Leisure Lifestyle Awards 2018

Photo: © PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES

By - May 1, 2018

AHOY, MATEYS! WELCOME ABOARD the m/s Globility as we embark with the 2018 Leisure Lifestyle Awards. For the sixth consecutive sailing, we’re celebrating the best in the world of leisure and lifestyle travel, awarding goods, services, destinations, hotels, airlines and cruises. Allow us to be your cruise director through this year’s elite roster of winners.

We’re not just looking through the porthole at stunning scenery — we’re disembarking the ship and immersing ourselves in the destination. For a few award-winning options, look no further. Turkey scores big with Best Historical Attractions, while twotime winner Thailand is named Best Adventure Travel Destination. For Best Beaches, Costa Rica earns top billing.

A cruise among all of these top island winners would be a dream come true, indeed. The ports of call would include Saint Lucia, Best Caribbean Island; Santoríni, Best Island in Europe, for the fifth consecutive time; and Cook Islands, three-time Best Island Pacific Rim.

Now we keep on cruising around the world, celebrating these worldwide destination honorees. In the United States, three Southern cities earn accolades: Nashville, Best Leisure Destination in the United States; Savannah, Best Weekend Destination in the United States; and Key West, Fla., Best Babymoon Destination. Jackson Hole, Wyo., is named Best North American Ski Destination. Also in North America, Whistler, British Columbia, garnered Best International Ski Destination, and Cabo San Lucas is Best Leisure Destination in Mexico.

Continuing the circumnavigation, we drop anchor in Lisbon, Best Leisure Destination in Europe; Taipei, Best Leisure Destination in Asia; Buenos Aires, Best Leisure Destination in Latin/South America; and Bermuda, Best Weekend Destination in the World.

It’s up the gangway and back onto the ship to celebrate the best of the best in cruise lines. Regent Seven Seas leads the list with two wins: Best Family Cruise Line and Best Cruise Line Spa. Another dual winner is Silversea Cruises, sailing away with the Best Luxury Cruise Line (three times running) and Best Cruise Line Suites accolades. MSC Cruises debuts on our winners’ list with not one but two wins: Best Cruise Line Entertainment and Best Cruise Line Rewards Program for its MSC Voyagers Club.

A number of cruise lines celebrate their third consecutive wins in their respective categories. They are Paul Gauguin Cruises, Best Small-Ship Cruise Line; Cunard Line, Best Large-Ship Cruise Line; and Princess Cruises, Best Cruise Ship Excursions.

Windstar Cruises came out on top as Best Adventure Cruise Line, a new category on the 2018 ballot, while Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection dominated the Best River Cruise Line category. Rounding out the cruising category, Viking Ocean Cruises earns top billing as Best Cruise Line Dining; and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection is Favorite Cruise Ship.

We move now from the cabin to the guestroom, honoring hotels and resorts around the globe that have the whole leisure lifestyle concept down pat. For the fourth consecutive year, the high honor of Best Luxury Leisure Hotel Group in the World goes to Meliá Hotels International.

A triple winner in this year’s survey, Westin Hotels & Resorts has it all — it was voted Best Hotel Chain Resorts for the fourth time in a row; Best Pet-Friendly Hotels; and Best Family Resort Chain in the World for the second consecutive year.

The Resort at Paws Up is the first-time winner of Best Glamping Destination, acknowledged for its excellence in one of the travel industry’s trendiest endeavors. Another popular concept in leisure travel, all-inclusive resorts, is topped by Sandals Resorts, Best All-Inclusive Resorts.

Aside from cruising the high seas, how can we get to our leisure destinations in award-winning style? Here’s a hint: with these airlines and providers, 2018 award winners. For the fourth consecutive year, Hawaiian Airlines is named Best Leisure Airline, while Scandinavian Airlines makes its first appearance in the Leisure Lifestyle Awards with its win for Best Premium-Economy Class. Asiana Airlines is the first-time winner in a new category, Best Airline for Onboard Entertainment.

When it comes to downtime, these are the airports you should reroute yourself through: Doha Hamad International Airport, Best Airport for Layovers, and Munich Airport, Best Airport for Recreation. Both categories are new on this year’s ballot.

If driving is more your speed, opt to rent with Hertz, Best Leisure Car Rental. To really up the ante on your next vacay, rent a Maserati, Best Luxury Vehicle.

And should you need guidance to get it all together, Elegant Resorts, Best Luxury Tour Operator, can assist.

Before we disembark from m/s Globility, we must acknowledge two more winners. Congratulations to TAG Heuer, a three-time winner for Favorite Luxury Watch Brand, and to Johnnie Walker Blue, Best Liquor Brand.

Join us on the lido deck as we raise a glass to this year’s Leisure Lifestyle Awards winners.

© AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES

© AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES

Cruise Line of the Year

For the first time, Global Traveler is proud to announce its Cruise Line of the Year. Congratulations to inaugural winner, Azamara Club Cruises!

Nominees for this honor were compiled by Global Traveler, with the final winner selected by our Globility Board, a vetted group of well-traveled magazine subscribers.

The luxury cruise line was selected for a myriad of reasons, including its commitment to providing top-notch service, amazing dining at sea and one of the finest spa and wellness experiences. Azamara Club Cruises offers overnight stays and dockings at smaller ports, allowing cruisers to indulge and explore a destination in a new way and unlike the way they would on most cruise lines.

Destination Immersion is a new collection of excursions and activities taking guests deeper into the heart of a location. The completely redesigned ships create a sense of community, accented by the fine staff, while destinations include Alaska, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Cuba, the Mediterranean, Europe, Panama, Central America, North America and South America.

Let’s raise a glass to our first-ever Cruise Line of the Year, Azamara Club Cruises!

CRUISE LINE OF THE YEAR 2018
1. Azamara Club Cruises
2. Celebrity Cruises
3. Silversea Cruises
4. Crystal Cruises

© OMNI HOTELS & RESORTS

© OMNI HOTELS & RESORTS

Special Achievement Awards

Each year, in addition to our Leisure Lifestyle Awards, Global Traveler acknowledges those travel companies going above and beyond. Our Special Achievement Awards recognize leaders in innovation, environmental initiatives and community outreach. Congratulations to this year’s honorees.

For its Say Goodnight to Hunger campaign, Omni Hotels & Resorts won Outstanding Social Responsibility. The brand makes a donation to Feeding America that provides dinner for a family of four for every booking made. Additionally, all 60 Omni properties actively participate in supporting food banks and pantries, and Omni associates volunteered thousands of hours to help support the mission.

When it comes to customization, Denver International Airport is tops. The airport’s unique programming, including a holiday ice rink, Yoga on the Fly, the Canine Airport Therapy Squad and more, helped DEN earn the Outstanding Customized Services honor.

Two new 20,000-ton, 600-passenger ships will be delivered this year and next, the first hybrid cruise ships in the world. Hurtigruten’s newest ships will use a battery system. For this amazing development that could change the world of cruising forever, Hurtigruten Cruise Line receives the Outstanding Environmental Initiatives nod.

Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 is a technological game changer. From 65 automated check-in kiosks to 50 automated bag drops and gates equipped with facial and thumbprint biometric screening, the airport looks to the future and to ensuring a consistent passenger experience. Changi Airport wins for Outstanding Innovations.

OUTSTANDING SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Omni Hotels & Resorts

OUTSTANDING CUSTOMIZED SERVICES
Denver International Airport

OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES
Hurtigruten Cruise Line

OUTSTANDING INNOVATIONS
Singapore Changi Airport

THE PROCESS
Global Traveler conducted a survey of its readers Oct. 1, 2017–Jan. 31, 2018, with open-ended questions for the best in many categories of leisure, luxury and lifestyle travel. This survey ran in the magazine, as an insert to subscriber copies, as a direct mail questionnaire, online at globaltravelerusa.com/leisureballot and emailed during the period in question. Only those questionnaires where more than 50 percent of the questions were completed were counted. Those with fewer than 50 percent of the questions answered were discarded. Submissions from employees of the magazine or individuals associated with the travel industry were not accepted.

WINNERS’ CIRCLE

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

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

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

BEST LEISURE DESTINATION IN THE UNITED STATES
1. Nashville, Tenn.
2. Charleston, S.C.
3. Asheville, N.C.
4. Miami Beach, Fla.
5. Napa Valley, Calif.
6. Chicago, Ill.
7. San Francisco, Calif.
8. Austin, Texas
9. New Orleans, La.
10. Sedona, Ariz.

BEST LEISURE DESTINATION IN EUROPE
1. Lisbon, Portugal
2. Prague, Czech Republic
3. Porto, Portugal
4. Seville, Spain
5. Rome, Italy
6. İstanbul, Turkey
7. Paris, France
8. Florence, Italy
9. Venice, Italy
10. Krakow, Poland

BEST LEISURE DESTINATION IN ASIA
1. Taipei, Taiwan
2. Phuket, Thailand
3. Singapore, Republic of Singapore
4. Tokyo, Japan
5. Seoul, South Korea
6. Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
7. Bangkok, Thailand
8. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
9. Osaka, Japan
10. Bali, Indonesia

BEST LEISURE DESTINATION IN LATIN/SOUTH AMERICA
1. Buenos Aires, Argentina
2. Lima, Peru
3. Santiago, Chile
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5. Mendoza, Argentina
6. Panama City, Panama
7. Quito, Ecuador
8. Cusco, Peru
9. Bogotá, Colombia
10. Machu Picchu, Peru

BEST LEISURE DESTINATION IN MEXICO
1. Cabo San Lucas
2. Mérida
3. Cancún
4. Mexico City
5. Guadalajara
6. Isla Holbox
7. Playa del Carmen
8. Puerto Vallarta
9. Cozumel
10. San Miguel de Allende

BEST WEEKEND DESTINATION IN THE UNITED STATES
1. Savannah, Ga.
2. Las Vegas, Nev.
3. Charleston, S.C.
4. San Francisco, Calif.
5. Austin, Texas
6. Nashville, Tenn.
7. New Orleans, La.
8. Asheville, N.C.
9. Miami, Fla.
10. New York, N.Y.

BEST WEEKEND DESTINATION
1. Bermuda
2. Dublin, Ireland
3. Lisbon, Portugal
4. Québec City, Canada
5. Belize City, Belize
6. London, England
7. Cartagena, Colombia
8. Vienna, Austria
9. Paris, France
10. Rome, Italy

BEST GLAMPING DESTINATION
1. Paws Up, Montana
2. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda
3. Soule Creek Lodge, British Columbia
4. Eco-Lodge Brejeira, Algarve, Portugal
5. Canna Camping Holidays, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
6. Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania
7. Honey Bee Suite, Platbos Forest, South Africa
8. Patagonia Camp, Torres del Paine, Chile
9. Reapot Lane Luxury Camp, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
10. Cabañas en Los Árboles, Biscay, Spain

BEST BABYMOON DESTINATION
1. Key West, Fla.
2. Saint Lucia
3. Belize
4. Barcelona, Spain
5. Palm Springs, Calif.
6. Cancún, Mexico
7. Savannah, Ga.
8. Sedona, Ariz.
9. Hilton Head Island, S.C.
10. Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

BEST NORTH AMERICAN SKI DESTINATION
1. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
2. Vail, Colo.
3. Aspen Snowmass, Colo.
4. Telluride, Colo.
5. Alta, Utah
6. Park City, Utah
7. Beaver Creek, Colo.
8. Breckenridge, Colo.
9. Winter Park, Colo.
10. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

BEST INTERNATIONAL SKI DESTINATION
1. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
2. Zermatt, Switzerland
3. Courchevel, France
4. Gstaad, Switzerland
5. Lech, Austria
6. Meribel, France
7. St. Moritz, Switzerland
8. Verbier, Switzerland
9. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
10. Niseko, Japan

BEST CARIBBEAN ISLAND
1. Saint Lucia
2. Aruba
3. Grand Cayman
4. St. Vincent
5. Bahamas
6. Curaçao
7. Nevis
8. Jamaica
9. British Virgin Islands
10. U.S. Virgin Islands

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

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

BEST FAMILY CRUISE LINE
1. Regent Seven Seas
2. Celebrity Cruises
3. Disney Cruise Line
4. Holland America Line
5. Norwegian Cruise Line
6. Royal Caribbean
7. Silversea Cruises
8. Princess Cruises
9. MSC Cruises
10. Cunard Line

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

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

BEST ADVENTURE CRUISE LINE
1. Windstar Cruises
2. American Safari
3. Ponant
4. National Geographic Expeditions
5. UnCruise Adventures
6. Lindblad Expeditions
7. Azamara Club Cruises
8. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
9. Silversea Cruises
10. Seabourn Cruise Line

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

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

BEST RIVER CRUISE LINE
1. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
2. Tauck
3. AmaWaterways
4. Avalon Waterways
5. Viking River Cruises
6. Aqua Expeditions
7. Crystal River Cruises
8. American Cruise Lines
9. CroisiEurope
10. Pandaw River Cruises

BEST CRUISE LINE ENTERTAINMENT
1. MSC Cruises
2. Royal Caribbean
3. Viking Ocean Cruises
4. Princess Cruises
5. Celebrity Cruises
6. Norwegian Cruise Line
7. Disney Cruise Line
8. Cunard Line
9. Regent Seven Seas
10. Holland America Line

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

BEST CRUISE LINE SPAS
1. Regent Seven Seas
2. Princess Cruises
3. Viking Ocean Cruises
4. Crystal Cruises
5. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
6. Seabourn Cruise Line
7. Celebrity Cruises
8. Costa Cruises
9. Cunard Line
10. MSC Cruises

BEST CRUISE SHIP EXCURSIONS
1. Princess Cruises
2. Viking Ocean Cruises
3. Silversea Cruises
4. Cunard Line
5. Celebrity Cruises
6. Norwegian Cruise Line
7. Royal Caribbean
8. Holland America Line
9. MSC Cruises
10. Regent Seven Seas

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

FAVORITE CRUISE SHIP
1. Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Cruises
2. Queen Mary 2, Cunard Line
3. Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Cruises
4. Seven Seas Explorer, Regent Seven Seas
5. Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Cruises
6. Royal Princess, Princess Cruises
7. Anthem of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
8. Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Cruise Line
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 Ritz-Carlton
4. Four Seasons
5. Conrad Hotels & Resorts
6. The Waldorf Astoria
7. Belmond
8. The Peninsula Hotels
9. Marriott Hotels & Resorts
10. Hyatt

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

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

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

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT
1. Sandals Resorts
2. Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts
3. Paradisus Resorts
4. Karisma Hotels & Resorts
5. Dreams Resorts & Spas
6. Meliá Hotels International
7. Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
8. Secrets Resorts & Spas
9. Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resort
10. Hyatt Zilara

BEST LUXURY TOUR OPERATOR
1. Elegant Resorts
2. Black Tomato
3. The Inspiring Travel Company
4. Abercrombie & Kent
5. Red Savannah
6. Kuoni
7. Trailfinders
8. Perillo Tours
9. The Turquoise Holiday Company
10. Cox & Kings

BEST AIRPORT FOR LAYOVERS
1. Doha Hamad International Airport
2. Singapore Changi Airport
3. Munich Airport
4. Zürich Kloten International Airport
5. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport
6. Helsinki Airport
7. Seoul Incheon Airport
8. Dubai International Airport
9. Denver International Airport
10. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

BEST AIRPORT FOR RECREATION
1. Munich Airport
2. Vancouver International Airport
3. Singapore Changi Airport
4. Incheon Airport
5. Denver International Airport
6. Austin Bergstrom International Airport
7. San Francisco International Airport
8. Miami International Airport
9. Los Angeles International Airport
10. Chicago O’Hare International Airport

BEST LEISURE AIRLINE
1. Hawaiian Airlines
2. American Airlines
3. Air Tahiti Nui
4. Alaska Airlines
5. United Airlines
6. Delta Air Lines
7. Fiji Airways
8. Aeromexico
9. TAP Air Portugal
10. Air France

BEST AIRLINE FOR ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. United Airlines
4. Air Canada
5. Qatar Airways
6. Delta Air Lines
7. American Airlines
8. Emirates
9. JetBlue
10. Korean Air

BEST PREMIUM-ECONOMY CLASS
1. Scandinavian Airlines
2. Lufthansa
3. Air Canada
4. EVA Air
5. American Airlines
6. United Airlines
7. Delta Air Lines
8. China Airlines
9. British Airways
10. Japan Airlines

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

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

BEST LEISURE CAR RENTAL
1. Hertz
2. Avis
3. Sixt
4. National Car Rental
5. Budget
6. Enterprise
7. Dollar Car Rental
8. Alamo
9. Thrifty
10. Payless

FAVORITE LIQUOR BRAND
1. Johnnie Walker Blue
2. Patrón
3. Grey Goose
4. Crown Royal
5. Johnnie Walker Black
6. Maker’s Mark
7. Belvedere
8. Bombay Sapphire
9. Bacardi
10. Woodford Reserve