Travelers rely on a rating system when booking hotels that is often based on a star classification, typically five being the best. But as each country developed its own system, the International Five Star Hotel Standard stepped in to create consistency and develop a mark of quality that is recognizable throughout the world.
“The rigorous testing of the key areas in which a five-star hotel should excel shows guests that their stay in a hotel, which has achieved the International Five Star Hotel Standard, will be among the finest in the world,” the organization says.
Every hotel is required to complete a detailed self-assessment form and send the organization a dossier of photography and information for the panel’s scrutiny. Spot checks are also conducted so the organization can verify the information supplied. Because the International Five Star Hotel Standard looks for the best of the best, every area of a hotel is taken into consideration, including service, facilities, interior design and safety.

When The Knickerbocker hotel opened in 1906, it quickly earned a reputation in New York City as a hotspot for the world’s biggest names in entertainment, politics, culture and high society. But when prohibition came into effect, it closed its doors in 1921 and was later converted to office space.
“It had a short shelf life of 15 years, but it created a lot of magic and mystique,” says Jeff David, the hotel’s managing director. Now, the hotel is open again, to bring that magic to the modern era.
Located in Times Square, the renovated hotel covers 230,000 square feet and stands 16 stories with 330 rooms and a 7,500-square-foot rooftop penthouse lounge. Hospitality management firm Highgate Hotels L.P. was behind its redevelopment, Senior Vice President of Construction John McMullen says.
“Highgate acquired the land and the parcel next door,” he explains, adding that it later sold a majority stake in the property to FelCor Lodging Trust. “[We] started the whole development process of the hotel.”

Tulalip Resort Casino is a premier destination in the Pacific Northwest that has earned its AAA Four Diamond status by taking the guest experience to the next level. 

General Manager Sam Askew says Tulalip Resort Casino is “future proofing” to easily accommodate its guests’ needs for years to come. “We are right on the cusp of what’s being offered commercially and just a bit beyond that because we are using some very new business technology,” he explains. “For the next five to eight years, we will easily be able to accommodate guests in terms of our future proofing. We’re talking about lightening speeds and beyond.”

For Towne Park President and CEO Chuck Heskett, the secret to ensuring the success of the nation’s largest valet parking company is simple. 

“It begins and ends with people,” he says. 

Hiring the right employees, making sure they have the skills they need to succeed and offering advancement opportunities is a high priority for the Annapolis, Md.-based company. “Our ability to source, on-board and continuously train our 11,000 associates is something we are fanatical about,” Heskett says. 

With a strong foundation built by more than 30 years of experience in serving guests and perfecting its part in the hospitality industry, Shamin Hotels owns, operates and has developed 40 hotels under the Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental, Choice, Starwood and Hyatt brands, with more to come. 

Chief Executive Officer Neil Amin joined the company – started by his father 35 years ago – after working at Goldman Sachs in investment banking. He was no stranger to the hotel business, growing up and living in hotels until he was 13 years old. Transitioning to Shamin Hotels as CFO in 2002 was a natural fit for him and he eventually became CEO.

Built in 1988 by Columbia Sussex Corp., the Melville Marriott Long Island has become one of the top destinations among business travelers in its market. The hotel has 369 rooms and 18,000 square feet of usable meeting space located in the heart of Long Island; just an hour from Manhattan and the Hamptons and 30 minutes to the beach. 

“We are perfectly nestled next to several powerhouse company headquarters and we can accommodate our business and leisure travelers alike,” GM Damien Hirsch says. “The consistency, cleanliness and level of service that is matched with the Marriott name are unparalleled in the industry. With the impressive new Mobile Check-In, Chat and Request service through the Marriott app, our guests can feel confident knowing their room preference, amenity requests and more can all be catered specifically to their needs with the ease of a button.”

Lago Mar Resort and Club gives vacationers and travelers the tropical atmosphere that they believe Florida is all about. With 164 suites and 40 guestrooms, this 500-foot beachfront hotel offers direct access to the ocean on a private beach and a family friendly family owned and operated atmosphere. Most of the staff have worked at Lago Mar for years, getting to know the guests and creating a community within the resort, while Walter Banks, owner of Lago Mar, has been working there since he was a teenager.

Banks’ parents purchased a modest, 110-room hotel in 1959 and turned it into the luxurious resort destination known as the Lago Mar today. Banks helped his parents by working at the hotel during the summers, holidays and weekends in the 1960s. He intended to go to law school, but then Hurricane Cleo hit Fort Lauderdale in 1964, and Banks worked hard to help his struggling parents get the hotel back in shape. He soon realized the importance of the hotel within his family’s legacy and his wife-to-be Debbie, to whom he has now been married for more than 50 years, agreed to take over. Banks knew where he was meant to be and what he needed to do.

Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor is adjacent to Logan International Airport, but it is more than a mere airport hotel, General Manager Tom Blundell asserts. With its location overlooking the city of Boston and its harbor, “It is a unique destination hotel, with expansive views of the Boston skyline and active harbor,” he states.

“Everything is right here, under our roof within easy reach,” Blundell continues. “We are committed to creating effortless experiences whatever the needs, whatever the occasion. As a wedding venue, for groups of any type, or for the individual business and leisure traveler. 

“Our guests enjoy easy access to the unique on-demand water taxi service, delivering them to all the attractions Boston has to offer in minutes.”

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