Travel has made its big comeback. All of those delayed openings and canceled vacations, conferences and celebratory getaways have given hotels and resorts plenty of time to upgrade their services, rejuvenate their facilities and re-envision a better experience for guests.
As travelers return to their favorite properties—or seek out new ones—Forbes Travel Guide has announced its 2022 Star Awards for the world’s most outstanding hotels, restaurants and spas.
For the 64th annual Star Awards, FTG ventured into new destinations, such as the Canary Islands, Greece, Ibiza and Malta. The winners include 323 Five-Star hotels, 558 Four-Star properties and 401 Recommended hotels. There are also 74 Five-Star restaurants this year, 112 Four-Star eateries and 67 Recommended restaurants, as well as 102 Five-Star and 193 Four-Star spas worldwide.
To find the best of the best, Forbes Travel Guide’s incognito inspectors stay at each hotel for three days and two nights, posing as ordinary guests. They test up to 900 objective, rigorous standards, from modern-day luxuries—such as whether a room is set up to enhance sleep or whether the food-and-beverage choices are health-conscious—to more traditional amenities, such as the quality of the décor and the courtesy of the staff. Seventy-five percent of a hotel’s rating relies on service, while the remaining 25 percent is determined by the quality of its facilities.
See the full list of 2022 Star Awards winners here, and learn more about the newest additions to the collection below.
New Five-Star Destinations
Nine destinations earned the top honor for the first time this year. Madrid made a strong debut with two new Five-Star properties: the Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, where you can unwind in the four-story spa and feast in celebrity chef Dani García’s Andalusian brasserie Dani, and Bless Hotel Madrid, whose recently renovated contemporary interiors take cues from the neighborhood’s 19th-century aristocratic homes. The Bless brand also claimed its first Five-Star award for its Ibiza property, with destination dining at decorated chef Martín Berasategui’s Etxeko.
Joining the Five-Star ranks in Europe are Berlin’s Hotel de Rome, an Italian Renaissance-style landmark set among Bebelplatz’s grand buildings; the Netherlands’ Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, a string of six connected 17th- and 18th-century palaces along the Herengracht Canal; Malta’s Iniala Harbour House, a boutique gem with 23 eclectic, stylish rooms; Greece’s Katikies Mykonos, a white-washed refuge with sparkling water views; and Zurich’s Dolder Grand, which lives up to its name with panoramic vistas of the city, lake and Alps from its historic hilltop perch.
A white 15-story tower that sits on the highest of Amman’s seven hills, Four Seasons Hotel Amman earned Jordan’s inaugural award in the Middle East. In Asia, the beachfront Halekulani Okinawa, featuring a showstopping pool lined with nearly 1.5 million mosaic tiles shaped like a Cattleya orchid, garnered the Japanese island’s premier prize.
Achievements in the Americas
In the United States, Auberge Resorts Collection had a Five-Star trifecta with The Lodge at Blue Sky, a 3,500-acre adventure getaway near Park City, Utah; Madeline Hotel and Residences, a sophisticated Telluride mountain escape that was renovated in 2021; and White Barn Inn, a New England classic that’s home to a beloved Five-Star restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Massachusetts scored wins with Encore Boston Harbor, the largest U.S. gaming resort outside of Las Vegas to earn the prestigious rating; Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston, a modern Back Bay skyscraper; and Chatham Inn, a charming 18-room Cape Cod hideaway.
Other East Coast winners include The Towers at Lotte New York Palace, an exclusive hotel within a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and The Chanler at Cliff Walk, a Gilded Age waterfront mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
On the shores of Montecito, California, Rosewood Miramar Beach is a glamorous addition to FTG’s annual Star Awards, laying claim to Santa Barbara’s only Five-Star spa. In Hawaii, the lavish Espacio in Waikiki dedicates each floor to a single suite with an always-on-call butler.
Toronto’s Hazelton Hotel became the first independent boutique hotel in Canada to earn a Five-Star rating. In Mexico, newcomers include Hotel Esencia, a tropical-chic retreat in Tulum that was once the home of an Italian duchess, and Banyan Tree Mayakoba, where every room comes with a private pool. Bathed in white Greco-Moorish architecture, the reborn Cap Juluca in Anguilla was the sole new Five-Star entry in the Caribbean.