5 countries get their first five-star hotels
The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award is the most elusive honor for a hotel. Only 210 hotels around the world have won the first distinction of the Star Awards 2019 (to find out more about how a hotel scores, click here). Among this elite group, five countries received their first honor this year. Find out which properties have made history in their destinations and find out why these five-star winners make exceptional stays.
People aren’t supposed to know the Crockfords at Resorts World Genting. About an hour from Kuala Lumpur, the top-secret hotel is reserved exclusively for big players at the adjacent SkyCasino. But if one of the 140 lodgings isn’t filled with big guys, the hotel is quietly opening them up to the public on its website.
Browse the site for the chance to enjoy extras unique to the property, which debuted in 2017. The Tatami Suite has a tea ceremony area in the living room and the Mahjong Suite has a automatic mahjong. massage table and chair. And whichever bedroom you hang out in, you’ll have a sparkling Calacatta marble bathroom with steam room and sauna, and stunning views from the hotel’s perch atop Ulu Kali Mountain.
When the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon opened in 1959, it was the country’s first luxury hotel. It is therefore normal that the luxury flag bearer has become the first five-star winner in Portugal.
The great lady emanates from the elegance of every crack, from the impressive collection of 1,000 pieces of contemporary art by Portuguese artists adorning the walls to the sumptuous art deco and Louis XVI interiors.
Don’t miss the rooftop, where a U-shaped outdoor track gives you one of the best views in town, and the Ritz Spa, a tranquil space of four treatment rooms with inspired services (Seven Hills of Lisbon pampers them. legs tired from scaling Lisbon’s hilly terrain with local ingredients like basil essential oil, sea salt and olive oil) which has earned the title of the country’s first five-star spa.
Shilla Seoul offers a modern and stylish getaway to South Korea’s capital. Look beyond the calming gray palette and marble and wood bathrooms and you’ll find plenty of perks: rooms equipped with the latest technology (the Shilla is owned by Samsung); an executive lounge on the 23rd floor reserved for clients which serves as a lounge, dining room and library; a Guerlain spa with a make-up bar from the famous French skin care brand and a foot bath salon overlooking the Namsan mountain; a sculpture garden with more than 20 works; an indoor golf course; and Urban Island, an outdoor oasis with heated pools and mountain-facing Jacuzzis.
Hidden in the basement, a shopping center offers boutiques from favorite luxury brands, including Baccarat, Hermès and Issey Miyake.
Raffles Istanbul offers you the best of all worlds. It overlooks the beautiful Bosphorus, but puts you in the Zorlu Center, a mall that houses the stores of Stella McCartney, Valentino, and Beymen (a beloved Turkish store), as well as a performing arts center and the first before – Eataly post of the country.
Even more amenities await you inside the Istanbul hotel. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city and its famous waterway, as well as an attentive 24-hour butler. Culinary options include international dishes at Rocca Brasserie, Pan-Asian cuisine at Isokyo, and some of Istanbul’s best teas at Lavinia. And a four-star spa has an attractive indoor pool with an abundance of natural light and three hammams (a must in Turkey).
Encounter seaside bliss among coconut and frangipani trees at Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An. But you might rather fall for the three levels of infinity pools at this breathtaking resort.
If you can get away from swimming or the sand, take part in the spa’s floating treatment suites (with indoor and outdoor terraces) or take an in-depth lesson on how to cook Vietnamese dishes at the Nam Hai Cooking Academy, which will bring you travel to nearby fishing villages or rice paddies as part of the class.
However you choose to spend your days, at night you will retire to a spacious and airy villa with a garden, outdoor shower, bedside tub, and patio with a daybed (bonus: many have their own swimming pool).