It's that time of year: The Forbes Travel Guide recently released its 56th list of Star Rating recipients worldwide. For 2014, the list includes 15 new five-star hotels, 16 new five-star restaurants and five new five-star spas. This brings the total number of five-star hotels to 97 worldwide, the most in the Guide’s history.
This year’s list includes some new hotels as well as hotels that recently completed renovations, confirming an increase in investment in the luxury hotel industry as well as a rise in demand from travelers. Michael Cascone, president of Forbes Travel Guide, noted in a statement that this year’s growing number of five-star recipients comes at a time when the outlook for luxury travel remains strong.
· Following renovations, the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco and The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel (below) earned five stars. The recently built St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto were also recognized, as was the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.
· California’s hotels earned the most five-star ratings of any U.S. state with 17, including four new additions this year: El Encanto in Santa Barbara, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa near San Diego, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco.
· Smaller markets are catching up to their urban competitors: The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana, earned a five-star rating – the first time that a hotel in Montana has been awarded that designation.
· Two new Shanghai hotels earned five-star ratings—The Four Seasons Pudong Shanghai, and the Mandarin Oriental Pudong Shanghai—bringing the total number of Five-Star hotels in Shanghai to four. China now has 19 five-star hotels in the markets rated by Forbes Travel Guide.
Top Hotel Brands
Worldwide luxury hotel brands, such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, did particularly well, with new-build and renovated hotels earning the five-star rating. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has more than tripled its number of honored hotels over the past decade, making it the brand with the most Five-Star recipients for 2014 – a total of 18 hotels in 11 destinations.
Both Wynn Macau and Encore Macau, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental hotels in Miami, Las Vegas and Hong Kong, as well as The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, scored a unique achievement, the “Triple Five-Star,” earning a five-star rating in all three categories recognized by Forbes Travel Guide - hotel, restaurant and spa.
Restaurants and Spas
Eleven international restaurants are first-time five-star recipients, including Caprice at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Jade Dragon at Crown Towers Macau, Amber Restaurant at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and Iggy’s at the Hilton Singapore Hotel. In the U.S., New York’s Del Posto and Chicago’s Grace also received five-star ratings.
There are now 48 Forbes Travel Guide five-star restaurants in Asia and the U.S., and seven in New York alone.
Among spas, The Reméde Spa at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami; The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco; The Spa at Pebble Beach; The Banyan Tree Spa Macau and The Spa at Crown in Macau are the newest five-star additions, with a total of 41 Forbes Travel Guide five-star spas.
The complete 2014 Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating List includes nearly 1,000 hotels, restaurants and spas in the U.S., Canada, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau and Singapore. To view the complete list of 2014 Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating recipients, visit www.forbestravelguide.com/about/awardwinners.
Photo courtesy The Indian Hotels Co. ltd.