From Athens To Tunisia, Forbes Journey Information’s Star Award Winners For 2023


The sixty fifth annual Star Awards have a good time the world’s most excellent motels, eating places, and spas. Plus, inaugural scores for cruises.

By Jennifer Kester

Travel’s continued resurgence in 2022 meant extra persons are embarking on adventures everywhere in the globe. To assist vacationers make each journey depend, Forbes Journey Information revealed its 2023 Star Awards winners, an inventory of the world’s best motels, eating places, spas and—new this 12 months—ocean cruises.

To compile the sixty fifth annual Star Awards, Forbes Journey Information’s incognito inspectors verify into motels and cruise ships, dine within the eating places and expertise spa companies whereas posing as odd visitors. The inspectors take a look at as much as 900 rigorous requirements, from modern-day luxuries—reminiscent of whether or not a room is ready as much as improve sleep high quality or whether or not the food-and-beverage selections help a visitor’s well-being—to extra conventional parts, such because the décor and the eye the employees pays to a visitor. Seventy p.c of a property’s ranking depends on its service—with a extra exacting take a look at the visitor expertise as a brand new service metric for 2023—whereas the remaining 30 p.c accounts for the standard and situation of its amenities.

This 12 months’s checklist options 48 new 5-Star motels, 64 new 4-Star properties and 45 new Really helpful motels. A number of new international locations—together with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Tunisia and Cyprus—make their first look within the Star Awards whereas 9 worldwide locations welcomed their first 5-Star motels this 12 months, together with Athens (4 Seasons Astir Palace Lodge Athens), Capri (J.Ok. Place Capri), Kuwait (4 Seasons Lodge Kuwait at Burj Alshaya), Lake Como (Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como) and Shenzhen (Mandarin Oriental, Shenzhen).

See the total checklist of Star-Rated properties right here, and study essentially the most notable new achievements in hospitality beneath.

Inaugural Ocean Cruise Scores

For the primary time in its 65-year historical past, Forbes Journey Information dove into ocean cruises, launching its inaugural scores with 5 ships. Celeb Apex, Celeb Flora and Celeb Millennium earned 4-Star awards, whereas Celeb Edge and Celeb Summit obtained Really helpful honors.

Identified for high-quality eating—Celeb Cruises named 5-Star chef Daniel Boulud as its international culinary ambassador in 2022—and cutting-edge design (together with the Magic Carpet, the cruise trade’s first cantilevered venue), Celeb presents relaxed a luxurious resort expertise at sea with ships that make their solution to as many as eight locations in a single crusing.

A second wave of cruise line scores shall be introduced later this 12 months and evaluations are already underway on a number of ships worthy of star scores for 2024.

New Worldwide 5-Star Locations

Sicily captured worldwide consideration in 2022 because the breathtaking backdrop of the second season of HBO’s The White Lotus, and it landed on FTG’s checklist as a brand new worldwide vacation spot. The collection was filmed on the newly minted 4-Star San Domenico Palace, Taormina, showcasing scene-stealing places like a clifftop alfresco breakfast setting overlooking the Ionian Sea. The island additionally added 4-Star accolades for Grand Lodge Timeo, Verdura Resort, Villa Igiea and Villa Sant’Andrea.

The Scandinavian area made its first displaying on the checklist with the 4-Star Lodge d’Angleterre Copenhagen and Really helpful winners Amerikalinjen (Oslo), Ett Hem (Stockholm) and Grand Hôtel Stockholm.

After being closed to vacationers for the previous three years, Macau dethroned London this 12 months as the town with essentially the most 5-Star motels on the planet. London, which reigned because the 5-Star resort capital for 4 years, had 21 top-rated properties, whereas Macau had 22 award winners. The onetime playing capital of the world, Macau added 5 newcomers to its elite ranks, together with the opulent Grand Lisboa Palace Macau, which debuted in 2021 and homes fellow 5-Star winner The Karl Lagerfeld, the world’s solely resort totally designed by the late vogue icon. Built-in resort The Londoner Macao additionally had two new honorees: the all-suite, British-style Londoner Lodge and the unique Londoner Court docket, which presents 24-hour butler service and an in-room wellness program. Galaxy Lodge additionally made the checklist with Asia’s solely Macallan bar and a large 807,000-square-foot resort deck that features the world’s largest rooftop wave pool.

The Maldives expanded its scope as a star-studded vacation spot with 4 new top-ranked motels this 12 months. The serene Joali Being focuses on all-encompassing wellness, whereas Soneva Jani stands out with villas that includes retractable roofs and waterslides that launch visitors right into a lagoon. The Fari Islands, an archipelago within the North Male Atoll, additionally scored a double win with the hip Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, whose artwork assortment consists of James Turrell’s Amarta, a pavilion with an open ceiling to the skyscape, and the smooth The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, whose spherical overwater villas circle a shocking spa.

Different noteworthy new 5-Star properties embrace the legendary Raffles Lodge Singapore—established in 1887, the resort, which invented the famed Singapore Sling cocktail, not too long ago emerged from a large two-year renovation; Adare Manor, a grand Neo-Gothic fort surrounded by 840 verdant acres in Eire’s County Limerick; Capella Bangkok, which has riverside villas with outside scorching tubs and a brand new 5-Star spa; Royal Champagne Lodge & Spa, a modernist getaway among the many vine-laden hills of Champagne, France; and Waldorf Astoria Dubai Worldwide Monetary Centre, a classy keep tucked contained in the Burj Daman skyscraper.

Achievements within the Americas

Stateside, California racked up two 5-Star wine nation wins, together with 4 Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley and Montage Healdsburg in Sonoma, each of which opened in 2021. On the East Coast, the historic Chatham Bars Inn in Cape Cod comes with sweeping ocean views and meals spotlighting contemporary produce from its farm, and The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia presents a recent gem with the lauded Lacroix restaurant. Whereas in Florida, The Boca Raton Seaside Membership obtained double 5-Star honors for its luxurious beachfront resort and 44-treatment-room Spa Palmera, which was designed to resemble Spain’s Alhambra Palace. Within the Midwest, the 92-story riverfront Trump Worldwide Lodge & Tower Chicago earned its first 5-Star standing.

In Canada, the trendy The St. Regis Toronto, which boasts the nation’s largest assortment of luxurious suites and a brand new top-rated spa, earned 5 Stars this 12 months. And in Mexico, Los Cabos scored huge wins for Grand Velas Los Cabos, an all-inclusive, all-suite resort in a sail-shaped constructing the place each lodging overlooks the water, and Zadún, a retreat the place each room comes with its personal outside plunge pool.

The Caribbean additionally added three new 5-Star properties: 4 Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla, the place visitors can get pleasure from certainly one of three picturesque swimming pools (together with the adults-only, infinity-edge Sundown Pool); Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, a colourful escape on Grand Cayman’s well-known Seven Mile Seaside; and Rosewood Little Dix Bay, a secluded slice of sandy paradise within the British Virgin Islands.

Profitable Eating places

This 12 months’s Star Award winners display that experiential eating isn’t only a development du jour—it’s a gourmand mainstay. The Restaurant at Justin in Paso Robles, California, grew to become the primary 5-Star restaurant in a winery with its win. In the meantime, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s 4-Star SOMM delivers memorable sommelier-led meals and greater than 100 wines and sakes by the glass. And in Las Vegas, Bellagio’s 5-Star restaurant Picasso immerses diners within the cubist grasp’s vibrant artwork and chef Julian Serrano’s culinary masterpieces.

Extra 5-Star culinary highlights embrace Gabriel Kreuther, the primary new impartial restaurant in New York Metropolis to obtain the highest ranking in 10 years; 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana Macau, chef Umberto Bombana’s Italian high-quality eating tucked inside Galaxy Macau; Jean-Georges Philadelphia, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s French restaurant atop 4 Seasons Lodge Philadelphia within the Comcast Middle; and The Ocean Room, a classy steakhouse in The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort with a seasonal menu of native meats.

Luxurious Spas

Six locations picked up first 5-Star spa accolades: Barbados (The Spa at Sandy Lane), Eire (The Spa at Ashford Fort), Kuwait (Spa and Wellness Centre at 4 Seasons Lodge Kuwait Burj Alshaya), Madrid (The Spa at 4 Seasons Lodge Madrid), Mauritius (One&Solely Le Saint Géran’s Wellness Spa) and Vancouver (Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim).

Different new 5-Star standouts embrace Crown Spa Sydney, with La Prairie therapies and an Aqua Retreat; Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Bahia Seaside Resort, Puerto Rico, a tropical oasis that comes with elements reminiscent of rum and coconut in its spa companies; The Retreat Spa at Okada Manila, which includes a foot spa, reflexology heart and barbershop; Serrano Spa in Highland, California’s Yaamava’ Resort & On line casino appears to be like to the earth’s parts (fireplace, water, earth and wooden) to energy its therapies; and two L.A. retreats: Fairmont Spa Century Plaza (providing a Himalayan salt room) and The Spa at West Hollywood EDITION (which incorporates touchless therapies like infrared remedy). Whether or not you wish to bask in a spa trip or make the perfect of touring for work, these Star Award winners signify the head of pampering.


MORE FROM FORBESForbes Journey Information’s 34 Most Anticipated Lodge Openings Of 2023MORE FROM FORBESRitz Paris’ Wellness Knowledgeable Talks About The New Spa, Traits And Self-Care IdeasMORE FROM FORBESThe World’s 10 Highest-Paid EntertainersMORE FROM FORBESAmerica’s Most Eligible Billionaires