The World's Best Cities, Islands and Hotels of 2015, as Voted for by Tourists

Brigid Delaney, The Guardian, July 8, 2015

Kyoto in Japan has been named the best city in the world for visitors, for the second year in a row, by the influential Travel + Leisure magazine.
The city of temples and gardens was described by the magazine as offering the “quintessential Japanese experience”. It offers visitors everything “from history (in the form of spiritual shrines) to notable cuisine (shojin ryori) and encounters with the infamous Geisha dancers”, the magazine said.

If a theme could be discerned among this year’s winners, it perhaps involved well preserved historical quarters. There were three ancient European cities on the list: Florence (in fourth place), Rome (fifth) and Barcelona (eighth).

Charleston in South Carolina, with its cobble-stoned streets and pre-civil war era houses, was voted second. It was the only US city to make the list. It was followed by the temple city of Siem Reap in Cambodia.

 

No 2 on the list: tourists take a horse drawn carriage ride through the historic area in Charleston, South Carolina.

No 2 on the list: tourists take a horse drawn carriage ride through the historic area in Charleston, South Carolina. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty

The magestic Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap.

No 3 on the list: the majestic Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap. Photograph: Gavin Hellier/Getty

St Mary’s Church in Krakow.

No 7 on the list: St Mary’s Church in Krakow. Photograph: Jon Hicks/Corbis

Florence with the Duomo (R) of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio (L), Florence’s city hall.

Florence with the Duomo, right, of the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore and the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, left, Florence’s town hall. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty

An aerial view of Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town.

No 9 on the list: an aerial view of Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town. Photograph: Alamy

Rounding out the list was Bangkok (sixth), Kraków (seventh), Cape Town (ninth) and Jerusalem (10th).

One of the world’s most widely read travel publications (with a circulation of around seven million), Travel + Leisure also asked its readers to rank the best hotels, islands and airports.

Readers were asked to judge destinations on factors including culture, food, friendliness, shopping and landmarks and rate them out of 100.

The best islands category was won by Ecuador’s spectacular Galápagos Islands, followed by Indonesia’s most popular holiday island, Bali, and the Maldives. Australia’s Tasmania came in at number four.

 

Sea fish tunnel in Galapagos Islands, Equador.

A turtle swims through a school of fish in the waters off the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. Photograph: David Fleetham/Barcroft

Oberoi Udaivilas, in Udaipur, India, was voted the world’s top hotel with a score of 99.29 out of 100. The hotel is set on 50 acres of old hunting grounds and includes a wildlife sanctuary with deer and wild boar.

Rooms for the the hotel, comprising of interconnected domes and corridors, overlooking a series of lakes, start at around $500US a night.

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Aman, The Peninsula and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts were the brands most represented in the top 100 list.

The best airport was Singapore’s mammoth Changi airport with a score of 89.55, followed by Hong Kong International airport then Schiphol in Amsterdam, at number 3.

The full list of winners will be published in the magazine’s August issue.

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

 

This article was written by Brigid Delaney from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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