Forbes Travel Guide this week announced the release of its 61st annual list of Star Rating winners, recognising the world’s finest properties and rewarding gracious, intuitive service.
The 2019 award recipients include 21 new Five-Star hotels, 49 new Four-Star hotels and 62 new hotels in the Recommended category. Other first-time recipients include six Five-Star restaurants, eight Five-Star spas and 21 Four-Star spas.
Two Australian properties were included in the Five-Star list: Crown Towers Melbourne retained its status as Victoria’s only Forbes Five Star hotel for the third year running, along with The Darling at The Star, Sydney.
Crown Hotels Melbourne Executive General Manager, Shaun D’Cruz commented: “Crown Towers prides itself on setting the benchmark in luxury standards in every market in which we operate. We set out to provide an unprecedented level of experience and we are both humbled and honoured by this endorsement from Forbes.”
Dino Mezzatesta, CEO at The Star Sydney (home of The Darling at The Star) said: “To be ranked as one of the best hotels in the world for a third year running is a huge achievement for our team at The Star Sydney and The Darling. We are always working to ensure we find the perfect balance between offering the epitome of luxury coupled with a truly welcoming experience, where we exceed guests’ expectations each and every time.”
Forbes Travel Guide rates properties in 76 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Newly added destinations for 2019 include Anguilla, Bahrain, Belize, Danang, Doha, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Istanbul, Oman, Perth, the Swiss Alps, Tel Aviv and Uruguay.
A standout was The Peninsula Hotels, which made Forbes Travel Guide history by becoming the world’s first all Five-Star hotel company. The Peninsula Manila earned its fifth star this year, which pushed the Hong Kong-based brand’s tally to 10 Five-Star hotels.
Several countries captured their first Five-Star hotel: Malaysia (Crockfords at Resorts World Genting), Portugal (Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon), South Korea (The Shilla Seoul), Turkey (Raffles Istanbul) and Vietnam (Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An).
London unseated Macau as the city with the most Five-Star hotels, thanks to four new additions: Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London; The Langham, London; Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London; Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, Londo. London finished with 13 top-ranking hotels, with Macau at a close 12.
The US added two new Five-Star hotels: Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the D.C. area’s Salamander Resort & Spa.
These countries gained one new Five-Star hotel: Canada (Fairmont Pacific Rim), China (Bulgari Hotel Beijing), France (Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel), Indonesia (Bulgari Resort Bali), Mexico (Rosewood San Miguel de Allende), the Philippines (The Peninsula Manila) and United Arab Emirates (Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island).
“At Forbes Travel Guide, we verify luxury. Our independent inspection process is the gold standard in the hospitality industry,” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “Discerning travellers can trust that each winner is the best of the best. We are pleased to honour the 2019 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants and spas dedicated to guest service.”
The company will honour winners at Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on 26 and 27 February. The two-day lineup will include a celebratory dinner hosted by Brooke Shields.
View the complete list of winners here.
Lead image: The Darling at The Star, Sydney | Penthouse