Reach High Quality and Top Ratings with Forbes Standards


February 23 , 2024

A title of distinction and prestige, similar to a ranking from Forbes Travel Magazine, is regarded as a very reputable status in luxury travel and hospitality. A high rating from this trustworthy source when you get is a way to a brand’s high reputation. You can let and motivate customers to connect and increase your customer base.

On the other hand, getting this seal of approval can be challenging. Knowing the complex Forbes standards is insufficient; your team must be ready for daily excellence. You need to set up self-inspections, laborious training, and performance-based recognition.

This article will offer practical advice on optimizing your services to tell apart yourself in the current competitive market. To this end, we will discuss why digital audits can make it easy for your hotel business to reach a Forbes high rating.


The Forbes Travel Guide defines the Standards

Reach High Quality and Top Ratings with Forbes Standards

The Forbes Standards has a Five-Star classification system. These are for accommodations, dining establishments, spas, and cruise ships. It is far and wide accredited and honored as a well-known evaluation system within the hospitality world.

1958 Forbes Travel Guide was initially available using the title Mobil Travel Guide. Initially, it is for American drivers, but the publication has a significant role in establishing the inaugural Five-Star classification system for hospitality businesses active within the country.

Currently, the system assesses standards by examining service quality, facility conditions, and passenger experience quality. It uses up to 900 objective criteria. Forbes Travel Guide annually publishes a list of the Star Award Winners. These cover about 2,000 properties that have earned 5-star, 4-star, or Recommended status.

A five-star classification from Forbes Travel Guide represents a property’s highest level of esteem. It shows a brilliant standard of luxury and complete contentment for its guests. Those properties that achieve this prestigious rating are among the finest in the entire globe. Becoming known as one of the winners can do a lot to improve a property’s image and bring in wealthy people looking for the best service and luxury.


How Does Forbes Determine Your Rating?

A stringent evaluation procedure must be for hotels, restaurants, and spas to obtain a rating from the Forbes Travel Guide. A group of professional, unbiased inspectors who go into the business as if they were regular customers to do a complete evaluation. Many objective criteria and standards help rate the level of the service, the facilities, the emotional experience, and the visitors’ experience.

The criteria are predominantly unambiguous and objective. It lets minimal scope for subjective judgment. The assessment procedure has numerous inquiries that can briefly get positive or negative answers.

The criteria to establish these guidelines are from Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star Rating System. The following elements are in this one-to-five-star rating system for properties, which emphasizes good service: –


  • The development of wellbeing
  • Genuine guest encounter
  • High standards for guests
  • Eco-friendliness and luxury
  • Relaxing lushness


Five-Star Standards of Service by Forbes

Forbes Travel Guide assesses hotel service quality and standards in luxury restaurants, hotels and resorts. An annual revision per the criteria Forbes Travel Guide established to achieve and maintain each Star-Rating designation.


Three Factors That Impact Forbes 5-Star Standards


Exceptional and Tailored Service

Guests of 5-star-rated properties are consistently given the best service and expect a high degree of personalized assistance. It is precisely to cater to their individual preferences and requirements. Staff members are careful, well-informed, and dedicated to meeting the needs of every visitor.


Distinguished Properties

Five-star-rated establishments invest substantial effort into each facet of their operations to guarantee an impeccable experience for their guests. Each element, ranging from the interior design of the public areas to the arrangement of the rooms, is meticulously orchestrated to establish an ambiance synonymous with opulence.


Luxurious Amenities

Distinguished by their status as five-star establishments, luxurious amenities furnish visitors with various enhancements to their vacation. Among many other things, these facilities consist of premium toiletries, high-quality linens, and brand-new technology.

To get a 5-star Rating, you must go above and beyond by talking to people and finding out what they need before asking for help. A business must complete an independent inspection process to achieve a 5-Star or a 4-Star, or a recommended grade that Forbes Travel Guide oversees.


The Forbes Hotel Criterion

More than 500 criteria from the complete Forbes Standards list apply to hotels. They assess areas including: –


Arrival/ Digital Service

They offer Departure Services and Reservation and Pre-Arrival Interactions to assist you before and during your arrival and departure. The criteria encompass various aspects, including staff greetings and interactions, prompts offering luggage assistance, and paper usage reduction, in addition to interactions conducted via phone, email, and the website.


The guest room and housekeeping

Standards for assessing the quality of services and amenities provided in the room, including housekeeping daily and evening services.

Particular elements has the benchmark, such as “At least ten hangers are available in the closet. It can be convenience for a wide range of garments,” ” “The bed looks nice and is made well, with some decorative touches added,” or “Towel liners of superior quality to conceal toiletries on vanity or counter surfaces, but not under things on narrow shelves.”


Food and Beverage

Reach High Quality and Top Ratings with Forbes Standards

Hotels’ food and drink services are put on factors like: –


  • Bar/lounge service
  • In-room dining
  • Professionalism
  • Proactive thought of dietary restrictions and pre-emptive response to all requests
  • Staff greetings and interactions
  • Removal of single-use plastic
  • Food appearance in restaurants, buffets, and other settings
  • Providing of free snacks that are both of high quality and appealingly pleasing


Fitness and Pool/Beach Service

Wellness facilities and services, including fitness and pool/beach services, are subject to distinct evaluation criteria. Illustrative instances are: –


  • The friendly reception of the staff.
  • The provision of complimentary water that is both readily available and actively offered.
  • The prompt storage of soiled linens.
  • Complimentary refreshments within 90 minutes.


Public Areas and the overall guest experience

Guest Service, Guest Service Request, and Overall Guest Experience criteria include the following: “All staff encountered are dressed in clean, well-fitting uniforms,” “Departmental-to-departmental communications among staff are consistent and comprehensive,” and “Each staff member maintains eye contact and remains attentive to the guest.”


Restaurant Standards by Forbes

More than 180 criteria from the complete Forbes Standards list apply to restaurants. They include provisions for dinner service, host service, reservation service, food and beverage quality, facility design, and design.


Examples of specific criteria include the following: –


  • Employees should know if they need to check any personal belongings of the guests.
  • “Retrieves items automatically upon guest departure without requiring a reminder,”
  • “All menus must be unique and per the restaurant’s identity,”
  • Every dish should be served exactly as the guest ordered without asking who ordered what.
  • “At some point during the meal, a unique culinary gift from the chef is presented to the table.”


The Forbes Spa Rankings

More than 250 criteria from the complete Forbes Standards list apply to restaurants. Public Areas/Locker Rooms, Reception Services, Reservations, and Treatment Options comprise their classification. The standard purpose is to evaluate the spa experience that the visitor perceives. They encompass various aspects, including technological innovation, personalized service, and courteous staff.


How are the evaluations for the Forbes Star Rating System determined?

Forbes Travel Guide assesses thousands of hotels, restaurants, and resorts each year through a rigorous and highly structured evaluation procedure. Forbes says that Star Ratings are not for sale and that each evaluation is authentic.

Every assessment is obtained exclusively using an evaluation by anonymous Forbes employees who respond to countless inquiries using a simple binary response. Each area that goes through investigation is automatically assigned a unique percentage score following the categorization of each query.

The evaluation probes have two primary areas: Facilities and Services. The rating mainly focuses on service, with approximately 70-75% of the total. Each question is of different criteria, like: –


  • Kindness, courtesy, and a sense of personalized service
  • An Experience of Opulence
  • Personnel Appearance
  • Expert knowledge and Technical Execution
  • State of Cleanliness
  • Health and wellness
  • Comfort & Convenience for Guests


The achieved score is moved into a composite score with the proper Star Rating: –


  • Five-Star: – At least 90%: establishments that steadily give a good experience and a high level of personalized service.
  • Four-Star: – 82% or more: extraordinary properties that provide commensurately high levels of service and facility quality.
  • Recommended: – 72% or more recommend these outstanding properties for their consistent provision of superior service and amenities.


Also, there is a least rating needs that must be all hospitality business must keep up over time after they get high stars.

A five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide is a prestigious honor that gives any business in the hospitality field a big boost.


Try the UrAudits Hotel Inspection Checklists for FREE (1-weak)

Explore how UrAudits’ user-friendly audit application and inspection templates can assist you in raising standards. Register for a 14-day free trial or schedule a demonstration with one of our specialists!


How Can Five-Star Forbes Ratings Be Obtained and Maintained?

One must employ a systematic and thorough strategy to attain the highest rating from Forbes Standards. This requires the formulation of a concise and unambiguous mission statement, the creation of an all-encompassing strategy, the training of personnel, and the performance of routine internal audits.

Hospitality Net recently published an interview with a seasoned expert from Forbes Travel Guide who has conducted over 700 inspections of hotels, restaurants, and spas worldwide. From this extensive experience, four key insights have emerged on how to fulfill the rigorous Forbes Standards: –


  1. Foster a “sense of place” to ensure an unforgettable experience.
  2. Strong management abilities that employees who are enthusiastic about their work and consistently exceed expectations have.
  3. Engaging in proactive customer service by exceeding their expectations through individualized attention to detail
  4. Precisely prepare in advance for the official Forbes inspection, even before they enter your premises.


Hotel mystery checks are something that many places do to get ready for external inspections. Outside companies usually do these checks, and they only happen once a year because they are so expensive. Internal checks and checklists are an excellent way to make the experiences of secret shoppers more realistic— let management train staff and ensure that high standards and brand compliance are met daily.


Pros of using digital plans for regular internal audits

Reach High Quality and Top Ratings with Forbes Standards

By incorporating an inspection application into your self-auditing procedure, you can improve standards daily without incurring excessive administrative work. Using an intuitive mobile application, one can conduct operational checks and quality assessments while moving; scores and corrective actions are viewed in real-time. The following are a few of the advantages: –


Ensuring prompt adherence to the standards

Establish standardized protocols and ensure that all personnel possess up-to-date knowledge of pertinent Forbes standards through regular inspections and pocket-sized digital checklists. Implement a system of required self-audits and oversee performance.



Customized digital audits must be per your company’s unique needs. You thoroughly examine all important aspects during inspections. The inspection and auditing process you should perform with careful attention to detail. A more accurate and practical evaluation of the implementation of standards occurs.

Also, with a personalized checklist, one can concurrently perform audits for internal brands, Forbes, and other external standards, such as LQA, in a specific area, such as dining.


Performance Analysis

Reach High Quality and Top Ratings with Forbes Standards

Digital audits can deliver real-time, precise insights and aggregated analytics. These set up their strength. Comes with better insights, one will acquire a reliable approach for evaluating the efficacy of personnel efforts. You can identify specific domains that require enhancement and implement prompt measures. You can give an exemplary guest experience.

With precise automated scores, you can establish a system of recognition for teams based on performance.



Audits and reports are generated more rapidly and without paper, leading to substantial time and resource savings. Sustainability is a high priority for Forbes Travel Guide and can be integrated into all facets of your business operations; doing so is an excellent way to demonstrate to your consumers that you are environmentally conscious.


You can share stories on the spot. You can add pictures, comments, and notes. When digital inspections are done, you can communicate better and collaborate between departments and teams. Now, it is easier and faster—leading to better performance and a higher Forbes ranking.


What makes UrAudits the optimal software for hotel audits?

Select hotel audit software complies with Forbes’s criteria and slows documentation and administrative burden. You can automate time-consuming inspection duties.

You can simplify the inspection process in real. Maintain accurate records of all pertinent information throughout the inspection and auditing process and subsequent stages. You are now confident that the right and required corrections are made on time and that scores always go up.

In addition, the app comes with other advantages: –


  • Quickly sharing audit information helps spread the word about important issues by finding and highlighting big problems.
  • Streamline field data collection with intelligent forms
  • Smart dashboards for immediate analysis
  • Utilize our extensive collection of customizable audit checklist templates to begin your work promptly.
  • Corrective actions may be delegated to particular team members internally or externally.


At any moment, external auditors and another team will have access to current information regarding the inspection’s progress.

So, download our app, which is now available as an iOS/android/web app.


Hotel Audit Checklists at No Cost

You can begin by utilizing our templates and modifying them to suit your brand’s particular requirements: –


  • Housekeeping Inspection
  • Food Hygiene Inspection
  • Front Desk & Reservations
  • Restaurant Safety
  • Incident Reporting Form
  • Hotel Security