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.
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 Claridge's Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane The Dorchester The Lanesborough, London The Savoy||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 Brown's Hotel Bulgari Hotel & Residences London Corinthia Hotel London Four Seasons Hotel London at Canary Wharf InterContinental London Park Lane Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London One Aldwych The Berkeley The Connaught The Goring The Egerton House Hotel The Langham, London The Ritz London The Stafford London by Kempinski Â||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 Â|