Mediterranean-style San Diego resort. Play golf at the Tom Fazio-designed course, linger by the four pools, practice your backhand on two tennis courts or ride a horse at the equestrian center. Whichever activities you choose, two things are a must: enjoy a four-course menu of extraordinary contemporary French fare at Addison, and reserve a day for the lavish Renaissance-inspired spa.
Triple Five-Star The Peninsula Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s oldest luxury hotel knows how to deliver an experience. Whether it’s setting you off on a helicopter adventure from the hotel’s own helipad or pampering you in the extravagant two-story spa (try the Chinese-style massages) with breathtaking skyline vistas from every treatment room, The Peninsula goes above and beyond. Among the eight dining and drinking options, Gaddi’s fine French cuisine is an experience unto itself.
Triple Five-Star The Broadmoor
Embark on an adventure at this sprawling Colorado Springs getaway. Zip lining, fly fishing, horseback riding and falconry lessons are just a few of the options. However, despite its blood-pumping activities and rugged surroundings, The Broadmoor exudes classic elegance, especially in Penrose Room, where you can expect pressed tablecloths and your dish awaiting its big reveal under a cloche, and the pampering spa, where you’ll slip into a warmed robe and gaze at the Rocky Mountains from the relaxation room lounger.
Triple Five-Star The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Boasting a sleek, streamlined design and a city-center location, this 111-room Hong Kong hotel nabbed top honors for its impeccable service. Its ultra-luxe spa (which specializes in age-defying treatments from hard-to-find brands) and contemporary French fine-dining venue Amber round out the triple Five-Star.
Triple Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Macau
One of the few non-gaming, Five-Star hotels on the Macau Peninsula, this sleek tower capitalizes on the city’s spectacular skyline views with floor-to-ceiling windows adorning almost every space, including its uniquely Macanese (think Portuguese meets Mediterranean melded with Cantonese cuisine) Vida Rica Restaurant and the serene, eight-room spa.
Triple Five-Star Star Tower at Studio City Macau
This flashy destination gained attention for taking entertainment to new heights with multiple concert venues, a 4-D Batman ride and the world’s highest figure-eight Ferris wheel. But it earned its stars for sterling service at elegant spots like contemporary Cantonese restaurant Pearl Dragon and the Old Hollywood-inspired Zensa Spa.
Triple Five-Star Wynn Tower Suites
The exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel amazes with its private entrance and dedicated staff, but an ornate spa offering auspicious Asian- and Middle Eastern-inspired treatments and the golden-hued Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas put this stellar Sin City stay over the top.
Quadruple Five-Star Altira Macau
Like many hotels in Macau’s competitive high-end market, Altira offers premium gaming, luxurious rooms and Five-Star fine-dining options (the Cantonese Ying and the Italian-influenced Aurora). Where the property finds its own light is with a superb spa with 6,000 square feet of contemporary design and replenishing services. Invigorating water experiences make a splash through vitality pools, crystal steam rooms and an ice fountain.
Quadruple Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Home to a picturesque infinity pool overlooking Victoria Harbour, this high-rise is a beacon of Hong Kong luxury. And with its window-lined spa (offering unique treatments like jade therapy and onnetsu heated massages), French-themed restaurant (Caprice) and Cantonese dining room (Lung King Heen) all receiving full marks, it continues to shine bright.
Quintuple Five-Star Nüwa Macau
Even though City of Dreams’ architectural feats (new Morpheus hotel) and entertainment options (The House of Dancing Water show) garner headlines, it’s the more intimate details that stand out. COD’s Nüwa Macau is an inviting, 300-room beauty. The spa wows with holistic treatments and international approaches. And a trio of culinary sensations — the Cantonese Jade Garden, the European-flavored Tasting Room and Shinji by Kanesaka for sushi lovers — ensures the kitchen remains one of the resort’s top attractions.
Sextuple Five-Star Wynn Macau
This ostentatious casino resort received buzz for its opulent décor (bold carpets, a garden-encased pool and countless crystal chandeliers), but a first-rate collection of restaurants (Swarovski crystal dragon-adorned Wing Lei, red-clad Mizumi, Performance Lake-facing Il Teatro and unique Tan-cuisine-serving Golden Flower) and a sumptuously serene spa earned this palace a cluster of six Five-Star awards.
Sextuple Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
Mandarin Oriental’s flagship hotel flanks Victoria Harbour, affording vistas of the water and the cityscape from every room. The Hong Kong icon is known for its 1930s Shanghai-era spa and locals flock to it for its expert pedicures and traditional barber services. Foodies will feast here: French at Pierre from master chef Pierre Gagnaire, grilled fare at Mandarin Grill & Bar, Cantonese at Man Wah and the champagne-filled meals at Krug Room.
Sextuple Five-Star Wynn Palace
Wynn’s newest Macau hotel goes over the top: the eight-acre Performance Lake shoots 5,505 multi-colored beams into the sky, a SkyCab gondola circles the spectacle and inside, elaborate displays include a life-size carousel made of flowers. A quartet of Five-Star restaurants — Mizumi, Sichuan Moon by Andre Chiang, Sushi Mizumi and Wing Lei Palace — delivers impeccable food and service. And, of course, the gold-toned spa doesn’t disappoint; it draws inspiration from China’s royal palaces.