For many years London remained the city with the most five-star hotels but the British capital has now lost its crown to Macao in Forbes Travel Guide’s 2023 Star Awards. Macao is a Chinese city that retains Portuguese influence after centuries as a trading colony in the Far East, and is now the closest thing to Las Vegas in China.
Forbes Travel Guide’s Star Awards serve as a benchmark for where the highest quality hotels on the planet are located. Forbes inspectors have spent 65 years visiting hotels incognito and analyzing every detail through a list of 900 standards, where they verify whether a room is designed “to improve the quality of sleep” or how is the drinks and food menu, to see how is the decor and guest service.
Broadly speaking, 70% of each review takes service into account, with an analysis metric that changed this year, and 30% focuses on the quality and condition of the facilities.
This year’s Forbes list includes 48 new five-star hotels, such as the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens in the Greek capital, the JK Place Capri on the glamorous Neapolitan island, the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya in the tiny Persian Gulf emirate, the Mandarin Oriental at Lago di Como and the Mandarin Oriental Shenzhen in China.
Despite being closed to tourism for three years, Macao made a strong comeback in the Forbes ranking and dethroned London, which had reigned supreme since 2018. The Chinese city has 22 five-star hotels compared to 21 ranked in the British capital. Among the debutants in that neighboring metropolis to Hong Kong are the Grand Lisboa Palace Macao (which opened in 2021) and houses the opulent The Karl Lagerfeld Hotel, which represents the glitz that the German designer liked to imprint on his designs.
The Londoner Macao resort has two establishments that also climbed to this starry altar, such as the Londoner Hotel, and the Londoner Court which offers 24-hour butler services. There is also the Galaxy Hotel, which boasts Asia’s only Macallan bar and a 75,000-square-foot terrace, including the world’s largest rooftop wave pool.
Other new five-star hotels on the Forbes list are the legendary Raffles Hotel Singapore, founded in 1887 and which was extensively renovated two years ago, the Adare Manor, a neo-Gothic castle with a 340-hectare park in Ireland’s County Limerick, the Capella Bangkok, which integrates a series of villas with Jacuzzis and a five-star spa, and the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Center, inside the Burj Daman skyscraper.