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
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.”
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
Travel media company Lonely Planet’s travel experts scoured the states this year to create its annual list of the top 10 most exciting places to go in the United States in the year ahead. Best in the US 2017 (lonelyplanet.com/best-in-us), lists the 10 destinations poised to shine next year, whether they’re up-and-coming, overlooked or offer new, inviting reasons to visit in 2017.
This year, Lonely Planet named the charming enclave of Asheville, North Carolina as the #1 destination in the US to visit in 2017. The vibrant small city is known for its welcoming, creative spirit and eclectic architecture. Its thriving artistic community and booming food and drink scene – all surrounded by spectacular natural beauty – is putting it firmly on the map.
Following in second place is Western Washington, where iconic landscapes made their way into popular consciousness in Twin Peaks, the television drama making a comeback in 2017. In third place is heartland hub Lincoln, Nebraska, hosting festivals throughout the year to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Other notable places that made the list include the southern desert area of California (#4), Texas’ relatively unknown wine country (#8) and a picture-perfect strip of Florida coast (#10).
“Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017 are the places we recommend travelers go next year,” said Lonely Planet magazine managing editor Rebecca Warren. “This year’s list is incredibly diverse, spanning from coast to coast, giving a panoramic tour of America. Whether travelers want to escape to the mountains, get transported back in time or relax by the beach, these are the destinations to be excited about. Some of them are on the public’s radar, while others are recently emerging, and they all offer compelling reasons to visit in 2017.”
Now in its 7th edition, Lonely Planet’s Best in the US is a highly anticipated list of cities, regions and states worth traveling to in the year ahead, selected and ranked by Lonely Planet’s US destination editors, writers and travel community. The list is available online at lonelyplanet.com/best-in-us, featuring a video and a chance to win a weekend away for two in #1 Asheville, plus accompanying articles on each destination.
100-mile stretch of sugar-fine sand and beachfront towns
Frequented by the rich and famous, and still affordable
The Truman Showtown of Seaside is an eco-friendly, 80-acre dream
Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017 goes beyond the locations featured in its annual Best in Travel 2017, which names the best places to visit all over the globe, featuring Canada (#1 country), Coastal Georgia, Los Angeles and Portland.
Competition: Enter for a chance to win a weekend trip to #1 Best in the US 2017 destination. Thanks to Explore Asheville and Biltmore. Runs Dec 6, 2016 – Feb 6, 2017.
Castles, a convent, elegant country houses and a former tobacco store are among the 10 luxury hotels named winners of Historic Hotels of Europe awards for 2016.
Guests voted for their favorite hotels in 10 categories, including romance, legend, fine dining, and spa facilities.
Historic Hotels of Europe (HHE) chairman Barbara Avdis said: ‘These awards are an opportunity to reward the outstanding effort that the staff at our member hotels put in to ensure their guests are happy.
“It’s also a celebration of the commitment our members make to maintain the incredibly rich heritage and stories encapsulated in these buildings – and to recognize their constant striving to provide an excellent service for their guests.”
HHE is a not-for-profit umbrella company championing more than 500 of Europe’s most historically-significant hotels.
Each member hotel is unique and each is wrapped inextricably into the history of their location – and of Europe beyond. That’s why the organization selected ten separate categories for the judging.
“The HHE members are so diverse in location, history and type, so having one common measure would be unfair to all,” Barbara Avdis commented.
The winners of the fourth HHE awards were announced in November at a gala dinner at Château de l’Epinay in Saint-Georges-sur-Loire, France.
Winners include Chesa Salis in Bever, Switzerland. Owners Jurg and Sibylla Degiacomi describe their hotel as ‘your home in the Engadin’, so they were delighted to take home the award for best customer care. Little wonder Chesa Salis is a frequent retreat for celebrities escaping the bustle of nearby St Moritz.
Another winner is Aigialos Hotel, in Santorini, Greece. The 16 renovated neoclassical houses that make up the hotel were originally the homes of the island’s noble captain families. Named best historic hotel with a story to tell, the Aigialos charms visitors with its cobbled walkways, overlooking deep blue seas and the island’s volcano.
Winner of the most romantic hotel is Vadstena Convent Hotel, in Sweden. The property has a remarkable history: originally a royal palace, in the 1300s it was the scene of lavish parties thrown by King Magnus Eriksson and his wife Blanche. But the place underwent an abrupt change of fortune when it was transformed into a monastery and convent so austere that log fires, even in a Swedish winter, were strictly forbidden. Vadstena has even been a nursing home for wounded soldiers during wartime – but today it’s a luxury hotel packed with historic charm.
“Our historic hotels are eclectic and authentic, and we aim to take our guests on a journey of inspiring experiences beyond the expected,” Avidis commented
BOULDER, CO — OUTSIDE has selected Natural Habitat Adventures, a premier nature travel company, to receive its Best of Travel 2015 award for the company’s Base Camp Greenland Adventure, the Best Splurge in travel.
OUTSIDE launched its travel awards series in 2012, and it has quickly become one of the most prestigious awards in the adventure travel industry. Nat Hab was honored as Best Outfitter worldwide in 2013, and the company is excited to make the list again in 2015.
“We’re thrilled that OUTSIDE recognizes the effort and meticulous planning that go into our trips. This has surely been the case with Base Camp Greenland,” said Ben Bressler, founder and president of Natural Habitat Adventures. “We think it is indeed worthy of a splurge!”
From newly revealed travel territories to the best deals, OUTSIDE’s Best of Travel 2015 celebrates the destinations and travel providers that inspire people to participate in an active lifestyle. The entire list of winners appears in OUTSIDE’s April issue (on newsstands March 17), and online at www.outsideonline.com/bestoftravel.
The Best Splurge, according to OUTSIDE, is to experience Greenland’s Arctic wilderness via an all-inclusive stay at Natural Habitat’s Base Camp Greenland (www.nathab.com/alaska-northern-adventures/greenland-nature-adventure). Base Camp Greenland is a new ecolodge near the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet in East Greenland, one of the most isolated places on Earth.
Here, pods of whales feed in the bay in view of the camp. Icebergs, spawned from massive glaciers, glitter in the late-night sun. Beneath granite peaks that tower over deep fjords, Greenland’s east coast – known as the “Arctic Riviera” for its mild summer climate – offers some of the best kayaking and hiking conditions in the North.
Guests will experience the stunning Arctic landscape in supreme comfort, along the lines of a luxury safari camp. More expedition lodge than “camp,” Base Camp Greenland provides accommodations in deluxe double tent cabins with individual verandas that survey the panoramic view.
Each spacious cabin is warmed by an individual heater, though long summer days are typically mild, sunny and dry. Cabins have twin beds outfitted with warm duvets and comfortable pillows, writing desks with chairs, a carpet runner, and an en suite dry toilet and sink. Showers are taken in separate bathhouses segregated by gender. Excellent meals are prepared by the camp chef and served in the dining/lounge tent.
A hallmark of Base Camp Greenland is its eco-conscious construction and operation. In such a pristine environment, a minimal footprint is imperative. A true low-impact eco-camp, lodge facilities are set up for two months in the summer and taken down each year. Camp solid waste is removed and disposed of in a biodegradable manner– nothing is left on site. Only biodegradable soap is used in the kitchen and showers. Interior lighting is powered by small individual solar panels.
Base Camp Greenland trips are 9 days in duration and begin at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport outside of Reykjavik. The 2015 departures are Aug 1, 10, 18, 26, and Sep 2. Rates start at $8,995 per person based on double occupancy, plus internal air of $926 (subject to change).
To determine this year’s travel award recipients, OUTSIDE’s adventure travel veterans scoured the globe to identify the coolest mountains to climb, food to eat, rivers to float, guides to hire, beaches to lounge on, and lodges to luxuriate in. The result is 40 breathtaking options—from the guides to show you around, to the cameras to capture it all, to the places to stay, to the best place to grab a snack at a food truck along the way.
For information on Base Camp Greenland trip and all the tours offered by Nat Hab along with descriptive itineraries, date availability and reservations, call 800.543.8917 or visit www.nathab.com. Click HERE to order a copy of the 2015 catalog.
Spafinder Wellness 365® announced the winners of the inaugural global Wellness Travel Awards, which were presented at a press event held at the World Travel Marketin London. The new awards reflect the significance of the $494 billion worldwide wellness tourism market and are the first to honor destination spas, hotels, resorts and retreats around the world dedicated to offering experiences and environments that leave visitors healthier when they check out than when they checked in.
An elite panel of 26 travel and wellness industry journalists and experts nominated 373 locations for the awards; consumers across the globe then cast votes for the nominees. Online voting took place June 18 through September 19, and those nominees that received the most votes were named winners.
The results indicate that “wellness” means different things to different people:
Many consumers voted for five-star hotels like the Four Seasons, which won 10 awards, two Crystal/continent awards and eight county awards –and has introduced creative offerings on the wellness front.
Some picked family-friendly options such as “Best for Families” winner, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Oahu, Hawaii, where the family can choose from healthy food options and mom can relish a relaxing massage. And others cast their votes for exotic locations like Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland (“Best for Mineral or Hot Springs“) or designations where they can practice their fitness favorites, like Parrot Cay by Como in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (“Best for Yoga”).
In all, people around the world cast votes for six Crystal Awards, 41 Country Awards and 18 Category Awards
Crystal Awards Honor Top Properties on Six Continents: Coveted Crystal Awards were given to the top wellness travel destinations on six (habitable) continents. Notably, Four Seasons properties won Crystal Awards in both Asia and Europe.
Africa: La Mamounia (Marrakech, Morocco) Asia: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan (Bali, Indonesia) Australia: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (Queensland, Australia) Europe: George V Paris Four Seasons (Paris, France) North America: Canyon Ranch (Brand-Wide, U.S.) South America: Lapinha Spa (Lapa, Brazil)
Country and Category Awards: In addition to the Crystal Awards, consumers voted for their favorite wellness travel destinations in 41 countries, from Vietnam to Chile. Four Seasons properties were once again in the spotlight, winning awards in Argentina, Egypt, France, India, Malaysia, the Maldives, Morocco and Russia. The Lifehouse Spa & Hotel, located in Essex, took honors for the UK, and Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ontario, won the Country Award for Canada.
Voters also recognized top destinations in 18 “Best for” categories, with well-known Miraval Resort and Spa and Canyon Ranch Tucson, both located in Arizona, garnering five and four awards, respectively. Additionally, category winners included Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland (“Best for Mineral or Hot Springs“); Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Oahu, Hawaii (“Best for Families”); and Parrot Cay by Como in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (“Best for Yoga”). Salamander Resort and Spa in Virginia was voted “Best New Wellness Travel Property.”
Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer of Spafinder Wellness, Inc.®, who announced the awards at the press event alongside John Bevan, managing director of Spafinder’s European division, said, “We are honored to recognize the importance of wellness tourism to consumers worldwide who are seeking healthy travel options, whether they are in St. Petersburg on business or enjoying a rejuvenating vacation in New Zealand. As a company that has been in this business for nearly 30 years, it’s gratifying to see so many engaged by this awards program, and it is just the beginning.”
Spafinder Wellness 365 defines wellness travel “as vacations, getaways and business trips that help travelers stay (or get) healthy by offering unique options, such as healthy cuisine or programs that allow guests to relax and rejuvenate.”
Kyricos also noted wellness tourism grew 74 percent faster than global tourism overall (12.7 percent versus 7.3 percent) between 2012 and 2013, and that growth was especially strong in developing regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa (57 percent); the Middle East/North Africa (39 percent); Asia-Pacific (21 percent); and Latin America (16 percent), during that same timeframe**. The Wellness Travel Awards recognized numerous spas, hotels and resorts in these regions, many of them new to travelers.
“The awards are an industry accolade and an important consumer guide,” said Kyricos. “And these winners are just a few of the thousands of wellness destinations that are dedicated to providing healthy travel experiences for every budget and every interest. Keeping well differs for everyone, and the awards reflect the many paths to wellness that are offered around the globe.”
Washington, D.C. – The Palmer House Hilton of Chicago, the Inn at the Presidio of San Francisco, Portland Regency Hotel & Spa in Maine, the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa in Pennsylvania and The Lord Baltimore of Baltimore were among the Historic Hotels of America 2014 Awards of Excellence winners announced at a gala ceremony at The Hotel Hershey® (1933) in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Thursday, October 2.
Honors were given in multiple categories ranging from Hotelier of the Year and Hotel Historian of the Year to Best Historic Resort and Historic Hotelier of the Year.
From more than 160 nominees, the following Historic Hotels of America hotels and hoteliers were honored with these prestigious awards:
Historic Hotels of America Lifetime Achievement Award
Terry Richey, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Historic Hotels of America Historian of the Year Award
Stanley Turkel, Author and Consultant
“Historic Hotels of America is proud to congratulate the 2014 Awards of Excellence winners,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “These historic hotels and hoteliers represent the pinnacle in historic hotels and their achievements from Portland, Maine to Waikiki Beach.”
The hotels were nominated by fellow members, past award recipients, and honorees. A panel of experts judged and weighed the nominees in each category in order to determine a winner. As the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America provides the recognition to travelers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage and historic travel market that the members hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America.
To find more information about award winners from previous winners, click here.
Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with 32 charter members. Today, Historic Hotels of America has more than 260 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 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 properties, however, more than 30 of the world’s major 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; be 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.