Forbes Travel Guide releases 2021 Star Awards

12 luxury hotels and spas in Australia, one less than in 2020

Crown Towers Perth, Lobby

A dozen luxury hotels and three spas in Australia made the cut in the 2021 Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards.

The 63rd annual list features 283 Five-Star, 576 Four-Star and 438 Recommended hotels around the globe. Forbes Travel Guides also rates hundreds of restaurants and spas.

There were 46 debutants to the Ratings List this year which contained 19 Five-Star hotels, including The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Edinburgh, UK and The St. Regis Saadiyatt Island Resort in Abu Dhabi.

2021 winners were surveyed before the pandemic and as soon as regional restrictions enabled Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) to conduct incognito evaluations across three days, per hotel.

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Crown Towers Melbourne, Lobby

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, service remains paramount,” Forbes Travel Guide said. “It’s more important than ever before that properties demonstrate the utmost regard for their guests’ wellbeing: 75% of a hotel’s rating is based on its service and genuine care and concern shown by the staff, while 25% is determined by the quality of its facilities.”

In a carbon-copy of last year’s results, Crown Towers Melbourne, Crown Towers Perth and The Darling (Sydney) scooped up the Five-Star hotel delegation in Australia.

For Crown, the 2021 result marks the fifth consecutive year for Crown Towers Melbourne and back-to-back years for Crown Towers Perth.

Crown Towers Melbourne, Deluxe King

“These hotels are designed to bring a world-class standard of luxury which is not just simply about having a great asset, but about the understated, intuitive world-class customer service that embodies a true luxury experience,” said Peter Crinis, CEO of Crown Sydney and Crown Hotels.

The local Five-Star hotels result was replicated on the Four-Star hotel ratings, with COMO The Treasury (Perth); The Langham, Sydney; Park Hyatt Melbourne and Park Hyatt Sydney each making the grade.

Recommended‘ ratings were bestowed on five Australian hotels, including Grand Hyatt Melbourne; InterContinental Sydney; The Langham, Melbourne; Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney; and Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour. Failing to repeat its appearance on this list in 2021 was the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney.

In the Spa category were Crown Spa Melbourne, Crown Spa Perth and The Darling Spa in Sydney.

Crown Towers Perth, Spa Entrance

Across the ditch in New Zealand, there were five hotels recognised on the Star List. In the Four-Star category was The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Huka Lodge and The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs. Forbes also provided a ‘Recommended’ rating for Cordis, Auckland and Delamore Lodge.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, Fiji replicated its debut result achieved in 2019, including Dolphin Island (Five-Star), Nanuku, Auberge (Four-Star), and Kokomo Private Island Fiji and Six Senses Fiji (Recommended).

There were two new entries in Bali in the Five-Star ranks – The St. Regis Bali Resort and The Mulia – Nusa Dua, Bali.

The host city for the upcoming Olympic Games, Tokyo, gained the highest number of Five-Star rated hotels globally. Four new additions in 2021 were The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, A Luxury Collection Hotel; The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo and Takanawa Hanakohro.

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts achieved a record number of Five-Star listings (and the highest of any hotelier). In 2021, there were 46 Five-Star properties, 13 spas and two restaurants holding the distinction.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts amassed 20 properties in the 2021 Star Rating List, half of which are Five-Star.

Instagram of the Year

Forbes Travel Guide also revealed its second-ever Hotel Instagram of the Year to Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi in 2021. (Last year’s inaugural winner was Montage Los Cabos).

Determined as part of the 2011 Star Awards, Forbes Travel Guide’s editorial team chose five nominees, which also included Airelles Gordes, La Bastide, Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and Grand Hotel Tremezzo, which were the highest-performing luxury hotel posts on FTG’s Instagram account in 2020.

An online poll was then conducted with readers voting their favourite.

View Forbes Travel Guide’s complete Star List of 2021 hotels, restaurants and spas here.

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