Maldives makes splashy debut on Forbes Travel Guide’s Star Rating Awards

Maldives has made a splashy debut on the prestigious Star Awards, picking up six of the highest awards by Forbes Travel Guide, the global expert on genuine Five-Star service.

Forbes Travel Guide on Wednesday presented a galaxy of “Stars” to the world’s most luxurious properties. A record 107 new Five-Star awards have been announced, owing to the company’s significant expansion across 16 countries.

To uncover the most outstanding properties, Forbes Travel Guide’s incognito inspectors check into a hotel for a minimum of two nights, posing as ordinary guests and paying their own way.

Then, they test up to 900 objective, exacting standards — including whether a staff member greets them curbside within 30 seconds of arrival, whether clothing left around a room is folded neatly or draped and placed within immediate view after turndown service, and whether the staff uniforms demonstrated exceptional design.

The ratings tabulate 75 per cent of a hotel’s score based on its service, whilst the remaining 25 per cent is determined by the quality of its facilities.

The 2020 awards celebrate 1,898 Star-rated properties in 73 countries; the full list can be found here. The new awards add 70 Five-Star, 120 Four-Star and 81 Recommended hotels to the annual winners list. Amongst restaurants, there are 13 new Five-Star, eight new Four-Star and two new Recommended winners. The recipients also include 24 new Five-Star and 22 new Four-Star spas.

This year sees the most extensive global expansion in Forbes Travel Guide’s 62-year history. The company spotlights new international markets, including Antigua, the Bahamas, Cambodia, Egypt, Fiji, French Polynesia, India, Jordan, the Maldives, Mauritius, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, the Seychelles and South Africa, many of which achieved the coveted Five-Star honour.

The Maldives made a splashy debut on the list, picking up six of the highest awards. The Maldivian winners go beyond the ordinary with their offerings.

At boutique hotel Velaa Private Island, tee off on the nine-hole golf course designed by Masters champion José María Olazábal, get up close to marine life with a Seabob underwater scooter, or cool off in the spa’s one-of-a-kind snow room, the only one in the Maldives.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa recently unveiled new Beach Pavilion accommodations with private plunge pools, and the Four Seasons Explorer, a three-deck catamaran with 11 guest cabins, docks at the property.

Dive into the waters of Cheval Blanc Randheli to swim with the manta rays or snorkel at night to see biofluorescent marine life.

Design also shines at the Maldives hotels.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort veers modern with the sleek architecture of its villas and the whale-shark-shaped Whale Bar. The spa’s Blue Hole Pool is an expansive hydrotherapy oasis that seems to melt into the ocean.

The three-island Kanuhura Maldives goes for a bohemian feel with whitewashed villas adorned with funky art and Iru bar’s beaded swings and beach teepee.

One&Only Reethi Rah puts the scenery at the forefront, from yoga in an overwater pavilion to dining in a treehouse.

Maldivian resorts that made it to the list with a Four-Star rating include Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Joali Maldives, Jumeirah Vittaveli, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa and Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Maldives. Amilla Fushi, Six Senses Laamu and Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa Maldives were also listed as Recommended hotels in the Maldives.

“It’s a privilege for Forbes Travel Guide to honour such magnificent hotels, restaurants and spas from all corners of the globe. Each deserving recipient excels at enriching people’s lives through the power of exceptional service,” Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“Our role at Forbes Travel Guide is to establish our annual star ratings with absolute independence and integrity and champion those at the very top of their game.”

More than 600 Star-Rated winners and invited VIP guests will gather to celebrate at Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on February 18 and 19.

As the recipients of multiple Five-Star awards, the MGM International property will be packed with inspirational speakers and discovery sessions.

The event will culminate in a gala dinner hosted by Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei, followed by an exclusive afterglow hosted by Wynn Las Vegas XS nightclub where headline DJ Dillon Francis and other exciting surprises await the 2020 award winners.

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