In case you'd like to stay in town and veg at a luxury hotel this weekend, U.S. business magazine Forbes says the Philippines has exactly a dozen of them.
Forbes Travel Guide, a star rating service and online guide for vacations and trips by Forbes, released the 2019 installment of its Star Award winners. It is the annual ranking of the finest hotels, restaurants, and spas in the world.
A total of 13 Philippine properties made the 2019 list—12 hotels and one spa. All of them are located in Metro Manila.
The Peninsula Manila received its first ever 5-star rating this year, improving from the 4-star grade it received in 2018. This completes all 10 top-rated branches of The Peninsula Hotels, making the Hong Kong-based brand the first company to have all its hotels rated 5 stars in Forbes Travel Guide’s 61-year history of rating properties.
Forbes Travel Guide gives 5 stars to properties that are “outstanding, often iconic with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.” In the Philippines, The Peninsula Manila joins the 5-star league from last year composed of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Sky Tower at Solaire Resort & Casino, and Nüwa Manila at City of Dreams.
Five other Philippine hotels maintained their 4-star rating from last year, which are classified as “exceptional properties, offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match.” These are Fairmont Makati, Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams, Nobu Hotel Manila, Raffles Makati, and Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Nüwa Spa Manila at City of Dreams also received a 4-star for the spas category.
Lastly, Forbes Travel Guide gives “recommended” ratings to “excellent properties with consistently good service and amenities.” Three Philippine hotels received this rating: Makati Shangri-La, Pan Pacific Manila, and Conrad Manila. (Conrad Manila is a newcomer to the list.)
Forbes Travel Guide explained that its team basically goes through three steps to verify luxury: one is to visit incognito every property they rate, evaluate each of them based on a set of criteria that has up to 900 objective standards, and to pay for their stays accordingly. For hotels, the team stays an average of two nights.
“Once there, they test up to 900 objective, exacting standards—including whether a staff member greets them curbside within 30 seconds of arrival, whether housekeeping places toiletries on top of high-quality liners, and whether clothing left around a room is folded neatly within immediate view after turndown service,” Forbes Travel Guide’s Jennifer Kester explained.
There are a total of 1,694 properties included on this year’s Star Award list, up by 5.3 percent from 2018. From this, 343 were rated 5 stars, also an increase from last year by 6.2 percent.
*This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.