Airlines & Airports
Mexico Dazzles with 6 Forbes Five-Star Gems
Photo courtesy of One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos Resort
When Forbes Travel Guide revealed its 58th list of worldwide Star Rating recipients this week, Mexico dazzled with six properties among the prestigious roster of 154 Five-Star honorees.
Adding 42 hotels to its prestigious list of Five-Star properties this year, Forbes designated 101 new Four-Star hotels and 57 new hotels in the Recommended category. The lauded roster also nods to nosh, with 56 Five-Star restaurants, 187 Four-Star restaurants and 68 Recommended restaurants.
Seven different Mexico destinations are represented in the 2016 Forbes Travel Guide list, with Riviera Maya and Los Cabos each garnering a pair of Five-Star designations.
According to a release issued by Forbes Travel Guide, Craig Thomas, director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, said, “Our legendary service, two AAA Five Diamond restaurants and Mayan-inspired spa are all part of an experience that makes The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, so unique. But the heart of the award comes from our extraordinary Ladies and Gentleman who bring their best every day to serve the guest, inspired by their authentic Mexican spirit of service.”
Tucked into the Riviera Nayarit’s lush landscape, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita received the Five-Star distinction for the second consecutive year. “This recognition is a true testament to our team’s passion and dedication for providing exceptional service, and going above and beyond to create new incredible experiences for our guests,” said John O’Sullivan, general manager.
Thomas Citterio, the resort’s director of sales and marketing, added that travel industry professionals are a major aspect making the Five-Star nod so rewarding. “We work hand in hand with travel agents, with a common goal to exceed the expectations of their clients and our guests,” he said. “We let our guests know that we have been in touch with their preferred travel provider to communicate that we have an understanding of their needs while they are visiting our resort and ensure they have a wonderful experience.”
To help retain its Five-Star ranking for a third consecutive year, the Punta Mita resort is planning a comprehensive spa renovation, a refresh of its Mexican restaurant Ketsi, and a redesign and extension of Sol and Luna specialty suites to accommodate larger groups.
Martin Kipping, general manager of Viceroy Zihuatanejo, notes that its Forbes ranking as a Recommended Hotel will raise awareness of both the resort and the destination — to the benefit of all. “Zihuatanejo continues to grow in popularity with travelers seeking a truly authentic Mexican experience,” said Kipping. “And the Forbes recognition gives travelers and travel agents confidence in the quality of the hospitality product that Viceroy Zihuatanejo offers.”
PHOTO: Suite terrace at Viceroy Zihuatanejo. (photo courtesy of Viceroy Zihuatanejo)
He adds that beyond rooms, the award places considerable importance on service delivery as well as amenities and facilities. “Clearly, this is an endorsement of our ability to satisfy discerning and sophisticated travelers, while providing a resort environment that competes with the best beach resorts in Mexico.”
According to Kipping, Viceroy Zihuatanejo has been taking steps to consistently improve, and will be adding more enhancements in 2016. On the heels of renovating its deluxe rooms, the resort is preparing to launch a multifaceted Wellness Program, offering guests everything from the freshest foods and juices to meditation, yoga and healthy cooking classes.
Los Cabos-based Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort, received a Five-Star ranking, and its emphasis on hospitality, as explained by managing director Frederic Vidal, is a big reason why. "We recognize how important hospitality is to the guest experience, and we pride ourselves on delivering the highest level of service,” Vidal said. “Our staff goes through some of the most extensive hospitality training in the business. We also offer a team of Villa Hosts to deliver the most private and luxurious experience possible for guests staying in the resort’s Signature Villas.”
Vidal added that the resort is preparing to unveil its new summer 2016 collection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. “From immersive, hands-on workshops with local artisans, to a thrilling surfing adventure on the Sea of Cortez, to an enchanting and inimitable spa treatment for two, the summer collection will offer exclusive new journeys for Las Ventanas al Paraiso’s most discerning guests.”
Belmond, operator of multiple properties on this select list, also emphasizes the importance of customer service.
“Each and every Belmond associate goes above and beyond their roles on a daily basis to ensure our guests are well-immersed into the environment in which they are visiting and provided with a true insiders experience,” said Ali Kasikci, regional managing director, North America, Mexico and Caribbean for Belmond. “Belmond's charm comes straight from the heart of its staff, who make guests feel at home while they enjoy the luxury services they’ve come to expect at Belmond hotels.”
Kasikci adds that Belmond's collection of luxury properties are constantly evolving. “The services and offerings at all Belmond properties aim to provide fresh and engaging experiences to guests in residence. The Forbes Five-Star accolades are fantastic endorsements of our customer-centric approach and confirm that this tactic is proven to work.”
Formerly Mobil Travel Guide, Forbes Travel Guide now rates properties in 29 countries throughout The Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. It expects to double its size again in the next year with expansion into the Middle East and Africa.
A team of expert inspectors anonymously evaluates properties against up to 800 rigorous and objective standards, providing consumers the insight to make better-informed travel decisions. Forbes Travel Guide is generally considered the gold standard for luxury hospitality ratings worldwide.
ForbesTravelGuide.com is the exclusive online destination for the Forbes Travel Guide list of Star Rated hotels, restaurants and spas. It provides registered members exclusive access to special offers and curated experiences from select Forbes Travel Guide partners.
For the complete list of 2016 Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating winners, visit forbestravelguide.com/about/awardwinners.
More by Dawna L. Robertson
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