Forbes Inspector

Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

Forbes Travel Guide created America's original hospitality Star Rating system in 1958. Since then, its team of incognito inspectors have checked into thousands of hotels, dined at just as many restaurants, and experienced scores of spa treatments to bring you information on the very best places to stay, eat and relax around the world. Throughout ForbesTravelGuide.com, you'll find answers about these Star-Rated and recommended hotels, restaurants and spas, as well as destinations and activities, written and provided by Forbes Travel Guide's team of professional inspectors. It's a dynamic group of people who live around the world, have a wide variety of interests and backgrounds, and are united by a passion for travel and a devotion to hunting down the world's most outstanding places.

  • On January 21, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What’s the best table at Jaya?

    The best tables at The Restaurant are the ones with a view of the action. The four-person tables arranged around the open theater kitchen in the middle of the dining room are the most in demand at this elegant restaurant inside The Setai. From these tables, you can watch the cooks prepare some of the a la plancha — or grilled — dishes from the Mediterranean menu and even talk to them about the food. And don’t worry about fumes or strong odors headed your way — all the heavy cooking is done in a regular, closed kitchen. If intimacy is what you’re after, head to the end of the dining room. To the right, a couple tables are hidden from the rest of the space.
  • On January 21, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the interior design of Jaya?

    © The Five Star Travel Corporation The interior design of The Restaurant reflects the design of the hotel, which fuses Art Deco — the prevailing style of South Beach — with Asian influences. The Setai was designed to be a relaxing retreat in the middle of the noisy South Beach scene, and The Restaurant honors that vibe. From the moment you cross the Art Deco entrance of the building, the light is dimmer, the sounds are smoother and the colors are softer. Paintings on The Restaurant’s walls depict women’s backs — as they look outward it deepens the sense of privacy.

    All of the furniture and design details come from different parts of Asia, including Singapore, China, Bali and India. Even the bricks on the floor came a long way — they were brought from a 200-year-old building in Shanghai. The Restaurant’s lines are pure and simple, leaving the focus on what matters most: the food.
  • On January 21, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are five things I should know about The Restaurant?

    © The Five Star Travel Corporation Before gobbling up the light Mediterranean fare at The Restaurant inside The Setai, here are some key things you should know:

    1. There’s a theater kitchen. The Restaurant’s open kitchen sits in the center of the establishment — you can watch as the chefs work the grill.

    2. The décor reflects the hotel’s overall Asian aesthetic. When you sit at the table, almost everything around you has been imported from the East, from the clean-lined furniture to the paintings. Even the bricks under your feet are repurposed from a 200-year-old building in Shanghai.

    3. There’s a caviar menu supplied by luxe purveyor Petrossian. Servings range from $175 to $420 and come with classic condiments such as blinis and crème fraîche.

    4. Because the Mediterranean fare is so light at The Restaurant at The Setai, you’ll likely have room for dessert, most of which are light as well. There’s a grapefruit mousse, fruit salad with mint, a daily soufflé and ice cream flavors such as mango, lychee and raspberry to choose from.

    5. The tip is automatic. In addition to the tax (around 10 percent), a 20 percent service charge is automatically added to every bill, no matter the size of the group.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the robes and slippers like at The Spa At The Bellmoor?

    Robes and one-size-fits-all slippers at The Spa At The Bellmoor are automatically provided and folded in each locker in the spa's single restroom. These garments are optional for guests; those who choose not to use them can keep their regular clothes on. This restroom and locker area is also where guests can store their belongings while getting treatments. The robes are plush and comfortable, as are the fabric spa sandals. Soft white towels are available upon request here as well as in the pool and hot tub areas just outside the Rehoboth Beach spa. When you are finished with your items, you can easily dispose of them in a restroom hamper.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the interior design of The Spa At The Bellmoor?

    The interior design of The Spa At The Bellmoor has a clean, modern feel. This is clearly felt in the use of gold wallpaper echoing throughout the facility. The sight of neutral colors and white cabinetry in the treatment rooms also helps in setting a serene mood before your service. Contrary to the design of the hotel, which follows a traditional, English countryside inn approach, the spa is light and airy, without much regard given to a particular time period. To break up the small seating area at the entrance of the Rehoboth Beach spa, there is a paneled folding screen that draws the eye.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best treatments at The Spa At The Bellmoor?

    The five best treatments at The Spa At The Bellmoor are:

    1. Leaping Lemongrass Reflexology Treatment. It's easy to abuse your feet and other body parts in the elements, but you can heal them with this 25- or 50-minute treatment employing lemongrass, peppermint, sage and tea tree oils to relieve tension.

    2. Chocolate/Raspberry Sugar Scrub. A blend of essential oils is used with brown cane sugar to soften the skin. The service is topped by a shea butter application.

    3. Microdermabrasion Manicure. The classic manicure exfoliates the hands while working on wrinkles and sun damage.

    4. Signature Stone Pedicure. Let a therapist guide you to a quiet, private space where she will work with warm stones to ease your feet and calves.

    5. ComeClean Facial. The Rehoboth Beach spa’s deep-cleansing treatment calls for facial steaming, a skin-specific mask and a neck, shoulder and arm massage.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the scene like at Seven Glaciers Restaurant?

    Seven Glaciers Restaurant scene helps define Girdwood, Alaska. The restaurant mimics Hotel Alyeska in its chateau/lodge style with Japanese flare (think heavy beams and hardware, and large open ceilings). The restaurant currently features native Alaskan art throughout, from paintings, to mixed media and sculpture. Still, Mother Nature may be the most lauded artist of them all — the view is jaw-dropping and unlike any other dining experience in the state, if not the world. Blue-jean-donning millionaires share the room with diners in more formal attire. But no matter where you’re from or what you’re wearing, the excitement of being a part of something unique is palpable.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the dress code at Seven Glaciers Restaurant?

    When it comes to dress codes at Seven Glaciers Restaurant, much like most other portions of Alaska, comfort and warmth often take precedence. Although Seven Glaciers is a fine-dining establishment, there are no strict regulations about attire. Diners clad in blue jeans, North Face vests and après-ski wear can be seen seated next to those in suits and cocktail dresses. Hands down, the Girdwood restaurant is one of the “dressiest” place to go in Alaska, but if you’re not decked out in your finest, not to worry. Seven Glaciers is all about enjoying what’s on your plate — that is, if you can tear yourself away from the unprecedented view long enough to savor your meal.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where is Seven Glaciers Restaurant located?

    About 30 minutes outside of Anchorage, Seven Glaciers Restaurant is unlike any other place in the world. Granted, there are certainly more desirable cities in the way of cultural offerings, but when it comes to tables with a view, Seven Glaciers in Girdwood, Alaska, boasts primo real estate perched 2,300 feet atop Mount Alyeska. A few steps outside of the Hotel Alyeska, hitch a ride on the tram (or in high summer, hike up the well-defined trail and take the tram down). Once you reach the top of the mountain, step inside and enjoy one of the most remarkable dining experiences in the state, complete with stunning 360-degree views.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the design style of The Bellmoor Inn & Spa?

    The design style of The Bellmoor Inn & Spa could be described as traditional. Throughout the hotel lobby, you will see warm elements such as dark wood-paneled walls, leather settees and armchairs and classic board games. While rooms in the main inn continue with timeless themes of floral prints, fireplaces and decorative woods, private units in the Palmer House take on a more traditional cottage feel through vaulted ceilings and separate seating areas. Colors are kept neutral across the Rehoboth Beach hotel. For those who enjoy nature, some rooms have private balconies, and there is also a courtyard garden with trees and a small waterfall.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best rooms to stay in at The Bellmoor Inn & Spa?

    The best rooms to stay in at The Bellmoor Inn & Spa are the Bellmoor Club Suites, which are located on the fourth and highest floor of the hotel. These rooms are accessible only with the proper key. On this floor, you receive complimentary beverages and snacks. Additionally, no one under 25 is allowed on the level, which generally makes the floor quieter and more relaxing during the busy summer months. Among the amenities to be found in the Carolina Suite is a hydrotherapy tub for two, a private library and even a balcony. You can trade your tub for a kitchen and fireplace in the Newbold or four-person Roanoke Suite, or even score a classic game table in the Rehoboth Beach hotel’s Henlopen Suite.
  • On January 20, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Which rooms have the best views at The Bellmoor Inn & Spa?

    There are several different room layouts at The Bellmoor Inn & Spa, and they’re broken down into those found in the property’s main building and ones in the adjoining building called the Palmer House, a structure overlooking the garden courtyard. Since The Bellmoor is not located within viewing distance of the ocean, the Palmer House units offer the better vistas. Palmer House rooms and suites also have private entrances and come in various sizes, ranging from a king to a king with sleeper sofa. Look out from the room’s balcony and see the hotel’s best amenity, a secluded courtyard garden that we consider one of Rehoboth Beach’s true little treats. The garden also houses the Rehoboth Beach hotel’s adults-only pool.
  • On January 16, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things about The Allison Inn & Spa?

    If you want to know the best reasons to stay at The Allison Inn & Spa, we can help. Here are our picks for the Oregon hotel’s standout features:

    1. The heart of Oregon wine country. When you stay at The Allison Inn & Spa, you are surrounded by world-class pinot noir vineyards, and more than 200 wineries are within a 20-minute drive from the inn. You can visit iconic pioneers like Adelsheim Vineyard and off-the-beaten-path gems like Cameron Winery — where a cadre of goats snack on the greens between vineyard rows. The Allison is a 30-minute jaunt from downtown Portland, and if you crave a peek at the Pacific, a 1.5-hour scenic drive to the Oregon Coast.

    2. The wine country cuisine. The resort’s 100-seat signature restaurant, JORY at The Allison Inn, spotlights farm-to-table cuisine and features local growers from nearby hazelnut farms, olive groves, orchards and even a handful of local cheesemakers. The extensive 800-label wine list found at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant will excite any oenophile, and foodies will swoon when they learn that the talented executive chef Sunny Jin honed his culinary chops at the legendary El Bulli and The French Laundry.

    3. The art of The Allison. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is captured in art throughout The Allison Inn & Spa. The private collection represents more than 100 local and regional artists working in diverse media — fiber, glass, sculpture, wood, photography and painting. In total, the Willamette Valley hotel showcases 500 artworks; each of the 85 suites has at least three pieces of original art with 37 paintings, sculptures and glass on display in public areas. Go on a do-it-yourself tour with a map provided by the concierge.

    4. A blissful spa. Escape for a few hours or an entire day with luxurious treatments at The Allison Spa, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa. First, take a dip in the infinity pool that overlooks towering evergreen trees or unwind in the steamy whirlpool. Then celebrate all things vinous with a signature Mimosa Massage or Divine Wine Facial.

    5. The quality concierge. Whatever your needs, the concierge at The Allison Inn & Spa can help. From standard requests like car rentals, babysitting services, children’s activities and dog-walking to more eclectic choices, like hot-air balloons, vineyard horse-back-riding and Willamette Shakespeare summer series tickets, the staff has got you covered.
  • On January 15, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things to order at Shoemakers American Grille?

    There are a lot of options on the extensive meat-and-seafood-heavy menu at the Craddock Terry Hotel’s Shoemakers American Grille, but here are our picks for the best things to order:

    1. Shoemakers signature crab cake. You won’t find a lot of unnecessary filling in this all-crab cake, which is one reason we love the broiled and crisp-shelled entrée that’s served with a spicy remoulade.

    2. Kona filet. This eight-ounce filet mignon is rubbed with Kona coffee, topped with blue cheese and a cheese sauce and then served with grilled asparagus for a little color.

    3. Hot shrimp and crab dip. Dip the grilled flatbread into this creamy, seafood-filled bowl to scoop up delicious chunks of shrimp and crab.

    4. Blackened grilled salmon. A good red-meat alternative, this crispy, lightly blackened fillet is served with a sweet corn hash and Cajun cream sauce.

    5. Berbere chicken. Spiced, pan-roasted and topped with a tomato and fennel sauce, this chicken breast arrives atop a plate of asparagus risotto for a well-balanced dinner.
  • On January 15, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Does Shoemakers American Grille have a bar?

    After passing through the courtyard lined with comfortable patio furniture, you’ll reach Shoemakers American Grille’s host stand, and right behind it is a spacious bar. There, you can wait for your table to be ready or simply order a pre-dinner cocktail. The bar has a full list of spirits and specialty cocktails to help give your evening a fun and festive start. We particularly enjoyed the red apple sangria martini that’s made with cabernet sauvignon, apple pucker and cranberry juice and served straight up in a martini glass as well as the French Manhattan, a booze-filled classic cocktail that’s lightly sweetened with the addition of Chambord. Aside from the libations, the bar also offers the full dinner menu. It’s a convenient option if you’re in town for business and want a quick meal at the Craddock Terry Hotel.