2024 Star Awards revealed by Forbes Travel Guide

Which Australian hotel has been bumped from its perpetual Five-Star rating?

Forbes Travel Guide, the independent global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruises, has revealed its 2024 Star Awards.

The hotel ratings expanded into new destinations, including Baku, Azerbaijan; Curacao; Iceland; Sardinia, Italy; Kenya; Algarve and Madeira, Portugal; Rwanda; Koh Samui, Thailand; Rabat, Morocco; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The 66th annual list spans 2,037 properties worldwide. It features 340 Five-Star, 600 Four-Star and 503 Recommended hotels; 78 Five-Star, 121 Four-Star and 59 Recommended restaurants; 126 Five-Star and 201 Four-Star spas; and seven Four-Star and five Recommended cruise ships.

Seven Seas Splendor ©RSSC

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New entrants in Forbes Travel Guides’ Cruise field include Regent Seven Seas Cruises, with Seven Seas Splendor debuting in the Four-Star category, and Viking’s ocean sister ships, Viking Neptune and Viking Sky in the ‘Recommended’ ratings.

Celebrity Cruises, the first cruise line to earn a Ratings with Forbes Travel Guide last year, has six ships in the Ratings, down from seven last year. Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Beyond have been bumped out of the award ratings, while the newest ship in the fleet, Celebrity Ascent, is new in 2024.

In Australia, there were 16 hotels and spas that made FTG’s ‘Rating’ categories, including just three Five-Star recognitions, all of which were within the Crown Resorts portfolio. They were Crown Towers Melbourne and Crown Towers Perth, and Crown Spa Sydney.

Premier Suite, Living Room - Crown Towers Melbourne

Missing from its regular perch in the Five-Star hotels field was The Darling in Sydney, which last year boasted its seventh successive year as one of the top Aussie hotels with Forbes Travel Guide.

Crown Towers Melbourne solidified its position as the leading luxury tourism destination in Australia, receiving the prestigious global gold standard for the eighth consecutive year.

Mike Volkert, CEO of Crown Melbourne, expressed pride in Crown Towers Melbourne’s achievement, attributing it to the dedication, and passion of the team, in the pursuit of delivering world-class service.

“It is a great honour to have Crown Towers Melbourne recognised by Forbes as a Five-Star hotel. This award is a testament to the dedication of the entire team, as they continuously strive to provide our guests with memorable and elevated experiences,” Volkert said.

Crown Towers Perth, Premier King Room

For Crown Tower Perth, this year represents the fifth time the luxury property has been awarded the coveted international rating.

David Tsai, CEO of Crown Perth said: “We are truly honoured that Forbes has again awarded us a Five-Star rating, confirming once again that Crown Towers is the pinnacle of luxury in the state of Western Australia.

“We are proud of the team who continue to deliver exceptional experiences to guests from all over the world.”

Elsewhere in the local hotel category, there were just five Four-Star ratings in Australia. They were COMO The Treasury in Perth; The Darling in Sydney; The Langham, Sydney; Park Hyatt Melbourne and Park Hyatt Sydney. A further five hotels were ‘Recommended’ by Forbes Travel Guide. They were Grand Hyatt Melbourne; InterContinental Sydney; The Langham, Melbourne; Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney; and Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

Forbes Travel Guide also recognised three other Spa properties in its 2024 award winners circle in Australia. The Darling Spa in Sydney, Crown Spa Melbourne and Crown Spa Perth each received a Four-Star award.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

On a broader front, here are some highlights from the 2024 winners:

  • Dubai gained five new Five-Star hotels (Address Beach Resort; Armani Hotel Dubai; Atlantis, The Royal; The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai; and The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm), the most of any market. The city totals 12 Five-Star hotels.
  • Montage Hotels & Resorts becomes the world’s only all-Five-Star hotel brand after Montage Big Sky in Southwestern Montana earns a Five-Star accolade.
  • Luxurious adventure travel is on the rise. Rwanda debuts on the list with two Five-Star winners (One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and One&Only Nyungwe House), and Kenya makes its first appearance featuring animal-centric experiences at Nairobi’s Four-Star Giraffe Manor and Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club.
  • For the second consecutive year, Macau remains the city with the most Five-Star hotels (22), with the addition of Paiza Lofts at The Parisian Macao.
Myconian Villa Collection

“Travel was highly anticipated to have a strong year and the new winners on our 2024 list reflect the increased efforts properties are making to deliver elevated guest experiences,” said Amanda Frasier, President of Ratings for Forbes Travel Guide.

“This year’s list demonstrates the evolving focus the discerning traveller has on well-being and the desire for authentic destination-centric itineraries,” she added.

View the full list of winners here.

Lead image: Crown Towers Melbourne.

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