Highly honored hotels

Downtown San Antonio hotel earns coveted 4-star rating in 2020 Forbes Travel Guide

Downtown San Antonio hotel earns 4-star rating in Forbes Travel Guide

Mokara Hotel and Spa rooftop pool
Mokara Hotel & Spa racked up a four-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. The Mokara Hotel and Spa/Facebook

A San Antonio hotel has been awarded a coveted four-star rating by Forbes Travel Guide and — spoiler alert! — it's not Hotel Emma.

Forbes' rating system, which dates back to 1958, breaks down properties into three categories: five-star, four-star, and recommended. The guide bills itself as the only independent global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, and spas.

To determine the number of stars, the travel guide sends anonymous inspectors to every property to evaluate up to 900 objective criteria. The inspectors, who pay for their own rooms, stay a minimum of two nights, and grade both the facilities and the experience/service.

“It is difficult to earn a Forbes Travel Guide rating, and all our star-rated winners have shown how incredibly deserving they are of their accolades by demonstrating sheer dedication in their passion for service,” Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, says in a release.

The 2020 edition of the guide, published February 12, assigns a four-star rating to one Alamo City hotel: Mokara Hotel & Spa.

"The rooftop pool is a relaxing spot with great views, and the adjacent café serves breakfast and lunch. Ostra, the hotel’s signature restaurant, spotlights international seafood in a dazzling contemporary space," says the guide. It also calls the luxurious spa "an urban oasis."

The Emma wasn't totally forgotten, however; the Pearl hotel earned a "recommended" by Forbes' Travel Guide.

Elsewhere in Texas, three Austin properties — Archer Hotel Austin, Fairmont Austin, and Four Seasons Hotel Austin — also earned four-star accolades. 

The much-larger Houston metro area scooped up the most four-star hotel ratings in the guide — four. Those hotels are Four Seasons Hotel Houston; Hotel Granduca; The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa; and The St. Regis Houston.

Only one Texas hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, earned five stars from the Forbes Travel Guide. The guide notes that The Ritz-Carlton “showcases Texas pride with its ‘guacamologist,’ who doles out guacamole and margaritas in the lobby daily.”

Another Dallas-Fort Worth hotel, the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, collected four stars.