Star Power

bathtubblogSo it's time for you to plan your vacation. Maybe you're headed for the beaches of Hawaii, perhaps to the lights and glamour of New York City, sunny Florida or maybe even to fabulous Las Vegas. How do you decide which hotel you'll stay at? Is it the price? Is it the value for the money? How about the amenities they offer? Is guest service important to you? What do you expect to find in your room? The list of questions can truly go on and on.

There's no doubt you have an almost endless supply of choices when it comes to picking the hotel for your vacation, especially in "tourist destinations." Many people (in fact most these days) begin their search for their vacation hotel online. The Internet is home to a bevy of travel rating websites. These can certainly be helpful, but they can also be a bit confusing. Why is it that Joe S. from Boston said "the room was amazing with a spectacular view and comfortable bed" and Donna G. from Sacramento said "mediocre view and the bed was stiff as a board"?

On these sites, you'll find answers to pretty much every one of those questions you ask yourself before making a choice - a LOT of answers. The problem is there are so many conflicting opinions, experiences and points-of-view. How do you know when a source is credible? Do you trust Joe or Donna? Were they having a bad day? Were they having an amazing day? Did Joe get a freebie or comp from that hotel? Does that hotel actually advertise or have a partnership with the travel website and everyone's getting a cut when you book your room?

What if there was a completely objective, independent, trusted source with more than 50 years of rating hotels for travelers? There is of course and it's the Forbes Travel Guide, formerly the Mobil Travel Guide. Here's what they have to say:

"Sorting through the scores of travel ratings in the marketplace today takes effort?many are biased and the source of information is a mystery. There is a proven, time-tested gold standard for hospitality ratings, and we invented it. Forbes Travel Guide provides travelers with the most objective, most disciplined ratings for hotels, restaurants and spas in the world. The hospitality industry respects and reveres the Five Star rating system, and consumers have put their faith in it for 50 years as they decide where to stay, dine or play."

There are about 50,000 hotels in the United States and Forbes Travel Guide recommends just 3,000. That's just six percent. The standards are incredibly high and the anonymous inspectors have hundreds of criteria to consider when it comes to rating a property. What that means to you as a consumer, is that when you choose a Forbes Travel Guide star-rated property, you know what you're getting and you know it's high-quality. It means the guest service is exceptional. It means the hotel is squeaky clean. It means the amenities are abundant and top-notch.

FTGlogoblogBottom line? Star ratings DO matter and you should absolutely consider them when choosing your hotel. Here at M Resort, we've got four and we're looking for more. And don't forget, when it comes to spas, Forbes Travel rates those too and Spa Mio just so happens to have four stars as well.