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 December 18, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the design style of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya?

    Featuring traditional Chinese royal palace architecture, with its curved roofs, high vaulted ceilings and thick, crimson-colored pillars, The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya has a design that in many ways is reminiscent of Beijing’s Forbidden City. This Sanya hotel’s open-air interior design, however, gives it a distinctly tropical ambience, appropriate, of course, given its beachside location within the gorgeous Yalong Bay National Resort area. Exotic woods, polished stone surfaces, verdant greenery and water installations are found throughout the luxury hotel’s public areas, while guest rooms have a modern design highlighted by neutral colors, wooden appointments and stylish marble flooring.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Is Tang Court a good place for business meals?

    Tang Court is a good choice for entertaining business clients — the expert food, top-notch service and elegant décor are sure to impress your colleagues. The Shanghai restaurant’s location inside The Langham, Xintiandi is unbeatable, too. The Xintiandi neighborhood is both a tourist destination and the heart of the Puxi business district. For an important meeting, consider booking a private room. Tang Court’s nine private rooms are all beautifully appointed, offer fantastic views and have their own interior bathrooms. The Chinese restaurant is especially well suited for entertaining out-of-town guests — it lets you introduce visitors to local Shanghai cuisine in a formal setting.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What’s the best table at Tang Court?

    Depending upon the occasion and number of guests, the best table at Tang Court could be in the main dining room or an elegant private room. If you’re planning a romantic dinner or a double date, reserve a table near the windows in the Shanghai restaurant’s airy dining room. There, you can take advantage of the soaring ceilings and the glass wall looking out over The Langham, Xintiandi’s terrace.

    For larger groups, book one of the nine private dining rooms — each boasts views of the popular Xintiandi district and provides an intimate experience. The rooms have their own interior bathrooms and lounge seating areas.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Does Tang Court have any special views?

    Tang Court’s elegant interior matches the striking views of the surrounding Xintiandi area seen through massive windows. You’ll look out onto the historic brick buildings and pathways of the popular tourist district. Views of red brick and gray stone buildings showcase Shanghai’s architectural past; the shikumen (stone gate) houses are iconic of the city during the ’20s and ’30s. In some of the private dining rooms, you also can get a glimpse of the man-made Taiping Lake. From the main dining room, you’ll have a vista of The Langham, Xintiandi’s terrace with its white shade umbrellas. When the weather is good, the Shanghai restaurant transforms the terrace into the bar XTD Elevated.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the private dining rooms like at Tang Court?

    Tang Court has nine private dining rooms — each with views overlooking Shanghai’s Xintiandi tourist district and the man-made Taiping Lake. The décor of the private rooms is elegant with subtle modern Chinese accents, matching the rest of the restaurant inside the Four-Star Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai hotel. They have dark-red and yellow fabrics, and natural wood floors and chairs. Each private dining room has its own interior restroom, so guests never have to leave the party. Sitting in the quiet fifth floor of the hotel, the private dining rooms are popular for business dinners and family gatherings.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Is Tang Court a good place for group dining?

    Tang Court is an ideal choice for group dining, whether it’s a gathering of friends and family or a business meeting. The sophisticated (but not stuffy) atmosphere and on-point service will please your group, as will the choice to sit in the main dining room or reserve a private room. The Shanghai restaurant’s private dining rooms have stunning views over the Xintiandi area, where old shikumen-style buildings house little shops and restaurants. The menu is also well-suited to group dining — most dishes are designed to be shared by a whole table, rather than plated for individuals. And thanks to its central location in the city’s popular tourist and business district, Tang Court is an easy meeting spot for a group.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are five things I should know about Tang Court?

    Tang Court is a highly regarded restaurant serving Shanghainese, Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine. Here are five other things to know before your visit:

    1. Tang Court is the signature restaurant inside the Four-Star Langham, Xintiandi, a luxury hotel located in one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist districts.

    2. Award-winning Hong Kong chef Kwong Wei Keung and Shanghainese chef Tony Su create the food here. The chefs work together to create the long menu of seafood, poultry and barbecue dishes.

    3. Tang Court’s light-filled and modern setting attracts a young, fashionable crowd as well as business people holding more formal dinners.

    4. There’s a razor-sharp attention to detail here. Elegant touches include the staff’s uniforms — courtesy of renowned fashion designer Lu Kun — and the bone china table settings by Narumi.

    5. Although the Shanghai restaurant is in a new, luxury hotel and serves exquisite cuisine, the prices can be quite reasonable, especially for lunch and weekend dim sum meals.
  • On December 9, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things about Four Seasons Hotel Beijing?

    Our five favorite things about the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing are:

    1. Tea garden. At the lower level of the hotel’s main soaring atrium is a pleasant stone-clad tea garden with dark wood floors and wicker furniture, where you can enjoy a range of beverages and snacks in a serene environment.

    2. Locker room. The sixth floor of the hotel offers fully equipped locker rooms shared by both spa and hotel guests. They’re furnished with white orchid blooms and smooth beige stone, and include a bubbling whirlpool tub, three-tiered sauna, steam room, full-size lockers, restrooms and showers.

    3. Pool and gym. The hotel offers top-of-the-line Technogym equipment in two fitness rooms — one dedicated to weight-lifting with mirrored walls and unique machines. The gym overlooks the indoor pool that offers plenty of natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows, cushioned loungers and a whirlpool at one end.

    4. Personalized service. Hotel staff is extremely well trained, quick to greet guests with a smile as they come and go and address them by name whenever possible.

    5. Leisurely guest room amenities. The guest rooms are furnished with an extensive mini bar selection, international satellite channels and even a menu of television snacks available to order, such as nachos or buttered popcorn. The bathrooms are enormous, with deep soaking tubs that feature a window view and wide ledge to perch on.
  • On December 6, 2013
  • On December 2, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Does The Spa at Fearrington have a fitness center I can use?

    Guests of The Spa at Fearrington staying overnight at The Fearrington House Inn have free access to the nearby state-of-the-art fitness center, the Duke Center for Living. Well-lit and spacious, you’ll find just about everything you need to re-energize, including a heated indoor pool and whirlpool, cushioned indoor suspended track, weight machines and free weights, elliptical cross trainers, treadmills, recumbent bikes, rowing machines and steppers. You might want to build in a few more minutes to use the recently renovated and ultra-luxurious locker room facilities.
     
    If you’re not staying overnight at the inn, you won’t have free access to the center, but you can pay $12 for a day pass, which includes access to all the facilities and fitness classes.
  • On December 2, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Does The Spa at Fearrington offer breakfast or lunch pre- or post-treatments?

    The Spa at Fearrington is near two restaurants from which you can order food — choose The Belted Goat for fresh salads and deli sandwiches and The Fearrington Granary for refined bar and grill food like cheese plates and crab cakes. Meals can be ordered in for you before or after your treatment at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa. The receptionist will provide you with a menu upon your arrival and will coordinate delivery.
     
    Fearrington Village maintains a close relationship with local farmers to supply its restaurants with fresh, locally grown ingredients and many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs found on the menus are grown right on the Fearrington’s property. Selections change often based on the seasonal availability of ingredients. 
  • On December 2, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Can The Spa at Fearrington staff coordinate my salon and spa visits?

    While The Spa at Fearrington does not offer salon services beyond nail treatments, there is a privately owned salon nearby in Fearrington Village. The two are not connected, but if you are a guest of the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Fearrington House Inn, the concierge can help coordinate your salon and spa visits. Be sure to let the concierge or staff at the inn know if you have any personal preferences, such as therapist gender, or if you have any medical conditions that will require special accommodations. Want to make a day of it? Ask for a midday lunch from The Belted Goat (it can be served in the spa), and leave some time to explore the boutiques between the spa and the salon.
  • On December 2, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are five things to know about Pratt Place Inn and Barn?

    You’re sure to fall in love with the charming Pratt Place Inn and Barn set in Arkansas' Ozark countryside. Here are five things to keep in mind for your bucolic visit:

    1. The inn has a long history. Cassius and Margaret Pratt purchased the original elegant home and surrounding land in 1900. Since then, the property has stayed in the family. Julian Archer and his wife, Jane, inherited the estate more than 30 years ago and have remodeled it and maintained the property ever since. They opened the boutique hotel in 2008. The inn is on the Arkansas State Register of Historic Places and the cottage is on both the National and the State Register of Historic Places.

    2. The décor is thoughtful and unique. The Archers are a well-traveled couple and have decorated the inn with antiques and other unique items they purchased from around the world. Some of the notable pieces include imported custom-made French walnut doors, 18th-century French armoires, Persian rugs and antique Indonesian puppets set on a Chinese altar table.

    3. The hotel is set in the country. Pratt Place Inn and Barn sits on 140 acres of land atop Fayetteville’s Sassafras Hill with miles of private walking and jogging trails. You'll also spot four Haflinger horses in the property's pasture. It’s hard to believe this peaceful farmlike setting, filled with fauna and flora, is just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the University of Arkansas.

    4. For the best accommodations, reserve the Bois d’Arc suite, the Persimmon suite, or the cottage. The two suites rooms feature a large sitting area with a gas fireplace, a large private veranda, a rich wood canopy bed and a marble bathroom. The English-style cottage offers the largest accommodations at the boutique hotel and features the most amenities. This luxurious cottage is located across from the inn and offers two bedrooms with queen-size beds, two marble bathrooms, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen.

    5. This hotel is environmentally friendly. Environmental responsibility is a high priority for Julian and Jane Archer. The Archers installed a geothermal system for heating and cooling, roof shingles made from recycled tires and fire-resistant insulation made from recycled blue jeans.
  • On December 2, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things about Pratt Place Inn and Barn?

    Pratt Place Inn and Barn’s quaint feel and the sprawling wooded property are sure to charm any guest. But what else sets this Fayetteville, Arkansas, property apart?

    1. The staff. The staff at Pratt Place takes Southern hospitality to a whole new level. Its attention to detail and customer service will make you feel pampered and well cared for during your visit. In addition, all guest services are complimentary, and the inn has a no-tipping policy.

    2. The location. Pratt Place is conveniently located near the University of Arkansas campus, Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and Bud Walton Arena. Historic downtown Fayetteville, the Clinton House Museum, Fayetteville Underground, the Confederate and National cemeteries, as well as other notable landmarks are near the inn. The fantastic new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is in neighboring Bentonville.

    3. The accommodations. The inn has seven luxurious guest rooms located on the second and third floors. Each room has its own unique décor and is named after one of the property’s native trees. All of the rooms feature gas fireplaces and breathtaking views of the grounds, and most have private verandas. Marble bathrooms feature oversized showers and two-person whirlpool tubs. Across from the inn, Pratt Place Cottage, an updated, English-style two-bedroom home built in 1929, features marble-covered bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, two bedrooms and a kitchen — perfect for hosting an event.

    4. The special events. Pratt Place is a popular wedding and event destination in Arkansas. One of the premier facilities on the property is the Barn, which has a classic gambrel roof, fabulous wood décor and chandeliers.

    5. The warm and inviting setting. An inviting outdoor wraparound porch, luxuriously appointed parlors and a cozy wood paneled bar first greet you upon entering the inn. This setting is punctuated with Southern hospitality and gracious service the moment you first step onto the property.
  • On November 27, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What words best describe the style of The Fullerton Bay Hotel?

    The words we would use to describe the style of The Fullerton Bay Hotel are contemporary, nautical, sparkling, plush and bold. Here’s why:
     
    1. Contemporary. With its geometric-shaped decorative elements, marble mosaic-tiled flooring and modern sculptures, renowned designer Andre Fu has fashioned this luxury Singapore Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel into a distinctly contemporary space.
     
    2. Nautical. You’ll find reminders of The Fullerton Bay Hotel’s waterfront location throughout the hotel, from vintage nautical maps in the lobby to signature cocktails grouped into thematic sections on the bar menu such as The Clifford Collection, which refers to the Clifford Pier on which the hotel is located.
     
    3. Sparkling. Though you’ll inevitably be drawn to the shimmering mosaic-tiled floor that runs alongside The Landing Point, the sparkling, circular-shaped chandeliers lining the corridor’s ceiling are just as distinct, as is the oversized, tiered chandelier suspended high over the reception area.
     
    4. Plush. From luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites that feature posh goose down and Egyptian cotton bedding, to cushy public lounge areas with elegant, comfortable velvet couches and lounge chairs, this luxury Singapore Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel is extremely plush.
     
    5. Bold. Finally, we love the bold design of many of The Fullerton Bay Hotel’s most distinguishing decorative pieces, particularly the near floor-to-ceiling decorative panel behind the reception desk and the pyramid-shaped glass fixtures that hang over The Landing Point bar like icicles.