Three Miami-Dade hotels claim five-star status

Three Miami-Dade hotels have something — or five things — to brag about.

On Wednesday, Forbes Travel Guide announced its 2014 Star Award winners, and three hotels were on the five-star list.

The Mandarin Oriental, Miami on Brickell Key and Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach both held on to their top status after achieving it for the first time in 2013. And the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, which opened in 2012, was also awarded five stars on the same day it was sold to a Qatar ownership group.

The Mandarin Oriental’s restaurant, Azul, and its spa also earned five stars, as did the spas at Acqualina and St. Regis.

Miami went more than a decade without a single five-star hotel as determined by the Forbes Travel Guide, formerly the Mobil Travel Guide. But that changed last year with two hotels earning the designation.

“People don’t realize the work really starts once you get it,” said Mandarin Oriental, Miami General Manager and Vice President Jorge Gonzalez. Speaking from Las Vegas, where celebrations are being held for the five-star hotels, he said the effort is shared by the entire staff of the property, which opened in 2000.

Since finding out about the repeat honor, there has been another benefit, Gonzalez said: “My sleep went back to normal.”

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