48°F
weather icon Clear

2 Las Vegas Strip hotels upgraded to 5 stars by Forbes

Updated February 20, 2020 - 5:33 pm

On Feb. 12, Forbes Travel Guide announced that two Las Vegas hotels — the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore — had been upgraded from a four-star rating to five stars.

This makes the two properties the largest and second-largest Forbes-rated five-star resorts in the world, according to a news release from Wynn Resorts Ltd.

Forbes now ranks Nevada fourth in the U.S. for the greatest number of five-star hotels, third for the number of five-star spas and third in the number of five-star restaurants. Experts say these ratings could be a boon to business and Las Vegas tourism as a whole.

“A lot of people just automatically go to those (review) sites, look at what that rating is,” said Murray Mackenzie, an assistant professor in residence at UNLV’s college of hospitality. “It’s going to generate income for (the businesses), generate interest and make sure they have higher room occupancy, a higher amount of people coming to their restaurants.”

Impact from ratings

Forbes Travel Guide, which started as the Mobil Travel Guide in 1958 and has inspected facilities in more than 70 countries, has awarded Las Vegas six five-star hotels, six five-star restaurants and four five-star spas.

The two five-star additions to the Forbes Travel Guide “really help propel (Las Vegas) to one of the strongest performing five-star cities and states in the USA,” said Amanda Frasier, head of rating for Forbes Travel Guide. “Nevada as a state is so strong.”

For the companies that are bestowed a five-star rating, Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, said it “means the world to them.”

“Five-star hotels in their destination are the market leaders when it comes to average (room) rate and (revenue per available room),” he said. “Clients and travel trades recognize that a five-star Forbes hotel is without a doubt one of the best hotels in this destination.”

One 2014 study from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration found a 1 percent increase to a hotel’s online reputation leads to a 0.99 percent increase in revenue per available room.

It “is clear that online reviews impact the performance of hotels and restaurants,” said Ben Lawrence, an associate professor at Georgia State University who co-authored the Cornell report.

Lawrence said the word-of-mouth advertising from these ratings can convince consumers that the purchase is less risky by providing “credible and trustworthy information.”

These top-notch rating can also save a company money on marketing since the review creates more credibility for the business, according to UNLV hospitality professor Mehmet Erdem .

“You don’t have to prove yourself and depend on word-of-mouth,” he said. “If a hotel is going through the burden of meeting five-star qualifications, it’s assumed that it’s a satisfactory guest experience. When guests are happy, they spend more money.”

LVCVA spokeswoman Lori Nelson-Kraft said high ratings are able to not only elevate the profile of the property, but also Las Vegas as a whole.

“It’s a badge of pride,” she said. “It’s good for all of Las Vegas to have resort products in those award winning categories. … Having reviews, having designations and awards is a big part of how visitors shop for their experience.”

Where Las Vegas stands

Another popular review organization is AAA, which has been reviewing thousands of North American hotels and restaurants for its travel guide for more than 80 years.

The company gave five diamonds — its highest designation — to five Las Vegas restaurants and six Las Vegas hotels in 2020.

Shannon McCallum, the vice president of hotel operations for Aria, said accolades from organizations like Forbes and AAA validate the service the properties provide every day. The Aria and its Sky Suites both have AAA’s five-diamond resignation.

“Both organizations have been around for decades as a trusted travel source and set the standards very high when it comes to earning the prestigious Five-Star Award or Five Diamond Rating,” she said.

Sergio Avila, a spokesman for AAA Nevada, said a five-star rating is a “lofty goal” for most businesses. Only 0.2 percent of AAA-inspected restaurants and 0.4 percent of hotels are awarded five diamonds.

“Las Vegas has some of the best resorts in the world. Having that reputation really means that a lot of these properties try to go the extra mile for their guests,” he said. “They have to keep up with their reputation.”

Only one Nevada hotel, Skylofts at MGM Grand, was demoted to a four-diamond designation from a five-diamond designation in the AAA’s latest report, which was released Wednesday.

Avila said AAA cannot disclose why a property would have gained or lost a diamond, but the company’s website classifies five-diamond properties “world-class luxury” experiences with “amenities and indulgence for a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” while four-diamond properties have “upscale style and amenities enhanced with the right touch of service.”

Erdem said dropping from a four to five diamond rating “is not considered a devastating drop in service quality standards.” He added that a drop from a five to three diamond designation would be a different story.

“Mainly, it means that the property is no longer enjoying the prestige of being among a very select few, but … still offers pretty impressive service and amenities,” he said. “Such drops can be remedied after a period of time.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Plans for luxury hotel on south Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall speaks with Renee Summerour about a California developer's plan to help revamp the south Las Vegas Strip. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two years until “I Do” - VIDEOY
Las Vegas locals Sam Cruz and Jeff Gaglione discuss their engagement, in their future wedding venue at Emerald at Queensridge in Las Vegas, on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
Chairman, CEO of MGM Resorts Jim Murren stepping down - VIDEO
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren will be stepping down as chairman and CEO. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wynn Las Vegas opens new convention center space - VIDEO
On Feb. 10, 2020, Wynn Las Vegas opened its new convention center expansion that more than doubled its sellable space. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local tattoo shop tattoos MAGIC attendees - VIDEO
Club Tattoo is giving away tattoos to the people who attend the biannual fashion convention throughout its three days at Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New report shows January home sales jump - VIDEO
Las Vegas’ housing market had another big jump in sales from year-ago levels as prices stayed relatively flat, a new report shows. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Creed perfume store part of growing Las Vegas Strip luxury retail - VIDEO
Andrea DeCarlo, general manager at Creed at the Forum Shops at Caesars on the Las Vegas Strip, talks about her luxury perfume store Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Newest tech gadgets at store in Forum Shops at Caesars - VIDEO
A new store at Forum Shops at Caesars, b8ta, encourages shoppers to play with the hottest tech gadgets. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Preview Las Vegas 2020 - VIDEO
Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, hints at new branding slogan for Las Vegas, which will no longer be “What happens here, stays here.” The new slogan will be unveiled Jan. 26 during the Grammy Awards. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boring Company could provide a solution to parking problems - VIDEO
LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill believes a potential solution for parking problems is the Boring Company’s $52.5 million people-mover -- a system that could eventually be expanded citywide connecting resorts and even McCarran International Airport to the Convention Center.
The Blackstone Group has partnered with MGM Resorts to acquire more properties - VIDEO
A few months after the Blackstone Group bought the Bellagio for more than $4 billion, it has partnered with MGM Resorts on a deal to acquire two other Las Vegas Strip properties. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Young Innovator Award winner explains ReDawn - VIDEO
Sofia Ongele explains ReDawn, which uses a Chatbot named Dawn to help users find resources after a sexual assault. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: MedWand ties for title of Last Gadget Standing - VIDEO
Dr. Samir Qamar of Las Vegas presents MedWand, a medical device that allows physicians to examine patients remotely anywhere in the world, at CES 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley /Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
CES Flying Taxis
Bell Nexus EX4 and Hyundai SA-1 flying taxi prototypes from CES 2020. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020 attendees rides in autonomous BMWs - VIDEO
BMW is pitching its reconfigured i3 Urban Suite, which holds a single passenger on a lounge-style seat, as the possible future of chauffeured rides at CES 2020. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Small appliances unveiled in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The small appliances on show at Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas include a Keurig cocktail maker, autonomous cooking system, nitrogen coffee ampules and more. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: The scooter that will remind you of Wall-E - VIDEO
Segway unveiled the egg-shaped S-Pod Scooter at CES 2020 that’s a seated version of their original scooter that can reach 24mph. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Before the floor opens at Sands Expo on Day One - VIDEO
CES 2020 opened its doors at 10 a.m. Tuesday, welcoming more than 170,000 attendees to the annual electronics show. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: A suitcase that follows you, video games to heal you at Pepcom's Digital Experience - VIDEO
Get a glance at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! a showcase of products that will be at this week’s CES convention. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Impossible Foods Inc. Debuts Impossible Pork - VIDEO
At a pre-CES news conference at Mandalay Bay’s Kumi restaurant Monday night, a company representative announced that the participants were the “first people in the world” to try the new plant-based product, which it provided as samples in the form of Impossible Pork banh mi, char siu buns, dan dan noodles, pork katsu, pork shumai and sweet-sour-and-numbing meatballs.
CES 2020: Impossible Foods debuts Impossible Pork in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Before a packed press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods executives introduced Impossible Pork, its newest product. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: The Future of Transportation - VIDEO
Many automotive companies at CES unveil their plans for the future of transportation including safer driverless cars, safety features and a partnership between Uber and Hyundai. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: What you've missed so far - VIDEO
Catch up on the tech and events presented at CES 2020. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Samsung debuts 8k TV, MicroLED TV - VIDEO
2020 is set to be a major year for 8k screens, according to Samsung executives. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas resorts welcome dogs to stay
Las Vegas properties are welcoming dogs more than ever. MGM Resorts International announced a new dog-friendly program across all of its Las Vegas properties in December. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Musk 'hopeful' for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project - VIDEO
Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that The Boring Company’s underground tunnel project in Las Vegas will be “hopefully fully operational” within the next year. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World Market Center celebrates topping-off ceremony - VIDEO
Las Vegas elected officials including Councilman Cedric Crear attend topping-off ceremony for the Expo at World Market Center in Las Vegas.
MSG Sphere in Las Vegas will be the largest spherical building in the world - VIDEO
The Madison Square Garden Sphere at The Venetian has now been under construction for about one year and is expected to be completed in 2021. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aria still thriving after 10 years - VIDEO
The Aria opened on the heels of the Great Recession and managed to survive. It is now known for its art, environmental sustainability and poker. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opening ceremony of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside a casino
Opening ceremony of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside a casino at the Golden Nugget on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
THE LATEST
VICI Properties looking to expand in 2020

Executives said they’re interested in working with operators that have high customer loyalty, low cyclical risks and the ability to provide services that aren’t threatened by online companies like Amazon.