Travels with Larry Olmsted: Ratings
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.