Facility inspection: Every property is visited by a trained facility inspector,
who uses a checklist to evaluate cleanliness, physical condition and location.
This inspection is unannounced and results in a Forbes One, Two or Three Star
rating. Spas are the only exception -- the minimum standard for a Forbes spa
rating is three stars.
Service evaluation: Based on the facility inspection, properties that might
qualify for a Forbes Four Star or Five Star Award certification will receive a
visit from a second, this time, incognito inspector. This inspector makes an
anonymous visit and performs an incognito evaluation based on more than
550 service standards. During service evaluations, inspectors behave as regular
guests and never reveal that they represent the Forbes Travel Guide. This
inspection largely focuses on the guest experience and the consistency in
service, not just the physical facilities and amenities.
Only facilities that meet the Forbes Travel Guides rigorous standards are rated and
listed in both the travel guides and on the website. Deteriorating, poorly managed
establishments are deleted. A Forbes Travel Guide listing and review constitutes a
positive quality recommendation; every listing is an accolade, recognition of
Five Star Hotels: These exceptional properties provide a memorable
experience through virtually flawless service and the finest of amenities. Staff are
intuitive, engaging and passionate, and eagerly deliver service above and beyond the
guests’ expectations. The hotel was designed with the guest’s comfort in mind, with
particular attention paid to craftsmanship and quality of product. A Five Star property is a
destination unto itself.
Four Star Hotels: These properties provide a distinctive setting, and the guest
will find many interesting and inviting elements to enjoy throughout the property.
Attention to detail is prominent throughout the property, from design concept to quality
of products provided. Staff are accommodating and take pride in catering to the guest’s
specific needs throughout their stay.
Three Star Hotels: These well-appointed establishments have enhanced amenities
that provide travelers with a strong sense of location, whether for style or function. They
may have a distinguishing style and ambience in both the public spaces and guest rooms;
or they may be more focused on functionality, providing guests with easy access to local
events, meetings or tourism highlights.
Two Star Hotels: The Two Star hotel is considered a clean, comfortable and reliable
establishment that has expanded amenities, such as a full-service restaurant.
One Star Hotels: The One Star lodging is a limited-service hotel or inn that is
considered a clean, comfortable and reliable establishment.