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Each year Travel + Leisure magazine taps into its readership and invites thousands to complete a survey that rates airlines, spas, hotels, islands and more on many factors. The detailed survey evaluation results in its readers' rankings of the best hospitality has to offer from around the world.

Participants in the survey collected data from late October 2021 through to the end of February 2022. They rated (with a maximum score of 100) hotels, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, etc on numerous characteristics, with the option of rating excellent, above average, average, below average and poor. A minimum number of responses was necessary for a candidate to be eligible for Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards.

This year’s results spanned a whopping 120 categories among hotels, resorts and hospitality brands in cities, countries and regions globally; to spas, favourite global cities, and best islands, cruise lines, tour operators, safari outfitters, airlines, car rental companies and National Parks.

Some key observations:

The overall winner was the super-luxury Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino. Rosewood also had 2 other properties in the top 100. 

Auberge and Shangri-La also both had 3 properties in the top 100.

The groups with the most properties in the top 100 both have Indian roots - Oberoi and Taj both had 6 properties in the list of top 100 hotels. 

While Preferred Hotels owns no hotels of its own, it markets (and offers a loyalty program) for 5 of the top 100 hotels (Pendry Chicago #25, Riggs Washington D.C. #31, Finca Cortesín Hotel Golf & Spa, Málaga #44, Grand Hotel Tremezzo – Lake Como, #53 and Rancho Santana – Tola, Nicaragua, #56). 

Multi-brand Marriott had 4 properties, while Capella, Hilton, Six Senses (IHG), Rocco Forte and Mandarin Oriental each had 2 properties rated in the top 100.

In terms of the Best 25 Hotel Brands in the World, the Accor stable rated very well, with 3 of its brands rated in the top 25 (Raffles #4, Sofitel Legend #6 and Banyan Tree #11). Global Hotels Alliance (GHA) also had 3 of its brands rated in the top 25 (Viceroy #10, Anantara #14 and Capella #17).  

Of the major, multi-brand chains, IHG (Six Senses #19), Hilton (St Regis #24) and Marriott (Luxury Collection #25) each had 1 brand in the top 25.

If you'd like to know more about any of the hotels or brands, our associated Travel Agency is a specialist advisor for Rosewood, Waldorf Astoria, Raffles, Preferred Hotels, Four Seasons, Hyatt, IHG, Conrad and St Regis - able to offer free perks like room upgrades and property credits when you book.

Our congratulations to Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco and all category winners. Far too many to list here entirely, so we list below a selection of the results:

100 Best Hotels in the World

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco (99.25),
Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection (99.22),
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi (99.11),
Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro (98.95) and
One&Only Reethi Rah (98.93).

25 Best Hotel Brands of the World

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (97.50),
One&Only Resorts (96.20),
Oetker Collection (96.15),
Raffles Hotels & Resorts (95.5) and
Red Carnation Hotel Collection (95.32).

5 Best Resorts - South Pacific

Namale Resort & Spa, Savusavu, Fiji,
Conrad Bora Bora Nui,
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort,
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora,
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa.

Best Islands of the World

Ischia, Italy (94.61),
Maldives (94.44),
Bali (92.51),
Milos, Greece (92.50) and
Fiji Islands (92.38).

5 Best International Spas

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico (95.76),
Sha Wellness Clinic, El Abir, Spain (95.20),
Therme di Saturnia (94.15),
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa (93.26),
Chable Maroma, Punta Maroma, Mexico (89.90).

25 Best Cities in the World

Oaxaca, Mexico (92.96),
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (91.77),
Ubud, Indonesia (91.73),
Florence (91.06) and
Istanbul (90.97).

Best City Hotels - Europe

Hôtel Madame Rêve, Paris (98.73),
Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid (98.67),
Portrait Firenze, Florence (98.25),
Raffles Istanbul (98.25) and
Shangri-La at the Shard, London (97.86).

Best City Hotels - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

The Langham, Melbourne (92.53),
Park Hyatt Sydney (90.40),
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (88.30),
InterContinental Sydney (87.76) and
Shangri-La Sydney (86.40).

Best Islands - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

Fiji Islands (92.38),
Moorea, French Polynesia (90.24),
Bora Bora, French Polynesia (87.70),
Great Barrier Reef Islands (86.90) and
Tahiti, French Polynesia (83.33).

Marriott plans to join Red Sea development with Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Marriott plans to join Red Sea development with Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Marriott today announced it has signed an agreement to debut its luxury Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand off the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Slated to debut in 2023, Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is expected to form part of the new Red Sea destination. Nujuma will be the first property from the brand in the Middle East and joins an exclusive collection of only 5 other Ritz-Carlton Reserves worldwide, located in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

Nujuma will be situated on a pristine set of private islands, which are part of the Red Sea’s Blue Hole cluster of islands. Surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty and designed to blend seamlessly with the environment, the resort is expected to feature 63 one to four bedroom water and beach villas. Plans also include a range of luxurious amenities and exceptional services including a lavish spa, swimming pools, multiple culinary venues, a retail area and a variety of other leisure and entertainment offerings including a Conservation Center.

Marriott Bonvoy members can expect the uber luxury property to be right near the top level of points required for redemptions...perhaps even the very top...

The Red Sea Project is an ambitious regenerative tourism project, covering 28,000 square kilometers on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, of which less than one percent will be developed. The destination is expected to offer a new type of barefoot luxury experience and is being developed with the highest standards of sustainability. The development features an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands, as well as dormant volcanoes, sweeping desert dunes, mountains and wadis, and more than 1,600 cultural heritage sites.

Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun to  join All-Inclusive by Marriott collection

Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun to join All-Inclusive by Marriott collection

The trend towards all-inclusive properties continues.

Expected to open in late 2022, Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun is owned and managed by Blue Diamond Resorts and will join the All-Inclusive by Marriott portfolio, which includes close to 30 getaways in 8 locations across the Caribbean and Latin America - current all-inclusive resort locations include Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, and St Lucia.

Set to debut in late 2022, the 1,049-room all-inclusive resort is expected to offer experiences including a theatre, bowling alley, water attractions and culinary encounters at a dozen on-property restaurants and nine bars all amidst stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

164 million Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to access the new resort, expanding the reach of the Blue Diamond owned resort.

Marriott International entered the all-inclusive space in 2019 with the acquisition of Elegant Hotels' seven hotels in Barbados. In 2021, the company announced a long-term agreement with Sunwing Travel Group's hotel division, Blue Diamond Resorts, to add 20 hotels into the portfolio

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fleet expanding

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fleet expanding

Following on from the news of 2 March about the launch of RCYC's first yacht Evrima (pictured), the company confirmed yesterday that it has recently placed orders for superyacht twins, Ilma and Luminara, which will sail in 2024 and 2025 respectively. 

Compared to the Evrima, the new superyachts are both substantially larger (228 suites compared to 149 on Evrima) and have enhanced sustainability, including a move to dual-fuel engines utilising liquified natural gas (LNG) as their main fuel source.

The new superyachts will feature itineraries ranging from seven to 10 nights in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

Launch of first new yacht of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection delayed

Launch of first new yacht of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection delayed

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection said on Tuesday that it will reschedule the debut of its first new yacht, Evrima (pictured)

People itching to sail on her, including Bonvoy members, will need to wait a little longer.  

Originally slated for May when it was first announced last November,  Evrima now will set sail on its inaugural voyage from Athens (Piraeus), Greece on August 6, 2022.

Ongoing supply chain and labor issues related to the pandemic were cited as the causes of the delay.

World Ski Awards - Best of 2021

World Ski Awards - Best of 2021

World Ski Awards - the sister organisation of World Travel Awards  - has unveiled the winners of its ninth annual programme. The results follow a year-long search for the world’s leading ski travel, tourism and hospitality brands.

A brief selection of the prize-winners (and their loyalty programs where relevant) is shown below.

  • World’s Best Ski Resort – Verbier, Switzerland
  • World’s Best Ski Hotel -  W Verbier, Switzerland (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • World’s Best Green Ski Hotel -  rocksresort, Switzerland
  • World’s Best Ski Chalet -  Chalet Zermatt Peak, Switzerland
  • World’s Best New Ski Chalet -  Chalet Face a Face, France
  • World’s Best Ski Tour Operator -  TUI
  • Australia’s Best Ski Resort - Thredbo
  • Australia’s Best Ski Hotel -  Novotel Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa Hotel (Accor ALL)
  • Canada’s Best Ski Resort – The Lake Louise Ski Resort
  • Canada’s Best Ski Hotel – Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside   (GHA Discovery)
  • France’s Best Ski Resort -  Val Thorens
  • Japan’s Best Ski Hotel – The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido (Marriott Bonvoy)
  • New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort – Mount Hutt
  • New Zealand’s Best Ski Hotel -  The Rees Hotel , Queenstown
  • Norway’s Best Ski Hotel – Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil (Radisson Rewards)
  • Poland’s Best Ski Hotel  – Radisson Blu Hotel & Residences, Zakopane (Radisson Rewards)
  • Russia’s Best Ski Hotel –  Rixos Krasnaya Polyana Sochi (non-participating in Accor ALL)
  • Slovakia’s Best Ski Hotel – Grand Hotel Kempinski, High Tatras   (GHA Discovery)
  • Slovenia’s Best Ski Hotel – Ramada Resort by Wyndham  (Wyndham Rewards)
  • Spain’s Best Boutique Ski Hotel – Melia Royal Tanau Boutique Hotel  (MeliaRewards)

Congratulations to all of the World Ski Awards 2021 prize-winners  !

New Marriott Melbourne Docklands has berthed

New Marriott Melbourne Docklands has berthed

Located in the Docklands precinct of New Quay, Melbourne Marriott Docklands is the first five-star property in the harbour suburb.

It features 189 guest rooms, a rooftop infinity pool (pictured) and an exclusive M Club executive lounge.

Located just minutes from Melbourne's city centre by tram, it is also an easy walk to the bars & restaurants of New Quay and the Marvel sporting stadium.

For Bonvoy members, it is a Category 5 hotel (at least until Bonvoy's dynamic pricing commences) - identical to the Westin Melbourne, Sheraton Melbourne & Melbourne Marriott (which are my personal order of preference).

Cash prices appear to be closer to those of Melbourne Marriott than those of the Westin or Sheraton which are both located on/near Collins Street. 

For more details, see the Marriott website.

Note that Marriott is one of our advertisers and at no extra cost to you, we may earn a small compensation from you using our link to them.

Bonvoy bonus points promotions - 45% bonus when you buy

Bonvoy bonus points promotions - 45% bonus when you buy

Bonvoy members receive a 45% bonus when you buy or gift 2,000 or more points now through 8 December, 2021.

This equates to a price of USD 8.62 per thousand.  Still higher than our valuation of USD 7.50 per thousand, but a relatively cheap opportunity for small quantities to top up a balance to get you your next planned stay. T&C's apply, which are shown when you login to your account and buy Bonvoy points through the manager of the Bonvoy program.

Bonvoy members can soon be "putting on the Ritz" at sea!      . 

Marriott Bonvoy has announced that the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection joined the Marriott Bonvoy program, effective from 9 November 2021.

Bonvoy members will be able to earn and redeem points for voyages and associated hotel stays from 6 May 2022 when booked through Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

This is a unique option for Bonvoy members.  Voyages at the Ritz-Carlton level will be reminiscent of the hey-days of luxury cruising.  Is it a valuable benefit for Bonvoy members?

Marriott (again) extends elite status, Free Night Awards & other elite perks

Marriott (again) extends elite status, Free Night Awards & other elite perks

Despite the closet points devaluation associated with a move to dynamic pricing, it's not all bad news coming from Marriott Bonvoy.

Points Expiration — paused through 31 December 2022. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months. Diarise to buy the minimum points required to "refresh" them then.

Elite Status extended -—Your 2019 earned status, already renewed through February 2022, or your 2020 status, will be extended through February 2023.

Suite Night Awards with an expiration date of December 31, 2021, will be extended for an additional six months — to 30 June 2022.

Free Night Awards — also extended to 30 June 2022.  From early 2022, you will be able to add points to your FNA to redeem for higher value, providing greater redemtion flexibility.

Nice and welcome changes given the lack of travel due to covid-19......but only temporary.

Marriott Bonvoy has dropped a bombshell !

It has just announced that the Bonvoy program will move from award tables to dynamic pricing for award stays, where the amount of points you pay is based on the demand and cash price of the room.  

While the devil is in the  details (which haven't yet been fully released), this is similar to the pricing model used in Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards.

Thankfully, the change isn't immediate.  For details...

Embrace the Unforgettable - earn EXTRA POINTS for stays with Marriott brands

Embrace the Unforgettable - earn EXTRA POINTS for stays with Marriott brands

For Australian Bonvoy members, Marriott has launched a new promotion whereby members can earn extra points per stay.  

You must register first, then you can earn an extra 1,500 points for each stay at a Marriott property, or 3,000 points for stays at the newly launched All-inclusive by Marriott resorts.

You must register by 28 November, 2021 then book for stays between now and 12 December, 2021.

T&C's apply, which you can find when you register for Embrace the Unforgettable 2021

For the coming holiday season, Gaylord Hotels (a Marriott brand) is offering a variety of family-friendly holiday packages "So.Much.Christmas" with events and original experiences at each of its five resort locations located in the US. Pictured is Gaylord Rockies.

Dates for stays vary slightly across the properties but generally must be from mid-November through 2 January 2022 (31 December 2021 @ Gaylord National). 

Bookings are open now, so if you're looking for a magical holiday break with your little ones, this offer may be perfect for you.  Especially if you book before October 17 to Stay 2 nights & Save 15%, or Stay 3 nights, Save 20%.

Hit the button below to learn more and for the T&C's.

Note that Marriott is one of our advertisers and should you use the link on this page to make a booking, then at no additional cost to you we may receive a small compensation. You don't have to use our links, but we appreciate your support when you do.

Marriott Bonvoy Get Vaxed, Win Big competition

Marriott Bonvoy Get Vaxed, Win Big competition

Marriott Bonvoy has a competition for Australian members fully vaccinated against covid-19. There are 5 prizes with stays at each of 9 Marriott (category 5 or 6) properties in Australia and Fiji. Ensure you don't miss out…

Marriott launches all-inclusive brand

Marriott launches all-inclusive brand

Yesterday, Marriott launched a new brand for all-inclusive resort stays -  All-inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy.  

At launch there are 30 destinations in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, with more in the pipeline.  Royalton, Saint Lucia is pictured.

20 of the initial 30 destinations are Blue Diamond resorts (the fastest growing resort chain in the Carribbean). These resorts will continue to be independently owned and operated by Blue Diamond Resorts under Marriott's Autograph Collection name.  They will also be integrated into the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, providing very attractive new options for Bonvoy members.  Although the Upgrade Awards, Cash + Points Awards, Suite Night Awards, and Instant Redemption Awards features of the Marriott Bonvoy program are not available, the Stay for 5  pay for 4, Points Advance and PointSavers are available. More information regarding use of these features is in our comprehensive guide to Marriott Bonvoy

Guests may make bookings through the resort websites, the All-inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy portal, or (which must be used for awards bookings).

Marriott Bonvoy has an Earn, Eat, Enjoy promotion to 'Holiday Here This Year' for Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa.  Book now using the Promotional Code: B1818 and for stays completed by 31 December 2021, you receive:

* 2X Marriott Bonvoy points;
* breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children (up to age 12);
daily hotel credit to use at restaurants & bars.

You can see the T&C's or make bookings using the link below.

Get 50% more Marriott Bonvoy points when you buy or gift at least 2,000 points before 22 December 2020. That's a 33% discount !  

The annual limit on the number of points you can purchase has been temporarily increased to 150,000 - and the bonus points don't count towards this limit.

This brings the purchase price down to USD 8.33 per thousand. What could you do with this?  Read on to learn more.

Our regular update on the world of hotels and their loyalty programs.  Best Western sneaks in a points devaluation - possibly related to WorldHotels | Hilton offers a new way to redeem points (but don't) | Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt all running points offers with discounts, but do they offer value?