Destination Travel Blog

What to Know about the 2018 Forbes Travel Guide Star Award Winners

Are you planning a luxurious journey in 2018, or are you a business traveler who likes to sleep in style? Take a look at the 2018 Forbes Travel Guide star award highlights to find out where you should stay on your next trip.

For the last 60 years, Forbes Travel Guide (originally known at the Mobil Travel Guide) has been souring the globe seeking out the most luxurious locales to eat, sleep, and spa. They recently announce their 2018 star award winners, and this year’s list is bigger and better than ever. This is the inaugural year that the publication has expanded its rankings to include more travel destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Aruba, Chengdu, Dubai, Hokkaido, Jamaica, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Marrakech, Okinawa, Panama, Prague, Sanya, and Vienna — brining the total number of countries they cover and rank properties in to 50 world-wide. If you’re wondering what luxury hotel you should book next, check out the highlights.

Domestically, New York City and Los Angeles earned the highest number of Five-Star awards for hotels, New York with seven properties and Los Angeles coming in a close second with six. New York City gained two new Five-Star wins: the elegant Baccarat Hotel and Residences (and yes there are Baccarat crystal furnishings in every room) and Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Forbes Travel Guide reports that the last time the city had a new Five-Star hotel was in 2016, with the addition of Park Hyatt New York. The city’s Archer Hotel New York was also added this year with a Four-Star award.

Across the country on the palm tree-lined streets of Los Angeles, the impressive new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills — with its 170 guest rooms that open up to private balconies, not to mention dining options from master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten — is Hilton’s first Five-Star hotel not just in the City of Angels, but in the entire Western Hemisphere. The Waldorf Astoria also joins Five-Star award winning hotels Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, Hotel Bel-Air, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Montage Beverly Hills, and Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills in the distinction.

Forbes Travel Guide also reports that Japan had some significant gains. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is the first luxury hotel in the city to earn a Five-Star award. Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto and Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel snagged Four-Stars awards. Kyoto Hotel Okura earned a Recommended honor. In Tokyo, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo won a Five-Star award. The Capitol Hotel Tokyu and The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho each picked up Four-Stars.

The stars rained down on Munich as well with the addition of its first Five-Star hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Munich. It joined Four-Stars The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel; Hotel Bayerischer Hof; and Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich, along with Recommended properties Hotel München Palace and Sofitel Munich Bayerpost.

South America is heating up as a travel destination and the Belmond Hotel das Cararatas is the first luxury hotel on the continent to receive a Five-Star rating. It is nestled in Brazil’s Iguassu National Park, across from the breathtaking nearly two-mile-long, horseshoe-shaped Iguassu Falls — in a UNESCO World Heritage Site no less.


Photo courtesy of Baccarat Hotel and Residences
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