Ranking the world's top hotels


Forbes Travel Guide is making strides in its quest to become the global standard in star ratings.

In releasing its 58th annual list of star awards for hotels, spas and restaurants, the travel guide this week said that its 2016 list is the biggest ever. For luxury hotels, it added 42 properties to its Five Star ranking, bringing the total to 154.

As Forbes Travel Guide expands it focus globally, Paris emerged as a luxury leader with nine new five-star hotels: The Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris; Hotel Plaza Athenee; La Reserve Paris; Le Bristol Paris; Le Meurice, Dorchester Collection; Le Royal Monceau — Raffles Paris; Mandarin Oriental, Paris; The Peninsula Paris; and Shangri-La Hotel, Paris.

Asia also had a strong showing. The Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake became the first Forbes five-star hotel in Hangzhou. China now has a total of 10 five-star hotels, with three first-time winners this year. Palace Hotel Tokyo became the first Japanese-branded hotel to receive five-star recognition, and Peninsula won five-star awards for its hotels in Tokyo and Bangkok.

Among luxury brands, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts had the strongest showing, with a total of 26 hotels on the top-tier list, including six that were new to the list, in Florence; Paris; Geneva; Hangzhou, China; Papagayo, Costa Rica; and Whistler, Canada. Langham Hotels & Resorts won its first five-star award in the U.S.; it was the Langham, Chicago, which took the honor for both its hotel and spa.

"These properties set an unimpeachable standard of excellence in hospitality at a moment when the proliferation of voices claiming to provide unbiased ratings online is exploding.” Forbes CEO Gerard J. Inzerillo said in a statement.

For details on how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star Ratings, visit here.

The Forbes list has been has been growing in recent years as the company, formerly known as Mobil Travel Guide, has expanded beyond North American and Caribbean, traditionally the focus of both Forbes and AAA’s Diamond Awards. While companies like TripAdvisor have also added rankings and awards, Forbes and AAA have long been considered the benchmarks for independent, anonymous professional hotel reviews.

AAA came out with its Five Diamond winners last month, adding six new members to its top category, which totaled 118 hotels.

AAA’s new Five Diamond winners this year are the Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; the Park Hyatt New York, which also joined the Forbes Five Star list this year; St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, Utah; The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia; The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona; and the Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto.

And of course, making both lists again this year: The  Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. It is the only property to have held both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star ratings every year since those groups began ranking hotels. The Broadmoor was the first property to earn a five-star rating from Forbes when it began its Mobil Travel Guide in 1960; it added the Five Diamond Award when that program was launched in 1976.

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