New York: Travel + Leisure – World’s leading Travel Magazine, has announced its 15th Annual World’s Best Awards readers survey. The Top 5 cities as per the poll are Bangkok, Thailand; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Florence, Italy; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and Rome, Italy.The Best City Overall, Bangkok, returns to the No. 1 spot, having last held that ranking in 2008, and this year marks San Miguel de Allende’s debut on the Top Ten Overall list.
New Orleans and Washington D.C., which have not ranked on T+L’s list of Top Ten Cities in the U.S. and Canada since 2005 and 2001 1998, rank No. 7 and No. 10 this year, respectively. With the increased popularity of river cruising, T+L has added a new 2010 category: World’s Best River Cruises; Abercrombie & Kent takes the top spot in this category. The Galápagos regains its title as World’s Best Islands from 2008 (Bali took the title in 2009). In the World’s Best Hotels Overall category, there are 31 properties in the U.S. and Canada—up 11 percent from last year and more than any other region this year.
Two companies have held onto their No. 1 rankings every year since the poll began in 1996: Crystal Cruises (Best Large-Ship Cruise Line) and Singapore Airlines (Best International Airline). The 2010 results, including the Top 100 Hotels Overall, Top 50 Resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada, Top 10 Cities Overall, and Top 10 Domestic Airlines, among other lists, are featured on in Travel + Leisure’’s August issue, available on newsstands July 23.
Nancy Novogrod, editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure, said: “That the three highest-ranking hotels this year are Oberoi Vanyavilas, a jungle camp on the edge of India’s Ranthamhbore Tiger Reserve; Triple Creek Ranch, in Darby, Montana, a haven for comfort-seeking outdoor-adventure travelers; and Fairmont Mara Safari Club, in Kenya’s Masai Mara, speaks volumes. These properties provide distinctive encounters with the natural world, which linger in memory; they are perceived as delivering great value, even when the price-per-day is high. The spirit of exploration also prevailed in the choice of the Galápagos as Best Islands in the World, and of Bangkok as Best City. It’s worth noting that our survey took place before the political upheaval in Bangkok began in May, and that the U.S. travel warning has now been lifted.”
Payal Kohli, editor-in-chief Travel + Leisure South Asia adds, “It’s very encouraging for us to see how hotels and cities (Udaipur was voted the World’s Best City in 2009) in India have been making it to the top ten in T+L’s World’s Best Awards in the last few years. This year’s World’s Best Hotel Oberoi Vanyavilas is up from being No. 2 on the list last year.”
The top winners in each category will be honored at an awards luncheon on July 21 at the new Trump SoHo New York in NYC. That evening, a gala event to celebrate the fifteenth annual World’s Best Awards will be held at the new Andaz 5th Avenue in New York City. This will be the first party at the hotel which recently opened to guests on July 5.
As part of the 2010 World’s Best Awards report, Travel + Leisure editors also create a 20 to Watch list that highlights standout new properties and companies that they expect will appear on World’s Best Awards lists in years to come. On page 141 of the August issue, there will be a barcode that can be scanned with smart phones to send readers directly to travel deals from each of the 20 to Watch winners.
The image on the cover of Travel + Leisure’s August 2010 issue is the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, this year’s Top Resort in Hawaii and Top Hotel Spa in Hawaii.