IN GLOBAL TRAVELER’S 14TH ANNUAL GT Tested Reader Survey awards, we celebrate those winners deemed the best in travel for the year. Our Quint Status reflects those winners collecting the same GT Tested Reader Survey award in the same category for the fifth consecutive year. In previous years, the Hall of Fame reflected winners collecting the same GT Tested Reader Survey award in the same category for 10 consecutive years. While we don’t have any winners entering the Hall of Fame in 2017, we expect to see the recipients of this year’s Quint Status inducted into the Hall of Fame in the years to come.
Carefully selected by our distinguished readers, the annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards applaud the best of the best in the travel industry, honoring the readers’ favorite airlines, credit cards, destinations, hotels and travel goods and services. GT’s readers are expert travelers, flying in first and business class on domestic and international carriers and staying in 4- and 5-star properties around the world.
This year, four commendable companies reached Quint Status. The elite group has been consistently recognized by our readers for having the highest standards of service, a penchant for achieving excellence in their respective fields and striving toward the future with new innovations.
We’re happy to welcome these new inductees into the winners’ circle. The fantastic four include United MileagePlus (Best Frequent- Flyer Bonus Program), LifeMiles (Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption), China Airlines (Best Airline in North Asia) and United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase (Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption).
United MileagePlus won Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program for the fifth consecutive year. Partnerships with brands like Hilton, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and others allow members to earn bonus miles when they book a vacation. Most recently, members could book a stay with Hilton and receive 5,000 bonus miles. The program continues to lead in the industry, offering new incentives and initiatives for its members that help sustain its brand loyalty.
Readers also voted LifeMiles Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption for the fifth consecutive year. The unified loyalty program between Avianca and TACA integrates the best practices of two airlines to benefit members. LifeMiles boasts more than 5 million members around the world and has been recognized globally for its redemption ability. In 2014 LifeMiles became the only loyalty program in Latin America to receive a Freddie Award. Members of LifeMiles have access to more than 1,200 cities; 1,000 VIP lounges; and more with the award-winning frequent-flyer program.
China Airlines is the Best Airline in North Asia for the fifth year in a row. The airline’s commitment to constant innovation in airline technology, safety, convenience, comfort and entertainment made it a repeat winner with our readers. The company boasts a fleet of 96 aircraft, including 75 passenger jets, which fly to 143 destinations in 29 countries and districts. From the moment travelers step on board a China Airlines flight, they are welcomed with the finest hospitality and accommodations. “If you have not flown China Airlines’ business class … I suggest you try it,” said Francis. X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler, speaking of his experience flying with China Airlines from New York (JFK) to Taipei (TPE) this past September.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase takes home Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption for its fifth year. Members earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account, and two miles for every dollar spent on tickets from United Airlines. Additional benefits include your first checked bag free, priority boarding and no foreign transaction fees. The MileagePlus Explorer Card wins consistently in this category because it makes it easy for members to redeem the miles they’ve earned when booking their next trip.
Congratulations to all of the winners. Who will we welcome into the Quint Status club next year?
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently announced the final phase of a $100 million resort-wide transformation, set to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Located across 54 acres of pristine, wide-open space overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a sanctuary for guests seeking a luxurious escape.
ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
Banyan Tree Group recently announced its first-ever expansion into Japan with five new properties across four concepts. The hospitality group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group saw Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle launch in June, with two more properties slated to open now through 2026. Another partnership with Terraform Capital sees plans to build Cassia, a property in the ski resort of Niseko.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
Wilderness Reserve, an 8,000-acre estate of historic and charming properties, woodlands and lakes, invites visitors to its newly launched YOXMAN, a three-day, Michelin-starred dining experience. Four United Kingdom chefs come together to prepare an array of different cuisines throughout the weekend, and guests are treated to plenty of entertainment throughout the experience.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts adds to its growing collection with Rosewood Hotel Bauer, slated to open in Venice in 2025. Led by Venice-based architect Alberto Torsello and interior design group BAR Studio, the property will lie in the city’s historic San Marco district.