‘Travel + Leisure – India’s Best Awards 2016′
On 17th November 2016, I attended ‘Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s India’s Best Awards 2016′. The venue of the event was Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi. It was one of Delhi’s nippy evening but the travel enthusiasts of the capital came forward to raise a toast to 49 awards across different categories. The categories ranged from the best country, emerging destination, cruise, business hotel, airport, destination spa, and honeymoon destinations in India and across the world. The winners were chosen by magazine’s discerning readers through 100% digital voting process. This starry night was no different than usual awards nights. The awards were announced, winners were called out on the stage and the good work of the brands was cheered by travelers from around the world. But, yes the travel revelations were amazing. Some of the countries and states that emerged as winners showed that this new generation is definitely bent upon changing the face of travel. The most brighter side of the award function was that it was a master wish-list for travelers.
Travel industry trends as well as choices of travelers are changing!!
Each winner this year reflects a changing business and cultural climate, the fact that readers are travelling deeper, and that they are seeking new and varied experiences. As always, it is wonderful to inspire our readers and be inspired by them,” says Ruchira Bose, Editor, Travel + Leisure India & South Asia.
The chief guest for the evening was Dr. Martin Ney, the German Ambassador to India, delivered a keynote speech and presented awards to the winners. Mr. Lorenzo Angeloni, the Italian Ambassador to India, also graced the occasion. The evening saw many other known names in the travel and lifestyle industries. Classical musician Ustaad Shujaat Khan, Padmashri Kathak Guru Shovana Narayan, spiritual guru Anita Achariaji, Priya Paul, Chairperson of The Apeejay Surendra Park Hotels, tech guru Rajiv Makhni, former Indian cricketer Atul Wassan, Anil Lepps, CEO, India Bulls and Monisha Bajaj, designer Dhruv Kapur, and Tripoto co-founder Michael Lyngdoh were invited to present the awards. Travel + Leisure magazine is proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
If this is what we call changing travel trends, I must say these results brought a fresh perspective in the travel world. As a travel blogger, I love keeping myself updated with latest travel news and I can bet the list below is quite different from the general lists which keep floating on the internet. While Abu Dhabi won the top spot with Thailand as best wedding destination, South Africa along with France was voted top honeymoon destination. If wildlife and ‘adventure in the bush’ are new favorites among newly weds, I am absolutely delighted at the travelers choices. But at the same time, the result left me surprised because I hardly saw any couples-newly weds or honeymooners in my 45 days trip in South Africa a few months ago.
With easy accessibility of visa, Thailand have been doing really well for last few years but Abu Dhabi came as a happy surprise. In contrast to glamorous Dubai, this Emirate maintains an exclusive stature and definitely needs more love from travelers.
Favorite Destinations, Hotels, Cities, Cruises, Airlines and More
While I have been closely covering the heart of India-Madhya Pradesh on my blog these days, I was very happy to see the Best State award given to Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. Telangana is a beautiful and unexplored state and I am glad more travelers will discover its gems. Best emerging destinations came out to be ‘Andhra Pradesh’ & ‘Tamil Nadu.’
Israel and Mexico were chosen as the best cultural destinations. I have been really curious around Israel for couple of months and now I am really looking forward to visiting it soon. Mexico has been on the favorites list for long. Internationally, the best emerging destination slot was shared by Germany and Bulgaria.
Canada surpassed all other countries to win the Best Adventure Destination while I always thought New Zealand or South Africa were more about thrilling experiences. This also means that we do have information about countries but there is lot more to discover about the beautiful places around the globe.
India’s Best Awards List 2016
Best Country – Singapore & Australia
Best City – Hong Kong
Best Emerging Destination – Bulgaria & Germany
Best Heritage Destination – Israel & Mexico
Best Honeymoon Destination – France & South Africa
Best Wedding Destination – Thailand & Abu Dhabi
Best Food Destination – Spain & Japan
Best Family Destination – Switzerland
Best Luxury Destination – Italy & Ireland
Best Adventure Destination – Canada
Best State – Telangana & Madhya Pradesh
Best Emerging Destination – Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu
Best Heritage Destination – Bihar & Odisha
Best Cultural Destination – West Bengal & Karnataka
Best Honeymoon Destination – Kerala
Best Wedding Destination – Goa & Puducherry
Best Family Destination – Gujrat & Maharashtra
Best Spiritual Destination – Uttarakhand
Best New Hotel – InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram
Best Heritage Hotel – The Imperial, New Delhi & The Taj Falaknuma
Best Boutique Hotel – Namah, Jim Corbett
Best Hotel For Women Travellers – Leela Palace, New Delhi & Ritz Carlton-Bangalore
Best Business Hotel – Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi & The Park, New Delhi
Best Luxury Business Hotel – Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway
Best Luxury Resort – The Oberoi Udaivilas Udipur
Best Destination Spa – Kumarakom Lake Resort
Best Hotel Group – The Oberoi Group & The Taj Group
Best New Hotel – Andaz Amsterdam & Palazzo Versace, Dubai
Best Business Hotel – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai & Park Hyatt Tokyo
Best Heritage Hotel – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore
Best Luxury Resort – One & Only Reethi Rah Maldives
Best Hotel Group – Starwood Hotels & Resorts (Marriott International)
Best Destination Spa – Anantara Qasr Al Sarab, Abu Dhabi
Best Hotel Loyalty Programme- SPG – Starwood Preferred Guest
Best Golf Resort- The Address Montgomerie Dubai
Best Luxury Safari Resort- Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa
Best Airport-International- Changi Airport, Singapore
Best Airline- International- Lufthansa and Emirates
Best Airport-India- Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3
Best Airline-Domestic- Vistara
Best Airport Lounge- Virgin Atlantic London Heathrow Clubhouse
Best Duty Free Shopping- Mumbai Duty Free
Best Amusement Park- Universal Studios, Singapore
Best Integrated Resort- Resort World Sentosa, Singapore
Best Tour Operator- Abercrombie & Kent India, Cox & Kings India
Best Cruise- Regent Seven Seas
Mr. Jidhu and Ms. Trisha Singh were awarded Best Amateur Travel Photographer and Best Travel Blogger respectively.