The Michelin Guide Evolves: Now, It Will Recommend the Best Hotels Too
How do you know if a hotel is a good enough place to stop on your journey, a destination that’s worth a detour, or somewhere that should be a special trip all on its own? You could Google up a bunch of reviews, you could ask your friends (word of mouth, right?), you could crowdsource some recommendations on social media, or you could turn to the ultimate hallmark of (dining) excellence–the Michelin Guide.
For the uninitiated, the Michelin Guide was the brainchild of brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin, founders of the eponymous tyre manufacturing company. In wanting to boost the French automobile industry, the brothers created a little red guidebook to encourage more motorists to take to the road. The guide was filled with handy information for travellers such as maps and popular routes, information on how to repair and change a tyre, where to fill up on petrol, and a listing of places to eat or take shelter for the night.
"For as long as we’ve been recommending places to eat, the Michelin Guide has been recommending places to sleep. Lodging was a foundational part of the first guides–perhaps the most crucial component for those early motorists facing down the dark in an unfamiliar place," the company said.
The guide was initially given away for free but in 1920, the brothers started monetising it. Soon, the guide expanded and became available throughout Europe as well as Northern Africa, and the influence from the guide's restaurant section grew.
"Over the years, though, the star ratings for fine dining took the lion’s share of the spotlight. The Michelin Guide became a benchmark in global gastronomy. Now it’s setting a new standard for hotels."
Together with Tablet Hotels, which it acquired in 2018, Michelin pledges to uphold the same selection process as it does for its restaurants.
"For more than two decades the experts at Tablet have scoured the earth to find the world’s most exciting hotels–places that stand out for their style, service, and personality. Places where guests get a memorable experience, regardless of price," the company explained.
"Tablet experts examine hotels through a variety of methods other than on-site inspections, including secret shoppers and recommendations from a network of travel industry veterans. To help ensure the selection stays fresh and vital, feedback from verified Tablet guests is used to help determine whether or not a hotel should remain."
Verified guests who booked a stay through Tablet can assist with validation of the selection by sharing their feedback. Any hotel with a less than satisfactory rating will be evaluated for removal, ensuring that the Michelin Guide's recommendations are always worthy of its users’ trust.
The result is a single, authoritative list that covers the globe. "Whenever there's an extraordinary hotel, we are there."
Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa Retreat Cultural Hideaway (Photo: Tablet / Michelin Guide)
Hotel des Grands Boulevards (Photo: Tablet / Michelin Guide)
The Sukhothai Bangkok (Photo: Tablet / Michelin Guide)
The PuXuan Hotel & Spa in Beijing (Photo: Tablet / Michelin Guide)
The new guide will list every kind of hotel you can imagine, from one that's built with entirely reclaimed materials in New York City to lodgings that have been repurposed from old Airstreams. For the adventure-seekers, hotels perched high up in the treetops of Thailand or looking out over lava fields in Iceland are available too. Can you imagine waking up in a hotel on the caldera with expansive views of the volcano and water in Santorini or living on the wild side in a cave hotel or an Italian farmhouse?
There are also hotels that are as remarkable as their restaurants, such as the Schloss Elmau Luxury Spa Retreat Cultural Hideaway in Elmau (Luce d’Oro) and the charming Hotel des Grands Boulevards in Paris (Restaurant des Grands Boulevards). Not forgetting, those that are closer to home, such as the sprawling The Sukhothai Bangkok in Bangkok (La Scala) and The PuXuan Hotel & Spa in Beijing (Rive Gauche). All you need to do is search and click book.
"From hip indie boutiques to grand old palaces, from major cities to the middle-of-nowhere, the Michelin Guide is your source for finding and booking the best, most interesting hotels. It’s also how you discover new places to go. Places you might’ve never considered, and won’t ever regret visiting. Hotels have that power."
Hotels now have a prominent new position, equal to restaurants, on the Michelin Guide website and mobile apps.