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Leisure Lifestyle Awards 2017

Photo: BEST HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS: Spain © SEAN PAVONE | DREAMSTIME.COM

By - May 15, 2017

NOW IN ITS FIFTH YEAR, Global Traveler’s Leisure Lifestyle Awards celebrates the best in the world of leisure travel, from goods, services and breathtaking destinations to luxurious hotels, airlines and cruises. We’re thrilled to announce our 2017 winners, several celebrating consecutive wins.

Global Traveler’s elite Globility Board and magazine staff select the nominations in each Leisure Lifestyle category. From these nominations, the esteemed Advisory Board selects the final winners.

Since 2012 Global Traveler’s Globility Board, a group of well-traveled subscribers, has acted as a direct link between the magazine, our clients and our readers. The Board provides the magazine with a look into the unique interests and insights of leisure travelers. Global Traveler’s Advisory Board consists of executives from a variety of industries who are no strangers to frequent global travel.

What does leisure travel mean to you? Does it mean delving into the history of a region on a private tour or tasting wines in a beautiful vineyard? Perhaps it means lounging on a white-sand beach or enjoying a world-class meal aboard a luxury cruise ship. Whatever your fancy, we’re highlighting those companies that provide the ultimate leisure experiences for the most discerning travelers.

It is our pleasure to announce the 2017 winners. Congratulations to those deemed the best for their achievements in leisure travel.

From architectural masterpieces like the Aqueduct of Segovia and the Royal Palace of Madrid to the beautiful Sagrada Família in Barcelona and the Seville Cathedral, Spain boasts some of the world’s most impressive historic landmarks. For this reason, Spain was awarded Best Historic Attractions for the second consecutive year.

BEST BEACHES: Cayman Islands

BEST BEACHES: Cayman Islands © SORIN COLAC | DREAMSTIME.COM

If your ideal leisure vacation includes beautiful beaches, head to Cayman Islands, our winner for Best Beaches, home to the clear waters and coral sands of Seven Mile Beach. For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Virgin Islands takes home the award for Best Caribbean Island; Cook Islands tops the list for Best Island in the Pacific Rim, also for the second consecutive year; and Santoríni takes home the award for Best Island in Europe for the fourth consecutive year.

If adventure calls to you, Thailand is brimming with opportunities for exploration, from forest ziplining to sea kayaking and snorkeling, making it the clear winner for Best Adventure Destination.

If the sea beckons, bask in the opulence of Silversea Cruises, our winner for Best Luxury Cruise Line for the second year in a row, or experience ultimate relaxation in a Crystal Penthouse, winner of Best Cruise Line Suites. Indulge in the world’s best cruise line dining on Azamara Club Cruises, for the second consecutive year, and immerse yourself in unique destinations with another two-time winner, Princess Cruises, topping the list for Best Cruise Ship Excursions.

Royal Caribbean experienced a big year in 2016. While a cruise itself is rewarding enough, Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society takes the top spot for Best Cruise Line Rewards Program, and the cruise line also took top honors for the first time for Best Family Cruise Line and for the second time for Best Cruise Line Entertainment.

BEST ADVENTURE CRUISE LINE: UN-Cruises

BEST ADVENTURE CRUISE LINE: UN-Cruises © UN-CRUISES

Known for its exciting excursions focused on wildlife and culture, UN-Cruises is our winner for Best Adventure Cruise Line, and AmaWaterways earns Best River Cruise Line for its unforgettable cruises in Europe, Asia and Africa. Best Large-Ship Cruise Line goes to Cunard Line for the second consecutive year; and Paul Gauguin proves small ships can mean big luxury with its award for Best Small-Ship Cruise Line, also for the second consecutive year. Favorite Cruise Ship goes to Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam, the first of the cruise line’s new Pinnacle Class and the largest ever constructed by Holland America.

Where you stay is often as important as what you do when you travel for leisure. Our hotel category winners excel in offering premium amenities and services in addition to beautiful properties and guestrooms.

Taking home a win for Best Luxury Leisure Hotel Group in the World for the third consecutive year is Meliá Hotels International, a leader in holiday resorts and urban hotels. The hotel group operates more than 374 hotels in 40 countries under eight unique brands, each offering something distinctive and memorable for guests.

Also for the third consecutive year, we recognize Westin Hotels & Resorts for Best Hotel Chain Resorts, with more than 192 upscale hotels around the world, each offering notable luxuries such as the Heavenly Bed. Westin Hotels & Resorts also wins Best Family Resort Chain in the World, an impressive accomplishment. If the perfect leisure travel experience involves the whole family, including pets, join us in congratulating Kimpton Hotels & Resorts for winning Best Pet-Friendly Hotel.

A great vacation begins with a great flight, and the award-winning airlines listed here raise the bar for in-flight service, comfort and convenience. Hawaiian Airlines soars to the top for Best Leisure Airline for the third year running, Lufthansa lands a win for Best Premium-Economy Class, and United Airlines wins Best Pet-Friendly Airline for its convenient PetSafe program for the second consecutive year.

BEST LUXURY VEHICLE: Mercedes-Benz

BEST LUXURY VEHICLE: Mercedes-Benz © MERCEDES-BENZ

If the perfect leisure trip involves treating yourself to something special, join us in congratulating our winners in luxury goods. Ride in style in a Mercedes-Benz, our Best Luxury Vehicle winner, and adorn yourself in Ralph Lauren, voted Favorite Luxury Fashion Brand. TAG Heuer wrapped up a win for the second consecutive year for Favorite Luxury Watch Brand, and David Yurman claimed Favorite Luxury Jewelry Brand. Fitness apparel lovers have spoken and voted Fabletics Favorite Athleisure Brand.

Each year, Global Traveler celebrates those companies that stand out among the rest for achievements above and beyond expectations. Our special achievement award winners boldly change the travel industry with specialized services, innovative technologies and socially responsible accomplishments.

Separating an average trip from a truly memorable experience are those unexpected and special personalized touches. The Special Achievement Award for Best Customized Service goes to The Peninsula Beverly Hills for its flexible check-in and check-out times, personalized pillowcases and unique in-room amenities.

United Airlines takes international travel to new heights with its unprecedented Polaris business class, earning Best Innovations for its spacious relaxation areas, rest pods and personalized onboard dining options.

In an increasingly globalized world, it is more important than ever for companies to put sustainable travel practices in place, and two of our special achievement winners are making strides in their community efforts.

In November Alaska Airlines completed a historic cross-country flight with a sustainable biofuel blend. The fuel, made from recycled forest materials, is indistinguishable from regular jet fuel but can significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. For this industry-first innovation, Alaska Airlines was a shoe-in for Best Environmental Achievements.

National Geographic Expeditions, a series of guided wildlife safaris, expedition cruises and adventures, takes home the award for Best Social Responsibility. With money from tours going directly into nature research and programs, National Geographic Expeditions encourages travelers to support conservation and sustainability in the destinations they visit.

For many, travel isn’t the occasional trip but a lifestyle. The quest for new adventures, new experiences, new cultures and new people takes us around the world, and the winners of our annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards help us get there and make the most of our experiences. We applaud our 2017 winners and thank them for everything they do to help us see the world.

WINNERS’ CIRCLE

BEST HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS
1. Spain
2. Greece
3. India
4. Jordan
5. Turkey
6. Peru
7. Egypt
8. Israel
9. Italy
10. United Kingdom

BEST BEACHES
1. Cayman Islands
2. Turks and Caicos
3. Krabi, Thailand
4. The Big Island, Hawai’i
5. Phuket, Thailand
6. Lopes Mendes, Brazil
7. Mykonos, Greece
8. Seychelles
9. Fiji
10. Roatán, Honduras

BEST ADVENTURE DESTINATION
1. Thailand
2. New Zealand
3. India
4. Chile
5. South Africa
6. Alaska
7. Argentina
8. California
9. Colombia
10. Israel

BEST CARIBBEAN ISLAND
1. U.S. Virgin Islands
2. British Virgin Islands
3. Grand Cayman
4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
5. St. Lucia
6. Curaçao
7. Nevis
8. St. Barth’s
9. Jamaica
10. Puerto Rico

BEST ISLAND IN EUROPE
1. Santoríni
2. Mykonos
3. Ireland
4. Sicily
5. England
6. Capri
7. Elba
8. Crete
9. Mallorca
10. Sardinia

BEST ISLAND PACIFIC RIM
1. Cook Islands
2. Bora Bora
3. Bali
4. Tahiti
5. Hong Kong
6. Okinawa
7. Phuket, Thailand
8. The Big Island, Hawai’i
9. Maui, Hawai’i
10. Japan

BEST FAMILY CRUISE LINE
1. Royal Caribbean International
2. Celebrity Cruises
3. Norwegian Cruise Line
4. Holland America Line
5. Disney Cruise Line

BEST LUXURY CRUISE LINE
1. Silversea Cruises
2. Cunard Line
3. Crystal Cruises
4. Regent Seven Seas
5. Paul Gauguin Cruises
6. Celebrity Cruises
7. SeaDream Yacht Club
8. Seabourn Cruise Line

BEST CRUISE LINE SUITES
1. Crystal Cruises Penthouse
2. Queens Grill Suites, Cunard Line
3. Haven Suites, Norwegian Cruise Line
4. Royal Loft, Royal Caribbean International
5. Celebrity Cruises Penthouse Suites
6. Owner’s Suite, Silversea Cruises
7. Regent Suite, Regent Seven Seas
8. Owner’s Suite, Oceania Cruises
9. Princess Grill Suites, Cunard Line

BEST ADVENTURE CRUISE LINE
1. UN-Cruises
2. Lindblad Expeditions
3. American Safari
4. Quark Expeditions
5. Azamara Club Cruises
6. Windstar Cruises

BEST SMALL-SHIP CRUISE LINE
1. Paul Gauguin Cruises
2. Azamara Club Cruises
3. Seabourn Cruise Line
4. Viking River Cruises
5. Oceania Cruises
6. SeaDream Yacht Club
7. Windstar Cruises
8. Crystal Cruises
9. Regent Seven Seas
10. Hurtigruten Cruises

BEST LARGE-SHIP CRUISE LINE
1. Cunard Line
2. Regent Seven Seas
3. Norwegian Cruise Line
4. Celebrity Cruises
5. Viking Cruises
6. Royal Caribbean International
7. Holland America Line
8. Princess Cruises
9. Crystal Cruises

BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE
1. AmaWaterways
2. Viking River Cruises
3. Tauck
4. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
5. Avalon Waterways

BEST CRUISE LINE ENTERTAINMENT
1. Royal Caribbean International
2. Norwegian Cruise Line
3. Cunard Line
4. Celebrity Cruises
5. Princess Cruises
6. Holland America Line
7. Disney Cruise Line

BEST CRUISE LINE DINING
1. Azamara Club Cruises
2. Regent Seven Seas
3. Cunard Line
4. Royal Caribbean International
5. Celebrity Cruises
6. SeaDream Yacht Club
7. Norwegian Cruise Line
8. Seabourn Cruise Line
9. Viking River Cruises
10. Oceania Cruises

BEST CRUISE SHIP EXCURSIONS
1. Princess Cruises
2. Royal Caribbean International
3. Silversea Cruises
4. Cunard Line 5. Celebrity Cruises
6. Norwegian Cruise Line
7. Holland America Line

BEST CRUISE LINE REWARDS PROGRAM
1. Crown & Anchor Society, Royal Caribbean International
2. Club World, Cunard Line
3. Mariner Society, Holland America Line
4. Latitudes, Norwegian Cruise Line
5. Captain’s Club, Celebrity Cruises
6. Captain’s Circle, Princess Cruises
7. Castaway Club, Disney Cruise Line
8. Oceania Club, Oceania Cruises
9. Crystal Society, Crystal Cruises
10. Seven Seas Society, Regent Seven Seas

FAVORITE CRUISE SHIP
1. ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line
2. Queen Mary 2, Cunard Line
3. Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Cruises
4. Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas
5. Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Cruises
6. Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International
7. Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International
8. Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International
9. Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Cruise Line
10. mv Viking Sea, Viking Ocean Cruises

BEST LUXURY LEISURE HOTEL GROUP IN THE WORLD
1. Meliá Hotels International
2. Westin Hotels & Resorts
3. The Peninsula Hotels
4. The Ritz-Carlton
5. Conrad Hotels & Resorts
6. The Waldorf Astoria
7. Belmond
8. Four Seasons
9. Marriott Hotels & Resorts
10. Hyatt Hotels

BEST HOTEL CHAIN RESORTS
1. Westin Hotels & Resorts
2. The Ritz-Carlton
3. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
4. Marriott Hotels & Resorts
5. Four Seasons
6. Hyatt Hotels
7. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
8. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
9. Meliá Hotels & Resorts
10. Montage Hotels & Resorts

BEST PET-FRIENDLY HOTEL
1. Kimpton Hotels & Resorts
2. Loews Hotels & Resorts
3. Westin Hotels & Resorts
4. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
5. The Peninsula Hotels
6. W Hotels
7. The Ritz-Carlton
8. Mandarin Oriental
9. Marriott Hotels & Resorts

BEST FAMILY RESORT CHAIN IN THE WORLD
1. Westin Hotels & Resorts
2. Loews Hotels & Resorts
3. Disney Resorts
4. Kimpton Hotels & Resorts
5. Omni Hotels & Resorts
6. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
7. Hyatt Hotels
8. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
9. JW Marriott

BEST LEISURE AIRLINE
1. Hawaiian Airlines
2. Fiji Airways
3. Air Tahiti Nui
4. United Airlines
5. Virgin America
6. Alaska Airlines
7. Delta Air Lines

BEST PREMIUM-ECONOMY CLASS
1. Lufthansa
2. United Airlines
3. China Airlines
4. EVA Air
5. American Airlines
6. Delta Air Lines
7. Virgin Atlantic
8. British Airways
9. All Nippon Airways

BEST PET-FRIENDLY AIRLINE
1. United Airlines
2. American Airlines
3. Delta Air Lines

BEST LUXURY VEHICLE
1. Mercedes-Benz
2. Cadillac
3. Tesla
4. Porsche
5. Maserati
6. BMW
7. Land Rover
8. Lexus
9. Acura
10. Audi

FAVORITE LUXURY FASHION BRAND
1. Ralph Lauren
2. Chanel
3. Dior
4. Armani
5. Cartier
6. Prada
7. Burberry
8. Louis Vuitton
9. Dior
10. Gucci

FAVORITE LUXURY WATCH BRAND
1. TAG Heuer
2. Omega
3. Patek Philippe
4. Movado
5. Louis Vuitton
6. Tiffany
7. Panerai
8. Ulysse Nardin
9. A. Lange & Söhne
10. Cartier

FAVORITE LUXURY JEWELRY BRAND
1. David Yurman
2. Van Cleef & Arpels
3. Cartier
4. Chopard
5. Tiffany & Co.
6. Harry Winston
7. Chanel
8. Roberto Coin
9. Bvlgari
10. Dior

FAVORITE ATHLEISURE BRAND
1. Fabletics
2. Lululemon
3. Sweaty Betty
4. Tory Sport
5. Outdoor Voices
6. Steeplechase
7. Vimmia
8. Live the Process
9. Under Armour
10. Yogasmoga

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

BEST CUSTOMIZED SERVICE
The Peninsula Beverly Hills

BEST ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Alaska Airlines

BEST INNOVATIONS
United Airlines

BEST SOCIAL RESPONSBILITY
National Geographic Expeditions