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Every year, Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil Travel Guide) searches the world for the best of the best in travel and hospitality. With reputations and bragging rights on the line, what could possibly be better than receiving a Forbes Five Star designation, the guide’s highest rating? How about being awarded three of these designations for lodging, spa, and dining — all at one property. The prestigious list of Triple Five Star properties is short, with only four named in 2012.

We wanted to know just how properties lock in a Triple Five Star designation, so we headed to The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, the only property on the West Coast with this designation. If drive-up appeal is one of the elements to be judged, it’s simple to see how this property made a lasting first impression — from the Addison Minzer-inspired architecture and Tom Fazio-designed golf course, to the Renaissance-inspired spa and the 20,000- square-foot equestrian center. But as you can imagine, in today’s competitive market, it takes more than just being beautiful.

“Service. Service. Service,” states Thomas J. Voss, president of The Grand Del Mar. “Above all, the most important aspect of any hotel is a gracious and meticulous staff,” Voss continues. And that truly is, in our opinion, the defining element at this resort. Whether it’s the reservations department seeking to learn about a future guest’s “favorites” for customized in-room amenities, a room attendant putting his or her current task on hold to face and greet guests as they pass, a culinary team dedicated to creating inspired menus to thrill the palate, or the signature spa treatments that pamper all the senses, impeccable attention to detail is found at every turn.

“Slightly North of Expectations” is one of The Grand Del Mar’s tag lines, and they deliver on that brand promise at every opportunity. Want to be pampered in grand style? Check in to The Grand Del Mar and experience a Forbes Triple Five Star resort for yourself.   thegranddelmar.com

Forbes Travel Guide inspectors visit every hotel, restaurant, and spa they rate, anonymously testing each aspect of a property‘s experience. Since it was founded in 1958 as Mobil Travel Guide, it has been committed to the same rigorous inspections — the most comprehensive in the industry — with more than 500 standards tested. In addition to The Grand Del Mar, three other properties were awarded a Triple Five Star Designation in 2012. If you have not experienced these amazing resorts, add them to the top of your list also.
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The Cloister at Sea Island
Sea Island, Georgia

Mandarin Oriental
Las Vegas

The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado