Forbes Travel Guide has handed out a record 107 new Five-Star awards for 2020, boosting its total number to over 430 globally. The significant increase is driven by Forbes’ expansion into 16 new countries.
The new awards add 70 Five-Star, 120 Four-Star and 81 Recommended hotels to the annual winners list. Among restaurants, there are 13 new Five-Star, eight new Four-Star and two new Recommended winners. The recipients also include 24 new Five-Star and 22 new Four-Star spas.
The company spotlights new international markets, including Antigua, the Bahamas, Cambodia, Egypt, Fiji, French Polynesia, India, Jordan, the Maldives, Mauritius, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, the Seychelles and South Africa, many of which achieved the coveted Five-Star honour.
A total of 432 Five-Star distinctions were awarded to hotels, restaurants and spas, and the top ranking was attained for the first time in Antigua, Bora Bora, Cambodia, Cape Town, Doha, Fiji, Ireland, Johannesburg, the Maldives, Mauritius, Monte Carlo, Moscow, Prague, St. Petersburg, the Seychelles and Tahiti.
Globally, markets with the greatest number of Five-Star hotels included London (19), Macau (13), Paris (13), New York (10) and Hong Kong (8).
How did Australia fair?
In Australia there were three hotels that achieved Five-Star status (interestingly all of which were linked to casino resort operators), including two Crown Resorts – Crown Towers Melbourne and Crown Towers Perth, along with the Darling Sydney.
Four-Star status was awarded to COMO The Treasury (Perth); The Langham, Sydney; Park Hyatt Melbourne and Park Hyatt Sydney. Forbes Travel Guide also listed six Australian hotels as Recommended, including Four Seasons Hotel Sydney; Grand Hyatt Melbourne; InterContinental Sydney; The Langham, Melbourne; Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney; and Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.
A Four-Star spa rating was also achieved by Crown Spa Melbourne, Crown Spa Perth and The Darling Spa (Sydney). No Australian restaurants featured on the list.
The Star Sydney’s Chief Operating Officer Damian Quayle used the announcement to reveal that The Darling Sydney would receive a $25 million injection to enhance and refurbish the 171-room all-suite hotel.
Slated to begin later this year, the upgrade will be headlined by in-room technology, including a tablet that provides guests with full room functionality – dining menus, lighting and self check-out – and specially designed sensory lighting that creates a warm and welcoming arrival experience.
Quayle added: “This investment reflects our ongoing commitment to increasing The Star’s appeal as an international tourism and entertainment destination. We’re dedicated to developing the best luxury accommodation as well as world-class bar, dining and entertainment offerings available that will lead to more tourists, more jobs and a stronger local economy.”
Fiji debuts in 2020
Among the new destinations to make the Forbes Travel List for 2020 was Fiji, which had four properties on the list. Dolphin Island was rated Five-Star; Nanuku, Auberge Resorts Collection was rated as Four-Star and both Six Senses Fiji and Kokomo Private Island were added to the Recommended list.
Which hotel groups excelled?
Four Seasons maintained the prestigious achievement as the brand with the most Five-Star hotels, adding 11 new Five-Star hotel awards to its collection.
One&Only scooped up four new Five-Star hotels: One&Only Cape Town; One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos Resort; One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius; and One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives.
The Five-Star capital city of the world
London cemented its position as the global Five-Star capital city with 19 top hotels, including six new additions: Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel; Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square; Rosewood London and The Berkeley. The Egerton House Hotel and The Milestone Hotel & Residences join Hotel 41 to give Red Carnation hotels a triple Five-Star hotel win for the city.
More than 600 Star-Rated winners and invited VIP guests will gather to celebrate at Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on 18 and 19 February.
View the full list of winners here.
Lead image: Crown Towers Perth