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Travels with Larry Olmsted: Ratings

Flower Hill, Jamaica
Flower Hill, Jamaica

Looking for top tier luxury hotels, restaurants or spas in North America or Asia? For more than half a century the famous 4 and 5-star ratings from the Forbes Travel Guide have guided travelers to superior properties. Need a standout fine dining experience in Europe or major cities worldwide? The 1-3 stars of the vaunted Michelin Red Guides have helped happily feed generations of gastronomes. While these ratings are all imprecise, they are informed, and even as travelers argue over whether this 4-star hotel should be a five, or this 3-star Michelin deserves only two, in general they act as a safety net for travelers trying new places. There are several other quality standards travelers can look to in hotels (and spas and restaurants), including membership in groups such as Leading Hotels of the World, Preferred Hotels or Relais & Chateaux, all of which have lists of standards and quality checkpoints members must meet.

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larry   Award-winning travel journalist Larry Olmsted is a Contributing Editor to US Airways Magazine and Cigar Aficionado Magazine and “The Great Life” columnist for Forbes.com.

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1 Comment

  1. July 23, 2014 at 7:13 am — Reply

    One of the most overlooked segments in the travel industry for the travel agents standpoint is the villa rental product. Villas do not have brands like hotels or resorts. This makes one of the reasons the product is not generally being suggest to travel agents clients. They feel quite uncomfortable not knowing the quality standards of each villa.

    This is a major challenge for the villa rental industry. One source to help with this issue is gathering a posting testimonials as well as media validation. However, the most effective source is a referral.

    I noticed in your article you did not mention the rental option at all yet distribution websites like Homeaway, Flipkey, and Airbnb are generating millions upon millions of dollars in the world of travel.

    An in depth article about the short term rental market as an option would be welcome.

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