LA Times: What does it take for a hotel to get a five-star Forbes rating?

The LA Times wrote a good article about what it takes to reach a 5 Star rating with Forbes Travel.  According to the LA Times:

los_angeles_times_logoIt may not come as a surprise that California — a sun-splashed magnet for celebrities and big-spending tourists — leads the nation with the number of hotels winning five-star ratings from Forbes Travel Guide.  But winning the coveted rating is no easy feat. Only 58 hotels in the U.S. — 12 in California — were awarded the recognition this year, including, for the first time, the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach.  

The Forbes five-star rating is considered more difficult to land than the five-diamond rating from AAA, which awarded its top ranking to 101 hotels in the U.S. this year.

Hotel owners vie for the Forbes distinction because it enables them to charge much higher rates. For example, the four-star Beverly Hilton recently posted average daily rates of $245 to $325, while the five-star rated Beverly Hills Hotel posted rates of $510 to $540.

The main difference between a 4-star hotel and a 5-star hotel is typically guest service and amenities.  From the article:

With Forbes, the difference between a four- and five-star hotel is primarily the level of service offered by the staff.

“Graciousness, courtesy and thoughtfulness — it’s much harder to get that right,” said Mike Cascone, president of Forbes Travel Guide, formerly known as the Mobile Travel Guide.

Forbes dispatches inspectors to stay at the hotels incognito for at least two nights and three days and use all the services, such as ordering room service and exercising at the gym. The inspectors rate the hotels on 500 standards, including accommodations and attitude.

Among other guidelines for Forbes five-star hotels: 
— Arriving guests are greeted and assisted curbside within 60 seconds of arriving.
— Wake-up calls are delivered within two minutes of the requested time.
— Refills at restaurants are offered within 30 seconds of the guest’s beverage being empty.
— No telephone call is left on hold longer than 30 seconds without being offered a call back.

Of course, those 4 examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the 3 day Forbes audit.  If your hotel needs help preparing for either the AAA or Forbes audits, give us a call.  Our Service Experience Audit is just the help you need!

Source:  LA Times Article