LONDON has lost its title as the world’s five-star hotel capital, after spending four years in top spot.
The UK capital is now second in the world, having been overtaken by a little-known destination in Asia.
For almost half a decade, London had been number one, but now the Chinese city has moved ahead, after adding new luxury resorts to its list.
Macau, also known as the Las Vegas of the East, has 22 five star hotels, while London has one fewer with 21.
London added no more new five star hotels during the past year.
Forbes say they are “the global authority on luxury hospitality” and that their “professional inspectors travel the world to assess the finest hotels, restaurants, spas and ocean cruise ships”.
Their global team of inspectors are anonymous, so that they have the same experience as a typical guest.
The awards have been going since 1958, putting them in their 65th year.
Amanda Frasier, President of Ratings for Forbes Travel Guide, said: “Travel is in an incredible position for continued growth, as people prioritise authentic, in-person experiences.
“The hotels, ocean cruises, restaurants and spas on our 2023 Star Rating list demonstrate an impressive commitment to creating memorable environments that nurture connection, joy and sense of place as we experience the world to its fullest.”
While five star hotels may seem off limits to some people because of their prices, there are ways people can get good deals on them.
One of them is to try and find secret hotel deals, with hotels sometimes dropping the price of rooms at the last minute, to give guests a much better rate.
Jane Pendlebury, CEO of The Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA), spoke to Sun Online Travel about how to find a bargain or get a free upgrade when wanting to book a hotel stay.
She explained: “Families should look where they want to go and just call the hotel – they may have great offers which they can’t make public but can offer you.
“You won’t find many big names putting deals out there in the public space as they don’t want to damage their brand or get their rates back to normal, but if you call them you can always get something even better.”
TV travel expert Peter Greenberg agreed, telling Forbes: “Only 52 per cent of all the available inventory is online – it is only there as the travel providers want to make it available.
“Pick up the phone, have that conversation […] what you’re seeing your screen is not what they’re seeing on their screen.”
A Which? study in 2020 found that eight out of 10 rooms were cheaper if you went straight to the hotel website.
When getting in touch with hotels directly to book a room, some even offered free upgrades or breakfast as an inventive, as well as discounts on spa treatments.
That’s because they have to pay between ten and 30 per cent commission to booking sites for every reservation that comes through them – a big chunk of their income.
However, if you book with the hotel direct, all of the payment goes to them.
This means they are far more likely to be generous with upgrades, WiFi and all of the other add-ons.
A former hotel secret shopper has revealed the three tricks he used to get a free upgrade at a hotel.
Here’s how to spend a weekend in London for £125 per person, including hotels, dinner and drinks.