Speaking to BigHospitality ahead of today's launch of the guide into Europe, Forbes Travel Guide president and chief executive Michael Cascone said the view that the UK's hotels trailed behind their US counterparts in offering good service was unfounded.
"London has six five star winners, New York has six, LA has five and Hong Kong has seven, so London is on a level with them," he said.
"Our rating system is based on guest engagement and service. Service accounts for 70 per cent of the rating, while facility is 30 per cent, so it is only those hotels who really show they understand guest engagement who will find themselves with the rating.
“London is a world-class city, and we are pleased to introduce our global star rating system to the UK and Europe," he added. "It comes as no surprise that London’s hotels and spas performed strongly against our global hospitality standards. The personalized service and attention to detail delivered at the city’s top properties places them among the finest hospitality experiences in the world.”
Claridge's, The Dorchester and sister hotel 45 Park Lane, The Savoy, The Lanesborough and Four Seasons London at Park Lane are the hotels to receive the five-star rating. Spas at The Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons also received the top accolade while another 16 hotels and seven spas received a four-star rating.
Cascone said the selected London hotels had joined an 'elite group' of 76 hotels and 35 spas across North America and Asia with Forbes Travel Guide five-star status. The guide inspects hotels in 140 markets worldwide and will launch in Paris next year before entering more cities in the UK and Europe.
"It made sense for London to be our first city in Europe," said Cascone. "It's an English speaking market and we already have a number of great relationships in the UK."
Cascone admitted that some of London's five-star rated properties had sister hotels in the US, such as the Four Seasons and The Dorchester, which meant they shared similar levels of service.
He added: "There is also a history here of understanding our system, so that may have contributed to them being included, but they are different markets, so we were excited to see London score so highly."
Forbes Travel Guide, formerly Mobil Travel Guide, was founded in 1958 to provide 'comprehensive ratings and reviews' of hotels, restaurants and spas. Its inspection process includes unannounced visits by a professional inspector culminating with a formal incognito inspection from which the property is measured against 500 standards measuring facility and service performance.
The Five-Star London Hotels:
- 45 Park Lane
- Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
- The Dorchester
- The Lanesborough, London
- The Savoy
The Four-Star London Hotels:
- 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites & Residences
- London Belgraves, A Thompson Hotel
- Brown’s Hotel
- Bulgari Hotel & Residences London
- Corinthia Hotel London
- Four Seasons Hotel London at Canary Wharf
- InterContinental London Park Lane
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
- One Aldwych
- The Berkeley
- The Connaught
- The Goring
- The Egerton House Hotel
- The Langham, London
- The Ritz London
- The Stafford London by Kempinski
The Four-Star London Spas:
- Aman Spa at The Connaught
- Chuan Spa at The Langham, London
- Claridge’s Health Club & Spa
- ESPA Life at Corinthia
- The Berkeley Health Club & Spa
- The Dorchester Spa
- The Health Club at One Aldwych
For the full list of Forbes Travel Guide’s Star Rated properties click here.