Portugal, named “World’s Leading Destination” for the third
consecutive year at the World Travel Awards, welcomed more than one million US
visitors in 2019, an annual record achieved in just 10 months, following five
years of double-digit growth.
Turismo de Portugal also won the title of World’s Leading
Tourism Board for the third time, and Lisbon named World’s Leading City Break
Destination 2019. Madeira Island was crowned “Best Island Destination in the
World” for the fifth time in a row.
Tourismo de Portugal (the Portuguese National Tourism Board)
released figures that showed the destination experienced an average monthly
increase of 20.9%, and 22% growth in stays for 2019 with two months remaining
in the year.
The growth in tourism is the result of a concerted 2027
Tourism Strategy to position Portugal as a destination to “visit, invest in,
live, study and organize major events. Our aim will always be to capture more
and better tourism, aligning economic growth with the ever-present concern for
Portugal’s environmental and social sustainability.”
Increases in visits from Newark, Boston, New York and Miami
align with improved air service on TAP Air Portugal (now a private company led
by Jet Blue founder David Neeleman, SATA Air Azores, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and
has growth its non-stop route map, adding services to and from Chicago, San
Francisco and Washington DC, to the New York, Newark, Boston and Miami routes.
In total, Portugal won 12 awards in the grand final of the World Travel Awards, in addition to World’s Leading Destination 2019, World’s Leading Tourist Board, World’s Leading Island Destination (Madeira Islands) and World’s Leading City Break Destination (Lisbon).
World’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2019 (Passadicos do Paiva – Arouca
UNESCO Global Geopark); World’s Leading Conservation Company (Parques de
Sintra-Monte de Lua); World’s Leading Golf & Villa Resort (Dunas Douradas
Beach Club); World’s Leading Classic Hotel (Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel); and
World’s Leading Boutique Hotel Operator (Amazing Evolution Management).
Air Portugal won awards as World’s Leading Airline to Africa, World’s Leading
Airline to South America; and World’s Leading Inflight Magazine (Up Magazine).
tourists are responding to Portugal as a European gem. The country has eight
centuries of history with marvelous castles and architecture,and is a haven for
foodies, with fantastic cuisine, the biggest exclusive fishing zone in Europe
(making seafood fresh and affordable. Pop music lovers come for local music
Always popular cycling tours have gotten an extra charge in recent years with the addition of electric bikes, allowing guests to ride hills with ease or get a boost to keep up with others. E-bikes are now available as an option on tours around the globe, from the Green Mountains of Vermont to the Tuscan countryside and Taiwan’s coastline. They’re even making their way off road and onto trails on e-mountain bike tours among the dunes of Namibia and the Alps in Switzerland. E-bikes mean there are no excuses for not taking a tour because you are afraid you can’t do the hills, the knees aren’t what they used to be.
Here are seven bike tours where you can find an electric ride:
E-MTB Safari in Namibia: Pedal across vast plains and seas of sand dunes, along dry streambeds and rocky jeep tracks, and past shipwrecks and surf on the Skeleton Coast on H+I Adventures’ new E-MTB Safari in Namibia. From the saddle of an e-mountain bike, watch for elephants, giraffes, zebras and oryx, and connecting with local communities along the way.
Natchez Trace Path: Biking the Natchez Trace is a cyclist’s dream come true, and why Cycle of Life Adventures offers it four times a year. The ancient path through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi began as a wildlife and Native American trail, and has a rich history of use by explorers, trappers and traders, post men and Civil War soldiers. An e-bike will ease the few days where the mileage may seem overwhelming.
Tuscan Countryside: On Tourissimo’s cycling tour of Tuscany, Italy, visit some of the region’s most iconic destinations, from Cortona, the delightful hill town made famous by Frances Mayes in her bestselling novel “Under the Tuscan Sun,” to the abbeys, thermal springs and wineries in the countryside outside Pienza. Upgrade to an e-bike capable of covering 70 miles on a charge to go the distance.
Alps by E-MTB: Climb mountain passes and descend to lush valleys on H+I Adventures new E-MTB Tour of Switzerland. Riders will put the country’s seamless transport system to use accessing backcountry singletrack and perfectly built flow trails as they traverse the beautiful Graubünden region by e-mountain bike. Refuel with mid-ride rösti, then unwind with a glass of wine and dinner made with local flavors.
Mediterranean Islands Ride: E-bikes are a great option on Ride & Seek Bicycle Adventures epic cycling tour across Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. Split into three week-long stages, the tour explores the Mediterranean islands’ history, food, architecture and traditions, as well as their strikingly rugged interiors, white beaches and emerald waters.
Vermont Covered Bridges: Ride through more than a dozen covered bridges on a tour of Vermont with Cycle of Life Adventures. This iconic ride passes through Montpelier, Stowe, Middlebury and Woodstock, climbing from river valleys over the Green Mountains. The optional e-bike rental will help flatten out the roads.
E-Bike Taiwan: On Grasshopper Adventures’ Bike Taiwan tour, guests cycle the length of the country from the northern capital, Taipei, to the southern tip. Along the way, they take in the beauty of east Taiwan’s rugged Pacific coast, exotic hot springs and valleys like the stunning Taroko Gorge. Grasshopper is the first tour operator to offer e-bikes to cyclists in Southeast Asia.
Ireland may be a small country but it is rich in culture
with its wild landscapes and hearty culinary delights. From enjoying a pot of
Irish stew, to exploring Ireland’s lush lands and regal castles, you’ll connect
with your Gaelic Roots on Insight Vacations’ immersive experiences.
Planet named Galway as one of the top places to visit
in the world in 2020—a cultural destination highlighted on Insight Vacations’
Ireland itineraries. The accolade has been
given in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020, describing the city as “arguably
Ireland’s most engaging city”.
According to the European
Capital of Culture, visitors to Galway can expect to
experience the city and county’s best year yet, with a year-long program of
extraordinary street spectacle, live and digital art as well as world-class
music, theatre and dance.
As the award-winning leader in premium escorted
travel, Insight Vacations wants travelers to observe Galway with experiences
that go beyond the ordinary. On Insight’s journeys to Ireland, guests
are invited to meet and interact with locals and explore various establishments
that offer authenticity as well as good old-fashioned fun.
Here are several Insight trips that immerse guests
into the unique aspects of Galway:
Country Roads of Ireland (12
Days):Travelers will get the chance to enjoy
breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the
strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. They will spend a day at
their leisure to relax and enjoy the city– perhaps joining an Optional
Experience to the Aran Islands – a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way.
With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish
Focus on Ireland (7 Days):Lead
by Insights’ dedicated and knowledgeable Travel Director, guests will explore
the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher
Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. They will also see
the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John
Irish Elegance (8 Days):Guests will journey the City of the Tribes and visit
Galway’s stunning cathedral. They can take in the beautiful scenery during
their two-night stay at the Connemara Coast Hotel, which is spectacularly set
on the shores of Galway Bay.
For a limited time on Insight Vacations journeys, guests can
visit Galway with Insight Vacations’ amazing air offer:From
now until Dec. 18, travelers can save up to $300 per couple on economy
air on departures from Oct. 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020 to Nov.
By choosing flights with American Airlines, British Airways,
Finnair and Iberia, travelers can save $150 off per person on Economy,
$200 off per person on Premium Economy or $300 off per person on Business Class.
In addition to the these air offers, Insight
Vacations is also offering a 10% savings to Europe with their popular Early
Payment Discount for those who book and pay in full by December 18, 2019. This
discount is combinable with Insights’ air offers.
ST. LUCIA – Jade
Mountain and Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia have been recertified for
the internationally renowned Travelife Gold Certification for Hotels and
Accommodations. The twin properties are the only Gold-certified accommodations
on the Caribbean island, the luxury resorts’ owners, Nick and Karolin
Travelife, the sustainable tourism certification system, has
reassessed Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet’s performance in responsibly
managing their socioeconomic and environmental impacts. The resorts first
achieved certification in 2017 and have worked hard to maintain the title.
To gain a Travelife Gold certification, Jade Mountain and
Anse Chastanet were assessed against 88 sustainability criteria that take into
account the following environmental issues and positive social impacts:
Protecting the environment, by minimizing the
amount of energy, waste and water used;
Respecting and treating employees fairly;
Respecting the local community, including its residents and
the safeguarding of children;
Protecting the local culture, heritage, and wildlife of the
Supporting the local economy and its businesses.
The Troubetzkoys said of the accolade: “We are
absolutely delighted to have achieved Travelife Gold Certification once again,
as environmental efforts have always been at the heart of our resorts. It is
incredibly important to us that we continue to commit to sustainability and to
supporting the local community year-over-year.”
Environmental concerns, sustainability and community efforts
are at the epicenter of Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet, with daily practices
set up to conserve water and energy and increase recycling efforts. These
include but are not restricted to the following:
The design of Jade Mountain reinforces the connection to the
natural environment with passive ventilation of the rooms and natural
day-lighting. Heating and cooling of the sanctuaries (rooms) are based entirely
on the natural rhythms and cycles of the world. Not being dependent on
artificial cooling or lighting of the rooms decreases the use of precious
energy resources and minimizes the carbon footprint of the resort.
The exterior plaza of Jade Mountain was designed to capture
all the rainwater in Koi ponds and planting areas. The plants are then
harvested for use in the resort’s restaurants.
A natural coral tile was used for exterior walkways and roof
areas. It is highly reflective and effectively diminishes any “heat
island” effect in the local micro-climate.
Potable water for the resorts is produced by collecting it
in a reservoir that was originally constructed and used by the British and
French to power the water wheels that crushed sugar cane. The reservoir was
repaired after decades of not being used and now collects over 1.5 million
gallons of water annually that is gravity-fed to a state-of-the-art water
Only local, indigenous plants were used in the landscaping,
which minimizes the need for watering and protects a precious resource.
The resorts were the catalyst behind the coral reefs of St.
Lucia being declared a marine reserve to protect this valuable resource.
The resorts provide alternative transportation for its
employees. On a daily basis, shuttles are scheduled hourly to transport workers
from the resort to the local community, keeping carbon emissions to a minimum.
During the construction of Jade Mountain, any left-over
construction materials were distributed to the local workforce for use on their
Construction materials that were used primarily came from
the island, reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation and the
resultant pollution. For example, wood used was harvested from a managed
During construction, the workers were protected through the
implementation of an Indoor Air Quality plan that minimized worker’s exposure
to harmful airborne compounds.
Low emitting materials (paints, adhesives, etc.) were used
throughout the resorts, which effectively eliminated volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) that are detrimental to a person’s health.
Guests are given the opportunity to learn about the resorts’
sustainability programs and actively participate in environmental
activities such as reef cleaning and tree planting.
Nightly rates at Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain start at
$375 and $1,080, respectively, per room based on double occupancy. Rates
are subject to 10% service charge and 10% VAT. To book visit www.ansechastanet.com or www.jademountain.com.
Rising majestically above the 600-acre beachfront resort of
Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain Resort
on St. Lucia’s southwestern Caribbean coastline is a cornucopia of organic
architecture celebrating the island’s stunning scenic beauty. Architect owner
Nick Troubetzkoy has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with
Caribbean nature in his creation of Jade Mountain. The bold architectural
design – individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool sanctuaries
and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky – makes Jade Mountain
one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. For more
information, visit www.jademountain.com.
Anse Chastanet is set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amidst St. Lucia’s lush tropical beauty, activities range from jungle biking, hiking and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach. The environmentally friendly, award-winning resort comprises 49 individually designed rooms, 37 of which are scattered about a lush hillside, and 12 that are nestled within a tropical garden at beach level. Innovative menus – one of which is entirely vegetarian – are offered in four different locations and feature fresh produce served up from the resort’s organic farm. Guests can partake in interactive chocolate-making classes in the resort’s chocolate laboratory and a variety of water sports are also on offer. For further information, visit www.ansechastanet.com.
Global travel authority Lonely Planet unveiled its top 10 countries, cities, regions and best-value destinations for next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020.
Best in Travel 2020 is Lonely Planet’s 15th annual
collection of the world’s hottest destinations and journeys for the year ahead.
This edition places particular emphasis on the best sustainable travel
experiences for 2020 — ensuring travelers will have a positive impact wherever
they choose to go.
Bhutan — the kingdom set to become the first fully
organic nation by 2020 — claims the coveted spot as the number-one country to
visit in 2020, while England places second and North Macedonia
number-one region for 2020 is the Central Asian Silk Road, which is now
more accessible than ever before, thanks to visa improvements for the majority
of the world’s citizens, along with massive transportation and infrastructure
investment. Le Marche, Italy comes in second, followed by Tōhoku,
Number-one city Salzburg,
Austria will be pulling out all the stops for the centenary of its
world-famous festival of music and drama next year, while Washington, DC,
USA is second-ranked, with Cairo, Egypt in third place.
Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara, Hungary’s Budapest and India’s
Madhya Pradesh are Lonely Planet’s top three best-value destinations for
Each year, Lonely
Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely
Planet’s vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and
more. The nominations are then whittled down by our panel of travel experts to
just 10 countries, 10 regions, 10 cities and 10 best value destinations. Each
is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences and ‘wow’ factor.
For Best in Travel
2020, Lonely Planet’s experts have also selected the best New
Openings, New Places to Stay, New Food Experiences, and Sustainable
Trips for Families, as well as devoting an entire chapter to the best ways
to Travel Well.
www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel features tips and videos on visiting each
destination, as well as a chance to win a Silk Road adventure for two. The top
10 cities can also be explored for free with Lonely Planet’s Guides
Top 10 Countries
3 North Macedonia
6. Costa Rica
7. The Netherlands
Top 10 Regions
1. Central Asian Silk
2. Le Marche, Italy
3. Tōhoku, Japan
4. Maine, USA
5. Lord Howe Island,
6. Guizhou Province,
7. Cadiz Province, Spain
8. Northeast Argentina
9. Kvarner Gulf, Croatia
10. Brazilian Amazon
Top 10 Cities
1. Salzburg, Austria
2. Washington, DC, USA
3. Cairo, Egypt
4. Galway, Ireland
5. Bonn, Germany
6. La Paz, Bolivia
7. Kochi, India
8. Vancouver, Canada
9. Dubai, UAE
10. Denver, USA
Top 10 Best Value
1. East Nusa Tenggara,
2. Budapest, Hungary
3. Madhya Pradesh, India
4. Buffalo, USA
8. Cape Winelands, South
9. Athens, Greece
10. Zanzibar, Tanzania
The Travel Edit
Best New Openings
Best New Places to Stay
Best New Food Experiences
Best Sustainable Trips for
Should We All Be Flying Less?
Traveling on a Carbon Diet
Going Local, for the
Taking Action on the Road
Lessons from Indigenous
Hiking for Meditation
Competition: To celebrate this year’s Best in Travel, Lonely Planet is
partnering with G Adventures and TourRadar to give visitors to lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel the chance to win a Silk Road adventure for two
through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The prize includes:
> a 15-day Best of
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Tour from Dushanbe to Tashkent;
> a AUD $4,000 (approximately USD $2,700)
travel voucher to put towards two return economy flights;
> up to AUD $500 (approximately USD $340)
towards offsetting the carbon footprint of the winners’ flights;
> two copies of Lonely
Planet’s Best in Travel 2020.
To enter, simply tell us in 255 characters or
less why you’d love to experience the Central Asian Silk Road.
Lonely Planet is a world-leading travel publisher: a
globe-spanning digital travel media company and the world’s number one travel
guidebook brand. We’ve been providing both inspiring and trustworthy
information for every kind of traveler since 1973. We reach hundreds of
millions of travelers each year online and via our mobile products and help
them unlock amazing experiences. Over the past 40 years we’ve printed over 145
million guidebooks as well as countless other titles showcasing the wonders of
the world for travelers of all types. Lonely Planet can be found on lonelyplanet.com, mobile, video and in 14 languages, 13
international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks and more.
“At Lonely Planet we
seek to make a difference in people’s lives by spreading the power of travel.
We firmly believe that travel has a significant positive impact on people’s
lives and outlooks and is a force of positive change.”
Only a few spots remain for adventurous Indiana Jones-types and intrepid Nellie Blys willing to compete in the Global Scavenger Hunt, a world travel championship that hands the winning team a cool $50,000 first place prize.
The 15th edition of TheGlobal Scavenger Hunt travel adventure competition aims to return the romance of travel while testing the travel IQ of the most travel savvy of globetrotters. They will complete a series of highly participatory, authentic and challenging cultural site-doing scavenges in ten secret countries over a 23-day circumnavigation between April 12 and May 4, 2019. Trusting strangers in strange lands is required!
“The Global Scavenger Hunt covers a lot of extraordinary travel bases,” says author and Event Director William Chalmers, “Taking our blind date with the world is a 21st century version of spinning a globe and throwing out your finger. Maybe that’s why we’ve been called the ‘Super Bowl of Travel,’ the ‘Olympics of Travel’, and one writer even called our annual travel adventure the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. I liked that one!”
The reviews for the annual world travel championship are in too: Conde Nast Traveler calls The Global Scavenger Hunt, “the best trip to take…”; Frommer’s lists it as one of “best adrenaline adventures…” in the world; Outside magazine bills it as, “One of the most amazing trips in the world…”; and National Geographic says that the event is, “…like Survivor, The Amazing Race and the Eco-Challenge all rolled into one except with much more cultural interaction.”
The 23-day around the world event is limited to 15 teams of two with the $25,000 per team entry fee including: all international airfare, first class hotels, 40% of meals and special event-sponsored travel gear. Single travelers are welcome to apply; and all travelers will be interviewed for suitability. Please contact GreatEscape Adventures at +1.310.281.7809 or apply online at GlobalScavengerHunt.com. (CST#2071053-40)
Tourico Vacations, an online booking engine, is in position to assist in booking trips to the most popular destinations for 2019. Haven’t decided? From European excursions to African and Asian adventures, here are some favorites:
If you’re interested in exploring vast rural landscapes and relaxing in beautifully remote areas, The Isle of Skye in Scotland, and Namibia, Africa, are two of 2019’s top contenders. Namibia’s stunning deserts, massive dunes, shipwrecked coastline, and plethora of diverse wildlife (including desert-adapted lions and elephants) make it an extraordinarily unique area. On the other hand, The Isle of Skye’s lush yet rugged countryside, medieval castles, quaint fishing villages, and relentless historical charm make it equally stunning.
If lounging on empty beaches and uninterruptedly soaking up sun sound like better ways to spend your 2019, choosing between the Andaman Islands in India, and Krabi, Thailand, will be tough. Phulay Bay is a phenomenal luxury resort on the white beaches of Krabi, and the entire area is known for being “still under the radar, uncrowded and peaceful.” The Andaman Islands, however, are known to be “among the world’s top diving destinations,” boasting nearly 600 mostly-uninhabited isles to explore.
If you’re looking for vibrant colorful communities, spectacular food, and special cultural experiences to kick off your 2019, it’s hard to choose between Chengdu, China, and Moscow, Russia. Moscow definitely has the impressive architecture and exchange rates to make the newly revived capital a must-see city. However, Chengdu’s infamous teahouses, colorful wet markets, fashion, culture, and food makes it unmatchable – plus, they have pandas.
Tourico Vacations is an online booking engine designed to provide customers with insider prices on more than 16,000 hotels, 2,000 cruise itineraries, flights, car rentals, vacation packages, and attractions worldwide. In addition to travel services, Tourico Vacations recently introduced Condos, European and American homes, a service offering accommodations at over 4,500 luxury vacation condos worldwide by the week.
Historic Hotels of Europe announced the winners of its 6th annual awards honoring the most unique, important and cultural properties spanning across the continent across eight special categories, from weddings to fine dining.
Festningen Hotel & Resort in Norway, the 17th-century fortress bursting with majesty, won Historic Hotels of Europe’s Historic Hotel Castle Award for 2017.
Romantik Hotel Castle Rheinfels based in Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley, won Most Romantic Historic Hotel of the year.
The ceremony took place in November at the legendary Barberstown Castle near Dublin, Ireland. Originally built as a fortress in 1288, the castle’s most famous owner was Eric Clapton during the 80s. Its current host Ken Healy hosted the gala dinner, which was attended by the first three nominees in each category and dozens of representatives from the finest historic hotels.
From the 400 exceptional stays throughout Europe, the winners of the sixth prestigious Historic Hotels of Europe Awards are:
In the Historic Host of the Year category, Dalen Hotel in Norway came in top. Known as the ‘fairytale hotel’ with its dragonheads, spires, towers, and balconies – the hospitality is equally dream-like.
Winner of the City Historic Hotel Award was the incredible four-star boutique Heritage Avenida Liberdade, located in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal.
From cosmopolitan retreats to sprawling vineyards, L’Unicorno Agriturismo in Italy won the Historic Hotel Countryside Award.
Sundbyholms Slott in Sweden received an award for its outstanding castle weddings in the Historic Hotel Wedding Experience category. With its very own chapel, cake services and cannoneers who shoot real 17th-century gun salutes on reception, the hotel was a worthy winner.
Another historic treasure crowned was Festningen Hotel & Resort in Norway. Perched on an iconic hill overlooking Finnskogen forest, the 17th-century fortress is bursting with majesty, landing it the Historic Hotel Castle Award this year.
Dedicated to the revival of the traditional cuisine and aromas of Mani and within luxurious surroundings, Kyrimai Hotel Restaurant was the foodie’s choice. The wonderfully restored 19th-century building complex on the southern tip of rural Greece surrounded by water, was crowned with the Historic Hotels Gourmet Award.
Romantik Hotel Castle Rheinfels topped the 400-strong collection of historic hotels for its sheer heart-stealing ambience. Based in Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Middle Rhine Valley, the four-star castle won Most Romantic Historic Hotel of the year.
Historic Hotels of Europe celebrates high standards of cultural and historical-hotel-keeping throughout the continent, so the Historic Hotel with ‘A Story To Tell’ award is very special. This year, it went to Allegory Boutique Hotel, a truly unique small property in the medieval town of Rhodes, Greece with just 6 units named after the Ovidian characters.
“The winners of the 2018 Historic Hotels of Europe Awards represent an inspiring group of hoteliers with exceptional historic properties and outmost dedication to authentic hospitality spanning across Europe”, said Barbara Avdis, Chairman of the Historic Hotels of Europe. “The Hotels receive their merit with the organization’s highest honor, a guest’s choice, the Historic Hotels Awards.”
Historic Hotels of Europe is a membership organization representing unique places to stay in Europe. Encompassing castles, chateaus, palaces, monasteries, convents and more, they have almost 400 members dotted across 11 countries. Each property within the association has been handpicked for its historical architecture and the unique stories it tells.
“Whether you’re living like a lord or lady at a 16th-century manor, or a spa-based bliss in the Med, the aim is to give guests that ‘something special’ – a genuine, one-of-a-kind experience.”
The Broadmoor of Colorado Springs, The Dunhill Hotel of Charlotte, Mayflower Park Hotel of Seattle, West Baden Springs Hotel of Indiana, Amway Grand Plaza of Grand Rapids were among the winners of Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence for 2017 by Historic Hotels of America® and Historic Hotels Worldwide®. The winners were announced at a special ceremony and gala at The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) in Hot Springs, Virginia. Honors were given in multiple categories ranging from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Best Historic Resort, Historic Hotelier of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.
Each year, these Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence honor, encourage, and recognize the most exemplary historic hotels, hoteliers, and leadership practices. The Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence are presented to historic hotels and hoteliers demonstrating innovative leadership, stewardship, and contribution to furthering the recognition, preservation, and celebration of these preeminent historic hotels and their histories.
From more than 200 nominees, the following Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide hotels and hoteliers were honored with these prestigious annual awards for 2017:
Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (Under 75 Guestrooms): The Dunhill Hotel (1929) Charlotte, North Carolina
“The winners of the 2017 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence represent more than 231 years of history and include the finest iconic and legendary historic hotels from across the United States of America and from around the world,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “We applaud these magnificent historic hotels and their hoteliers for their dedication, passion, stewardship and success in preserving these treasures and their stories for future generations of travelers.”
Award recipients are selected from nominees received from historic hotels, historic preservation supporters, prior award recipients, and leadership from Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. As official programs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide provide the recognition to travelers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage, and historic travel market that member hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America and around the world. The Historic Hotels Annual Awards of Excellence program recognizes the pinnacle of this distinct group of nominees in a range of categories.
Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 member historic hotels which have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.
Historic Hotels Worldwide® is a prestigious collection of historic treasures, including historic hotels, castles, chateaus, palaces, academies, haciendas, villas, monasteries, and other historic lodging spanning ten centuries. Historic Hotels Worldwide represents the finest global collection of more than 260 historic hotels in more than 36 countries. Historic Hotels Worldwide is dedicated to promoting heritage and cultural travel to prestigious historic treasures. Hotels inducted into Historic Hotels Worldwide are authentic historic treasures, demonstrate historic preservation, and celebrate historic significance. Embracing luxury hotel brands, chains, collections, and the finest independent historic hotels, participation is limited to those distinctive historic hotels that adhere to the following criteria: minimum age for the building is 75 years or older; historically relevant as a significant location with a historic district, historically significant landmark, place of a historic event, former home of a famous person, or historic city center; hotel celebrates its history by showcasing memorabilia, artwork, photography, and other examples of its historic significance; recognized by national preservation or heritage buildings organization or located within UNESCO World Heritage Site; presently used as historic hotel. To learn more visit www.HistoricHotelsWorldwide.com
Where are the best places in the world in 2017 for Americans to live better, reinvent their life and have a grand adventure? That’s the basis for the new Live and Invest Overseas’ ranking of the “Top 10 Best Places to Live Overseas in 2017”. The list includes locales in traditional places like Portugal, France and Spain, as well as places one might not expect, including the Dominican Republic, Malaysian Borneo, Nicaragua, and Colombia.
“Our best places to live overseas list is part of a new series of New Year rankings that the editors of Live and Invest Overseas have put together,” said Kathleen Peddicord, author and publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, a leading resource on investment, real estate, retirement, and living overseas today. “For this list, we asked ourselves where are the best places in the world to live better, reinvent one’s life, and have a grand adventure in 2017?”
The list includes locales in traditional places like Portugal, France, and Spain, as well as places one would not expect, including the Dominican Republic, Malaysian Borneo, Nicaragua, and Colombia (and Kathleen adds a “bonus”: Paris).
Here are Kathleen’s recommendations:
1) Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal
Portugal is the best-kept secret of Old World Europe. For three years running, we have named its Algarve coast as the world’s best place to retire overseas.
Coastal Carvoeiro, in particular, qualifies as perhaps the most appealing place on earth to call home if you want to live on the water in a real-world (as opposed to a developing-world) setting.
The take-your-breath-away views from Carvoeiro’s rocky coast, the constant sunshine, the near-perfect weather year-round, the food, the wine, the history… it all adds up to top-shelf of living yours for a very bargain price.
Thanks to the current down value of the euro, the enviable coastal Continental lifestyle on offer in Carvoeiro is further reduced… and the cost of a very rentable home or condo is irresistibly discounted.
2) El Poblado, Colombia
Escobar’s dead and the city he and his goons once terrorized is today at peace.
Located in one corner of Medellín, El Poblado offers a comfortable, tranquil, idyllic way of life for a super affordable cost. At the current exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Colombian peso, the luxury-level cosmopolitan lifestyle available in El Poblado is an even greater bargain.
Medellín is culture rich and Euro chic; its people well dressed, well mannered, and welcoming. Medellín’s heart, El Poblado, is our #1 pick for city living on a budget.
3) Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Las Terrenas is quintessential Caribbean with a French twist. The big and established community of French expats living in this white-sand beach town means fresh baguette, great restaurants, and kisses on both cheeks in greeting.
Infrastructure is improving, establishing residency is easy, and the cost of living is one of the great bargains of today’s Caribbean… making Las Terrenas our #1 pick for a new life with a Caribbean Sea view.
4) Santa Familia, Belize
If you want to leave the troubles and the worries of our age behind, little Santa Familia village in Cayo, Belize, is calling your name. Life in Cayo is back to basics, simple, and sweet. You know your neighbors, they know you, and you all look out for each other.
Belize’s Cayo is a region of wide-open spaces, fresh air, warm sun and fertile land, making it our pick for the world’s best place to disconnect and unplug.
5) Pau, France
France is a country of superlatives. World’s best quality of life… best health care… best food… best art and fashion… most beautiful, most romantic city (more on this in a moment)…
To many, la vie française is the good life defined, and the charms and appeals of French Country Life are unrivalled. In this context, we suggest you consider Pau, also known as the “Green City” and the “Garden City,” thanks to its ratio of greenery per square meter per person, one of the highest of any European city.
Pau’s landscape is accessible woodlands, the steep slopes of Jurançon wine country, the history-packed Plaine de Nay and its main town of Nay and the pretty rolling countryside and ancient towns of the Gaves de Béarn.
Pau is also a university town, with close to 12,000 university students living on and off campus, helping to keep it lively.
Brits and other North Europeans have been seeking out this part of France for retirement for years. This is a very friendly bunch of people with a wide range of backgrounds and interests always ready to welcome newcomers.
6) Chiang Mai, Thailand
Since the 1800s, the Thai city of Chiang Mai has been luring expats from the West with its über-low cost of living, great weather (especially compared with elsewhere in Thailand), rich history and distinct culture.
The heart of Chiang Mai lies within its old city walls where ancient and modern Buddhist temples coexist with public and international schools, residential and commercial neighborhoods.
Modern Chiang Mai has grown beyond the ancient walls and offers mega-malls, huge multi-national grocery and department stores, and all other trappings of life in the 21st century.
The biggest advantage to life in Chiang Mai is its cost in general and of health care in particular. A couple can live here comfortably on as little as US$1,100 per month, and you can see an English-speaking doctor for US$20.
7) Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen is a little beach town that sits about an hour south of Cancún on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Once a sleepy fishing town, the port was inadvertently put on the map by Jacques Cousteau in 1954 when he filmed an underwater documentary of the Great Mayan Reef just offshore.
Divers began seeking out these Caribbean waters for themselves, and in the 1970s a port was built to ferry the tourists from the mainland to Cozumel.
Today Playa is home to more than 10,000 foreigners, including Europeans, Americans, Canadians, Argentinians, Venezuelans and many other nationals of all ages including 20- and 30-somethings, young families and retired couples.
Playa is also a welcoming destination for the LGBT community.
8) Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, in the northeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, is a vibrant, colorful, proud city that combines the passion of the Spanish with the efficiency and organization of the Catalans.
This is a city with a strong energy that has not been dampened by Spain’s ongoing economic woes and the economic, cultural, and administrative capital of Catalonia.
Spain’s second-biggest city is easily and quickly explored thanks to its compact, well-laid-out design… and the opportunities for diversion, entertainment, and discovery are many. Art and architecture from pre-Roman to Modernista is around every corner. This is a city of galleries, museums, monuments, theaters, restaurants and shopping… with the beach just right there.
9) Granada, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is a beautiful country with a troubled history that appeals to the romantic, the poet, the eco-traveler, the surfer (the break off Nicaragua’s Pacific coast is world-class) and the bargain hunter. The cost of living, of real estate and of everything else is a steal.
Geographically, Nicaragua is blessed, with two long coastlines and two big lakes, plus volcanoes, highlands, rain forest and rivers. In this regard, it’s got everything Costa Rica’s got, all less discovered, less developed and less expensive.
Architecturally, too, Nicaragua is notable. Colonial Granada is its architectural jewel. This city, one of the oldest in Latin America, is also busier and livelier today than at any other time during its near five centuries of history, attracting tourists and expats in record numbers.
When you see it, you understand why. The setting for this colonial town is like out of a fairy tale—the lake, the volcano, the mountains. At night, the backdrop is an ink-streaked sky that, just before the sun sets, illuminates the yellow and white cathedrals in ways that would have inspired Matisse to set up his easel.
10) Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo
This laid-back and quiet city is one of the most pleasant places to live in Asia and is incredibly welcoming. Its biggest practical advantages are the low cost of living and the high standard (and low cost) of health care. A couple could live well here on US$1,200 a month or less.
The city is small and walkable, less than 3 kilometers from end-to-end. Life revolves around the water and is lived out-of-doors. At home, you can fill your days snorkeling, diving, boating and ferry hopping from the city center to neighboring islands.
This is a little-known, low-key, low-population destination offering a tranquil, serene, close-to-nature lifestyle at a cost that’s a global bargain.
Bonus from Kathleen: Paris, France
“I would argue that no list of world’s most appealing places to spend time is complete if it doesn’t include Paris. This is as true as we turn the corner into 2017 as it has been since people first compiled world’s best lists.
“Life in Paris can be as good as life gets anywhere. I figure you know that.
“What you may not realize is that the cost of living in Paris can be manageable.
“About a month before our move from France to Panama, my husband Lief presented me with a budget showing that our cost of living in Panama City would be more or less on par with what it had been in Paris.
“I suggested that Lief, an accountant by training, double-check his figures.
“But Lief was right. Our day-to-day costs have averaged out to be the same in the Hub of the Americas as they were in the City of Light.
“Paris is a place where even a modest lifestyle can feel rich and where some of the greatest pleasures—strolls along the Seine, picnics in the Luxembourg Gardens—come free.
“Paris is also a city where a car is an unnecessary liability. We lived four years in Paris happily auto-free. We walked everywhere. The butcher, the baker, the grocer, the wine shop and our son’s school were all less than 15 minutes from our apartment, as were (are) the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre, the Latin Quarter, six movie theaters and at least a dozen cafes and restaurants.
“When we wanted to venture beyond our quartier we took the Metro. For 1 euro 90 cents you can get from anywhere to anywhere in this city you might want to go.
“Other things in Paris can be cheap, too, including necessaries of modern living like cable, telephone and Internet. You can get a phone plan in France that includes unlimited calls to anywhere in Europe, North America, and the Caribbean plus cable TV and wireless internet and cable for 45 euros monthly.
“These thoughts are on my mind as we move into 2017 because this summer Lief and I will be repositioning our home base from Panama City back to Paris.
“If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go? For me the answer to that question has always been Paris,” Kathleen writes.
Other lists in the 2017 New Year Overseas series are “The Best Places to Buy Real Estate,” “The Best Places to Go Offshore” (for taxes, banking, asset protection, second passports, etc.), and “The Best Places to Start a Business.” Every July, Live and Invest Overseas publishes its annual Retire Overseas Index.
Based in Panama City, Panama, LIOS is the leading resource for people who want to live, retire, and invest overseas. Headed by KathleenPeddicord and Lief Simon – who collectively have more than 50 years’ experience visiting, living, and investing in foreign countries – LIOS and its free e-letter service the Overseas Opportunity Letter have more than 500,000 regular readers.