Forbes Travel Guide Announces 2018 Star Rating Awards

Staff Report

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

As it celebrates its landmark 60th anniversary, Forbes Travel Guide unveiled its 60th list of worldwide Star Rating winners, continuing its exceedingly selective approach for recognizing the world's finest properties and rewarding gracious, intuitive service.

The 2018 award winners include 27 new Five-Star hotels, 70 new Four-Star hotels and 76 new hotels in the Recommended category. Other first-time recipients include five Five-Star restaurants, 24 Four-Star restaurants and 10 Recommend restaurants. The list also honors five new Five-Star spas and 29 new Four-Star spas.

Forbes Travel Guide now rates properties in 50 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Newly added international destinations for 2018 include: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Aruba, Chengdu, Dubai, Hokkaido, Jamaica, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Marrakech, Okinawa, Panama, Prague, Sanya and Vienna. As Forbes Travel Guide marks its 60th year, it will expand to inspecting in 60 countries in preparation for its 2019 Star Ratings.

"This is a momentous year for Forbes Travel Guide. Our anniversary commemorates 60 impressive years of serving hotels and guests," said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide. "As the most trusted source for travelers, we continue to carry out our mission to verify luxury worldwide. We are delighted to honor the 2018 Star Rating recipients, an outstanding collection of hotels, restaurants and spas with a strong service culture. It's the largest and most global group of Star-Rated properties in our company's history. We congratulate these properties for their dedication to service excellence."

In conjunction with Forbes Travel Guide's anniversary, the company officially unveiled its redesigned website,, which is mobile-friendly and beautifully showcases its global collection of Star-Rated properties.

To celebrate this year's awards, Star-Rated winners are invited to Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on February 27 and 28. The summit will feature an all-star lineup of chefs, including: Geoffrey Zakarian and Wilfrid Hocquet, Georgie, Beverly Hills; Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Richard Archuleta, Jean-Georges Beverly Hills; William Bradley, Addison Restaurant, San Diego; Samir Roonwal, The Blvd, Beverly Hills; Hilary Henderson, CUT, Beverly Hills; Kaleo Adams, The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills; Giuseppe Manco, The Restaurant at Mr. C, Beverly Hills; Craig Strong, Studio, Laguna Beach; Hugo Bolanos, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills; and Derek Poirier, Valrhona. Moët & Chandon, Forbes Travel Guide's Official Champagne of 2018, will help everyone toast the festivities. Diageo will host the spirits, and Luxe Bloom will provide the florals.

To highlight Forbes Travel Guide's 60 years in the travel industry, the popular Pan Am Experience will land at Verified and transport participants back to flying's heyday with a retro airline-inspired fine-dining event.


  • By the Numbers – A Breakdown of the 1,609 Winners

    • There are 199 Five-Star, 513 Four-Star and 309 Recommended hotels.

    • There are 64 Five-Star, 171 Four-Star and 83 Recommended restaurants.

    • There are 60 Five-Star and 210 Four-Star spas.

  • New and Noteworthy

    • 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.

    • Trump Hotels earned Five-Star honors for its D.C. and Vancouver outposts, which is unusual for new properties. These and other just-opened winners (like Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, and Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown) show that hotels are becoming increasingly vested in their pre-opening strategies, including recruitment and training practices.

    • New hotel wins helps further anchor the Riviera Nayarit as a destination that should remain high on luxury travelers' lists. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort earned the Five-Star award, and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit achieved a Four-Star honor.

    • Forbes Travel Guide made significant gains this year in its global expansion, bringing its ratings to new destinations such as Amsterdam (Four-Star hotels Conservatorium, De L'Europe Amsterdam and Hotel Okura Amsterdam; as well as Recommended properties Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, The Dylan, Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam, InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, W Amsterdam) and Vienna (Four-Star properties Hotel Sacher Wien, Palais Coburg, Palais Hansen Kempinski and The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna; along with Recommended properties Grand Hotel Wien; Hotel Bristol, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna; Hotel Imperial, A Luxury Collection Hotel; Hotel Sans Souci Wien; Park Hyatt Vienna; and The Ring Hotel Vienna).

  • Stars All Around

    • An elite group of 13 properties earned Five-Star awards for their hotel, restaurant and spa. These triple Five-Star winners include: 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.

    • Altira Macau and Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong received a total of four Five-Star awards for the hotel, spa and two restaurants.

    • Nüwa Macau won a total of five Five-Star awards for the hotel, spa and three restaurants.

    • Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and Wynn Macau achieved a remarkable total of six Five-Star awards for the hotel, spa and four restaurants.

  • Where the Hotel Stars Shine Brightly

    • In the United States, the greatest number of Five-Star hotels is in: California (19), New York (11), Florida (7), Massachusetts (6) and Nevada (5). California gained one new Five-Star hotel this year: Napa's Meadowood Napa Valley.

    • U.S. cities with the highest number of Five-Star hotels include: New York (10), Beverly Hills (6), Las Vegas (5) and Miami (5).

    • Globally, Macau reclaimed its spot as the city with the most Five-Star hotels (12). Last year, it tied Paris (both had 10). Other cities with the largest number of Five-Star include: Paris (10), London (9) and Hong Kong (8).

  • Where the Restaurant Stars Shine Brightly

    • In the United States, the greatest number of Five-Star restaurants resides in New York (7), Nevada (6) and California (5).

    • Cities in the United States with the most Five-Star restaurants are New York (7) and Las Vegas (6).

    • Worldwide, cities with the highest number of Five-Star restaurants are Macau (12) and Hong Kong (9).

    • Disney gets its first Five-Star restaurant. Victoria & Albert's makes fine dining an attraction in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

    • The Peninsula Hotels group received its first Five-Star award for a restaurant. French fine-dining spot Gaddi's at The Peninsula Hong Kong was the winner.

  • Where the Spa Stars Shine Brightly

    • In the United States, the greatest number of Five-Star spas is located in: California (9), Florida (5) and Nevada (5). California's new Five-Star spa addition is The Spa at Rancho Valencia in San Diego.

    • Luna y Mar in Los Cabos and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou mark the first Five-Star spas in their respective destinations.

    • Globally, cities with the most Five-Star spas include: Macau (8), Hong Kong (5), Las Vegas (5) and Shanghai (4).