The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona

The Forbes Five Star ratings were released Monday and some of our favorite meeting properties made the cut. Forbes Travel Guide’s 58th annual lists feature 42 new five-star hotels, expanding the elite club to 154.

As a journalist covering business travel, it’s always fun (and smart) to check out the prestigious rankings to find out how we’re doing with our coverage. And I am pleased to report that we have our fingers on the luxury meetings pulse.

The Forbes Five Star ratings are based on more than 750 standardized criteria for hotels, making it the most rigorous and comprehensive in the industry. The process begins with a facility inspection that considers every aspect of the property, including its overall cleanliness, condition and location.

The five-star property I was most happy about earning yet another coveted rating was Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. It’s one of only two five-star hotels in Utah and was refined and defined by legendary Olympic gold medalist Stein Eriksen, who passed away in December.

Forbes Five Star RatingsStein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, Park City, Utah

Eriksen granted Smart Meetings an exclusive Q&A interview just before he passed away. Here’s what he told us about how he’d like to be remembered: “I would like to be remembered as an Olympic and world champion who loved the sport of skiing from childhood on, with good friendships, love for nature and a love for life.”

Here are a few other stellar Forbes Five Star meeting properties that have been regularly featured online and in print by Smart Meetings:

The Tower Suites at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas both earned five-star ratings. This marks the 11th year for Wynn Tower Suites and eighth year for Encore Tower Suites to be recognized with this prestigious accolade. Additionally, the Spas at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore were recognized with five-star awards.

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas feature two luxury hotel towers with a total of 4,748 guest rooms, suites and villas, 34 food and beverage outlets featuring signature chefs, an on-site 18-hole golf course, meeting space, three nightclubs, including Intrigue that will debut in April.

Our CEO and founder Marin Bright just stayed at the Wynn over Presidents Weekend and she raves about the property. In fact, she even writes about her experience in our March issue.

Smart Meetings’ March issue also features our destination article on Arizona, focusing on the many grand resorts that make the state such a very popular meetings and conventions destination. Of course, our report includes The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician in Scottsdale and The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, in Marana. Both earned five-star awards Monday.

Forbes Five Star RatingsThe Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Broadmoor hosted a Smart Meetings event last fall. I also had the pleasure of visiting the Colorado Springs properties on a fam trip and it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular with planners. The Broadmoor is considered the standard bearer when it comes to five-star ratings, earning the lofty ranking for a record 56th consecutive year.

Closer to our home office in Sausalito, California, we have several Bay Area neighbors who made the Forbes Five Star list: In Wine County, Napa Valley’s Auberge du Soleil continues to offer amazing everything, including views of vineyards, rolling hills and mountains. Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco and The St. Regis San Francisco made the five-star cut.

The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California, is set on 504 acres by the Pacific Ocean. There are 204 bungalow guest rooms and suites with private terraces. It also features 128 villas with magnificent coastal views. The Spa at Pelican Hill earned its seventh consecutive five star award and the golf course boasts ocean views.

In Las Vegas, Aria Sky Suites and Skylofts at MGM Grand both earned five-star awards. Newcomers to the five-star club this year include Montage Kapalua Bay on Maui, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Palm Beach County Florida and The Langham, Chicago.

Smart Meetings’ annual Platinum Choice Awards, which are announced each December, is a valuable resource when it comes to top-rated hotels that specialize in meetings. Our 2015 award-winners who also earned five-star awards (in addition to several properties mentioned above) include Boston Harbor Hotel, Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii and Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago.

Congrats to all hotels, spas and restaurants that have been honored this year with Forbes Five Star ratings. Thanks for allowing us to tell your stories and share all the amenities that make your properties ideal for meetings.