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Eden Rock(Photo: Oetker Hotel Managment Company)
Forbes Travel Guide today added 18 new hotels to its list of Five-Star properties, bringing the total number of Five-Star hotels to 115, the most in its history.
Forbes also named 10 new Five-Star restaurants for a total of 55. Seven new spas earned the honor, pushing that tally to 48.
For the first time this year, Forbes included properties in Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Japan and Thailand. Forbes has been giving out its coveted ratings since 1958. Forbes now has rated properties in 16 countries and plans to expand that in the future.
In addition to the Five-Star properties, Forbes also named 46 new Four-Star hotels and 26 new hotels in the Recommended category.
Gerard Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide, says the list has grown both in numbers and regions because luxury hotels are expanding their footprint globally.
Those companies that get on the list are consistently good in every market they enter, he says. The list of new Five-Star properties have familiar names: The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood.
"Certain brand companies have embraced as a corporate culture being excellent, being superb," he says. "They translate that culture around the world. Should there be any difference in a Chanel handbag in Paris than in New York? No."
But Inzerillo points out that a few independent hotels also earned high marks, such as the Goring Hotel in London.
"There's been an explosion of wealth creation in the world which for the first time has created a lot of independent hotels that don't' want to be part of a luxury chain and want self-expression," Inzerillo says.
Luxury hotels have been thriving in recent years. Occupancy rates have gone up every year since 2010, according to STR Inc. Last year, 70 percent of luxury hotel rooms were filled, even though the average daily rate was up 5 percent to $269.13, the research firm found.
Properties have to go through a rigorous inspection process to earn the Forbes honor. A team of inspectors anonymously evaluates them against 800 standards. Those include factors such as décor, cleanliness, and room service. Inzerillo says the overall service is what matters the most.
"Those hotels recognize guests the minute they walk in and walk out," he says. "They make eye contact. They make them feel welcome.">
(Photo: The Setai Miami)
Who were the biggest winners this year?
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group dominated the spa category with three new Five-Star ratings. The newbies are The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai; The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo; and The Oriental Spa, Bangkok. That brings the company's total to 13 Five-Star spas, the most of any brand.
Macau can boast of having the most Five-Star properties of any destination. It has a total of 23 such hotels, restaurants and spas.
There also were many firsts in this year's list. Among them:
Source : http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/hotels/2015/02/11/forbes-travel-guide-five-star-hotels-restaurants-spas/23169561/