Forbes Travel Guide Announces its Annual Star Awards for 2013 18 New Hotels, 5 New Restaurants and 4 New Spas Earn Five-Star Honors, including Big Winners in Southern California, and First-Time Five-Star Hotel Award Winners in Beijing and Rhode Island

All Winners Are Showcased on Startle.com, the Exclusive Online Destination of the Forbes Travel Guide Star-Rated Properties

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Forbes Travel Guide today unveiled its 55th announcement of Five-Star, Four-Star and Recommended hospitality establishments worldwide, including eighteen new hotels, five new restaurants and four new spas that achieved the Five-Star Award for 2013.

Among larger destinations, Southern California was a big winner in the Five-Star hotel category with the storied Hotel Bel-Air regaining its Five-Star designation, along with first-time winners Montage Laguna Beach, and The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast.

For the first time ever, Beijing, China received its first Five-Star hotel rating – China World Summit Wing, a Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts property – making it the first and only Five-Star hotel in that market. In the U.S., Forbes Travel Guide named the first Five-Star Rhode Island hotel -- the Ocean House, at Watch Hill.

Also for the first time in its 55-year history, the company revealed its new Recommended rating category, designating well-appointed hotels and restaurants that deliver enhanced service, distinct value and a strong sense of place.

Marking the latest installment of the travel ratings system that has been the gold standard in the hotel industry since 1958, the new awards list includes the following notable additions:

  • Miami, Florida now has two Five-Star hotels -- The Mandarin Oriental, Miami, and Acqualina Resort & Spa On The Beach.                                                                            
  • In addition to the Los Angeles, Beijing and Rhode Island awards, notable new Five-Star hotels include Trump Chicago International Hotel & Tower and Canyon Suites at The Phoenician.
  • With the addition of Five-Star awards for Encore Macau and the Spa at Encore Macau, Wynn Resorts now holds more Five-Star awards than any other brand in the Las Vegas and Macau markets.                                                                     
  • Hong Kong, China has the most Five-Star hotels in the world -- with the addition of InterContinental Hong Kong and The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong to the existing five Five-Star winners.                                                                                                                
  • Four new Five-Star restaurants made the list: Mélisse in Santa Monica, California, Naoe in Miami, Florida, Azul in Miami, Florida, and Sixteen in Chicago, Illinois.                 
  • Four new Five-Star spas have been added to the list, including spas in Arizona, California, Florida and Hong Kong.

These additions bring the total number of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotels to 76, including 12 in California, the most of any state in the United States.

"We are delighted to see such outstanding commitment to service and to the traveling consumer by our 2013 award winners," said Michael Cascone, President and Chief Operating Officer of Forbes Travel Guide. "We have four new markets represented this year with the coveted five star hotel award – Beijing, Miami, Scottsdale and Watch Hill. We are deeply proud and honored to be associated with the winners in these markets, as well as with all of our world-class hotels, restaurants and spas."

There are also seven Five-Star hotels in Hong Kong, five in Macau, three in Singapore, two in Shanghai and one in Beijing. There are now 28 Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurants, all in the U.S., and 35 Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spas around the globe.

The complete 2013 Forbes Travel Guide honor roll includes over 650 hotels, restaurants and spas in the U.S., Canada, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau and Singapore.

In April 2013, Forbes Travel Guide will announce its first ever ratings and Star Awards in London, England, marking the brand's expansion into the European hospitality market.

For a detailed explanation of how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star ratings, visit www.startle.com/about/ratings.

To view the complete list of 2013 Forbes Travel Guide Star Award winners, visit www.startle.com/forbes-travel-guide-star-award-winners/2013-star-award-winners

Follow Forbes Travel Guide on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ForbesInspector  and Facebook: www.facebook.com/forbestravelguide

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About Startle and Forbes Travel Guide:
Startle is the luxury lifestyle platform that combines the objectivity and heritage of the Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating system with insightful recommendations from a hand-selected group of tastemakers and travel experts. Startle provides detailed information on Star Rated hotels, restaurants and spas and gives its registered members exclusive access to special offers and curated experiences from select Startle partner properties. Startle's socially enabled platform delivers guests the opportunity to follow destinations, properties, tastemakers and travel experts.

Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide and originator of the prestigious Star Ratings and certifications, has provided the travel industry's most comprehensive ratings and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas since 1958. Forbes Travel Guide has a team of expert inspectors who anonymously evaluate properties against rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better-informed travel and leisure decisions. For more information about Startle and Forbes Travel Guide, visit www.startle.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Michael Frenkel
MFC PR
(212) 808-6559
michael@mfcpr.com

SOURCE Forbes Travel Guide



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