Forbes Travel Guide
Forbes Travel Guide is the global authority on luxury travel. Our anonymous professional inspectors travel the world to assess hotels, restaurants and spas against up to 800 objective standards. While we inspect both service and facility, our Star Rating system emphasizes quality of service because your experience at a hotel, restaurant or spa goes beyond looks — how it makes you feel is what you will remember most.

Only the best properties in the world earn the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five Star, Four Star and Recommended awards, so you can select confidently from our verified collection.

We come with decades of experience; starting as Mobil Travel Guide in 1958, we were the first Five Star rating system. We continue today online as Forbes Travel Guide, offering the world's only independently rated, global luxury hospitality collection and expert travel advice to help you discover the most outstanding places.


What is the difference between a Five Star, Four Star and Recommended property?

Forbes Travel Guide's Star Rating system is made up of the following award categories:

Five Star Properties: These are outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.

Four Star Properties: These are exceptional properties, offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match.

Recommended Properties: These are excellent properties with consistently good service and facilities.

Soon-To-Be-Rated Properties: As our highly trained, incognito inspectors work to assess properties, our editors check them out ahead of time and provide a sneak preview of what to expect.

How does the Star Rating process work?

Forbes Travel Guide's Ratings department carefully vets each destination and identifies potential candidates to be a part of our collection of luxury properties. Then we deploy our team of incognito inspectors to visit the properties, assessing each one against our proprietary set of up to 800 objective standards. These standards are the most stringent in the hospitality industry — our inspectors stay two nights and three days at each hotel to gather every detail of the visit.

The inspectors submit their reports to our corporate headquarters, where we use a proprietary algorithm weighted heavily to service to determine the final Star Rating Award earned. Not all candidates achieve a Star Rating.

If you would like to nominate a hotel, restaurant or spa to be considered as a candidate for a Star Rating, email

How do you decide which properties to inspect?

Some requirements that indicate a property is qualified for consideration of a Star Rating inspection include:

  • Strong reputation for exceptional service
  • Desirable location
  • High quality of facility; notable design style and or architecture
  • Top-quality amenities

Award Winners

View our full list of annual Star Rating Award winners to discover the world's finest hotels, restaurants and spas.

The Original Star Ratings

See how Forbes Travel Guide has evolved, from Mobil Travel Guide's first printed guides to its current online travel community.

Contact Us

Have a question about travel, Forbes Travel Guide? We have a team of experts to help you.