Luxury Travel Advisor’s Awards of Excellence

 

 


Reader’s Choice: Best Restaurant in a Luxury Hotel/Resort Worldwide

Le Meurice

This Dorchester Collection gem faces ParisJardin des Tuileries. Recognized as one of only eight palace hotels in France, Le Meurice has been refining l’art de vivre for 190 years. This is where Michelin three-starred chef Yannick Alléno serves up his acclaimed Terroir Parisien menu, and where bar manager William Oliveri has served the likes of Salvador Dali. (The bar offers all kinds of bubbly-based drinks, like the Cocktail 228 made with pear and litchi liqueur, raspberry coulis, and Champagne).

Reader’s Choice: Top General Manager of a Luxury Hotel/Resort Worldwide

Nigel Pace, Cape Grace, Cape Town

For the past six years, Pace has been the general manager of Cape Grace in Cape Town. He began his career in hospitality at just 19 years old and quickly rose in the ranks to hold his first general manager position at age 27. Today he spends his days working hands-on with staff, guests and, most importantly, luxury travel advisors. At press time, we heard Pace was moving on to pursue other endeavors; we anxiously await hearing of his next appointment.

Best Luxury Hotel/Resort Worldwide

Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Florence

Transformed from a private residence of Florentine nobles, Four Seasons Hotel Firenze has a unique blend of history, culture and class that makes it the clear winner in this category. Guests can take a trip through time with the hotel’s restored architectural frescoes and period furnishing. It is also within a short walk to Florence’s top sites like the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery.

Reader’s Choice: Best Luxury Family Resort Worldwide

Beaches Turks & Caicos

Often described as Sandals Resorts International’s top Beaches property, this all-inclusive family resort has a 45,000-square-foot waterpark; three villages; a 12-mile beach; and activities for everyone in the family. The top luxury accommodations at this property are the Turin Water’s Edge Walkout Two-Bedroom Imperial Family Suite and the Portofino Penthouse Water’s Edge Two-Bedroom Imperial Family Suite. Both top-category suites have ocean views, are close to the beach and offer Beaches Resorts’ exclusive Butler Service.

Best Reinvented Classic Luxury Hotel/Resort Worldwide

The Savoy, London

Since 1889, The Savoy has been center stage among London’s traveling elite. After undergoing a $155 million restoration, it has reemerged as a stunning example of English-Edwardian-meets-Art-Deco. Its nine “personality suites” have been inspired by the style of some of The Savoy’s most VIP guests.

The hotel sits aside the River Thames and is within a short distance from the theater, museums and opera houses.

Best New Luxury Hotel/Resort in Asia

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong has staggering views from the top floors (102-118) of the International Commerce Centre, a skyscraper that soars 1,575 feet above the city. The hotel’s 312 guest rooms overlook Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Top Digs: The Ritz-Carlton Suite is nearly 4,000 square feet in size. Six dining venues include Chinese and Italian restaurants, a lobby lounge, tea lounge and alfresco rooftop bar, all with panoramic views.

Best New Luxury Resort/Hotel in Europe

Castello del Nero Boutique Hotel & Spa, Tuscany

Set in a landscape of gently rolling hills in the heart of the Chianti area, Castello del Nero is a 12th-century castle turned five-star hideaway. The hotel  houses 50 rooms and suites, each of which is individually decorated and has a unique layout. Angular ceilings with exposed wooden beams create a rustic ambiance, while state-of-the-art amenities (LCD TVs in living areas and most bathrooms, high-speed Internet, video-and music-on-demand) seamlessly marry past and present. There’s also an ESPA!

Best New Luxury Hotel/Resort in North America

Four Seasons Resort, Vail

Located at the gateway to Vail Village, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail boasts some of the largest guest rooms in the area. The 121-room resort is laced with numerous balconies and each suite is equipped with a stone fireplace and deep soaking tub. All hotel guests also have exclusive access to the resort’s own Ski Concierge, located at the base of the Vista Bahn chairlift. The resort also features an outdoor pool that is fully heated year-round. Top Touch: Guests will find hot water bottles between bed sheets.

Best Spa in a Luxury Hotel/Resort

Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita, Riviera Maya

The Thalasso Center & Spa at this resort is a 22,000-square-foot facility with a vast menu of treatments, including Visia digital skin analysis and personalized facials, detoxifying treatments and body wraps. An outdoor therapeutic saltwater pool complements specialized treatment rooms, fitness facilities, saunas and steam rooms, plus a special Temaxcal Mexican steam bath. Nice Touch: Couples can request massages on the pier.

Best Local Destination Management Company

Absolute Travel

A specialist in Asia, Africa, South America and South Pacific journeys, New York-based Absolute Travel leads the pack in providing custom-designed travel. A strong believer in local immersion, Absolute Travel is known for using local guides that know each destination from a resident’s perspective. Each journey is mapped out with a knowledgeable travel specialist, who is available at every stage.

Best Travel App

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

Neat Stuff: The St. Regis New York offers a custom E-Butler iPad app that acts like a mobile concierge and gateway to New York’s secrets. Guests can search Fashion, Insider’s Guide and Arts & Culture sections in this “mobile hotel.” The app is free to download and is available in Apple’s App Store.

Best Chauffeured Services Worldwide

Carey International

Carey’s services span over 550 cities in 60 countries, offering personalized transportation for the VIP traveler. Reliant on the Carey System, a global network of certified Carey franchises that adhere to the company’s standards, the company is committed 24/7 to arrange chauffeured service for personal and business travel, road shows, meetings and events and private aviation.

Best Cruise Line for Luxury Ocean Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises does all it can to stay out in front - on land and sea.
The luxury cruise line wrapped up a $100 million enhancement of all three ships - Voyager, Mariner and Navigator - in 2010 with a focus on public spaces. Last year the company finished phase three of its Seven Seas Signature Program, which included ship renovations along with the addition of a host of robust services and amenities.

Best Cruise Line for Luxury Small Ships

Silversea Cruises

Silversea is making sure that it is synonymous with enrichment. Over 160 voyages in 2011 featured nearly 200 distinguished guest lecturers, celebrated chefs and destination experts as part of Silversea’s most expansive enrichment program ever offered in a single year. This undertaking is complemented with the roll-out of new branding for the program called Silver Perspectives, which is designed to communicate the caliber of speakers.

Best Luxury River Cruise Company

Viking River Cruises

Since its 1997 inception, Viking River Cruises has grown to a fleet of 19 vessels, and provides unique, deluxe vacations to experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. With a $250 million investment in a fleet development program, by 2014 Viking will have several refurbishments, plus the introduction of 10 new Viking Longships starting with six to be introduced in 2012—Viking Aegir, Viking Embla, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin.

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