Only six hotels In London have achieved a five-star rating in the US-based Forbes Travel Guide, which launches into Europe today.
However, the guide, which prides itself on focusing its assessment on service, has the same number of five-star hotels as New York. Only Hong Kong has more, with seven five-star properties. The 2013 AA Hotel Guide, in comparison, features 45-five-star properties.
The top rated London hotels are: 45 Park Lane, Claridge’s, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, the Dorchester, the Lanesborough and the Savoy. Two spas – the Spa at the Four Seasons and the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental – also receive five stars. They join an elite group of 76 hotels and 35 spas across140 markets in North America and Asia that have achieved the Forbes five star status.
A further 16 hotels and seven spas in London have earned the four star rating, joining 226 four star hotels and 136 four star spas worldwide.
Michael Cascone, president and chief operating officer of Forbes Travel Guide, said that the standardised rating system involves professional and anonymous inspectors evaluating each hotel against more than 550 service standards, alongside the general cleanliness and condition of the property. Inspectors stay at each hotel for two nights and three days.
“Reflecting the personalised guest experience is what we are all about and our ratings ensure that travellers can expect the same level of service in a five star hotel, wherever they are in the world,” he explained.
“Consumers rate us very highly because they know that we are very selective and stringent in our evaluations. Although we have only a small number of five star properties in comparison to other hotel ratings providers, we still regard a four star rating as a phenomenal rating.”
Cascone admitted that while the six five star London hotels are delighted with their rating, some of the four-star hotels are less enthusiastic.
With two five-star rated properties under his remit – 45 Park Lane and the Dorchester – Roland Fasel, regional director UK of the Dorchester Collection and general manager of the Dorchester, unsurprisingly welcomes the arrival of the Forbes Travel Guide in London.
“It is a guide I know well from working in the United States at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles from 1988 and 1991,” he said. “The inspectors are very thorough in their evaluations, really digging deep into the emotional intelligence involved in the service delivery and rewarding intuitive service.
“Being awarded five stars by a scheme which is recognised globally is a huge achievement.”
All the hotels rated by Forbes appear on the website www.startle.com. In addition, 20 of the London properties have – for a £5,000 fee – partnered with the company to receive the list of 500 standards, a comprehensive report of its inspection and access to its distribution system.
Cascone said Forbes, which was formerly known as the Mobil Travel Guide, is already working on expanding its guide to hotels beyond central London in the future.
Forbes Travel Guide Five Star London Hotels
Forbes Travel Guide Five Star London Spas
45 Park Lane
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
The Lanesborough, London
The Spa at Four Seasons
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London
Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Hotels
Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Spas
51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences
London Belgraves, A Thompson Hotel
Bulgari Hotel & Residences London
Corinthia Hotel London
Four Seasons Hotel London at Canary Wharf
InterContinental London Park Lane
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
The Egerton House Hotel
The Langham, London
The Ritz London
The Stafford London by Kempinski
Aman Spa at The Connaught
Chuan Spa at The Langham, London
Claridge’s Health Club & Spa
ESPA Life at Corinthia
The Berkeley Health Club & Spa
The Dorchester Spa
The Health Club at One Aldwych