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Wednesday, November 16, 2011


SHINING STARS--As a young travel magazine editor, the wide-eyed glamor of getting paid to visit and write articles on destinations near and far wore off a couple of years into my career. But, I remember perking up when I realized the hotel I had been booked into had a 5-Star rating. Most often the Mobil Travel Guide doled out those stars of quality service.

Fast forward, Forbes now publishes Mobil’s respected guide. This week, the big news in hospitality circles is The Grand Del Mar has achieved a Forbes Travel Guide 5-Star award, making it the first hotel in greater San Diego to land 5-Stars from Forbes and the only property in California to earn three Forbes 2012 5-Star awards for lodging, spa and dining. The new 5-Star award for lodging adds the resort to a roster of 57 hotels and resorts throughout the world to hold this Forbes designation.

The Mediterranean style Grand Del Mar is now one of just five properties in the nation with three Forbes Five-Star awards. Other U.S. properties include The Cloister at Sea Island in Georgia; Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; The Umstead Hotel & Spa in North Carolina; and The Broadmoor in Colorado

But in the galaxy of choices how do 5-Stars pay off? If we have earned or are lucky enough to afford the best, the stars save time. Time is money. For those of us, who have special events in our lives that we earnestly wish to come off as close to perfect as possible that’s when those stars come in handy. Five-Star resorts don’t take days off. Expect consistent quality service day in and day out.

In my career, I’ve witnessed budget stars, imploding stars, plastic stars along with 5-Stars, and for my money I thank those real stars from Forbes, nee Mobil, for setting a hallmark that simply won’t allow disappointment.

Footnotes: All interior design at is by Warren Sheets Design, Inc. and architecture, Altevers and Associates. President Tom Voss’s team deserves huge kudos. Read how Forbes Travel Guide compiles its Star ratings by clicking on to

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