Belmond Unveils New Wellbeing Experiences

Belmond Madeira
Belmond Madeira

Good Living at Belmond is about avoiding the ostentatious and focusing beyond pure wellness to authentic and timeless experiences

Luxury travel company Belmond, a part of the world’s leading luxury group, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has unveiled a new set of wellbeing experiences entitled Good Living at Belmond to encourage discovery and enrichment among its guests.

The experiences have been designed with an emphasis on mindfulness and meditation, challenging the physical and mental, cultural immersion and authenticity.

“Good Living at Belmond is about avoiding the ostentatious and focusing beyond pure wellness, on authenticity and timeless experiences,” said Arnaud Champenois, SVP Brand and Marketing, Belmond.Whether it is mindfulness in Anguilla or trekking in Myanmar; the evocative scent of flowers in Madeira; poetic conversations on a literary terrace in Sicily; or experiences that unlock cultures through music. It is about passion and discovery; and that one-of-a-kind authentic experience with an extra special je ne sais quoi that simply cannot be replicated. Plus, of course, a glass of champagne!”

Belmond has appointed a council of Good Living ‘Experience Makers’ – experts in their field – to curate the one-of-a-kind experiences. The experiences include:


Poetry in Motion

Inspired by Belmond’s literary legacy, Gala and Isabella Macpherson, founders of London-based theatre production company Platform Presents, will curate an anthology of poems inspired by rail travel and will host a special poetry workshop at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, Sicily, from the literary terrace where DH Lawrence wrote the novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.


Self-Care to Travel by

Sisters Nadia and Katia Narain, authors of Self Care for the Real World and Rituals for Every Day, bring their philosophy of taking time to care for the body and mind to ensure balance and space for full enjoyment of life. Nadia and Katia will be hosting a retreat at Belmond Cap Juluca from 5th – 9th July 2020, a place of pure serenity and relaxation, and will curate a Morning Ritual for Belmond guests to help them take time to feel well and enjoy every moment of their holiday.


Music for the Soul

Author of Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Everyday, Clemency Burton-Hill has curated playlists that help those with busy lives to take time to be in the moment and make the most of the time and freedom that travel creates.


A World of Flowers

Florist Simon Lycett will take centre stage at the world-famous flower festival at Belmond Reid’s Palace in Madeira from 8th – 10th May 2020, where guests will be able to join a workshop to learn his craft and share his passion for floral art. Simon will also share his passion for home-made, hand-picked tea infusions from his garden, developing a floral tea recipe to be served across Belmond properties.


Inspiring Adventure

A young woman of serious ambition and curiosity, Raha Moharrak was the youngest Arab woman to summit Mount Everest. Raha will guide guests on a once in a lifetime expedition to Bhamo through the untouched north of mystical Myanmar, hosting a group of intrepid adventurers aboard the pioneering river cruise ship Belmond Road to Mandalay. She will share her knowledge and expertise of summiting the world’s tallest mountains and creating guides for those looking to follow in her footsteps.

Gaia Unveils Luxurious Two-Bedroom Villa

Komala Luxe Villa | Gaia
Komala Luxe Villa | Gaia

Think: saltwater infinity plunge pool, large private deck areas with daybed kabana, a lounge room fireplace and private treatment areas

Twelve months into its extensive refurbishment, Gaia Retreat & Spa in the Byron Bay hinterland has unveiled a two-bedroom Komala Luxe Villa overlooking the retreat’s lush landscape of undulating valleys and organic gardens. Designed for utmost indulgence and R&R, the expansive villa has a a saltwater infinity plunge pool, large private deck areas with daybed kabana, lounge room fireplace and its own private treatment areas.

Samadhi Yoga Room has also been upgraded, with a north-facing position amid sprawling rainforest. The space offers daily morning yoga, pilates sessions as well as meditation and sound healing with a truly magical vista.

It’s not difficult to see why Gaia Retreat & Spa took out the award for Best Australian Health & Wellness Resort at this year’s Gold List awards and has been crowned World’s Best Day Spa four years in a row at the World Spa Awards. Gaia also won the coveted 2018 Hotel of the Year at the World Luxury Hotel Awards – the first Australian Hotel ever do so and following in the footsteps of illustrious hotels like Armani Hotel Dubai, Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris and Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi.

Gaia offers signature spa packages, relaxing and therapeutic massages, pampering, beauty, anti-ageing, detox as well as tailor made specialised treatments. In addition to these treatments the resort offers available a selection of alternative therapies, energetic healings, fitness, weight loss, health/wellbeing programs and creative activities.

The resort also serves up award-winning cuisine, much of which can be found in the resort’s new Gaia Spa Cuisine – Celebrated Recipes cookbook. All gourmet meals at Gaia are served in Kukura House, the central meeting room lodge where everyone gathers. The day begins with a sumptuous buffet and hot breakfast, followed by a light lunch, while the evening unfolds with a luxurious three-course fine dining experience. The Gaia approach to food is hearty and healthy with in-house chefs personally choosing the freshest organic produce available from the retreat’s organic garden as well as from several local orchards and plantations. The menu changes daily and gets customised to each individual’s preferences, desires and special dietary requirements.

Take a peek at Gaia’s gorgeous new villa and yoga room below.

Calling Fitness Fanatics: An Exclusive 21-Kilometre Trail Run is Launching in the Blue Mountains

Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge | Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

The Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge will be available to just 10 guests of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley per month

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley will launch the first ‘Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge’ next month, an exclusive trail run available only to guests staying at the resort.

The 21-kilometre course, which was mapped out by an expert team of Field Guides, will give health-focused guests the chance to build their fitness and endurance, while exploring the wild, inspiring and rarely accessed parts of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley’s 7,000-acre wilderness setting. To protect the natural environment including the surrounding World Heritage-listed national parks, just 10 participants will be allowed to participate in the challenge each month.

James Wyndham, General Manager at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, said the Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge has been developed in direct response to feedback from guests eager to test their endurance, stamina and navigation skills in the surrounding wilderness, without having to sacrifice a sense of luxury and indulgence.

“For so many of our guests, a visit to is a rare opportunity to connect with nature through our amazing programme of outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, bike riding and hiking trails. We are excited to be… giving our active guests the chance to really push their physical limits in this stunning natural environment, whilst still being able to enjoy all the resort has to offer.”

‘Wolgan Warriors’ will navigate sheer sandstone escarpments, soaring mountain peaks, pristine creeks, dense bushland and sweeping plains, led by a dedicated Field Guide who is steeped in knowledge of the local terrain. The trail will link three of the valley’s iconic peaks for off-track hiking and trail running: Razorback Ridge (277m elevation from the valley floor), Mount Wolgan (294m elevation from the valley floor), and Donkey Mountain (365m elevation from the valley floor). Participants will have five hours to tackle the circuit, beginning in the morning, before an afternoon of leisure that includes spa therapeutic spa treatments and a celebratory campfire at 1832 Heritage Homestead with drinks, canapés and an awards ceremony.

All Wolgan Warrior weekends will be tailored to include special menus, stretching sessions and wildlife tours, and participants will receive special Wolgan Warrior technical running apparel designed by Aussie Grit as well as specialised sports nutrition and hydration supplements provided by Koda Nutrition.

The Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge will launch on 26th August 2019.

The Details

Entry into the Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge is AUD $295 per participant and is open only to guests staying at the resort. This fee includes participation in all Wolgan Warrior Adventure Challenge activities:

  • Sundowners Tour
  • Adventure Challenge
  • Campfire
  • A 45-minute Warrior Wind Down Massage
  • A selection of exclusive Wolgan Warrior merchandise

Two-night accommodation packages for two adults at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley start at AUD $2,090 per evening in a Heritage Villa with private pool, including gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, local wines and beers with meals, non-alcoholic beverages with meals and two nature-based activities.

For reservations and enquiries visit

New Queenstown Lodge to Open In December

Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa
Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa

Enjoy a glass of fine wine or a unique ‘vinotherapy’ spa in Central Otago, as you overlook working vineyards and mountains…

Following years of planning, Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa in New Zealand’s South Island will start welcoming guests in mid-December of this year. The stunning Central Otago accommodation is located in the heart of a winery, only 20 minutes from Queenstown Airport and can be booked via the hotel’s new website.

24 private villas along with a central lodge and spa are set overlooking the working organic vineyards and the mountains of Gibbston. Each villa is modern and comfortable, with a luxurious home-away-from-home feel and 65 m2 of luxurious indoor living space in addition to its own secluded, covered deck and sun-washed courtyard. All Gibbston Valley villas feature a super king size bed, fireplace, temperature control technology, a large tub with premium local beauty products, high-speed WiFi, complimentary bike use and a selection of Gibbston Valley wines, personalised to individual preference.

Meanwhile, a short stroll from the villas, Gibbston Valley’s architecturally designed lodge is the cornerstone of the property. Inspired by the Central Otago landscape, its soaring ceiling and locally sourced schist exterior reflect the awe-inspiring elements of the region. Next door is the sun-filled Conservatory, which is the ideal place to curl up with a good book, and downstairs, guests can be inspired by a private wine tasting or intimate dinner in the cellar, which is home to Gibbston Valley’s historic vintages. There is also a small movie theatre, ideal for private film screenings or events. Outside, guests can take in the outstanding views across Gibbston Valley as they play a game of bocce, stargaze by the outdoor fire pit or enjoy a meal in the al fresco dining space.

The Gibbston Valley Spa will be a private, luxurious retreat for health, beauty and well-being, where experienced therapists will offer specialised treatments that are personalised to each guest’s needs, featuring ‘vinotherapy’ and sustainable beauty products. Guests will also find a gym with free weights and state-of-the-art cardio equipment as well as a sauna and secluded hot pools.

One-of-a-kind luxury packages and experiences ‒ such as the Essential Wine Experience offering, a ‘vinotherapy’ spa treatment and an exploration of the 1000-acre Gibbston Valley Station ‒ will allow guests to immerse themselves in the rural playground of the valley and create tailored itineraries. Guests can also indulge in wine and food packages and embark on trips into Queenstown and historic Arrowtown.

Gibbston Valley Executive Chef, Anthony Gradiska, will serve up fresh, seasonal dishes in the Lodge that have been designed to complement Gibbston Valley’s premium, handcrafted, boutique wines. Expect a focus on organic, free-range and sustainably sourced ingredients, carefully selected from local suppliers.

“We hope that our guests will leave with a newfound appreciation for Central Otago wine and food,” said Greg Hunt, Gibbston Valley CEO. “It is now widely regarded as being amongst the best in the world, and we believe that is because we treat our natural surroundings with the utmost patience and respect. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and love for the region and giving our guests fantastic memories that will last them a lifetime.”

Reservations for Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa are now open.

You Can Now Stay in a Floating Luxury Hotel in the Arctic… Really

Photo By Artist Impression Arctic Bath
Photo By Artist Impression Arctic Bath

The unprecedented Arctic accommodation and spa will contain luxurious yet environmentally friendly saunas, floating cabins and treatment rooms

Arctic Bath, the highly anticipated floating hotel and spa located in Swedish Lapland, is now accepting reservations for travel between February 2020 and February 2021, according to Travel Experts at Off the Map Travel. The floating hotel and spa freezes into the ice in the winter, and floats on top of the Lule river in the summer giving guests a luxury overnight spa experience, all in a prime spot to experience the Northern Lights.

Due to its location in the vulnerable Arctic, the hotel holds itself to the highest environmental standards, using local materials and leaving a minimal to zero-impact on the environment.

The Arctic Bath approach to wellness is based on four cornerstones: proper nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind and care of face & body, making it an integrated approach that is gaining traction worldwide. The cornerstones of Arctic Bath’s experience are reflected through menus, focusing on clean, pure and local ingredients; exercise through various activities; mindfulness and meditation; and Arctic Bath’s variety of spa treatments.

“The Arctic Bath has been eagerly anticipated over the last year ever since the plans were first announced,” said Jonathan Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel. “Not only is it a spectacular new space to stay, but it will offer a really different wellness experience that can’t be had anywhere else on earth. It is exciting to be one of the first to offer this to guests allowing them to visit and stay at Arctic Bath as part of a wider luxury Arctic adventure.”

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, freezes into the ice of the Lule River in the winter and floats on top of the water in the summer. The water ranges from two to four metres deep and the facilities are interconnected by floating walkways, leaving a minimal environmental footprint.

Guests at Arctic Bath will get to experience accommodation in one of the six detached floating cabins or one of the six additional cabins on land. The circular-shaped Arctic Bath houses one spa treatment room, four saunas, an outside cold bath, a hot bath, outdoor and indoor showers and two dressing rooms.

The open centre of Arctic Bath spa houses a natural cold-water plunger pool with the water maintained at 3.9 degrees celcius throughout the year. Highlights of the spa include cold-water and hot-water dips, massages and crystal healing sessions. Each moment is designed to bring relaxation, refreshment and clarity.

Off the Map Travel offers both summer and winter itineraries to Arctic Bath. Although every itinerary can be personalised, a three-day Off the Map Travel Arctic Bath itinerary, including the new Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, costs from £3995 per person, excluding flights. This includes accommodations in a floating cabin, breakfast daily, nightly five-course dinner, a guided Northern Lights hunt, transfers and spa.

Dreamy Lunar-Inspired Spa Opens in Koh Samui

SALA Spa Chaweng

SALA Spa Chaweng offers six treatment rooms, each named after the planets and bodies of the solar system

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort has opened a brand new wellness centre with a zen-inducing lunar-inspired theme. Located in the resort’s recently-unveiled Garden Wing, SALA Spa Chaweng has been uniquely designed to reflect the changing phases of the moon, including the half moon and dark moon. The spa incorporates areas of light and shade, with moon-shaped elements and natural materials reflecting the celestial theme, and the six treatment rooms are named after the planets and bodies of the solar system: Dao Angkan (Mars), Dao Pud (Mercury), Dao Suk (Venus), Dao Sao (Saturn), Pra Chan (Moon) and Pra Arthid (Sun).

SALA Spa Chaweng’s treatment rooms contain a private bathtub, a shower, and twin beds, making these rooms ideal for singles and couples wanting a personal pampering experience. Treatments on offer include massages, revitalising wraps, freshening facials and scrubs using only natural skincare products, including products from the three leading Thai skincare brands, I Plus Q, Divana and Dii. These three brands utilise essential oils, ancient oriental wisdom, 21st Century innovation and ageing prevention techniques.

SALA Spa Chaweng is complemented by other relaxing facilities at the resort’s Garden Wing. There is a 25-metre swimming pool, a Garden Pool Bar, a children’s pool, a gym, a tree house restaurant and bar, and SALA’s first kids’ club. The wing also comprises 82 rooms, pool villas and pool suites, all elegantly designed to reflect the dark moon concept.

To celebrate the launch of the SALA Spa Chaweng, the resort is inviting guests to enjoy a wellness retreat on the shores of Koh Samui. Under the SALA Spa Retreat Package, guests enjoy three days of professional pampering. This package includes a two-hour “The Choice is Yours” package on the first day, a two-hour Aromatic Swedish Massage and Thai Herbal Facial on the second day, and a 90-minute Soothing Aroma Massage on the third day.

All guests also enjoy daily breakfast, return airport transfers, natural drinks, a healthy lunch for two and a late 4pm check-out on the day of departure. The package starts from THB 40,050+++ for a three-night stay.

Aman Unveils Six-Night Spiritual Retreat in Asia

Aman Journey to Peace
Aman Journey to Peace

Guided by a renowned Tibetan monk, Journey to Peace focuses on leading participants towards a healthier, happier lifestyle

Resort brand Aman, known for its wellness-focused stays, will be launching a brand new and enlightening six-night retreat, Journey to Peace. The aptly-titled spiritual retreat will run from October 24th to November 28th and help guests on their own path to peace.

Led by renowned Buddhist monk and mindfulness coach, Tibetan Lama (monk) Master Geshe YongDong, Journey to Peace will take place at four of Aman’s most serene retreats in Indochina: First at Amanoi, from October 22nd to 28th, on the coast of Vietnam; next at Amanpuri, from November 2nd to 8th in Phuket; then at Amansara, from November 12th to 18th, in Siem Reap near Angkor Wat’s magnificent ruins; and finally at Amantaka from November 22nd to 28th, in the UNESCO-protected Buddhist centre of Luang Prabang.

In each of these places, Geshe YongDong will share the ancient lessons of the Bon Tibetan Tradition, enabling participants to find the serenity of mind and spirit they seek. Participants can choose a six-night retreat at one resort, combine two or more resorts, or join the whole 24-night programme across all four destinations.

One of the basic tenets of the Bon Tibetan Tradition is the belief that peace is an internal state of consciousness that promotes true happiness. Journey to Peace has been curated as an emotional journey, with Geshe YongDong guiding individuals through the different stages to achieving this enlightened state of being. These include changing perceptions, letting go of and healing anger and achieving the union of compassion and wisdom that allows one to live mindfully. Each day, the retreat will focus on one of five key concepts that will ultimately change mindsets to allow a healthier, happier life.

The itinerary includes:

Day 1 – Letting Go of Attachment

The retreat begins by focusing on the three layers of attachment, acknowledging them, and letting go in order to find freedom.


Day 2 – Changing Perceptions

The second day will center on changing perceptions while using positive thought patterns to dispel negativity and its dire effects.


Day 3 – The Power of Breath

Participants will delve into the power of the breath and how respiration and the mind are deeply connected. They will work on cultivating slow, mindful breathing to bring balance and calm within, regardless of challenges or stressors encountered.


Day 4 – Healing Anger

Day four helps guests understand anger and teaches how to practice special techniques of mindfulness and awareness to gain control of this powerful negative emotion.


Day 5 – Living in the Moment

The final day will conclude with sessions on living in the moment mindfully, rather than paying attention to the illusions of past and future, which can become all-consuming.


Each day will include Tsa Lung breathwork and meditation; two individual, 90-minute sessions with Geshe YongDong; a therapeutic spa treatment; and a 60-minute evening session of chanting, mantra recitation and meditation. Accommodation and full board are included, with optional daily group movement classes and complimentary airport transfers. After each retreat, Geshe YongDong will stay on as a specialist in residence for two days, offering guests further opportunity to draw on his wisdom in private one-on-one sessions.

Born in Tibet in 1969, Geshe YongDong became a monk at just 13 years of age when he entered the Nangzhig Bonpo Monastery, the largest Bon Monastery in Tibet. A gifted scholar, he was awarded the Rajampa Geshe Degree (Doctorate of Divinity) – the highest degree in Tibetan monastic in 1992. He also studied and practiced under many masters including the 14th Dalai Lama and Menri Trizin. Geshe YongDong teaches philosophy and YungDrung Bon Buddhism – being one of the few worldwide to have mastered the tradition.

For over twenty years, he has taught in many spiritual centres and universities around the world and is the founder and spiritual director of Sherab Chamma Ling and Bon da Ling, spiritual centres in British Colombia and Costa Rica. He is vice president of the International Tibetan non-sectarian Buddhism organisation and has published several books in Tibetan and English.

Geshe YongDong will lead his retreat sessions in spaces that resonate with him and his subject matter. He will ensure that this retreat provides the tools to achieve peace in every individual’s journey forward.

Each of the four Aman resorts hosting Journey to Peace add something new to the retreat, whether it be Luang Prabang’s aura of living spirituality, the deeply affecting temples of Angkor or the healing power of nature and the ocean in Vietnam and Thailand. The surrounding country’s distinctive culture and cuisine will also play its part in assuring a unique experience.

One&Only Launches Science-Based Wellness Program

One&Only Resorts
One&Only Resorts

The luxury hotel brand has introduced a scientific approach to wellness for its guests through a global, state-of-the-art medical spa program

Luxury resort brand One&Only has revealed an exclusive global partnership with Chenot, a beauty-expert brand with 50 years of experience in the medical spa, health and wellness field. The two will develop and implement various methods across the One&Only portfolio of resorts.

Founder of Chenot Group, Henri Chenot, has created state-of-the-art medical spa programs and products that promote wellness, successful ageing and optimal health. His revolutionary approach to health and wellness led to the development of Biontology, which is the science of living, and a method of rebalancing the physiology of the body.  Both are implemented in all Chenot Health wellness retreats as the core therapeutic approach. The Chenot Group has additionally developed their own line of skincare, teas, elixirs and supplements.

This new offering at One&Only’s award-winning resorts will provide holistic wellness services, with guests having the assurance that they will receive treatments based on in-depth scientific research. The two different approaches offered have been created exclusively for One&Only and integrate the world-renowned Chenot Method.

Espace Chenot will focus on the medical wellness concept of the method and be introduced at One&Only’s new resort in Europe and One&Only Portonovi in Montenegro in 2020. One&Only Spa by Chenot will have a more wellness-based focus in science and will open at One&Only Desaru Coast in Malaysia. All experiences will be personalised to each guest’s needs and allow them to choose and combine between the two offerings.

A Chenot-trained specialist or medical doctor will start guests off with an initial consultation and wellness screening. They  will then be offered bespoke programs, tailored nutritional menus, fitness schedules, targeted spa treatments, stress-relieving activities, cosmetic beautification services and more.

“Wellbeing is a lifestyle and no longer optional whilst travelling on holiday, and because of this partnership, our guests will now have access to exclusive, immersive and most importantly a complete and distinct experience at our resorts that will extend far beyond the spa,” said Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer, One&Only. “The science behind Chenot combined with the One&Only lifestyle will lead to guests experiencing the absolute in wellness.”

Singapore Air Teams Up With COMO Shambhala on New Wellness Menu

Como Shambhala Estate, Ubud, Bali
Como Shambhala Estate, Ubud, Bali

The partnership will see COMO Shambahala’s wellness-focused cuisine introduced on certain Singapore Air flights

Singapore Airlines and Singapore-based wellness brand COMO Shambhala have announced a partnership that will see COMO Shambhala’s award-winning wellness cuisine introduced on selected Singapore Airlines flights departing from Singapore.

The co-developed wellness dishes are set to be introduced progressively in the second half of the year through SIA’s Book the Cook Service. A new wellness menu featuring specially curated dishes will follow afterwards.

Founded in 2002 by COMO Shambhala owner Christina Ong, COMO Shambhala cuisine is a specially developed culinary system with specific nutritional purposes meant to help boost concentration, energy and balance blood sugar levels. In-flight meals will be prepared with seasonal and sustainable ingredients, with every meal having its own unique nutrition profile.

Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President of Customer Experience Yeoh Phee Teik said that the partnership with COMO Shambhala shows Singapore Airlines’ commitment to the continuous enhancement of the airline’s customer’s experience: “We are proud to be announcing this partnership as it reaffirms our dedication to the holistic wellbeing of our customers,” he said.

Future collaboration between Singapore Airlines and COMO Shambhala will potentially extend to onboard amenities, in-flight entertainment and further content relating to health and wellness.

“It’s an exciting moment for the COMO Group,” Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group stated, “as this collaboration marks the coming together of the world’s most awarded airline and COMO’s passion for holistic wellness and nutritious cuisine that has been at the heart of our brand offering since the beginning of COMO Shambhala and COMO Hotels and Resorts.”

Founded in 2000, COMO Shambhala resorts practise a 360-degree approach to wellness that aims to improve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing for every individual. Health-giving cuisine, exercise including Pilates and yoga, massage and bodywork, treatments, ancient healing therapies and intuitive counselling are delivered in a nurturing environment by COMO Shambhala’s expert therapists from across the globe.

COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali is the brand’s flagship resort, but the brand’s ethos can be accessed at all COMO’s properties around the world, which are located in the Turks and Caicos, Thailand and Bhutan, with city-based COMO Shambhala Urban Escapes located in Miami, Bangkok, Singapore and London.

The Peninsula Makes History at Forbes’ 2019 Star Rating Awards

 Forbes Travel Guide has announced its 2019 Star Rating Awards winners, with The Peninsula Hotels becoming the world’s first all Five-Star hotel brand

The Peninsula Hotels has become the world’s first all Five-Star hotel company at Forbes’ annual Star Rating Awards. An independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, The Peninsula Manila earned its fifth star this year, raising the brand’s tally to a total of 10 Five-Star hotels.

Covering 76 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, each year Forbes Travel Guide’s highly trained inspectors visit properties as objective mystery guests, evaluating and verifying their quality based on up to 900 objective criteria. The evaluation covers both service and facility but the Star Rating system emphasises service, judging what kind of impression the property leaves on guests, how it makes them feel and what they remember most about the visit.

Top properties are deemed Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended:


These are outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.


These are exceptional properties, offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match.


These are excellent properties with consistently good service and facilities.

“At Forbes Travel Guide, we verify luxury. Our independent inspection process is the gold standard in the hospitality industry,” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “Discerning travellers can trust that each winner is the best of the best. We are pleased to honour the 2019 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants and spas dedicated to guest service.”

In 2019 destinations making the cut for the first time include Anguilla, Bahrain, Belize, Danang, Doha, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Istanbul, Oman, Perth, the Swiss Alps, Tel Aviv and Uruguay.

This year there are also 21 new Five-Star hotels on the list, six new Five-Star restaurants and eight new Five-Star spas. 

Countries making the Five-Star hotel list for the first time hotel to include Malaysia with Crockfords at Resorts World Genting, Portugal with Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, South Korea with The Shilla, Seoul, Turkey with Raggels, Istanbul and Vietnam with Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An.

London unseated Macao as the city with the most Five-Star hotels, with four new hotels making the list including The Bulgari Hotel & Residences, The Langham, The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard.

All up, London finished the year with 13 top-ranking hotels, while Macao, in a close second, had 12 top-ranking hotels.

The U.S added two new Five-Star hotels: The Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii and Salamander Resort & Spa in the Washington D.C. area.

Eight new Five-Star spas also landed on the list, including La Prairie Spa at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, The Bulgari Spa Bali, Lisbon‘s Ritz Spa, Cabo San Lucas’ The Spa at Esperanza and Macao’s Zensa Spa. 

Forbes honoured winners at Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on 26 and 27 February.


You can see the full list of winners here.

Voting is now open for Luxury Travel Magazine’s 2019 Gold List, an annual awards honouring the world’s best luxury hotels, resorts and experiences. Cast your vote here.