Forbes Travel Guide 2023 Star Awards: Best Hotels, Spas, Cruises and Restaurants

Soneva Jani – Manadhoo, Maldives

Best Hotels, Spas, Cruises and Restaurants

Forbes Travel Guide (FTG) today unveiled its 2023 Star Awards, including its inaugural ocean cruise ratings.

The hotel ratings expanded into new destinations, including Athens, Bodrum, Capri, Copenhagen, Cusco, CyprusOsloSicilyStockholm and Tunis. The 65th annual list features 360 Five-Star, 585 Four-Star and 433 Recommended hotels; 79 Five-Star, 113 Four-Star and 67 Recommended restaurants; and 119 Five-Star and 195 Four-Star spas worldwide.

A Five-Star rating is awarded to outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities. Four-Star is for exceptional properties, offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match. And last but not least, in the Recommended list you will find excellent properties with consistently good service and facilities.

Check out some highlights from the 2023 winners below.


FTG announced its first-ever ocean cruise ratings with five ships. The inaugural resorts at sea Star-Rated ships are Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Summit. A second wave of cruise lines will be announced later this year, and evaluations are underway on several ships earning their star rating for 2024.

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum


Nine destinations welcomed their first Five-Star hotel: Athens (Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens); Bodrum (Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum); Capri (J.K. Place Capri); Kuwait (Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya); Lake Como (Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como); Mallorca (Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa); Osaka (The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka); Riyadh (Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre; The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh); and Shenzhen (Mandarin Oriental, Shenzhen).

After four years of London claiming the most Five-Star hotels in the world, Macau is the new title holder with 22 top-rated properties. This year, Macau gained more new Five-Star hotels than any other destination (Galaxy Hotel, Grand Lisboa Palace Macau, The Karl Lagerfeld, Londoner Court, The Londoner Hotel).

The Maldives added four new Five-Star hotels: JOALI BEING; Patina Maldives, Fari Islands; The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands; Soneva Jani.

Raffles Hotel Singapore

After a two-year renovation, the legendary Raffles Hotel Singapore triumphantly returned to the Star Ratings list with a Five-Star award.

In Italy, Capri joined the list with one Five-Star (J.K. Place Capri) and four Recommended hotels (Capri Palace Jumeirah, Capri Tiberio Palace, Grand Hotel Quisisana, Hotel Caesar Augustus). And Sicily premiered with five Four-Star hotels (Grand Hotel Timeo, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina; San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel; Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel; Villa Igiea, A Rocco Forte Hotel; Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina Mare).

Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa

Mallorca landed its debut Five-Star achievement for Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa. The property and new Five-Star Jumeirah Al Naseem (Dubai) join the iconic Burj Al Arab (Dubai) as the Jumeirah brand’s top-rated winners.

Nordic countries made their first showing on the list with Four-Star Hotel d’Angleterre Copenhagen and Recommended winners Amerikalinjen (Oslo), Ett Hem (Stockholm) and Grand Hôtel Stockholm.

Six destinations picked up their first Five-Star spa accolades: Barbados (The Spa at Sandy Lane), Ireland (The Spa at Ashford Castle), Kuwait (Spa and Wellness Centre at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait Burj Alshaya), Madrid (The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid), Mauritius (One&Only Le Saint Géran’s Wellness Spa) and Vancouver (Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim).

Palace Garden


No longer a mere trend, experiential dining is now a fine-dining mainstay. The Restaurant at JUSTIN, set in a Paso Robles, California, winery, captured its first Five-Star win. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s Four-Star SOMM delivers sommelier-led meals, and Bellagio Las Vegas’ Five-Star Picasso immerses diners in Pablo Picasso’s art and chef Julian Serrano’s edible masterpieces.

Gabriel Kreuther is the first new independent restaurant in New York City to receive Five Stars in 10 years.

You can see the full rankings here.

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