For the fourth consecutive year, Global Traveler honored the best of the best in the world of leisure lifestyle travel, including destinations, airlines, cruise lines and hotels, at its annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards celebration. For the first time we feted the winners at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, enjoying a picture-perfect evening overlooking Beverly Hills from the hotel’s rooftop venue.
Industry elite enjoyed themed cuisine and cocktails as the sun set over the City of Angels. The Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills enjoys an enviable location and offers multiple options for hosting successful meetings and elegant affairs. Our May 19 celebration of the 2016 Leisure Lifestyle Awards was no exception.
Despite the beautiful setting, one furry guest in particular stole the show that evening: Seven, an Australian shepherd and pet actor on hand to help present United Airlines with the Best Pet-Friendly Airline award. A special thanks to Seven for bringing a bit of four-legged fun to the evening.
Among the most prestigious in the leisure travel industry, Global Traveler’s Leisure Lifestyle Awards highlight the standouts in the leisure travel and lifestyle worlds. Nominations in each category came from our elite Globility Board as well as our highly experienced magazine staff. From these nominations, our esteemed Advisory Board selected the final winners.
Best Historical Attractions Spain
Best Beaches Turks & Caicos
Best Adventure Travel Destination India
Best Caribbean Island U.S. Virgin Islands
Best Island in Europe Santoríni
Best Island Pacific Rim Cook Islands
Best Shopping in the World The Dubai Mall
Best Family Cruise Line Celebrity Cruises
Best Luxury Cruise Line Silversea Cruises
Best Cruise Line Suites The Haven by Norwegian
Best Adventure Cruise Line Lindblad Expeditions
Best Small-Ship Cruise Line Paul Gauguin Cruises
Best Large-Ship Cruise Line Cunard Line
Best River Cruise Line Viking River Cruises
Best Cruise Line Entertainment Royal Caribbean International
Best Cruise Line Dining Azamara Club Cruises
Best Cruise Ship Excursions Princess Cruises
Best Cruise Line Rewards Program Mariner Society by Holland America Line
Best Luxury Leisure Hotel Group in the World Meliá Hotels & Resorts
Best Hotel Chain Resorts Westin Hotels & Resorts
Best Pet-Friendly Hotel Loews Hotels & Resorts
Best Lifestyle Leisure Hotel Group in the World Vida Hotels and Resorts
Best Family Resort Chain in the World Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Best Family Resort in North America Mohonk Mountain House
Best Family Resort in the Gulf Atlantis, The Palm
Best Hotel Restaurant Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Best Leisure Airline Hawaiian Airlines
Best Premium-Economy Class China Airlines
Best Pet-Friendly Airline United Airlines
Best Luxury Tour Company Abercrombie & Kent
Best Luxury Train The Royal Canadian Pacific
Best Car Rental for Leisure Hertz
Best Luxury Vehicle Cadillac
Favorite Luxury Fashion Brand Louis Vuitton
Favorite Luxury Watch Brand TAG Heuer
Favorite Luxury Jewelry Brand Tiffany & Co.
Special Achievement Awards
Outstanding Customized Service EVA Air’s Hello Kitty Jets
Outstanding Environmental Initiatives Airbus
Outstanding Innovations Robotic Bartender, Royal Caribbean International
Outstanding Social Responsibility Air Canada
Did the new film Oppenheimer rouse your interest in the nefarious world of international espionage? You can go straight to the real-life setting for covert actions this November (Nov. 10–12), when La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe hosts a specially themed “Spies, Lies and Nukes” weekend. The hotel actually served as the retreat location for Manhattan Project scientists, who stayed at La Fonda on the Plaza to take a break from the stress of their work. During the weekend, the property’s La Fiesta Lounge will make a tasty nod to those days by serving up a special Atomic Martini.
IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.
Ever want handcrafted martinis and freshly shucked oysters delivered straight to your room? The Read House’s New Martinis & Pearls service has you covered. Shining in 1920s-themed decor, the historic hotel in the heart of Chattanooga offers a true Gatsby-esque experience, now further elevated with this upscale amenity. Guests can now indulge in their perfectly chilled martini, made to order, and “pearls” (oysters) in the comfort of their room.
If your idea of fun in New York City is to get the adrenaline flowing and your heart racing rather than engage in more relaxed pursuits like shopping, seeing Broadway shows and visiting museums, here are four activities that are anything but low-key:
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
There are two Hollywoods: A catch-all name for the American entertainment industry and the physical place where it was born. The latter continues to draw tourists with the original Walk of Fame; historic hotels, movie and live production theaters; and a full spectrum of pop cultural phenomena.
Whether you call secondhand fashion treasure troves “thrift stores,” “fripperies,” “charity shops,” “vintage boutiques” or something else, shifting the paradigm from “old clothes” to “new finds,” you may find the best, most conversation-starting souvenirs inside these shops and neighborhoods located in the world’s most fashionable cities and a few unexpected places.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
While the 372-passenger Viking Polaris expedition ship, launched in September 2022, falls midway in size between Viking Cruises’ intimate river cruise ships and large-scale ocean ships, it is operated with the same attention to detail and personalized service.