Today the Forbes Travel Guide released their 2020 list of the best hotels, spa’s and restaurants in the world. The totally independent service (yes, that means hotels can’t butter them up) who were the originators of the “5 star” concept in 1958, have included TEN South African hotels!
What Quantifies the Forbes Travel Guide?
“We are the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas.” That’s a pretty big statement and one that us travel bloggers can certainly take into account when reviewing our own favourite locations. So what qualifies a potential feature?
- Highly trained inspectors who visit every property featured.
- 900 objective criteria (and we thought we were crazy with our 6C reviews!)
- Hotel stays must be a minimum of 2 nights.
- Forbes pays for all their own visits!
- Inspectors are anonymous to ensure they have a real experience.
- Service plays a large part in what qualifies a hotel, not just how it looks.
What Are the Ratings?
- 5 star: “Outstanding, often iconic properties with “flawless service and amazing facilities”.
- 4 star: “Exceptional properties offering high levels of service and quality of facility to match.”
- Recommended: “Excellent properties with consistently good service and facilities.”
South Africa’s Gold Stars
TEN hotels have landed a placement on the prestigious list with 2 recommended listings, four 4 star ratings and five 5 star ratings. They are as follows:
5 Stars: Delaire Graff Lodge, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg, One&Only Cape Town, Saxon Hotels, Villas & Spa.
4 Stars: The Cellars-Hohenort, Ellerman House, MannaBay, The Silo Hotel.
Recommended: Taj Cape Town and Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.
Our Top Picks
Just last week my Mom went for lunch at the Silo and said she thought it was excellent value for money and the service was impeccable. But going for lunch and staying in their luxury suites are two different stories.
The shining light of Cape Town’s Silo District, this hotel has been making Capetonians proud since the opening in 2016 and offers some of the most exquisite views across the city towards Table Mountain.
Ellerman House has always been on my bucket list and I was fortunate enough to visit for the celebration of Inveroche’s acquisition by Pernod Ricard. Before I could even get out into the garden their original art collection blew me away. It’s an absolutely fantastic way to see some of the great South African legends from the mere stroll between reception and the patio.
The hotel with a funny name has crept into my heart over the past few years. Not only do the Cellars Hohenhort serve the best cheese souffle in town, they are tucked so beautifully within the folds of the Constantiaberg mountains. Get lost in their jungle back garden or perfectly moved English country style garden. If you need to be in the suburbs, this is certainly a hotel to consider.
Special Mention: Four Seasons Anahita
While I’m proudly South African all the way, I have to make special mention of the Four Seasons Anahita in Mauritius, which I’ve recently returned from visiting. It’s true, the service is impeccable and they offered the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever eaten! This is a very special location on the loved African island.
I was nearly stuck in Mauritius when SAA went bust so be sure to book on Mango Airlines if you’re getting a connecting flight via Johannesburg. (We flew Air Mauritius and it was very full due to SAA crashing.)
Sadly, I’ve not been to any of these hotels (nor Joburg for a few years now), but Regional Vice President and General Manager, Four Seasons Hotels, Sebastien Carre said,
We are incredibly proud for achieving this globally coveted accolade, especially as we recently celebrate our 5th anniversary in South Africa.
Congratulations to all the listed hotels and brands. Here’s to consistently delivering great service for our welcomed guests.