Jravel has made a comeback. All of these delayed openings and canceled holidays, conferences and festive getaways have given hotels and resorts plenty of time to improve their services, rejuvenate their facilities and redesign a better experience for guests.
As travelers return to their favorite properties this summer – or search for new ones – Forbes Travel Guide has announced its Star Awards 2022 for the best hotels, restaurants and spas in the world.
For the 64th edition of the Star Awards, FTG ventured to new destinations, such as the Canary Islands, Greece, Ibiza and Malta. Winners include 323 five-star hotels, 558 four-star properties and 401 recommended hotels. There are also 74 five-star restaurants this year, 112 four-star restaurants and 67 recommended restaurants, as well as 102 five-star spas and 193 four-star spas worldwide.
To find the best of the best, Forbes Travel Guide‘s incognito inspectors stay at each hotel for three days and two nights, posing as ordinary guests. They test up to 900 objective and rigorous standards, ranging from modern luxuries, such as whether a room is furnished to improve sleep or whether food and drink choices are health-conscious, to more traditional amenities, such as the quality of the decor and the courtesy of the staff. Seventy-five percent of a hotel’s rating is based on service, while the remaining 25% is determined by the quality of its facilities.
See the full list of 2022 Star Awards winners hereand learn more about the latest additions to the collection below.
New five-star destinations
Nine destinations won the highest honor for the first time this year. Madrid made its strong debut with two new five-star properties: the Hotel Four Seasons Madridwhere you can unwind in the four-story spa and feast on celebrity chef Dani García’s Andalusian Brasserie Dani, and Hotel Bless Madrid, whose recently renovated contemporary interiors are inspired by the aristocratic houses of the neighborhood in the 19th century. The Bless brand also won its first five-star award for its Ibiza propertywith a destination dinner at Etxeko from decorated chef Martín Berasategui.
Joining the five-star ranks in Europe are Berlin’s Hotel in Rome, an Italian Renaissance-style monument set among the grand buildings of Bebelplatz; the Netherlands’ Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, a chain of six linked 17th and 18th century palaces along the Herengracht canal; Malta Iniala Port House, a boutique gem with 23 eclectic and stylish rooms; Greece Katikies Mykonos, a whitewashed hideaway with views of the glistening water; and that of Zurich Big Dolderaptly named with panoramic views of the city, lake and Alps from its historic hilltop perch.
A 15-story white tower that stands on the highest of Amman’s seven hills, Four Seasons Hotel Amman won Jordan’s inaugural award in the Middle East. In Asia, the waterfront Halekulani Okinawawith a spectacular pool lined with nearly 1.5 million Cattleya orchid-shaped mosaic tiles, won the Japanese island’s top prize.
Achievements in the Americas
In the USA, Inn Resorts Collection had a five-star trifecta with The Blue Sky Lodgea 3,500-acre adventure getaway near Park City, Utah; Madeline Hotel and Residences, a sophisticated getaway in the Telluride Mountains that was renovated in 2021; and White Barn Inna New England classic home to a beloved five star Restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Massachusetts scored victories with Boston Harbor againthe largest US gaming center outside of Las Vegas to achieve the prestigious rating; Four Seasons One Dalton Street Hotel, Boston, a modern skyscraper in Back Bay; and Chatham Inna charming 18-room hideaway on Cape Cod.
Other East Coast winners include The towers of the Lotte New York Palacean exclusive hotel in a Midtown Manhattan hotel, and The Chanler at Cliff Walka Golden Age waterfront mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
On the shores of Montecito, California, Rosewood Miramar Beach is a glamorous addition to FTG’s annual Star Awards, claiming Santa Barbara’s only five-star spa. In Hawaii, the sumptuous Space in Waikiki dedicates each floor to a single suite with an always-on-call butler.
from Toronto Hazelton Hotel became the first independent boutique hotel in Canada to achieve a five-star rating. In Mexico, newcomers include Hotel Esenciaa tropical-chic retreat in Tulum that was once the home of an Italian duchess, and Banyan Tree Mayakoba, where each room has a private pool. Bathed in white Greco-Moorish architecture, the Renaissance Cape Juluca in Anguilla was the only new five-star entry in the Caribbean.
Big international wins
Two new additions—Pan Pacific Londonan elegant hotel in a 43-story tower, and Prince Akatoki Londona serene Japanese-influenced getaway, has made the English capital the city with the most five-star hotels in the world.
The Maldives and Macau each added new five-star hotels. The old unveiled Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Joali Maldives, Kudadoo Private Island Maldives and Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushiwhile winners from Macau include Emerald Tower at MGM Cotai; Grand Suites at Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip; Hotel Okura Macau; and Skylofts at MGM Cotai.
More high-end hotels have peaked in the Alps (Airelles Courchevel, Airelles; Gardena Grodnerhof; Hotel Park Vitznau), the Amalfi Coast (Casa Angelina) and Istanbul (Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul). Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers brought the honors to the Middle East; and Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, The Mitsui Kyoto Hotel and The Murray Hong Kong were new stars in Asia.
In the United States, three restaurants have achieved the coveted five-star rating for 2022. Dallas’ Flames prepares succulent pastries in the morning, then five- or twelve-course tasting menus in the evening. To cara, nestled inside Rhode Island’s newest five-star hotel, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, chef Jacob Jasinski prepares nightly changing blind tasting menus with New England ingredients. Savor French-Japanese dishes from Chef Jason Yamaguchi’s seasonal Waikiki tasting menus at Espacio’s hidden gem mugen.
Hong Kong has added to its five-star restaurants with Flighta French gastronomic destination; Sushi Saito Hong Kong, whose seafood is chosen every morning by chef Takashi Saito at Tokyo’s Toyosu market and delivered the same day; and Tempura Uchitsuwhich specializes in a tempura omakase menu. In Macau, two Chinese restaurants also won top honors: five foot roadwhich focuses on savory Sichuan cuisine, and imperial court, which offers a modern take on Cantonese cuisine (be sure to check out the dragon column in the dining room). To finish, The Pic Lady at Raffles Singapore showcases the culinary prowess of world-renowned French chef Anne-Sophie Pic.
For those in need of some pampering, there are plenty of star-filled opportunities this year, whether in the country (Salamander Spa in Middleburg, Virginia), the city (The wellness floor at One Dalton in Boston), the mountains (Ojai Spa in Ojai, California) or the Lowcountry (Spa Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina).
All over the world, search The Bulgari Spa Dubaian elegantly designed oasis, and Mandarin Oriental Spa, Doha, which introduces Qatari ingredients like pearl powder and sand in some services. Not only are they the first five stars in their respective cities, but they are also the first in the Middle East.
Other spa winners include Asayaa Hong Kong wellness center that offers everything from expressive arts therapy to facials; SE Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, where a hydrotherapy circuit should precede entry to one of the Puerto Vallarta Sanctuary’s 20 treatment rooms; and Spa Banyan Tree Mayakobawhere Asian-inspired therapies blend with Mexican traditions and a lush jungle setting.