Atlantis The Royal among hotels placing Dubai as the destination with the most new Five-Star rankings
The 66th annual Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Star Awards list of the best hotels, restaurants, spas and cruises was released in February 2024 – and the Middle East scored well.
In a LinkedIn post, Forbes wrote: "The Middle East emerged as the region with the most new Five-Star awards. Waldorf Astoria Kuwait won the top honour for both its art-deco-influenced hotel and its 13,560-square-foot spa. Talise Spa at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait also received Five Stars for its water-themed facility. Over in Qatar, established local favourite Four Seasons Hotel Doha and newcomer Raffles Doha earned Five-Star ratings."
Within the region, Dubai in the UAE logged more new Five-Star hotels than any other location worldwide, among them the iconic Atlantis The Royal, which is celebrating its first birthday after a hugely successful first year. In total this year, Dubai has 12 Five-Star hotels:
- Address Beach Resort
- Armani Hotel Dubai
- Atlantis The Royal
- Bulgari Resort and Residences Dubai
- Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
- Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre
- Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
- Jumeirah Al Naseem
- Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
- The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
- The St Regis Dubai, The Palm
- Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre
Quick to respond to the win, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai team produced and released a video to mark the occasion. In it, general manager Jeroen Elmendorp says: "I had a dream, a dream of luxury, excellence and unparalleled service. They say every sunrise comes with possibilities and every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. I dared to dream because I believed – and, you know what, we've made it."
The Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) compiles its ratings using an objective, independent and data-driven process. Incognito inspectors pose as everyday guests and stay at hotels, board cruises, receive spa services and dine at restaurants around the world.
Forbes claims inspectors test around 900 exacting standards, including whether a room is designed to promote sleep quality or whether the food choices support a guest’s well-being. Emphasis is placed on service, which they say accounts for 70% of a hotel's rating.
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Newer standards focus on the guest experience, such as ensuring “cocktails are dynamically interesting and photogenic” and whether the inspector would “readily recommend the property to others". The remaining score comes from the quality and condition of the facilities. Finally, inspectors are now required to reflect on whether there was great value in the experience.
Several Dubai restaurants also made their debut on the 2024 list. These include Armani/Ristorante Dubai and Stay by Yannick Alléno, at One&Only The Palm which earned Four-Star accolades.
This year, the awards also expanded to new destinations, including Azerbaijan, Curacao, Iceland, Kenya, Sardinia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
For more information and to see the complete list, visit www.forbestravelguide.com/award-winners