Winners of our annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards can’t have a bad day. In order to earn the votes that put them at the top of the list, they have to be on their game 24/7. That’s because the coveted trophies are awarded based on the results of a comprehensive reader survey — and Global Traveler readers are like secret shoppers. They’re expert travelers who expect a quality experience from start to finish. Whether they’re seated in the first-class cabin of a superjumbo jet, discussing plans with the concierge at a 5-star hotel or computing the benefits of myriad loyalty programs, they are always watching, ready to recognize stellar products and services or, when things go awry, call out the providers who fall short of their expectations.
That’s why the GT Tested Reader Survey awards are among the most respected in the travel industry. And it’s why we pull out all the stops when it comes to celebrating the winners. Turn to page 44 to find out who earned our readers’ respect this year. We’ll fête the winners this month during a gala reception at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, and we’ll share photos showcasing the event in the March 2015 issue of Global Traveler. Voting for the 2015 GT Tested awards kicks off in January, so look for the ballot in the magazine and online.
In the meantime, all aboard for an around-the-world junket as our always-insightful contributors report from Bangalore, Geneva, London, Sri Lanka, Atlanta, Kyoto, Dar es Salaam, the Seychelles, Dublin and Alaska.
It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
Incentive travel has long been a way for organizations to drive sales and reward employees with opulent trips to exotic destinations. Today it encompasses even more.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.
In 2025, Riviera River Cruises will launch two ships with sailing itineraries on Europe’s Danube and Douro rivers. Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube and offer six itineraries, including one exclusively for solo travelers, and three holiday itineraries. Riviera Rose will be based on the Douro River and sail one itinerary.
JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are some of the airlines now charging passengers more to check bags at the airport than to purchase the service online in advance. In an effort to cover higher costs, more airlines increased baggage fees in 2024.
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
Condor Airlines recently introduced Condor Cards, a membership program that allows frequent Condor passengers to receive additional benefits. The two card options include World Activity Card, tailored to the needs of sports enthusiasts, and World Family Card, offering benefits for families or friends traveling together on vacation.