THIS ISSUE WAS A trip down memory lane as I recounted some wonderful memories from 2017. In this month’s Spas article, I recalled a blissful spa visit at Sandpearl Resort while in Clearwater Beach, Fla., for a friend’s wedding. On page 67 I was transported back to Thailand, where I spent a few days in Chiang Mai, including a half-day experience at an elephant sanctuary. And lastly, I take you all along on a bucket-list trip to Chernobyl, Ukraine. You might be surprised to learn it’s a trending destination. I share my thoughts on page 74.
We also reflect on the 2017 GT Tested Reader Survey award winners and our celebration fete at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. On the following pages, see photos of some of the industry’s top movers and shakers as they collect the awards you, our readers, bestowed upon them. Don’t forget: Voting is on for 2018. Find the ballot in this issue or online. We also invite you to vote in The Trazees at trazeetravel.com, and the Wherever Awards at whereverfamily.com, awards from our two sister web publications.
Speaking of family, we explore the leading family travel destinations around the globe on page 48. As I was reading Steve Jermanok’s article, I recalled a two-week cross-country trek with my parents and grandmother when I was around 12 years old — another blast from the past. We went to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, among other places, and today, two decades later, national parks still top the list for family vacations. For daily updates on the world of family travel, visit whereverfamily.com; it’s your trusted travel source for the modern family.
We’re all over the map in this issue as we also journey to İstanbul, Tokyo, Cincinnati, Warsaw, Durban, Managua and the Philippines. Next month we travel from Singapore to the Azores, from Iceland to Oslo in our second annual Green Issue. Join us on that eco-friendly trip around the world.
Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.
For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Aqua-Aston Hospitality, with hotels in Hawai’i, Florida and Costa Rica, introduced an intelligent text messaging platform at its hotels and resorts, streamlining real-time communication with guests. Since the mobile technology has been implemented, the platform has been successfully used to answer guest questions, manage check-in, deliver amenities, quickly communicate updates on services, send alerts and enable contact-less check-out.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.
As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.
After more than a year of staying home and social distancing, Americans are ready to experience live entertainment again. According to Allianz Partners USA’s Vacation Confidence Index survey, 55 percent of Americans plan on attending at least one ticketed event before the end of 2021, with 16 percent planning to attend three or more events.