Categorized | Etcetera

Forbes names five-star hotels, restaurants and spas for 2012…

Posted on 15 November 2011


The Mandarin Oriental Singapore overlooks Marina Bay, a popular dining district.

Forbes Travel Guide has crowned its new five-star winners in the hospitality industry, bringing the total to 57 hotels, 25 restaurants, and 30 spas.


The newbies include five hotels, four restaurants and nine spas. Among the big winners: the Mandarin Oriental, with five additions to the five-star list, and the Four Seasons, with three. The Mandarin Oriental’s hotels in Boston, Las Vegas and Singapore and its spas in Macau and Singapore all made the cut. The Spa at Four Seasons collection had three winners in Vail, Las Vegas, and Hong Kong, respectively.


PHOTO GALLERY: Tour the new five-star hotels


Hotels earning top honors for the first time included the Grand Del Mar hotel in San Diego, which already had a top-rated spa and restaurant, and The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Wisconsin had another winner in the Kohler Waters Spa.


Four restaurants joined the five-star list: L20 in Chicago, Menton in Boston, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire in Vegas, and Herons in Cary, North Carolina. The three new spas on the list are OH! Spa, Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island; The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah; and The Greenbrier Spa in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.


Making the cut for the first time in the four-star category were nine hotels, nine restaurants and five spas. A total of 539 establishments in the United States, Canada, Beijing, Macau, and Singapore made the 2012 Forbes Travel Guide honor roll, which for the first time can be found on, the guide’s new interactive Web site launched today.


The two properties dropped from the list were both Ritz Carlton Hotels, one in Naples and the other in San Francisco. They’ve been downgraded to four-star hotels.


So what earns a place five stars versus four? It’s not just about the looks. Inspectors spend two nights and three days evaluating each property in several categories. Five-star properties score in the 90th percentile, while the four-star establishments are in the 80th percentile. Only 25 percent of the score is based on the facility, while 75 percent is measured by the experience, said Shane O’Flaherty, president of inspections and ratings at Forbes Travel Guide.


“You can build the most beautiful hotel in the world but if it does not deliver consistent, passionate service, you’re going to score low on our system,” he said. “At the five-star level, you see more of the employees of the property anticipating the needs of the consumer. They’re always one step ahead of the consumer.”


The complete list of four- and five-star winners can be found on

Courtesy of Deb Wallendorf

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