Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) has released the results of its 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards, revealing the hottest hotels, destinations, airlines, cruiselines and train trips of 2019.
This year, a record 600,000 readers weighed in on the survey, giving their two cents on nearly 10,000 hotels, resorts, and destination spas, with barely 15 per cent making the final cut.
Aussie favourite Indonesia earned the top spot in the Best Countries list, closely followed by Thailand, Portugal, Sri Lanka and South Africa in the top five. City wise, travellers are casting their eyes towards the land of the rising sun, with Tokyo taking out the top spot, Kyoto coming in second, followed by Singapore, Vienna and Osaka.
Those seeking the island life have favoured Boracay, Cebu and Visayas Islands in the Philippines, Malaysia’s Penang, Palawan in the Philippines again and Indonesia’s Bali.
In terms of accomodation, the hottest hotel for 2019 was SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Beverly Hills, followed by Zurich’s Baur au Lac, Taj Lake Palace in India’s Rajasthan, 1 Hotel in West Hollywood and Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club on Miami Beach.
Locally, Australia and New Zealands most saught after hotels were Melbourne’s the Langham, Perth’s COMO the Treasury, Lancemore Lindenderry in Red Hill, Fortitude Balley’s the Calile, and Cabrita Beach’s Halcyon House.
For local luxury in Australia and the South Pacific, CNT readers reckon you can’t go past Fiji’s Nanuki of Auberge Resorts Collection, Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge, Fiji’s Namale Resort and Spa, Conrad in Bora Bora Nui and yet another Fijian property with Likuliku Lagoon Resort coming in fifth.
Onto cruise, and Royal Caribbean has topped the list for the number one mega ship line (more than 4,000 passengers), Disney Cruise Line was the favourite for large ships (2,500 to 4,000 passengers), for medium ships (500 to 2,400 passengers) and small ships (fewer than 500 passengers) CNT readers turned to Crystal Cruises, with the line’s river cruise division taking out best river ship line.
Singapore Airlines topped the list for best international airline, followed by Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines. Australia’s national carrier, Qantas was ranked sixth with Singapore’s Changi Airport taking out the best international airport.
And finally, the winners for the best luxury trains in the world were Belmond Andean Explorer in South America, Europe’s Golden Eagle Danube Express, Australia’s the Ghan, Rocky Mountaineer in North America and the Belmond Hiram Bingham in South America.
To see the full results, go here.