Middle East Leads 5-Star Hotel Gains

Skift Take

Dubai has surged in the luxury hotel race, adding five five-star hotels to its existing seven. The strong showing came as the Middle East beat out other regions in growth of five-star awards.

Forbes Travel Guide, a rating system for luxury hotels and other travel products and services, released its 2024 Star Awards on Wednesday. About 340 luxury hotels received “five-star” ratings, while about 1,600 others received other commendations in the 66th year of the rankings.

The Middle East as a region received more new five-star awards than any other region, including Four Seasons Hotel Doha, Raffles Doha, and Waldorf Astoria Kuwait.

Dubai Has the Most New Five-Star Awards

  • Dubai gained five new five-star hotels, the most of any market.
  • Address Beach Resort
  • Armani Hotel Dubai
  • Atlantis, The Royal
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
  • The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm

Dubai now has a dozen five-star hotels in the Forbes Travel Guide rankings.

A view of an infinity pool at the Kyma Beach Club. Source: The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm.

Macau Versus London as Leader for Five-Star Hotels

Macau has the most five-star hotels (22) in this 2024 list, thanks to the addition of Paiza Lofts at The Parisian Macao. But in many previous years, London, currently with 20 five-star hotels, led the world.

“Historically, the race for the most five-star hotels has been between Macau and London,” said Amanda Frasier, President of Ratings for ForbesTravel Guide. “Some exciting new properties are opening in London for the next review cycle, so the race is on for the 2025 awards.”

Only three hotels worldwide received five-star awards for their hotel, restaurant, and spa. Salamander Middleburg in Virginia did so. (For context, see: BET Co-Founder Expands Hotel Brand Salamander in Pursuit of the New Luxury.) The other hotels included Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito, California, and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Forbes Travel Guide claims its award rankings have authority because it sends evaluators to each luxury hotel for at least a one-night stay, which Forbes Travel Guide pays for. The evaluators travel “incognito,” sometimes under the pretext of being on a honeymoon, to evaluate the properties on “between a couple hundred and about 500 criteria,” depending on the nature of the property. The organization said you can’t pay to be added to its list.

It’s receiving more competition. Michelin said that, in the coming months, it will begin impartially awarding star awards for luxury hotels and boutiques the same way it has done for restaurants. Other services include World’s 50 Best.