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December 2017

COLOMBIA p. 96 DOHA p. 76 ITALIAN RIVIERA p. 98 MUMBAI p. 84 OSLO p. 86 PORTLAND p. 82 RHODES p. 90 TOKYO p. 92

CELEBRATE! Announcing the winners of the 14th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards. p. 44

letter from the editor ®


A YEAR OF TRAVEL WELCOME TO AWARDS SEASON! On the following pages we reveal the winners of our 2017 GT Tested Reader Survey awards. Did you vote? Turn to page 44 to find out which of your favorites ranked. You’ll notice the announcement article has an around-the-world theme, which will carry over to our Dec. 12 awards celebration held at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. As we wrap up 2017, we also take the opportunity to reflect on our own year in travel — where did you get to across the globe this year? My 2017 looked something like this: Berlin; Spain’s Ribera del Duero region; Atlanta; Cape San Blas, SITTING PRETTY: Kimberly Krol at Kyiv's Mezhyhirya Residence Fla.; Chicago; Los Angeles; Thailand; Museum London; Boston; Ocean City, Md.; ColoPHOTO: © KIMBERLY KROL rado Springs, Colo.; Ukraine; Clearwater Beach, Fla.; and back to Los Angeles. Feel free to share your 2017 in travel with us via email, We’d love to see where you’ve been, and hope GT was beside you as you traversed the world. In this issue we name the 2017 Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year. Discover which companies claimed the top spot on page 39. We honor those who’ve won the same consecutive GT Tested Reader Survey award for five straight years with Quint Status. Which four deserve your congratulations? Turn to page 68. Our CEO Series returns with Rob Gurney of oneworld on page 20. Continuing with our around-the-world theme, we’re also off to Jakarta; Doha; Portland, Ore.; Mumbai; Oslo; Rhodes; Tokyo; Colombia; and the Italian Riviera. While we reflect on the year, we also look ahead. Beginning next month, we debut a new Tours column, and 2018 will expand on the themed issues launched in 2017, with a special Cruising Issue added to the roster. We can’t wait for another year of adventures with you!

Vice President/Digital Director KATIE SKRZEK Senior Editor JANICE HECHT Associate Editor/Copy Editor PATRICIA VANIKIOTIS Assistant Editor NICOLE QUASTÉ Assistant Editor ANGELIQUE PLATAS Digital Content Producer DEBRA BOKUR News Editor ALLIE MOORE Assistant Digital Coordinator ALLIE MENZIONE ART Art Director TRACEY CULLEN Staff Photographer CHRISTOPHER P. OTTAUNICK Special Events Video Editor VANCE PICCIN





ete bios, For compl altraveler visit glob


th e Associawithin th outheast tion of S ions Asian Nat e Read mor network. on a rt ka about Ja page 72.

TERESA JACKSON, ANTHONY “SCRAPS” DIMERA Circulation Director MICHELE SHANNON Circulation Manager ANNA PUDZIANOWSKI Research Consultant SHARON STERNE ADVISORY BOARD Chairman MICHAEL DONAHUE, COO MICHAEL KIELY, President CARLOS CAPPUCCIO, Executive Vice President GARY OSWALD, Deputy Vice President Aviation EDWARD JEFFERSON, Deputy Vice President Accommodations STEPHEN DOHERTY, Deputy Director Destinations WAYNE TALLMAN, Vice President Special Events/Photography CHRISTOPHER OTTAUNICK, Secretary MARK LANE, Research Director FRANK LOVERME, Treasurer KEVIN RYAN, Director of Technology BOB HANCOCK, Director of Digital Advancement JARED TORGAN





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letter from the publisher ® ®

AWAY WE GO HERE WE GO AGAIN — the results of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards are in! You’ve chosen those companies that do their best to make you happy and keep you as one of their top clients. Rankings from frequent travelers mean something to the industry, and judging by the appearance of our awards logo and winners’ list in the press, Global Traveler’s awards are highly respected. I recently returned from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, flying via Saudi Arabian Airlines’ new First Class Suite. The product is comfortable, and the team is there to please. Even the Saudia ground team in Riyadh treats first-class passengers like VIPs — I was personally escorted to BUSINESS AND PLEASURE: Francis X. Gallagher meeting with Mr. Bander A. Alfolwzan, manager the Alfursan Lounge for the layover, as I of operations U.A.E. and Oman, Saudia Arabian Airlines, in Dubai was flying on to Dubai. Once I arrived in Dubai, Mr. Bander A. Alfolwzan, PHOTO: © FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER Saudia’s manager of operations for the U.A.E. and Oman, showed me the same courtesy and ushered me through security and customs and out the door to my driver. Look for my review of Saudia’s first class in an upcoming issue. It offers another opportunity to fly in style to the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates. As we look forward to the New Year, my family and I will be cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. I enjoy these great bonding times with my adult children and their plus-ones. This falls right in line with Global Traveler’s WhereverFamily brand, covering everything family. From the traditional family to multigenerational travelers, we recognize families are made up of all types of groups. If you recognize your group as a family, then does, too.   I am considering a golf trip to Ireland as well as a possible trip to Portugal to contribute some much-needed Golf columns for these regions. TAP Air Portugal, which does well among our readers, saw tremendous expansion this year, and rumor has it a new gateway will be added in 2018. Your guess is as good as mine — Washington, D.C.; Chicago; San Francisco; Los Angeles?   This year we added great new people to our team who are dedicated and ready to make a difference, working with our multiplatform travel publications. These individuals join our veteran staff who know how much hard work it takes to create our high-quality products. We may give the impression the company is easy and casual, but the contrary is true. All our publications require we take great care and follow procedures to craft the end product you see. It certainly is not for everyone, but we all enjoy the hard work as we tour and review the world. Enjoy the December issue!

ADVERTISING Publisher/CEO FRANCIS X. GALLAGHER tel 267 364 5811 ext 200 | Senior Vice President RICHARD T. EVANS tel 267 364 5811 ext 203 | Executive Vice President, Associate Publisher CARLY ALLEN tel 267 495 6287 | Director of Sales WILLIAM PAPA tel 267 884 1650 | Account Executive ASHLEY RICHARDS tel 267 364 5811 ext 205 | Account Executive, Western Region KAITLIND EYDELLOTH tel 267 798 5554 | Account Executive JULIE HAUPIN tel 267 364 5811 ext 210 | Advertising Coordinator ANDREW RISCH tel 267 364 5811 ext 201 |

REPRESENTATIVES Egypt CARMEN DOYLE and HASSAN SHEHAB tel 61 0 403866188 France, The Netherlands JEREMY PRADERIO-REGIE tel 09 54 20 09 50 | cell 06 07 96 54 15 Germany MICHAELA JUSTI tel 49 69 56 02 01 21 | fax 49 69 56 02 01 23 | cell 49 171 20 29 502 India FAREDOON KUKA tel 91 22 2925 3735 | cell 91 98200 85045 Japan YOSHIZUMI MIYAKE, MEDIAHOUSE INC. tel 3 3222 7811 | fax 3 3234 1140 HIDETADA KOCHI tel 81 3 3222 7811 | cell 81 3 90 8774 9800 fax 81 3 3234 1140 Mexico CARLOS ALBERTO FRIAS tel 52 55 5254-4490 New York City MIKE EDISON tel 201 819 1510 | DIANE HOMER tel 646 529 7254 |





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December 2017 76



39 Above and Beyond Global Traveler announces the 2017 Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.

76 Destination One: Doha A hub of commerce and culture, Doha lures business and leisure travelers.

44 A World of Winners Global Traveler announces the winners of the 2017 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.

82 Stateside: Portland Business opportunity booms in fast-growing Portland.

68 Welcome to the Club Global Traveler honors the Quint Status inductees for 2017.


72 Business in the Big Durian Plan outstanding events in the dynamic city of Jakarta.



ON THE COVER December 2017

COLOMBIA p. 96 DOHA p. 76 ITALIAN RIVIERA p. 98 MUMBAI p. 84 OSLO p. 86 PORTLAND p. 82 RHODES p. 90 TOKYO p. 92


84 9–5: Mumbai Get acquainted with clients amid Mumbai’s vibrant modern vibe. 86 After 5: Oslo Oslo serves up sophistication and seaside views for evenings out. | $4.99

Announcing the winners of the 14th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards. p. 44









December 2017







24 26 28 30 31 32 34 36 102 105

9 11 14 20

90 Neighborhoods: Rhodes History comes to life in the walled city’s Old Town.


Chefs Wealth Spoils Technology Wine & Spirits Golf Spas Cruising LGBTQ Health

Mail Call News Reviews One on One oneworld 21 One on One Tourism Authority of Thailand 22 One on One InterContinental Hotels Group 104 Airport Update 106 Past & Present


92 Friends & Family: Tokyo Plan a gastronomic gallop through Japan’s megacity. 96 Bucket List: Colombia Tour Colombia for a dose of coffee harvesting, brewing and tasting. 98 Kicking Back: Italian Riviera Succumb to the charms of the irresistible Italian Riviera.


P U B L I C AT I O N S , I N C .

Global Traveler and Globility are registered trademarks of Global Traveler magazine and of its parent company, FXExpress Publications, Inc. Global Traveler is not affiliated with any commercial interests within the travel industry. The opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor can the publisher accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The magazine cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited articles, photographs or other material. AAM member 04-0361-2. AAM audited circulation 111,517. ISSN 1551-7187 ©2017 FXExpress Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of text, photographs or illustrations without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.





In the October issue, in light of our recent launch of whereverfamily .com, Gallagher shared his concern about parents holding infants and toddlers during a flight versus buying separate seats. “I think this is a dangerous practice,” he noted, and asked, “What are your thoughts on holding toddlers and infants on flights? Have you personally experienced or witnessed a situation where a child was in danger on a flight because the child did not have his or her own seat?” I usually point out that [child] seats in baggage are lost and not available on arrival and that often seats at rental car agencies are not in good shape. STEPHANIE TOMBRELLO, via email

Thank you for posing the question about the value of having infants and toddlers ride buckled up during air travel. You are absolutely right that letting kids under age 2 ride without any protection is a dangerous practice. There have been enough welldocumented cases of crashes and incidents of turbulence causing injury to babies and toddlers to cause the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend child seats that pass FAA tests (most car seats and a few special aircraft models) should be used by children under age 2. This recommendation has been in

I always steered clear of all-inclusive resorts or cruises. I love to try new foods, and I enjoy scoping out different restaurants to experience — from the fanciest 5-star restaurants to the hidden gems only known to locals. But I just returned from a stay at Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico, where I experienced my first all-inclusive resort, and I absolutely loved it. It had amazing food and lots of different restaurants to choose from. How do you feel about all-inclusives? Have you been to one you would recommend to others? Email us:

place for many years but has not been adopted as a requirement, only a suggestion, by airlines. There are several reasons to use safety seats in flight. Crash forces, even turbulence, are too strong for a parent’s arms to keep a child safe if a crash or, more likely, turbulence occurs. Children in car seats survived some serious air crashes. Secondly, a child riding in his or her familiar car seat will be a happier traveler than one squirming on a parent’s lap, a situation other passengers find difficult. Also, a car seat will be needed for any child once he or she reaches the destination. Using it on board is safer for the car seat than checking it through the baggage system.  DEBORAH DAVIS STEWART,

founder and editor emeritus, Safe Ride News, Seattle, Wash.

THE 2017 TRAZEES For the third year in a row, trazee, the sister web publication to Global Traveler, awarded the best in the travel industry as named by travelers ages 18–35. Congratulations to Dubai Tourism for winning Best Shopping Destination! Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler, presenting Best Shopping Destination to I​ssam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corp. for Tourism and Commerce Meeting

I couldn’t agree more. I understand airlines charge too much, but this isn’t the place to cut back. Many parents think holding their child will keep him/her more calm, but you can always hold your child in moments of no turbulence if need be. Otherwise, they need their own seats and seatbelt. This is a sensitive

topic but one that needs to be talked about and more seriously enforced by airlines. It makes me so nervous to see a child doesn’t have a safe seat. LEANNA RICHARDS, via email

CONTACT GT Do you have a story to share? Thoughts on a recent GT article? Email us: or write to Letters to the Editor, 310 Floral Vale Blvd., Yardley, PA 19067 Letters must be written exclusively to Global Traveler and must include your full name, mailing address and contact phone number. Letters become the property of Global Traveler. We cannot respond to every letter. Global Traveler reserves the right to edit letters to the editor for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in Mail Call are not necessarily those of Global Traveler, and Global Traveler cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions.





mail call




CLASS ACT I’ve been reading Global Traveler for a couple of years now, and I just discovered the Class Act Guide this year. What a great tool. I travel often, but I wouldn’t consider myself a frequent flyer, at least not to the degree I assume many of your readers are, so I don’t know solely based on experience which airlines offer the best products, services and such. This issue will come in handy next time I’m deciding which airline to fly to visit my family in Los Angeles, especially when the prices are comparable. Thanks for putting this together! Always looking for that extra legroom. RENEE KEANE, via email

TOP ART EXHIBITIONS TO SEE THIS FALL In the Oct. 18 issue of eFlyer USA, we highlighted the best art exhibits to take in this fall. One reader shares a few more to add to your list. I live for exciting exhibition openings. It’s been the highlight of my retirement. I’m currently planning a trip to Abu Dhabi to see its new Louvre. The Casablanca exhibit at Boston’s International Museum of World War II sounds really interesting; that’s one of my favorite movies. The Philadelphia Art Museum’s fall exhibit, Old Masters Now, is fantastic if you’re looking to do another roundup. It runs until mid-February. Thanks for sharing this one!

POST-HURRICANE CARIBBEAN UPDATES In the Oct. 11 issue of eFlyer USA, we offered updates on the Caribbean islands recovering from recent hurricanes. One reader shares how important it is to continue to support the Caribbean. This year’s hurricane season was just so devastating. You always want to do more to help. My sister-in-law owns a small boutique in Anguilla, and her shop and merchandise were extensively damaged; however, they fared better than most. My husband and I are planning a Caribbean

MARY SOLEBURY, via email

WILL EMERGING TECH IMPROVE THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE? In the Oct. 4 issue of eFlyer USA, we highlighted a recent Egencia survey that found business travelers have mixed emotions about emerging technologies and travel. How do you feel about the trend? On first thought I want to say “No” to a lot of this emerging tech. I’m old school. I wouldn’t go so far as to say technology will “disrupt society as we know it,” but some of it seems unnecessarily extravagant. On the other hand, there are conveniences I’ve come around to I couldn’t live without. I look for the added convenience in hotels especially. I like the mobile room keys and the streaming TVs. Fast WiFi is a no-brainer. As with anything, I believe everything in moderation. You’re not going to see me start walking around with virtual reality goggles on while I travel for work, but I’ll download a convenient app from time to time. JIM KRANTZ, via email


LOIS MANSON, via email


getaway. I hope tourism continues to rise so they can fully rebuild. It’s important people know many of the destinations are open for business, so thanks for sharing.


I saw Kimberly Krol’s GT Tested review of the Rosewood London in the October issue. A couple of colleagues and I recently stayed there and thought it was incredible — absolutely exceptional architecture and guestrooms and unbelievable service. Scarfes Bar was one of the highlights. I had one of the best Old Fashioneds I’ve ever had. This is the first time I stayed at a Rosewood property, though colleagues have always raved about the brand. Some of my upcoming business trips include Germany, Dubai and Hong Kong, and I believe there’s one in Hong Kong I’d like to try. HARRY MEHAN, via email





fine vines


Torrontés Tango


Argentina’s signature white will have all your senses dancing.


n an attempt to describe Torrontés, Argentina’s signature white wine, some have compared it to Pinot Grigio, Viognier, even Riesling. But none come close. Made from the grape of the same name, Torrontés is like no other. It begins with an aroma that conjures up a bouquet of flowers (the honeyed, perfumed Muscat of Alexandria is one of its ancestors), hinting that a sweet wine will follow. But no, Torrontés goes toward dry and fruity with a tangy and spicy edge. It is the perfect aperitif and equally right with shellfish, Niçoise salad, chicken, other whitemeat dishes, lightly flavored cheese and many Asian foods. As Americans discover this intriguing wine, they will also discover that, with a myriad of choices, even the most attractive Torrontés usually costs under $20. And what are the most attractive Torrontés? Among two dozen that I’ve recently tasted, these are my favorites. Xavier Flouret Flaca 2008 ($18) is one of the most elegant Torrontés, with a delicate floral nose that hints of apricot and peach; a dry, Powered by round, well-structured body; a fruit-filled taste and vibrant acidity; and a long, delicious finish. Its Muscat ancestor comes to the fore in Lo Tengo 2009’s ($11.50) vivid, flowery aroma. It goes on to be a clearly focused, intensely flavored, bright and satisfying wine. IN THE COOK ISLANDS, on Rarotonga, I’m walking along a dusty path, edged There is a suggestion of by a plethora of plants and trees. Fat papayas hang from their umbrella-like sweet mint and an evocation trees; bananas, still green on the stem, invite; and mangos, ripe and ready, have of orange and peach in Finca fallen from their roost. Blossoming bushes waft a perfume, butterflies circle halos La Linda 2009’s ($11) aroma, around my head, and a stream gurgles nearby. A mother sow and her family of followed by a relatively full body cartoonish piglets join me on the road. Not one but 10 roosters crow in competing symphonies — though early morning is long past. The sea lies nearby, but and excellent balance. Altogether a here, hiking inland, surrounded by steep hills and much vegetation, I feel like the pleasing, inviting wine. only person left on Earth. Finca El Origen Reserva 2009 ($12) Luckily, I’m not. I share this walk with one of the Cook Islands’ most Ease body, mind andoffering soul ain is clean, crisp and refreshing, famous residents, a larger-than-life figure known as Uncle Pa, once a world typical Torrontés floral flavor with pear the natural goodness of the surfing champion. Though an octogenarian, he wears long dreadlocks, treks and peach overtones and a gentle reminder shirtless and sports a colorful sarong. With rippling muscles and the physique of citrus fruits in the A particularly of a 30-year-old man, he belies aging and serves as the metaphorical poster Cook Islands. BY mouth. BECCA HENSLEY harmonious wine. child for his role as this island nation’s most famous healer. An herbalist or The delightful Pascual Toso 2009 ($15) kahuna, he learned from his grandmother about the power of the plants that BEACHSIDE BLISS:herbal notes grow on these less-traveled islands. Intuitive, fearless, with a foot in both the combines keen fruit flavors, Spa treatment on the beach at and a fresh lemony acidity with a trace of past and the modern world, Uncle Pa has helped thousands of people regain Aitutaki Lagoon their health over the years. As we walk, he picks leaves, flowers, berries and honey and floral tones. PHOTO: © STEVE ALLEN | DREAMSTIME.COM Following its aroma of fresh flowers and ripefruit. He tells me how he makes elixirs or poultices from them; he lets me taste fruit, Colomé 2009 ($15) is a graceful wine with notes reminiscent of grapefruit. 72citric JUNE 2017 The pale-shaded Dominio del Plata’s Crios 2009 ($13.50) has a lilac-scented aroma with peach overtones followed by a dry, tangy taste. 

Art of Healing


A variety of international airlines fly to Rarotonga International Airport on the Cook Islands’ main island. In December 2016 Air New Zealand began weekly non-stop flights on its comfortable Boeing 777-200 aircraft, which offers a new premium-economy option, from Los Angeles (LAX), making the trek from the United States easier than ever.



May 2011 | Global Traveler | 35

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news United Removes Select First-Class Amenities

Flying first class certainly has its benefits, but United Airlines is planning to remove some of the little luxuries passengers once enjoyed and expected, particularly regarding meals and refreshments. Early-morning domestic flights of less than three hours’ duration will no longer serve breakfast breads, and lunchtime flights will only serve cold meal options as opposed to

both hot and cold dishes. Passengers on later flights will have one warm meal option for dinner. For longer flights between three and five hours, passengers will be served one hot meal option in place of the two hot meals served previously. These meal cuts contribute to the overall drop in first-class fares for United, with the continued option to upgrade for economy passengers.

NEW STATE DEPARTMENT WARNINGS ISSUED FOR CUBA The island nation of Cuba has enjoyed a new wave of visitors from its neighbor to the north, the United States, since travel restrictions for Americans were lifted during the Obama administration. But after a string of attacks on American diplomats in Havana, tourism companies and entrepreneurs in Cuba are worried their new clients may shy away from exploring the onceforbidden vacation destination. Although the attacks were on government officials (not tourists) and the responsible parties of the attacks are still unknown, Cuban citizens who invested in lodging, restaurants and cab companies fear the incidents may deter Americans from visiting, as they may view Cuba as an unstable and likely dangerous country. The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning after the attacks, and visa processing procedures for American citizens have been halted for the foreseeable future. Whether American travelers will take these warnings seriously is difficult to predict, but tourism industry workers in Cuba are keeping a hopeful watch on the developments.


WANT MORE NEWS ON THE GO? SIGN UP FOR GT NEWSLETTERS Global Traveler’s weekly newsletters keep you up to date with info on the go. Sign up for newsletters at

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Boston Considers Pick-Up and Drop-Off Fees

Dropping off or picking up your friends and family at Boston’s Logan International Airport may soon cost you. The Massachusetts Port Authority and the Conservation Law Foundation are in talks to implement a fee for drivers who use the pick-up and drop-off lanes at Logan’s departures and arrivals terminals. Massport oversees operations at BOS, and its partnership with the CLF is an effort to reduce vehicle emissions from these lanes where cars tend to idle while waiting for passengers. This fee is meant to deter the nearly 20,000 cars that enter and exit Boston’s airport grounds each day. If enacted, the fee would go into effect by summer 2019. Elsewhere, other airports are moving forward with similar fees. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, drivers must pay $2 to enter the airport’s pick-up lanes for periods between eight and 30 minutes, while a similar practice at London’s Heathrow Airport charges drivers nearly $5.




Malaysia Initiates Tourism Tax

Beginning Sept. 1, a number of hotels across Malaysia, from 1- to 5-star, began to charge a tourism tax to foreign guests. Nearly 5,000 hotels throughout the country now impose a tax of RM10 (about $2.36) per guest, per night. Approximately half of all Malaysian hotels began to implement the tax at the beginning of September, with the remaining half following suit by the end of the month. Hotels now must advertise this tax as an extra fee on all public accommodation listings and must report tax collections to the Customs and Excise Department each month. Malaysian tourism authorities hope this new fee will generate more income for the country, which other cities and countries accomplished in the past few years by implementing similar taxes. Citizens of Malaysia are exempt from the tax when staying at hotels across the country.

Europe’s Smaller Airlines Face Financial Woes

In the past few years, a dip in fuel prices caused an overambitious surge in the European airline industry, but consolidation



has slowly crept in on a continent some say is juggling too many airlines. The bankruptcy issues of Alitalia present a grim future for the Italian airline but a promising opportunity for one of Europe’s air giants to acquire a new region of operation. In the same vein, England’s Monarch Airlines folded to bankruptcy, largely due to the weakening of the pound since the Brexit vote in 2016. Europe’s five leading airlines — Air FranceKLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group and Ryanair — are prime to absorb these smaller airlines as executives consider their current successes temporary. When fuel prices begin to inevitably rise again, the big five will have the opportunity for acquisition.

Beginning in March 2018, Qantas’ lengthy flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Sydney Airport will continue to include one stopover, but not in the previous connecting city of Dubai. The Qantas route will feature one quick layover in Singapore, where passengers will disembark and the aircraft will refuel before continuing to the coastal Australian city. The new route will shave off a small amount of time, as the path is more direct than the one involving a Dubai stopover. This reverses a decision made in 2012 when Qantas and Emirates teamed up to change the stopover location from Singapore to the United Arab Emirates. Qantas also revealed its London– Melbourne (MEL) route will pull out of a Dubai stopover and fly directly to Perth (PER) instead. The Australian airline hopes to offer more direct routes between Europe and Australia as technology and aircraft see further improvements and advancements.


New Heathrow–Sydney Layover

deals & rewards Earn 30k Bonus Starpoints

American Express cardholders who have the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card can earn up to 30,000 bonus Starpoints with a new targeted offer for select card members. Card members can see if they are eligible via the American Express rewards website. By enrolling in this offer, members must spend at least $15,000 by the end of the year to earn 15,000 bonus Starpoints. On top of this, each dollar spent during this period earns cardholders one Starpoint, which means spenders earn up to 30,000 total points with this promotion.

Fly LAX–HAV Non-Stop


Thinking of spending your winter in the Caribbean? Flying from the City of Angels to Havana, Cuba, will liven up the winter doldrums thanks to a heavily discounted direct flight with Alaska Airlines. This month, round-trip prices will be an affordable price of $313. This offer is valid for most dates between December 2017 and April 2018 but does not include the dates around Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

Amex Changes Lounge Policy

Travelers whose wallets include a Hyatt rewards credit card can take advantage of a $50 credit when they visit and spend at Hyatt Place or Hyatt House properties. Card members and World of Hyatt members who spend at least $300 at these properties before Jan. 1, 2018, will receive a credit of $50 on their next card statement. To take part in this offer, card members must register their card online before they book stays at Hyatt properties.

As of October, travelers who wish to access the American Express Centurion Lounge at airports cannot purchase day passes for entry. Instead, the only entrants allowed are holders of an Amex credit card with specific lounge access as one of the benefits. Previously, any Amex cardholders could purchase a one-day pass for $50 to access an airport’s Amex Centurion Lounge. These former entry rules caused the lounges to fill up to capacity, thus affecting the once-peaceful environment travelers seek with airport lounge access. With these new restrictions, American Express hopes to once again offer its lounge guests the more tranquil setting they expect. Amex cards that allow access to the lounges (plus one or two guests) include the Platinum Card, the Platinum Card exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN and the American Express Centurion Card.

Hyatt Credit Card Promotion



GT tested

THE PRINCE WAIKIKI Reviewed by Carly Allen


Guest Quarters: My oceanfront harbor room boasted the most unique and clearest views I’ve experienced in Waikiki; the windows opened wide to let in the ocean breeze and natural light. The Prince Waikiki offers ocean views from every room, giving you floor-to-ceiling vistas of the yacht-filled harbor, crashing waves near Ala Moana Beach Park and amazing sunsets — everything you look for when coming to the islands for work or play. Since I was here for work, I was pleased with the brandnew rooms. Calm, cream-colored walls were handpainted with Naio flowers for a touch of local Hawai’ian art. The king-sized bed was plush, and bedside stands held plenty of outlets. A small desk sat against the windows; however, I used the full sectional



facing the windows the most, propping up my feet, opening the windows and getting some emails done on my laptop (free WiFi!) while listening to the ocean. The bathroom offered great lighting over creamy marble countertops, a full spa tub and separate shower, and a private toilet area with modern frosted glass. The room included two full-length mirrors. Services/Amenities: Although the property is not beachfront, it offers guests plenty of sunshine with its saltwater infinity pool with views overlooking the harbor. Cabanas and Hinana Bar with a casual dining menu make for a perfect lazy day, or enjoy the pool party hosted on weekends. If you are looking for the beach, it’s just a 10-minute walk to Waikiki Beach. The four dining options on property include the casual Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo for excellent sushi; and 100 Sails for brunch buffets, dinner and drinks. The long marble bar at 100 Sails has friendly staff; I tried its uniquely flavored mai tai and ended up having two. The Ala Moana Center sits just across the street — this open-air shopping destination features premium shops, nightlife and different dining concepts. A 15-minute ride gets golf lovers to The Prince Waikiki Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. The concierge can arrange tee times and any other activities during your stay.

◆ With its $55 million renovation, The Prince Waikiki offers modern rooms and amenities perfect for business travelers, millennials and vacationers. ◆ The property is centrally located just minutes from downtown Waikiki, the Ala Moana Shopping Center and the beach. The Prince Waikiki 100 Holomoana St. Honolulu, HI 96815 tel 808 956 1111


Arrival/Check-In: Honolulu International Airport lies just 20 minutes from downtown Waikiki and serves as the major hub for airlines into the islands, so it is convenient for leisure and business travelers. I took a quick cab ride to The Prince Waikiki. I was greeted by the doorman, who quickly helped me with my luggage and guided me through the expansive lobby to the front desk. While checking in I got my first look at the $55 million full renovation The Prince Waikiki debuted earlier in 2017. The lobby reaches more than two stories tall with locally inspired art suspended overhead, plush seating and its Honolulu Coffee Co. for guests to enjoy the best local coffee.

◆ Love the dining options, from the Honolulu Coffee Co. to the Hawai’ian-inspired small bites at 100 Sails bar.

GT tested




Arrival/Check-In: As we drove up to the Barceló Maya Grand Resort, I was in awe of its size. The property comprises five different hotels, each with its own unique style, restaurants and amenities. We stayed at the Barceló Caribe, whose bright orange and white, open-air lobby was flanked by colorful metal statues of Mayan warriors leading the way inside. Directed to the Premier check-in, we were quickly seated and offered welcome drinks. There was a small mix-up with our reservation, as I was traveling with my teenage daughter and husband, and we needed two double beds instead of a king-sized bed. But the room was quickly switched for us and we were told it was ready, even though we were early. Guest Quarters: Our Junior Swim-Up Suite offered plenty of space, with two double beds and a living area with two facing couches and a table in between. The table held a welcome gift: a bottle of tequila, of course. Sliding glass doors led to the best feature — an outdoor terrace with a small table and chairs, a hot tub, two chaise longues and private access to the pool — our own little private paradise. Services/Amenities: The Barceló Maya Grand Resort is ideal for meetings and conventions, with more than 49,000 square feet of meeting space in a total of 21 meeting rooms that can fit up to 1,300 people, as well as outdoor areas for as many as 5,000 guests. It also includes an exhibit space for 50 stands. If you have the opportunity to combine a business trip with

family vacation, as I did, the resort has plenty of activities for family members on site while you’re at meetings. Guests have access to tennis, basketball and paddle courts; snorkeling; kayaking; windsurfing; scuba diving lessons; catamarans; water trikes; water aerobics; water polo; volleyball; table tennis; darts and archery; giant chess; pool tables; and more. If parents want some kid-free relaxation time, the Barcy Kids’ Club has daily activities for children ages 4–12 years. I was pleasantly surprised by the all-inclusive dining options. The resort offers several buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner and 11 additional restaurants available with dinner reservations. We had the pleasure of dining at La Trattoria Ristorante Italiano, the new Italian restaurant, and Mare Nostrum, a spectacular seafood restaurant. We were pleased both restaurants were happy to alter menu items to accommodate the vegetarian in our group. Other restaurants include Mexico Lindo, Mexican; La Fuente, Spanish; Kyoto, Japanese; Capri, Italian; Santa Fe, steak house; Tokyo, new Japanese restaurant; Brasserie, French; Rodizzio, Brazilian; and Caribe, Caribbean. There are also 15 bars throughout the resort in lobbies, at pools and at the theaters, so guests have plenty of places to congregate and sip a cocktail. For the fitness-conscious, a gym offers new and modern exercise equipment as well as rooms for yoga, Pilates and Zumba. Our stay was far too short to experience all Barceló Maya had to offer. I would love to go back for a whole week next time.

◆ You can visit the whole Barceló Maya Grand Resort on double-decker buses that run about every 20 minutes. ◆ Two theaters at the resort provide nightly entertainment. The shows change every night of the week, so there’s always something new to enjoy. ◆ The resort has abundant shopping options, from highend fine jewelry to Mexican handmade crafts; you can find it on site at the Maya Mall. Barceló Maya Caribe Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juárez Km. 266 3 XPUHA Q 77750 Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo Mexico tel 52 984 875 1500



GT tested

ROYAL ZAMBEZI LODGE Reviewed by Francis X. Gallagher

Arrival/Check-In: Part of the adventure of the Royal Zambezi Lodge is getting there, and after flying from Washington Dulles International Airport on South African Airways and overnighting in Johannesburg, we caught an early flight to Lusaka, Zambia. Once we arrived at Lusaka Airport, I followed the detailed instructions for, one, getting a Multi Visa, as later in the trip we were visiting Zimbabwe; and, two, collecting our luggage and taking it to the Royal Air Charter office through immigration. If we were not sure we were in Africa before, Zambia let us know this was “real Africa.” The crew at Royal Air Charter was friendly and directed us to the screening area for the next leg of our flight. We boarded a twin-propeller aircraft with other Royal guests whom we later got to know at the resort. Sitting directly behind the pilot and co-pilot, we taxied and took off for the Royal Zambezi Lodge. After about 45 minutes, we landed at the lodge’s own airstrip and were met by the team to take us to the riverside location. Guests departing the lodge said hello and told us how much they enjoyed their stay and wished us the same. After a short drive in our Toyota open-air Land Cruiser we arrived at the lodge for our introductions and review of activities. Check-in took place in the main section of the lodge, where I was welcomed by the property’s general manager, Natalie Clark. Natalie runs a wonderful operation and has at her fingertips the pulse of the lodge, as her husband runs the physical plant and power generation essential to a stay at Royal Zambezi Lodge.



Guest Quarters: Traveling with my wife and daughter, we occupied the Royal Zambezi Lodge’s two presidential suites, but each was distinctive. My wife and I were in the Frontier room, located on the far edge of the property and just before my daughter’s accommodations, Kansanshi. Both were equally lovely. Frontier and Kansanshi are both constructed with a combination of tenting material, thatched roofing and a mixture of hardwood plank flooring and concrete supported by massive poles. The huts/tents are not air-conditioned, but we enjoyed perfect weather at the time of our visit in June. Every room includes a large fan, which we used mainly to drown out the sounds of the hippos that reside in the Zambezi River, which the room overlooked. Entering our Frontier suite, we were impressed by the spacious room which served as a combination bedroom and living area with a desk and a vanity. The bed was draped with mosquito netting, lowered around the bed when we were away at dinner. A large leather sofa faced the quadruple glass doors out to the deck overlooking the river, where hippos and occasional elephants and baboons grazed and foraged on the flatland. Two chairs faced the other direction, creating a conversation area; a coffee table held picture books on Africa and the Zambezi. Between the bedroom and bathroom tents/rooms, a breezeway (tented and roofed) with a concrete floor offered ample storage in an armoire and dresser. The bathroom featured a large, copper-sided tub that sat proudly in the open, allowing guests to gaze out the window to the Zambezi


River. A double-sink vanity and mirror stood against the wall, with the door to the water closet on the left. Outside the back door, an outdoor shower with solar-heated water and a rain showerhead supplied a wonderful experience. Don’t worry — there are no people to look in while you are soaking in nature! Beyond, there was a small plunge pool and, on the far end of the boardwalk that extended around the hut, a day bed with views you can only imagine. Kansanshi is similar but distinct in its set-up. Each room at the lodge is individually created using available resources. Even getting cement is a struggle here, as it has to be driven from Lusaka over dirt roads for much of the way. Services/Amenities: Where to begin? If you like to fish, this is the place for you. Safaris are also a dream come true with lots of elephants, leopards, hippos, crocodiles and many more types of animals roaming about. One of the best experiences we had was a river cruise where we fished for the prize catch — the tiger fish — then cruised in our outboard boat with our guide, Luke. I suggested a late-day start and a picnic lunch, which the lodge turned into an outdoor feast for two. We were celebrating my wife’s birthday in style — it may have been the best experience we had on our entire trip to Africa. Our main guide, Chris, and his tracker, Jimmy, took us on safari several times in the Lower Zambezi National Park through the Chongwe Gate, just a short drive from the lodge. Even before the park entrance you can spot animals, and elephants often trek through the

lodge property itself. In the evenings, you must be escorted to your room to be safe from elephants, leopards and other nocturnal visitors. Another high point was a canoe trip through a canal that runs just off the river and is populated with all sorts of game. Our adept guides made sure we got through the canal safely while coming close enough to hippos and elephants. A small island on the right side of the canal became populated by an elephant family that found the grasses growing there irresistible, thus causing an “African traffic jam” as we had to patiently wait in our canoes until they completed dinner. A bull elephant mock-charged us from the bank, making our passage more exciting. We also took an afternoon cruise upriver to an authentic African village working with little or no electricity (a small solar set-up offered some power). A lifelong friend of mine, Henry Kartagener, who represents the lodge, built a maternity hospital in the village with the steadfast support of his wife, Claire (the hospital bears her name) — very moving for me after meeting all the kind people, including the headmistress of the village school. You will not go hungry, nor will you be disappointed with the cuisine at the lodge. When we visited, Pippa Denton, the new food and beverage manager, had taken over after spending a great deal of time in London. She crafted the menu and service based on her international experience while keeping in mind the setting and culture of Africa (having been born in Zimbabwe, across the river). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served outside on the main deck facing




the river; fires and kerosene lamps set the mood in the evening, while in the morning you can witness a little game when the staff scares away the monkeys stealing fruit. A buffet is served at breakfast, and you can order a cooked meal from the menu. Lunch is served family-style, and I had the best potato salad I’ve ever tasted. Pippa said all the Americans rave about the potato salad; I said that was because we were mostly of Irish descent, and we all laughed. Dinners offer a selection, which they show you at lunch and request you to preorder. We had many lovely meals of beef, fish and pork. Wine flows, and you must stop at the bar for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail; it overhangs the river and is supported by steel I-beams — an architectural signature you can spot when you return from the river. The lodge winds down earlier than most resorts, as early in the morning you return to activities. The team created two spectacular eating events while we were in residence. The first was a bush dinner just outside the camp, complete with pre-dinner cocktails by a fire and a sit-down dinner with river views. The second was a lunch on a river delta, which at different times of the day is submerged. Taken by Luke in the boat, we anchored and then walked for about 150 yards in the Zambezi River where the water was about calf-deep. A tent had been set up with a full bar, and wait staff served an exquisite luncheon for three while we watched the elephants grazing on the opposing shore.




◆ I can’t imagine any place on Earth having more hippos than Royal Zambezi. You can almost always hear them barking, and the night seems to be their most active time.

◆ Jimmy makes the best gin and tonics, served at the end of the safari as the sun set in the Lower Zambezi National Park. We came to love this part of the safari, getting out of the Toyota Land Cruiser and enjoying each other’s company.

◆ Royal Air Charter, the lodge’s airline service, operates a bevy of aircraft. We were particularly fond of the flight from its landing strip to our ongoing destination of Victoria Falls on its Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia plane.

◆ Take the walking safari as one of your choices; a Zambian Wildlife officer escorted us through an area of the park, rifle in hand.

◆ I chased a green snake from our porch, and little did I know I chased him into our tent. Minutes later, I heard my wife scream as the snake went into the bathroom and curled up on the toilet paper dispenser.

Royal Zambezi Lodge Lower Zambezi River Zambia tel 260 979 486618

GT tested


New York (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH)


Reviewed by Jean-Claude Chaouloff

On the Ground: Flying out of JFK can be challenging; however, Saudi Arabian Airlines’ location in the front of Terminal 1 makes it easily accessible. Check-in was swift, handled by a friendly team. Although TSA screening was busy, the line moved quickly, and I headed to the lounge to unwind and check emails prior to departure. Saudia’s business-class lounge, shared with Korean Air, is conveniently located close to the exit of the security area. Floor-toceiling windows overlooking the runway give this room a pleasant, open feeling despite the busy traffic. It offers a nice array of sandwiches and great desserts, including bite-sized baklava for those who have a sweet tooth. You’ll find everything you could ask for in a business-class lounge: plenty of seating; complimentary WiFi; a sleek, modern design; and friendly service. My gate sat just a short breezeway from the lounge, and I headed there a few minutes before pre-boarding. Pre-Flight: We boarded the Boeing 777-300ER right on time. Attendants took us through a separate entrance, eliminating a long wait in line to board, and showed us to our seats. The crew quickly offered cardamom-flavored Arabic coffee and dates, as well as a

selection of fruit juices. I set up my electronics and prepared for the long flight to Riyadh. Attendants distributed overnight amenity kits to all passengers; special children’s bags for those under the age of 12 included books, games and other items to keep them occupied. I thought this was a nice touch. In-Flight: The Boeing 777 is a lovely aircraft and offers a bright and open environment. Once we reached cruising altitude, I got situated for the 12-hour flight. The business-class seat offers a flat, comfortable 180-degree bed; most passengers want to sleep during the flight. A large screen offers a host of movie channels and music in multiple languages. The dinner menu included a selection of traditional Arabic fare followed by two types of soup and a choice of three entrées — lamb shank, mixed seafood or chicken buryani. I enjoyed the mixed seafood — quite tasty. Breakfast was also served and included a choice of omelets, fruits, yogurts and sweets. Riyadh Airport is user-friendly and spotless. Customer service representatives whisked us away to the business-class lounge where we awaited our connection to Dubai.


◆ Saudia’s flight attendants are friendly, attentive and highly responsive. ◆ Saudia’s business class is comfortable and makes the long flight enjoyable. Saudi Arabian Airlines



one on one | ceo series

ROB GURNEY CEO, Oneworld ABOUT YOUR BRAND Oneworld turned 18 in 2017; what can we expect from the alliance in the lead-up to its 20th birthday? We’ll be looking at the value proposition of the alliance and our digital platforms and offerings as we enter our third decade. Simultaneously, we’re thinking about how to reflect the personality of the brand and if it can be reimagined. We want to deliver on what consumers value and make it seamless and rewarding. We are also assessing opportunities for smaller, regional airlines to join the alliance. The alliance continues to win accolades. What makes oneworld an award-winning alliance? The quality of our member airlines is the biggest driver. All are heavily engaged in innovation, from American Airlines’ flagship dining to British Airways’ WiFi and Qantas’ Australia-to-U.K. non-stop flights. It’s all about getting the story out about the airlines.


YOUR BUSINESS What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? A continuation of this constant pace of connecting people with technologies in enriching ways — less transactional and more genuine. Best career advice you’ve received: Never underestimate the knowledge and capabilities you build throughout your career. Have a sense of confidence that you have quite a lot to offer, and enjoy what you are doing. What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? No experience is wasted. The more skills you acquire, the more useful. If you want to be a CEO, you must have a broad understanding and knowledge base.


AS A TRAVELER Favorite travel memory or story: On a walking holiday in Italy, I saw a missing-dog photo with a phone number. I took a picture of the sign. While walking in a park later, I found the dog hiding under a bush. I carried the dog to safety, called its owners and reunited them. One travel tip you cannot live without: Carry-on only! Unpack your shirts and steam them in the bathroom. Best advice for business travelers: Same as above — carry-on only. And, of course, choose a oneworld member airline.

What are the recent enhancements to oneworld events, the one-stop service for planning meetings and events? We are consistently building the quality of the alliance ecosystem, and the recent enhancements to oneworld events are an example of how we do so. We cut the passenger threshold to 50, and we improved incentives. Tell our readers about the various ’round-the-world options. It’s a fabulous value for the money, and the single most successful fare for the alliance. We’re always looking at the product lines — can we add to them? We have a good suite of products, but we need to be more proactive to ensure our customers understand the options and ensure we understand what our customers need.


Name: Rob Gurney Title: CEO Company, city: oneworld; New York, N.Y. Number of employees: 25 at oneworld; 400,000 across our member airlines Recent project: I started in this role October 2016, so I’m looking at the business with a fresh set of lenses, focused on how we can make our offerings more contemporary. Airlines have changed, and we need to better utilize our digital capabilities. First job: My grandfather was an entrepreneur, and my first job was working in his betting shops. Little-known fact about you: I’m an animal lover, a supporter of animal charities and also a surfer.  

one on one

JITTIMA SUKPALIN Executive Director, The Americas Region Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand Influencers and bloggers will play a significant role in tourism. Millennials, one-third of the U.S. population, will be an important segment, as they are willing to learn and experience new aspects of life during their journeys, ready to take a longhaul trip to the ASEAN region and Thailand, and can be solo travelers. Online media and technology have a lot of impact on them. Best career advice you’ve received: Always be hungry for knowledge, especially new trends and technologies. What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Don’t stop thinking outside the box. Everything is possible.


AS A TRAVELER Favorite travel memory or story: Seeing the pyramids in Egypt 25 years ago, I realized humans are capable of creating such a great civilization and changing the world. One travel tip you cannot live without: Don’t choose the last late flight of the day because if the flight is delayed or canceled, you will have to stay overnight. Best advice for business travelers: Always share information with your team so that when anything happens to anyone in the group, the rest of the team can continue their business trip. Name: Ms. Jittima Sukpalin Title: Executive Director, The Americas Region Department Company, city: Tourism Authority of Thailand; Bangkok, Thailand Number of employees: 30 Recent project: Destination Wedding Planner Congress in Phuket, May 2017; Thailand Travel Mart+ 2017 in Chiang Mai First Job: Marketing officer, marketing publicity division, marketing services department

Little-known fact about you: Apart from expertise in marketing, I have experience in marketing communications of more than 15 years. YOUR BUSINESS What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? As we cover the vast geographical area of Canada, the United States and Latin America, social media will help present our country to potential targets.

ABOUT YOUR BRAND What can premium travelers expect from a visit to Thailand? Thailand offers a diversity of highquality products. Premium travelers can stay in luxury accommodations on a mountainous hilltop in the north, private resorts by the southern and eastern beaches, modern skyscraper hotels in Bangkok or a boutique local experience in our 12 hidden gem towns. Beaches and the warm sea are available year-round, as we have two coasts:

the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Visitors can explore a wide range of gastronomic delicacies, from exciting street food to fine-dining restaurants, award-winning restaurants and celebrity chef events. Visitors enjoy diving; taking a hot air balloon ride; sunbathing on private beaches or swimming in a saltwater infinity pool; cliff climbing and whitewater rafting in the jungle; pampering with a Thai spa and massage; learning about Thai cooking, muay Thai or how to be a mahout; and shopping at the Chatuchak weekend market or at a mega shopping center in Bangkok. What events in Thailand can visitors look forward to in 2018? I invite visitors to join the Thailand Tourism Festival 2018 running Jan. 17–21, 2018, at Lumpini Park in Bangkok. You will feel as if you are traveling throughout our country and experiencing the best of each region. Famous local food and products of each zone will be presented from noon to 10 p.m., and there will be processions and musical performances. This fun event is free and open for everyone. Visitors won’t want to miss the annual Loi Krathong Festival (Nov. 23, 2018), when people head to rivers and ponds to launch candlelit floats to pay respect to the water spirits to thank them for their bounty and apologize to the waterways for polluting them. What are the can’t-miss activities and sights in Thailand? In 2018 we launch the theme “Amazing Thai Taste” to motivate foodies to explore Thai-ness through our diverse food. Visitors can even take a cooking class to be more sophisticated in Thai cuisine. In July 2017 CNN Travel readers listed seven Thai dishes among the World’s 50 Best Foods. This year, TAT partnered with Michelin Travel Partner to publish a Michelin Guide Bangkok as well as with Gault & Millau to publish a bilingual Thailand guidebook. In May 2018 Thailand will host the UNWTO Conference on Gastronomy Tourism.



one on one

DAVID CANTY Vice President Loyalty Programs, InterContinental Hotels Group

AS A TRAVELER Favorite travel memory or story: At 19 I backpacked through northern Italy. I stayed in a guest house in La Spezia the night before hiking the Cinque Terre. Armed with my English-Italian dictionary, I joined a group of elderly gentlemen discussing a televised football game. Hours later, after a few glasses of wine, the dictionary discarded, I was still having wonderful discussions and lots of laughs. Name: David Canty Title: Vice president loyalty programs Company, city: InterContinental Hotels Group; Atlanta, Ga. Number of employees: More than 300,000 globally, including hotels Recent project: We launched a Stay Preferences program last year that gives members an easy way to tell us about what they prefer when they travel. First job: I worked as a farm laborer during the summers in Ireland: bailing hay, cutting corn, picking potatoes and carrots and even milking cows. Little-known fact about you: I grew up in the pub industry in Ireland. My great-grandfather opened Canty’s Bar in Cork in 1892. My grandfather and then my dad ran it


until it was sold. It is still there, so if your travels take you to Cork, drop in for a pint. ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS What innovations/initiatives do you foresee in the industry over the next years? Increased nimbleness through technology: More members search, book and manage stays through mobile devices than through desktop computers. On our horizon are mobile keys plus checking in and checking out, managing in-room settings and ordering room service via in-room artificial intelligence, like our current trial with Amazon Echo. We also continue to customize rewards for member loyalty, adding partners such as Amazon and Apple, where


One travel tip you cannot live without: Carry a small amount of local currency. Turn off your data roaming unless you have an international plan. Go off the beaten path and experience the local culture. Best advice for business travelers: Download the IHG App to manage your stay and preferences and access tools like sleep tips, neighborhood guides and a translation app. We value business travelers and want them to feel a sense of true hospitality. From pillow preference to check-in time, they can share as much or as little with us ahead of their stay. Our hotels have the information handy when they arrive, and we can often exceed their expectations.

ABOUT YOUR BRAND What member benefits can premium travelers expect from IHG Rewards Club? All members enjoy no blackout dates for reward nights; earn faster rewards by combining points and cash; save money and earn points when booking with Your Rate; earn points through our partners for activities like renting a car, buying flowers, shopping and dining; and bid for amazing experiences through IHG Rewards Club auctions. Our elite tiers (Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite) enjoy unique benefits, from complimentary room upgrades and rollover nights to special welcome amenities. Our most loyal Spire Elite members can grant or gift Platinum status to a friend; they receive a welcome benefit and become eligible for Gold Status with our car rental partner, Hertz. Tell our readers about some of IHG Rewards Club partner companies and upcoming promotions. IHG Rewards Club offers countless opportunities to earn points and redeem rewards, from reward nights at IHG hotels worldwide to music downloads, electronics, gift cards and more via its online redemption catalogue. Our exciting partnerships expand the benefits, including the IHG Rewards Club Credit Card by Chase, one of the most generous hotel co-branded cards in the industry. Members also save every time they fill up at participating Shell stations and save and earn points on every Hertz car rental. Crowne Plaza guests now receive a free download from Audible, a partnership we look to expand. What can members expect from IHG Rewards Club in the future? We aim to be a personal program with incredible member choice. We will increase our capabilities so members have their own options for rewards they value most. From the partners we work with to knowing your wine preference, we will enable you to have membership on your terms made even easier via digital technology.


members receive free Kindle books and earn points for purchases of some Apple products. Best career advice you’ve received: Be true to yourself and love what you do! What advice would you give someone starting out in the field? Immerse yourself in what you do, love it and be passionate about it. Learn as much as you can and share your knowledge with those you work with and those who want to learn from you.




Chef Michéle Müller brings home a fresh perspective to Berlin’s Restaurant Quarré. BY KIMBERLY KROL

THEY SAY HOME IS WHERE THE HEART is, and Chef Michéle Müller returns home after a career world tour with her appointment as the first woman chef de cuisine at Restaurant Quarré in Berlin’s iconic Hotel Adlon Kempinski. Müller looks to bring a fresh approach to both the menu and guest relations at Restaurant Quarré. Her energy ensures she’s up for many exciting challenges. The restaurant is known for honest cuisine and local and international favorites, freshly interpreted. Beyond that, guests can expect to see Müller. “I really enjoy asking guests in the restaurant what they fancy, advising them and then immediately preparing the dish for them.” Müller honed her skills around the globe, starting in Berlin before working her way through the ranks at positions in Switzerland, Italy and Ireland. Most recently, Müller was executive sous chef at Hyatt Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi. Hotel Adlon Kempinski’s enviable location in the heart of Berlin, next to the Brandenburg Gate, complements its history, opulence and impeccable service.



WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS? I can say every destination has inspired me in its own way, and I learned from each place I’ve worked. In the last few years, I found my own cooking style: It is down-to-earth, simple but good. My motto is less is more; only a few high-quality ingredients, fresh herbs and lots of love.

food, and now I cook down-to-earth, new, inspired German food. I like both styles.

WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO? I don’t have a famous culinary hero. For me, it is more the people or parents who cook every day for their families with fresh ingredients, passion and love. These are the real, everyday heroes. Chefs in the kitchen have an entire team to help them. These people do everything themselves.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE? I think in the last few years we were so focused on saving time — everything had to be more and more convenient, so we forgot about good food and how it takes time to prepare a good meal. Now, we will go back to basics and more like we used to, how our grandparents did. If we would follow these rules, we would all be healthier and slimmer. Fridays, fish. Sundays, meat. During the week, light meals, soups and stews.

WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE, AND HOW? My guests influence my cooking style the most! I want them to be happy and with a full stomach. There is no point to following a strict cooking style if, at the end of the day, no one eats your food. I always adapt to the place and country where I’m working. I cooked Mediterranean sharing-style

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY? I love food and eating, so everywhere I go, I get to know the country and people through its food. Barcelona is quite cool, going from one tapas bar to the next. I really enjoyed that and could see myself doing it every so often.

HOTEL ADLON KEMPINSKI Unter den Linden 77 10117 Berlin, Germany tel 49 30 22610



Age 50: Catch-up contributions allowed for both 401(k) and IRA Age 55: 401(k) distributions allowed for those who retire in the year they turn 55 or older Age 55–65: Evaluate if long-term care insurance is appropriate Age 59½: IRA and 401(k) distributions allowed Age 60: Minimum age a surviving spouse may claim widow(er) Social Security benefits



Age 60–70: Specific Roth conversion opportunities Age 62: Social Security eligibility begins Age 63½: Age at which COBRA will carry you until Medicare Age 65: Medicare enrollment begins Age 66–67: Entitlement to full Social Security benefits (also known as Full Retirement Age) Age 70: Maximum Social Security benefits achieved

Age 70½: Required minimum distributions for both 401(k) and IRA Age 75-plus: Discuss end-of-life decisions with your spouse and immediate family

The biggest challenge in retirement always is making your funds last you a lifetime. Just as an itinerary can maximize your time and money on a big trip, a retiree should have a similar plan for achieving his or her own retirement goals. By being aware of those important dates along the way, you ensure you may take full advantage of those tools available to you. Wealth managers can guide you on a path to achieving financial success by helping you to take advantage of the appropriate age-based tax-planning opportunities.


IN TODAY’S WORLD, the responsibilities of preparing for retirement fall upon each individual. When you retire, you will discover income taxes do not stop because you stop working. For this reason, age-based tax planning should be an integral part of your overall retirement strategy. If you are near or in your 50s, it is important to be aware of certain milestones that create opportunities for you to maximize your savings. Here are some of those important ages to remember:

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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Wrap up luxury this holiday season. BY PATRICK T. COOPER AND TERRY A. SPRUNGER WHETHER NAUGHTY OR NICE, you work hard, so you deserve the best in luxury this holiday season. These luxury lifestyle items are sure to impress.

DAVID BROWN AUTOMOTIVE Boring is not an option! Jump on a jet to grab a luxury vehicle from our German friends. On a recent visit to Classic Remise while walking the streets of Düsseldorf, I bumped into the Speedback GT by David Brown Automotive. Picnic by day with the hatchback seating and drive to a restaurant in elegance by night. Life is not what you do … it’s how you arrive. Customized from $795,000.

SWIMS No time for slips or falls. Swims provide secure footing as you dance at the bow of the boat. Made specifically for water sports, Swims’s skid-proof soles and water submersion capability make for a perfect marriage at sea. $160.

HEDGREN The Flap Backpack is part of the Walker Collection of water-resistant luggage by Hedgren. These stylish Belgian accessories offer refined elegance and garment protection, guaranteeing a polished presence. About $100.



NORTH POLE FURS Rest or wrap up in this 80-inch by 80-inch natural sheared beaver blanket. North Pole Furs manipulates the finest fur pelts to offer opulent comfort. Soft, elegant and not fussy, the beaver blanket will warm you and rock you to sleep. Prices vary.


QUINTESSENTIALLY Only the best for you. Achieving this level of excellence takes time, so you must wait as Quintessentially builds the world’s largest superyacht, Quintessentially One. The anticipation of its completion is like butterflies in the stomach. Founder Aaron Simpson is preparing an unparalleled experience that reflects the ultimate ocean escape. Want to be part of this floating private club? You’ll need to apply for membership. Price TBD.

PRIMATERRA Montréal abounds with great food and wine, and Le Festival YUL EAT ushered in a new understanding of white wines pleasing to the tongue. At Primaterra in Vernazza, Italy, Walter de Batté specializes in the ancient method of wine making that employs skin maceration. These wines pair perfectly with seafood. Prices vary.


MIGNONNE GAVIGAN A true Sex in the City fashion moment. Designer Mignonne Gavigan delivers a brilliant jewelry presentation for your ear lobes. Inspired by the South African lilac-breasted roller, the Beaded Bird Statement Earrings will make your wardrobe soar in style. The pairing of sequins and feathers delivers a wow. $250.

J CLASS This amazing coffee table book by Franco Pace adds a level of sophistication to your home or office décor and stimulates your work ethic. $129.

PATRICK T COOPER RESORT COLLECTION Coverage is key for a lady. The mid-sized poncho by Patrick T Cooper makes the perfect overlay to accessorize swim attire. Quick-drying fabric will have you blowing in the wind while others can feel weighted down and soggy. Prices vary.

GRAND TRUNK We can’t be responsible for how you mount or dismount your Grand Trunk travel hammock, but you can’t beat the convenience of setting up your peaceful swing. Fun and functional — a combination that will surely make you smile. From $75.




PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES Impressive innovations bring low-tech solutions into the digital age. BY JACK GUY

POLAROID POP The development of smartphone cameras means anyone can be a photographer these days, but many people miss developing physical photos rather than saving digital files. The Pop is a digital camera with a built-in printer that produces iconic Polaroid instant photos, as well as offering WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity to print from your smartphone. Available in time for the holiday season, the Pop makes a great gift for nostalgic photo fans and younger digital photographers alike. $199.99.



RED HYDROGEN ONE SMARTPHONE Smartphones evolved by leaps and bounds in just a short amount of time, and now the Red Hydrogen takes pocket computing to the next level. The Android OS device features a revolutionary 5.7-inch hydrogen holographic display which will project 3D objects you can look at from different angles. Red usually makes modular cinema cameras, but it scheduled the release of its intriguing first smartphone in early 2018. If the company can produce enough content to make use of the technology, the Hydrogen could represent a leap forward for smartphones. Aluminium $1,195; titanium $1,595.


KURI HOME ROBOT Robotics technology continues to develop apace, and Kuri is the new companion robot from Mayfield. Besides being an incredibly cute companion with its own language and expressions, Kuri can react to voice commands, automatically record short videos of those special moments at home and follow you around the house to play music or podcasts. Kuri crosses a new frontier in intelligent home robotics. It can even read bedtime stories to the children while you are away on business. $799.

REMARKABLE For many people, digital technology cannot compare to the feel of pen on paper. Luckily for them, reMarkable combines the feel of paper with the convenience of digital connectivity. The digital paper tablet allows you to read, write and sketch as if you were using paper before exporting files as PDFs to the cloud. If you’re a paper person but you don’t want to carry around heavy notebooks and documents on business trips, reMarkable offers a great option. Tablet $529; pen $79.

wine & spirits

REFRESHING SPIRIT In absinthe’s absence, turn to Pernod. BY EUNICE FRIED


IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIP. It happened in the south of France where drinks like Pernod are particularly popular. I poured a bit in a glass and marveled at its brilliant, transparent, green-tinged, golden-yellow shade; breathed in its sweet licorice aroma; and then, since I was told it would bring out even more pleasure, I added some water. Immediately, the clear liquid turned a creamy-looking, opaque shade. And the aroma, already rich, now offered a deeply exotic bouquet of anise and licorice, flowers and a garden of herbs and left a delightful, lingering aftertaste. It was pure pleasure, and I, who love licorice, had found my favorite aperitif. Pernod was born about 80 years ago after absinthe died. Absinthe, which often contained up to 80 percent alcohol and had a wide following, especially in France, was banned in many countries early in the 20th century (in 1912 in the United States). Based on wormwood, it was believed by officials to be hallucinogenic. But absinthe lovers still craved the taste, and in the 1930s Pernod Classic satisfied that taste. It is a drink created with aromatic herbs including anise, mint, chamomile, coriander and veronica, containing about half the alcohol of absinthe (40 percent) and no wormwood. The price for a 750 ml bottle is about $40. Enjoy it diluted with water, or add it to a mixed drink. Many dozens of recipes blend it with Champagne, gin, vermouth, whiskey, brandy and other alcoholic beverages. It is also added to non-alcoholic drinks such as cola, lemonade and fruit juice. And it imparts a zesty flavor to dishes when it is added to foods toward the end of the cooking process without overshadowing the dish’s own taste. How much water to add to experience the full pleasure of Pernod? Traditionalists say five parts water to one part Pernod. But individual taste is a better measure. I found three to four parts water to one part Pernod works best for my taste. So find your personal measure. It should be a tasty experiment.

l lega n i a ag le een b ilab a s v a ha eh hin oug nth i h wit t s l s a Ab e , t 8 s. Sta 198 ion t e d a c e it sin nit lim t eU c h i t in str DECEMBER 2017



LIFE’S A BREEZE Play by the ocean at Pacifico Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta. BY TIM LEFFEL

COASTAL CALM: Green with palm trees



THE MEXICAN RESORT PLAYGROUND region of Puerto Vallarta has plenty of challenging golf courses open to the public. You must be a Punta Mita homeowner, a guest of one or a guest of the right luxury hotel, however, to play at the best course in the area: the Pacifico course at Punta Mita Golf Club near the Four Seasons Punta Mita. This Jack Nicklaus-designed course is one of two in the planned resort community on a peninsula between Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita. The whole project was a massive 1990s undertaking on 1,500 acres of land, which allowed the developers to avoid dense high-rises in favor of open spaces. Guests of both the Four Seasons and The St. Regis have access to play either course. Pacifico has won a whole wall of awards, including being named the best golf course in the world by Condé Nast Traveler two different years. The 200-acre course benefits from year-round warm weather, and a sea breeze keeps the summer air from getting too stifling. Eight holes lie along the water with stunning views. Between December and March you may even spot a whale. A small army of gardeners and maintenance workers immacu-


lately maintain the area. Water stations, air-conditioned bathrooms and a roving drinks cart were all there when we needed them. Plus, I got 19 holes for my green fees here, thanks to a bonus offering that’s one of the most photographed holes in the world.

HOLES 3A AND 3B | 134 yards and 184 yards, par 3

I was glad I warmed up well on the driving range before teeing off since the course doesn’t start you off easy here. The first hole is a par 4 of 373 yards and the second a challenging par 5 of 493 yards. The ocean comes into view as you approach the green of Hole 2. After the ocean makes you smile, so does Hole 3, a forgiving 134yard beauty with the blue ocean water beyond. I managed to par that one after landing a gratifying drive to the green with an 8-iron, but I wasn’t looking so skilled on the famous 3B bonus hole: The Whale’s Tail. The green lies on a natural island separated by a submerged causeway. During high tide, you simply take a shot at landing your drive on the green 184 yards away. There’s no score since you can’t take a second shot. When the tide is

low, however, you ride an amphibious golf cart out to the island to pitch and putt. I sailed the first shot over the island with a driver, shanked a shot off to the left with a 3-wood and finally landed one just off the green with that same club after teeing it high. I was feeling a little sheepish until my partner — then director of golf Phillip Ferrari — walked up with a 4-iron and promptly donated his first ball to the fish. The tide times were lucky for us, though, and we got to finish out the round with putts on the island.

HOLE 8 | 159 yards, par 3

The course is challenging at each stop, and Hole 7 stretches to 465 tough yards through a narrow fairway peppered with sand traps. The reward came at Hole 8 when we stepped up to the tee box and saw the water spread out to our left, this time on the opposite side of the peninsula. Ferrari managed a birdie while my distracted chip shot led to a bogey. I didn’t mind that or the bogey on following Hole 9, where we had the sea and a beach to our left the entire time. As we headed off to Hole 10, a staffer opened a cooler and handed us mango paletas — Mexican popsicles.

HOLE 18 | 414 yards, par 4

Much of the back nine meanders around the interior of the peninsula, but Hole 13 is a highlight, with a lake running along the fairway. We managed to clear it without giving away any more golf balls. Saltwater came back into view on the approach to the green on Hole 17, the last par 3. The final hole of the course is a real standout, with the ocean off to the right during every shot. I considered it a small victory to keep my ball on the fairway in the wind, especially as we approached the green on a small promontory easy to overshoot. As we rolled up to the clubhouse and peeled off the golf gloves, an attendant magically appeared again, this time with a tray of cool scented towels to wipe off the sweat and dirt. Suitably refreshed, we headed inside to the Tail of the Whale Restaurant for a well-deserved Negra Modelo. My score was nothing to celebrate, but we toasted a day on one of the most enjoyable courses to play in North America.

SEA AND SAND: Hole 9 (above), and amphibious golf cart (left)


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WILD RELAXATION Go safari chic at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp in Botswana.

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“JUST ONE MORE PHOTO of the leopard, and then I really have to go,” I remember saying to the driver of the 4X4 Land Cruiser as I snapped a shot of a female leopardess lounging just feet above my head on the branch of a strong acacia tree. “I have a massage and a facial in an hour back at the camp.” As those last words lingered in the air, I became aware of the rarity of what I had just said. I was in a corner of Botswana called the “predator capital of the world,” where not only do all the animals of the Big Five roam freely throughout the rugged terrain of the Okavango Delta, but also packs of wild dogs and hyenas are regular sightings on morning and evening game drives. My safari guide didn’t flinch at my strange sentence, as if he’d heard a similar request before, and instead he simply started the engine and began to drive at the final sound of my camera’s shutter. Soon we passed by herds of elephants, tours of giraffes, pods of hippos and more impalas and warthogs than I could count on the way back to the Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp so I could make it in time for my spa treatments.


We arrived at the camp entrance with minutes to spare, only to be welcomed by the spa’s sole director and therapist, a Botswana woman named Tumi who greeted me with a beautiful smile and a chilled, lavender-scented towel. Tumi escorted me to the far end of the camp, shooing baboons away as we walked along a sandy pathway to the spa pavilion. Aside from acting as a beautiful paradox to the wild and, at times, dangerous setting in the game reserve, the main charm of the spa at Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp rests in its petite size. Run by one woman with one treatment room, the spa feels all at once intimate and inviting with white wooden flooring contrasting with dark wooden beams overhead. The spa pavilion consists of a welcoming lounge with Thalgo and Africology products on display for purchase, a treatment room with a massage table, a pedicure and manicure station, a private bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower facilities, and a gorgeous outdoor viewing deck offering a perfect post-treatment retreat. Every guest receives a certificate for a complimentary 10-minute foot massage upon arrival, where Tumi uses a

traditional African copper pot as the basin for the treatment. Copper has been mined for centuries in Botswana, and these traditional pots are highly acclaimed for healing and antimicrobial properties. The one in use at the Sanctuary Chief ’s Camp spa is roughly the diameter of a beach ball and stands in the changing area like something straight out of an Anthropologie catalog. In fact, most of the spa’s décor looked like something from a catalog, only everything here is the real deal, made mostly by local craftspeople from local materials. I admired the beautiful space as I made my way to the treatment table, a plush bed in the center of the room. A light breeze blew on my face as Tumi began her signature massage (an aromatherapy massage using Swedish techniques and Africology herb-infused massage oils). She offers a number of massages and body treatments, ranging from an Ikom Sloughing Process that uses walnut and marula shells to exfoliate the skin to an African potato anti-aging body experience that restores hydration and removes free radicals from the body. Tumi also offers manicures, pedicures and a number of beauty treatments that include waxing, eyebrow tinting

and more, but her true passion resides with her facials. The spa uses exclusively Thalgo and Africology products in all the treatments, and guests can select from a range of facials that include either one or the other. The Africology brand is quickly rising to become one of the world’s top leading names in skin care. The brand, made in South Africa, uses only indigenous plants, including rooibos, aloe ferox, marula, African potato and more. The brand takes a holistic approach to all its products, creating not only organic and all-natural (no chemicals or synthetic ingredients) products but also committing to fair trade and socially responsible practices. The Africology products used in the spa’s facials have been chosen and combined to allow the ingredients to reach their full potential, and a few of the top facials include the Africology African Goddess Anti-Aging Facial, which includes a marula oil back and neck massage, and the Balancing Rose Facial, which harnesses the essence of rosehip oil to rebalance the skin while nourishing it with a powerful vitamin C boost. Guests can schedule treatments through the camp manager, the treatment room reception or with the therapist herself.


(Left to right) Leopard lounging on a branch, tour vehicle, luxury accommodations, spa treatment room, and Africology beauty products PHOTOS: © KRISTY ALPERT, © SANCTUARY RETREATS

Sanctuary Chief’s Camp Botswana Okavango Delta Botswana tel 27 11 438 46 50 botswana-camps-chiefsspa




RESORTS AT SEA Enjoy the complete cruise experience with Princess Cruises. BY J.D. BROWN AND MARGARET BACKENHEIMER


Movie night (left) and cabanas at The Sanctuary (right) PHOTOS: © PRINCESS CRUISES

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PRINCESS CRUISES IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL mainstream cruise line, combining all one expects from a large vacation at sea with some enticing innovations. Now owned by Carnival, Princess operates a fleet of 17 ships calling on more than 300 ports around the world. With the exception of one small ship, the 670-passenger Pacific Princess, the vessels carry from 2,000 to 3,500 passengers, providing a full-bore, resort-at-sea experience, replete with casinos and spas, deck lounges and pools, Broadway shows, shops, movies and activity centers, not to mention dining options galore from buffets to bistros to fine, specialty restaurants. Thus equipped, Princess can be all things to all passengers. For families, there are connecting staterooms and two-bedroom family suites, as well as three separate activity centers designed for kids ages 3–7, 8–12 and 13–17. Adults have special places, too, led by The Sanctuary, an oasis of serenity with private lounge chairs and cabanas. While offering a fine traditional cruise with resort facilities, Princess is noted for introducing several major innovations such as its Movies Under the Stars, shown on a 300-square-foot poolside screen. Recently, Princess used the same facility to stage tailgate parties during big-screen “Game of the Week” broadcasts. In addition to presenting large Broadway productions, Princess sponsors original creations devised by Stephen Schwartz, composer of such hits as Wicked and Godspell. Princess’ newest innovation is the Ocean Medallion, a disc-shaped device


that functions as a shipboard ID, credit card and room key. Since Princess Cruises is not an all-inclusive luxury line, passengers do face extra charges for nearly every “extra.” Those who book select 2018 and 2019 cruises, however, can take advantage of the Sip + Sail all-inclusive beverage package. Princess offers a virtually unparalleled choice of destinations, with cruises ranging from Europe and South America to New England and Canada. Its newest mega-ship, the 3,560-passenger Majestic Princess, is based in Shanghai in the summer and Sydney in the winter. And, after a four-year absence, Princess returned to the Caribbean with summer departures from Fort Lauderdale, many featuring the Panama Canal. Perhaps nowhere has Princess Cruises made a more profound mark than in Alaska, where seven of its ships provide 130 departures from Anchorage, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco and even Los Angeles. Princess, as the largest carrier in Alaska, knows those waters well. Its popular Cruisetours combine a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with three- to eight-day land tours of the 49th state, utilizing an exclusive Princess Alaska rail service with accommodations at its own Princess Wilderness Lodges. Princess recently increased its Alaska capacity by some 15 percent, but these May-through-September cruises can sell out well in advance. Delivering fine vacations at reasonable fares, it’s little wonder Princess voyages are highly popular, whatever the destination.


American Airlines is proud to be Global Traveler’s 2017 Airline of the Year

American Airlines and the Flight Symbol logo are marks of American Airlines, Inc. oneworld is a mark of the oneworld Alliance, LLC. © 2018 American Airlines, Inc. All rights reserved.



American Airlines' Boeing 777-300 PHOTO: © AMERICAN AIRLINES

Above and Beyond



Global Traveler announces the 2017 Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year. BY NICOLE QUASTÉ TO REALLY STAND OUT in any industry, excellence is expected. For the seventh consecutive year, Global Traveler celebrates those who consistently achieve and exceed excellence in the travel industry by naming an Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year. The 2017 winners of these prestigious awards are purveyors of excellence: American Airlines, Airline of the Year, and Lotte Hotels & Resorts, Hotel of the Year. A select panel of Global Traveler employees and Advisory Board members chose the winners based on experience and independent research on financial data, occupancy rates, load factors, on-time figures, safety records, brand image, menus and other factors relevant to an outstanding travel experience. These two companies consistently execute efficiency, innovative practices and outstanding service, for which they were named Global Traveler’s 2017 Airline and Hotel of the Year. Let’s meet our winners. DECEMBER 2017




American Airlines 2017 FIRST-RATE:

Flagship First Dining area (top left), Flagship First check-in (top right), Boeing 777-300 Flagship First suite with Casper bedding (bottom left), and premium economy (bottom right) PHOTOS: © AMERICAN AIRLINES


After first spreading its wings as American Airways in 1926, American Airlines continued to expand its reach over 91 impressive years of service, and today it boasts the largest commercial fleet in the world. The prestigious airline flies its iconic red, white and blue livery to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries, operating almost 6,700 flights per day between American Airlines, American Eagle and its airline partners in the oneworld alliance, of which AA is a founding member. Adhering to its slogan, “The World’s Greatest Flyers Fly American,” the airline caters to the ever-growing and -changing business travel market, with services like its multitier AAdvantage loyalty program; its premium business-class seating; and American Airlines Shuttle, providing business travelers frequent and convenient service between New York LaGuardia, Boston’s Logan International and Washington Reagan National airports with dedicated check-in areas, departure gates and baggage carousels at each airport. As frequent flyers know, the best airlines continually improve and expand services to accommodate traveler needs. After kicking off the year with the addition of its basic-economy fares, DECEMBER 2017

offering customers greater price options, AA expanded its route network with new, convenient, domestic and international, seasonal and year-round services. What’s on the horizon for AA in 2018? The airline will improve connections between Philadelphia (PHL), the Midwest and Texas, serving San Antonio (SAT) beginning Feb. 15, followed by Des Moines (DSM), Madison (MSN) and Omaha (OMA) beginning May 4. This summer, AA will launch service to Budapest (BUD) and Prague (PRG) from Philadelphia, and to Venice (VCE) from Chicago (ORD). A newly expanded relationship with China Southern Airlines will give customers access to nearly 40 destinations beyond Beijing and more than 30 beyond Shanghai. Customers have access to these international destinations and more from the airline’s convenient U.S. hubs in Charlotte (CLT); Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW); Los Angeles (LAX); Miami (MIA); New York (JFK); Philadelphia; Phoenix (PHX); and Washington, D.C. (IAD). In addition to its expansive network, AA proves a leader in technological innovation time and again. This summer the airline worked with TSA to test a computer tomography scanner at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in an effort to further ensure the safety and security of its passengers. This marked the first time CT technology was deployed to screen carry-on bags, and the practice is now expanding to airports

worldwide. AA also launched automated screening security lines in Miami, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and New York City, incorporating new technologies to enhance security effectiveness while decreasing the time travelers spend in security lines. For customers, a truly great airline goes above and beyond convenient routes, safety and innovation — it’s about the overall experience, from booking to landing. Enhancing its onboard experience, AA announced a partnership with sleep company Casper. Beginning this month, customers seated in long-haul international and transcontinental first, business and premium economy classes will enjoy a suite of advanced sleep offerings, making it easier than ever to enjoy a comfortable, restful flight. The airline also unveiled its Customer Baggage Notification service this year. The convenient new service notifies customers of the status of checked baggage if it is not on the same plane when they land at their destination, providing step-by-step directions for resolution. In May American made coast-to-coast flights more enjoyable, adding free meals in the main cabin of its industry-leading Airbus A321 transcontinental service between Los Angeles and New York and between San Francisco (SFO) and New York, also featuring lie-flat seats in first and business classes, a spacious main cabin and seat-back entertainment. AA’s fleet of more than 1,100 aircraft supplies more than 190 movies, 300 TV

shows, 700 music albums and 20 games — the largest content library of any U.S. carrier. To achieve excellence in the airline industry, efficiency must be implemented on board, in the air and on the ground. This month the airline consolidates its operations at New York’s LaGuardia Airport to one terminal, allowing customers to check in and board flights from one convenient terminal, saving time and minimizing hassle. Customers traveling through LaGuardia and more than 50 other airports worldwide can await their flight in style and comfort at AA’s Admirals clubs, offering complimentary food and drinks, personal travel assistance, shower suites, conference rooms, business centers and more. Named Full Service Airline Brand of the Year in the annual Harris Poll and Air Transport World’s and Global Traveler’s Airline of the Year, AA’s achievements in 2017 are unparalleled … and it’s only looking up from here.


ELEGANT INDULGENCE: Lotte Hotel Seoul Club Lounge (top left), deluxe king room (top right), Mugunghwa Korean Restaurant (bottom left), and Royal Suite (bottom right) PHOTOS: © LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL


From its humble beginnings in 1973 to becoming the largest hotel group in Korea, Lotte Hotels & Resorts now operates 25 of the most distinctive luxury hotels in the world — a clear choice for Global Traveler’s 2017 Hotel of the Year award.




Salon de Signiel Seoul (top), and Evian Spa (bottom) PHOTOS: © SIGNIEL SEOUL


In addition to its home base in Korea, the luxury chain operates properties in Russia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Myanmar and the United States, where travelers enjoy thoughtful, refined service; modern, comfortable stays; and world-class facilities, restaurants and experiences. The Lotte brand got its name from the character Charlotte in Goethe’s masterpiece The Sorrows of Young Werther, an individual well-loved by readers around the world. Going beyond the traditional hotel experience, Lotte’s mission is to touch the hearts of guests, going “beyond luxury, beyond service and beyond expectations.” Made up of four brands, Lotte Hotels & Resorts offers something for every traveler. The luxury Signiel Seoul, located in Lotte World Tower, offers an unparalleled accommodation experience, including panoramic views from Korea’s tallest tower, meals by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno and indulgent experiences at Evian Spa. In the large upscale market, Lotte Hotels are renowned for sophisticated elegance. Ideal for both business and leisure travelers, the hotels offer comfortable rooms; various dining, banquet and fitness facilities; and fully equipped business centers. Designed with the business traveler in mind, Lotte City Hotels, in the small upscale market,


offer modern, spacious guestrooms; multifunctional public spaces; convenient services; and bespoke amenities, all within proximity to shopping, entertainment and financial districts in urban centers around the world. Having recently expanded its footprint to the lifestyle realm, Lotte’s L7 Hotels boast a modern accommodation concept with properties situated in lively urban neighborhoods with access to shopping, dining and entertainment. The hotels feature trendy décor, travel concierges, a Long Day Foot Spa and other thoughtful services geared toward the modern world traveler. Lotte’s multitier loyalty Privilege Rewards Program provides members the opportunity to earn points for stays across all four brands which can be used toward rooms, food and beverage and in its renowned duty-free shops. Each Lotte property boasts a distinguished character offering something unique, memorable and exceptional. Situated in the heart of Manhattan, the 909-room Lotte New York Palace recently underwent a $140 million redesign boasting unparalleled splendor, breathtaking views and spacious rooms. Visitors and locals imbibe at its trendy restaurants and bars including Trouble’s Trust, Tavern on 51, Rarities and Pomme Palais. Located across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and steps from Rockefeller Center, the hotel’s renowned courtyard incorporates motifs from 15th-century Italian cathedrals. Lotte Hotel Seoul is home to Michelin two-starred restaurant Pierre Gagnaire à Seoul; Lotte Hotel Guam features breathtaking views of Tumon Bay Beach; and Lotte Hotel Hanoi houses Tim Ho Wan, the first Michelin-starred dim sum house in Vietnam. Lotte guests find it’s the little things that greatly enhance the accommodation experience. For example, Lotte Hotel Busan’s Mugunghwa recently became the first hotel restaurant in Busan to receive a Muslim-friendly certification by the Korea Tourism Organization for its halal-certified ingredients. Lotte Hotel Seoul guests partake in one-on-one health and lifestyle counseling at SULWHASOO Spa, and Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg guests are immersed in the history of the hotel and nearby St. Isaac’s Square from the moment they walk in. This was a big year for Lotte, and its future looks even brighter. Lotte Resort Sokcho, located in the Gangwon Province, opened in July and is quickly becoming a landmark of Korea’s east coast, boasting premium facilities including an infinity pool with a horizon view and a water park accommodating 2,500 guests. Lotte Hotel Yangon opened Sept. 1 in the economic center of Myanmar, home to embassies, universities and companies from around the world. Adjacent to Inya Lake and located just north of Shwedagon Pagoda, the hotel provides some of the best accessibility and views of the city. Located on St. Isaac’s Square, Lotte Hotel St. Petersburg celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 15. The gorgeous property comes with unique views of the cathedral and the Moika River and features proximity to the Heritage Museum, Nevsky Prospect and Mariinsky Theatre. Hotels in the pipeline include the highly anticipated Lotte Arai Resort in Japan and L7 Gangnam in Korea, scheduled to open this month.



A World of Winners Global Traveler announces the winners of the 2017 GT Tested Reader Survey awards. BY KIMBERLY KROL PREPARE YOURSELF FOR ONE EPIC VOYAGE. This year’s 2017 GT Tested Reader Survey award winners take travelers around the world. Journey with us as we unveil the winners of our 14th annual survey, drifting around the continents to celebrate the best of the best in travel worldwide. Perhaps the winners won’t come as a shock to you, our reader. You circumnavigated the globe with us all year long by voting for your favorite airlines,



hotels, destinations and travel goods and services. Grab your boarding pass and come away with us as we traipse the world. Bon voyage! It’s a big world out there — and certain providers find themselves with a lot of ground to cover. First stop in our trip across the globe is to recognize those in the travel industry offering best-in-the-world service. For the eighth consecutive year, oneworld dominates the Best Airline Alliance category, bridging the continents through member airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, LATAM Airlines Group, Qantas, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways.


Best Luggage Brand PHOTO: © BRIGGS & RILEY


Fastest-Growing Airline, Trans-Pacific, Best Airline Website and Best Airline for Domestic First Class PHOTO: © AMERICAN AIRLINES





Best Airline Alliance

With more than 5,000 hotels across the universe, InterContinental Hotels Group aims to please millions of travelers and a multitude of cultures. For the 13th year in a row, the company’s IHG Rewards Club takes home the title of Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World. Also earning worldwide acclaim, the 2017 survey honors Volvo, Best Overseas Delivery Program for the second consecutive year; Hertz, for a fourth time, as Best Rental Car Company; Boingo Wireless, Best WiFi Service for the seventh year in a row; and Verizon, named Best Wireless Service in the World two years running. Fans from all nations agree Sony’s Digital Noise-Cancelling Headphones MDR1000X Wireless are the Best Noise-Cancelling Headset for the fourth consecutive year, while Nikon reigned supreme for the first time, winning Best Photographic Equipment for its D7500. Eight times over, voters agreed: Briggs & Riley is the Best Luggage Brand in all the land. As the world ever changes, so do our awards. Among many categories introduced this year are the next three: Best Ride Share, won by

Best Overseas Delivery Program

Uber; Best Hotel App, earned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts; and Best Airline App, won by Delta Air Lines. Let’s begin our around-the-world expedition close to home, honoring those stand-out travel companies serving or headquartered in North America. American Airlines found itself a multiple award recipient this year, named Best Airline Website; Fastest-Growing Airline, Trans-Pacific; and Best Airline for Domestic First Class (second year in a row). Also finding itself a big winner was The Ritz-Carlton, the luxury hotel company with 91 hotels worldwide. In 2017 The Ritz-Carlton was awarded Best International Hotel Chain (third consecutive year); Best Domestic Hotel Chain (third year in a row); Best Hotel Club Floor (second year running); and Best Hotel Website (third consecutive win). Delta Air Lines makes its second appearance on this year’s list, honored for Best Airline for New Service Launch for its Detroit (DTW) to London (LHR) flight. The airline’s hub, Hartsfield-Jackson



AWARD WINNERS 2017 Best Overall Airline in the World 1. Singapore Airlines 2. United Airlines 3. Asiana Airlines 4. Delta Air Lines 5. Qatar Airways 6. Emirates 7. British Airways 8. Swiss International Air Lines 9. Lufthansa 10. Korean Air


Best Airline in North America PHOTO: © ALASKA AIRLINES

Best Airline Alliance 1. oneworld 2. Star Alliance 3. SkyTeam Best Aircraft Type 1. Airbus A350 2. Boeing 777 3. Airbus A380 4. Boeing 787 5. Boeing 747A 6. Boeing 737 7. Airbus A340 8. Boeing 767 9. Airbus A330 Best Airline Website 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Fastest-Growing Airline, Trans-Pacific 1. American Airlines 2. Hainan Airlines 3. China Airlines 4. Xiamen Air 5. Korean Air 6. All Nippon Airways 7. United Airlines 8. Japan Airlines 9. China Southern Airlines 10. China Eastern Airlines




Best Lifestyle Hotel

Best Frequent-Flyer Elite-Level Program



Atlanta International Airport, won Best Airport Dining for the fourth consecutive year. Our next stop is Chicago, home to another of North America’s award-winning airports. For the 14th consecutive year, Chicago O’Hare International Airport claims the title of Best Airport in North America. The city is also the headquarters of United Airlines, whose frequent-flyer program, United MileagePlus, earned top billing for the 14th time as Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program. For the fifth time, the program was named Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program. Another company calling Chicago home, Hyatt picks up an armload of accolades: Best Lifestyle Hotel for Andaz, eight years running; and Best Frequent-Stay Elite-Level Program, Best Frequent-Stay Award Redemption and Best Frequent-Stay Customer Service, Americas (second consecutive year) for its recently rebranded World of Hyatt rewards program. Meanwhile, Marriott Rewards wins big as Best Frequent-Stay Bonus Program.


To the Northwest, where Alaska Airlines won the impressive title of Best Airline in North America. Its Mileage Plan frequent-flyer program was dubbed Best FrequentFlyer Customer Service, Americas. Say aloha to the 50th state: Hawaiian Airlines earned the title of Best Frequent-Flyer Elite-Level Program for Hawaiian Miles – Pualani Platinum Membership. Before departing the United States, visit the 90210, home of the Best Hotel in the United States for the seventh year in a row, The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Moving south, Mexico appeared several times on this year’s ballot. Aeromexico is the Best Airline in Mexico for the eighth time, and Fiesta Americana is the Best Hotel Chain in Mexico for the seventh year in a row. The country was also named Best Tourism Destination. Time to pop across the pond and visit our trans-Atlantic neighbor, the European continent. Toulouse, France, is the home base for Airbus, where the Airbus A350 was

Best Airline for Business Class 1. Turkish Airlines 2. Qatar Airways 3. United Airlines 4. Singapore Airlines 5. Etihad Airways 6. Delta Air Lines 7. Asiana Airlines 8. Korean Air 9. Lufthansa 10. China Airlines




Best European Hotel Chain

Best Airline for International First Class 1. Qatar Airways 2. Etihad Airways 3. Emirates 4. Asiana Airlines 5. Swiss International Air Lines 6. Singapore Airlines 7. Turkish Airlines 8. Lufthansa 9. Cathay Pacific Airways 10. Korean Air Best Airline for Domestic First Class 1. American Airlines 2. United Airlines 3. Alaska Airlines 4. Delta Air Lines


Best Airline for Onboard Service 1. Asiana Airlines 2. South African Airways 3. Qatar Airways 4. Singapore Airlines 5. LATAM Airlines Group 6. Etihad Airways 7. Korean Air 8. Swiss International Air Lines 9. Turkish Airlines 10. Emirates

conceived and built before being named Best Aircraft Type for 2017. One of the biggest European winners was Turkish Airlines, winning Best Airline for Business Class and Best Airport Staff/Gate Agents. Its European airline counterparts claimed the No. 1 spots for Best Airline Cuisine, Alitalia for the eighth year in a row; TAP Air Portugal, seven-time Best Airline in Europe and first-time Best Trans-Atlantic Airline; and LOT Polish Airlines, Best Airline in Eastern Europe. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol pulls double duty this year, finding itself at the top of the list for two new 2017 categories: Best Airport Shopping and Best Duty-Free Shopping in Europe. Vienna International Airport also represents for the European gateways, named the firstever Best Airport in Europe. Overall for accommodations in Europe, seek out St. Regis, the Best European Hotel Chain for the second

consecutive year. Try one of the iconic Bloody Marys at seven European locations in Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Turkey. For the first time, we award Best Hotel in Europe, and the newbie awardee is Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. Next stop? The Middle East, where award-winning airlines and hotels truly know how to serve travelers a dose of luxury. Take Qatar Airways, for example, which earned raves as Best Airline for International First Class, Best First-Class Seat Design and Best Airline in the Middle East, all for the second consecutive year. Keep an eye out for the airline’s newest innovation, the gamechanging QSuite business-class cabin, debuted earlier this year. Doha’s state-of-the-art airport, and Qatar Airways’ hub, opened in 2014, and its myriad offerings helped it earn the Best Airport in the Middle East, a first-time category in our survey. For the 11th consecutive year, EL AL Israel Airlines is

Best Airline for Flight Attendants 1. Asiana Airlines 2. LATAM Airlines Group 3. Emirates 4. Singapore Airlines 5. airberlin 6. Etihad Airways 7. Cathay Pacific Airways 8. Qatar Airways 9. Korean Air 10. South African Airways Best Flight Attendant Uniforms 1. Etihad Airways 2. Asiana Airlines 3. China Airlines 4. Emirates 5. Cathay Pacific Airways 6. Singapore Airlines 7. Delta Air Lines 8. Air France 9. Korean Air 10. Qatar Airways



Best Airline Cuisine 1. Alitalia 2. Qatar Airways 3. Etihad Airways 4. Air France 5. Cathay Pacific Airways 6. Lufthansa 7. Air New Zealand 8. Brussels Airlines 9. Singapore Airlines 10. Asiana Airlines Best Airline for Security 1. EL AL Israel Airlines 2. Swiss International Air Lines 3. Lufthansa 4. British Airways 5. United Airlines 6. Austrian Airlines Best First-Class Seat Design 1. Qatar Airways 2. Etihad Airways 3. Emirates 4. Asiana Airlines 5. Singapore Airlines 6. Cathay Pacific Airways 7. British Airways 8. Qantas 9. Swiss International Air Lines 10. United Airlines Best Business-Class Seat Design 1. China Airlines 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Swiss International Air Lines 4. LATAM Airlines Group 5. Etihad Airways 6. Turkish Airlines 7. airberlin 8. Qantas 9. Asiana Airlines 10. Cathay Pacific Airways Best Airline for New Service Launch 1. Delta Air Lines (DTW to LHR) 2. LOT Polish Airlines (ORD to KRK) 3. Delta Air Lines (JFK to GLA) 4. LATAM Airlines Group (MCO to SCL) 5. United Airlines (SFO to SIN) 6. Singapore Airlines (SFO to SIN) 7. Delta Air Lines (ATL to BRU) 8. Virgin Atlantic Airways (SEA to LHR) 9. Emirates (EWR to ATH) 10. Air India (IAD to DEL) Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program 1. United MileagePlus 2. American Airlines AAdvantage 3. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 4. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 5. JetBlue TrueBlue 6. Southwest Rapid Rewards 7. Lufthansa Miles & More 8. British Airways Executive Club 9. Air Canada Aeroplan




Best Duty-Free Shopping in the World and in the Middle East PHOTO: © DUBAI DUTY FREE

recognized for its dedication to safety and security for travelers, as Best Airline for Security. Abu Dhabi knows style, evident in its flag carrier’s win this year. Etihad Airways flies away with the title of Best Flight Attendant Uniforms. Moving to another of the U.A.E.’s emirates, Dubai makes its way onto the winner’s list with two acknowledgments for Dubai Duty Free, the 11-time titleholder for Best Duty-Free Shops and first-time winner in the new Best Duty-Free Shopping in the Middle East race. Considered the world’s first 7-star hotel, it’s no wonder Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai is the 2017 Best Hotel in the Middle East winner. For overall luxury in the Middle East, our survey respondents recommend repeat winner The Ritz-Carlton as Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East. The brand boasts properties in Bahrain, Israel, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Let’s journey onward to the fascinating continent of Asia, where travelers’ options range from the islands of Thailand to the frenetic city life of Beijing and the exoticism of India. Taking home the top title in this region is Singapore Airlines, named Best Overall Airline in the World for the third year running. Its home airport, Singapore Changi Airport, also boasts a major accolade this year as the two-time winner of Best Overall Airport in the World. For the first time, the airport also nabbed the Best Duty-Free Shopping in Asia title. Perennial favorite Asiana Airlines keeps its throne for the 14th time, continuing to shine and set a worldwide example as Best Airline for Onboard Service and Best Airline for Flight Attendants. After experiencing


Best Flight Attendant Uniforms PHOTO: © ETIHAD

the fantastic service on an Asiana flight, find yourself at Incheon Airport, Best Airport in Asia. In the city, choose from a number of outstanding luxury hotels, including this year’s award winners: Lotte Hotel Seoul, Best MICE Hotel for the third year in a row and Best Hotel in South Korea for the sixth consecutive year; and Signiel Seoul, Best New Luxury Hotel in Asia. Seoul earns third-time accolades for Best MICE City. Taiwan-based China Airlines receives double awards this year: Best Business-Class Seat Design for the third time and Best Airline in North Asia for the fifth time. While in Taipei, book a stay at the



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Best Frequent-Flyer Elite-Level Program 1. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles – Pualani Platinum Membership 2. American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum 3. United MileagePlus Premier Executive 1K 4. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan MVP Gold 5. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Diamond Medallion 6. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards A-List Preferred 7. Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns Summit Level 8. JetBlue TrueBlue


Best Hotel in South Korea and Best MICE Hotel PHOTO: © LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL

Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program 1. United MileagePlus 2. American Airlines AAdvantage 3. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 4. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 5. Air Canada Aeroplan 6. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 7. LifeMiles 8. LATAM Fidelidade 9. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 10. Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption 1. LifeMiles 2. Air Canada Aeroplan 3. United MileagePlus 4. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 5. American Airlines AAdvantage 6. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7. LATAM Fidelidade 8. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 9. Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns Best Frequent-Flyer Customer Service, Americas 1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 2. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 3. American Airlines AAdvantage 4. United MileagePlus 5. Air Canada Aeroplan 6. LATAM Pass 7. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 8. LATAM Fidelidade Best Airline in North America 1. Alaska Airlines 2. Delta Air Lines 3. United Airlines 4. American Airlines 5. Air Canada 6. JetBlue 7. Frontier Airlines 8. Porter Airlines 9. Southwest Airlines Best Airline to South America 1. LATAM Airlines Group 2. Avianca 3. Aerolineas Argentinas



Best Hotel in Asia, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei. Our voters also prefer Grand Hyatt during trips to Asia. The Best Hotel Chain in Asia winner has properties in China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and coming soon to the Philippines. Conclude your Asian visit with a flight on any of these award-winning airlines: Hainan Airlines, Best Airline in China for the sixth consecutive year; SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS Best Airline in Africa Air India, the four-time Best PHOTO: © SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS Airline in Central/South Asia & India; and two-time honoree, Japan Airlines, Best Airline to Best Airport in Africa and Best Duty-Free Shopping in Japan and Best Trans-Pacific Airline. Africa. Next up on our world tour, let’s head to Australia Coming nearly full circle and enjoying every and the Pacific Rim. Helping us get there? Air New moment of our once-in-a-lifetime jaunt around the Zealand, named Best Airline to Australia and New globe, we end in South America, where five-time Zealand. In the South Pacific, those surveyed opted for winner LifeMiles from Avianca Airlines will help Fiji Airways, Best Airline in the South Pacific. frequent travelers find rewards, winning Best FrequentThere’s so much left to see in this world, but our Flyer Award Redemption. journey is almost concluding. Before heading home, LATAM Airlines Group is another of the contilet’s first visit the wonders of Africa, aided on our way nent’s award-winning carriers, finding itself named by the reliable — so reliable, it’s been awarded 14 times Best Airline to South America for the fourth consecuover! — service of South African Airways, Best Airline tive year. Making a first-time appearance on the list of in Africa. The accolades extend to Johannesburg’s winners is Jorge Chávez International Airport, Peru’s airport, O.R. Tambo International Airport, voted both largest and the 2017 Best Airport in South America.

Less time flying. More time for business.

Only Air India has non-stop service to India from New York, Newark, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. For reservations, call your travel counselor or 1-800-223-7776.

We’re Honored. Our thanks to the readers of Global Traveler for choosing Air India as the “Best Airline in Central/South Asia & India” for the fourth consecutive year!

Best Airline in Mexico 1. Aeromexico 2. Volaris 3. VivaAerobus 4. Interjet Best Airline to Australia and New Zealand 1. Air New Zealand 2. Qantas 3. Fiji Airways 4. Air Tahiti Nui 5. Virgin Australia Best Airline in the South Pacific 1. Fiji Airways 2. Air Tahiti Nui 3. Qantas 4. Virgin Australia 5. Air New Zealand Best Airline in Europe 1. TAP Air Portugal 2. Brussels Airlines 3. Austrian Airlines 4. Swiss International Air Lines 5. British Airways 6. Virgin Atlantic Airways 7. Lufthansa 8. Iberia 9. Aer Lingus 10. Alitalia


Best Airline to Australia and New Zealand PHOTO: © AIR NEW ZEALAND

Best Airline in Eastern Europe 1. LOT Polish Airlines 2. Aeroflot 3. Transaero 4. Tarom Romanian Airlines 5. Wizzair 6. Adria Airways 7. Croatia Airlines 8. S7 Airlines


Best Airline in Central/South Asia & India PHOTO: © BOARDING1NOW | DREAMSTIME


Best Airline in the Middle East, Best Airline for International First Class and Best First-Class Seat Design PHOTO: © QATAR AIRWAYS

With 16 stellar hotel options in Latin and Central America, you can easily guess why InterContinental Hotels and Resorts earned No. 1 billing as Best Hotel Chain in Latin America, dethroning the previous 13-time winner. Wherever in the world your travels may take you, a co-branded credit card can aid with both flights and accommodations. Whether a short business trip or circumnavigation of the globe, these credit cards earn raves from our well-traveled survey respondents. For six years, the United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase has held the No. 1 spot for Best Overall Credit Card and Best Credit Card Rewards Program. The United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase ranks tops for Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemptions, and has



for the past five years. Best Credit Card Special Events also goes to Chase, for the Inside Access from Chase program. Other frequent-flyer affinity credit cards worth reserving a space for in your wallet include the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America, six-time Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card; Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard, Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Promotions for the fourth consecutive year; and Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Benefits for the third year in a row. Make sure these frequent-stay affinity credit cards accompany you around the globe: Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase, winning Best Frequent-Stay

Best Airline in Africa 1. South African Airways 2. Royal Air Maroc 3. Air Seychelles 4. Kenya Airways 5. Air Namibia 6. Air Mauritius 7. Ethiopian Airlines 8. TAAG Angola Airlines 9. Mango 10. Kulula Best Airline in the Middle East 1. Qatar Airways 2. Etihad Airways 3. Emirates 4. Saudi Arabian Airlines 5. EL AL Israel Airlines 6. Royal Jordanian 7. Middle East Airlines 8. Gulf Air 9. Royal Air Maroc 10. Egyptair

Best Airline in North Asia (excluding China) 1. China Airlines 2. EVA Air 3. Asiana Airlines 4. Korean Air 5. Cathay Pacific Airways 6. Japan Airlines 7. Dragonair 8. All Nippon Airways Best Airline in China 1. Hainan Airlines 2. China Eastern Airlines 3. Air China 4. China Southern Airlines 5. Shenzhen Airlines 6. Juneyao Airlines 7. Shandong Airlines 8. Spring Airlines 9. Sichuan Airlines 10. Tianjin Airlines Best Airline in Central/South Asia & India 1. Air India 2. SpiceJet 3. Indigo 4. SriLankan Airlines 5. Mihin Lanka 6. Jet Airways 7. Air Astana 8. Biman Bangladesh Airlines 9. PIA Best Airline to Japan 1. Japan Airlines 2. All Nippon Airways 3. United Airlines 4. American Airlines 5. Delta Air Lines


Best Trans-Atlantic Airline and Best Airline in Europe

Best Trans-Pacific Airline 1. Japan Airlines 2. United Airlines 3. Asiana Airlines 4. Singapore Airlines 5. Korean Air 6. Cathay Pacific Airways 7. China Southern Airlines 8. Air China 9. All Nippon Airways

Best Airline to Japan and Best Trans-Pacific Airline


Best Trans-Atlantic Airline 1. TAP Air Portugal 2. American Airlines 3. British Airways 4. United Airlines 5. Lufthansa 6. Austrian Airlines 7. Brussels Airlines 8. Swiss International Air Lines 9. Delta Air Lines 10. Air France





HAINAN AIRLINES Best Airline in China


Affinity Credit Card for the sixth time and Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Benefits. The Hilton Honors Card from American Express takes the Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Promotions title for the second year running. And The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan features twice on this year’s roster, earning Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Redemptions honors for the third time and Best Small-Business Credit Card acclaim for the second. Of course, you may choose to sail the seven seas instead. Our readers recommend the Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature card joins you. This is the third time the credit card has been named Best Cruise Line Affinity Credit Card. Spin the globe. Grab your passport. Board the plane. Book the hotel room. Snap the photo. Make the dinner reservation. Gain a global perspective. It’s time to keep exploring, and we have a host of winning airlines, hotels, travel providers and services ready to take you. What are you waiting for? And raise a glass, say cheers and toast the winners, wherever you may find yourself around the world.

THE VOTING PROCESS Open-ended ballots ran in subscriber copies of Global Traveler and online at globaltravelerusa .com/survey from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 2017. Ballots were distributed via direct mail and email during the same period. Ballots returned with less than 50 percent of the fields completed were disqualified. More than 22,000 qualified ballots were returned during the voting period. Employees of FX Express Publications, Inc., and affiliated members of the travel industry were not allowed to participate.

DRIVEN TO BE THE BEST. At Hertz, we lead by example. That’s why it is our honor to be awarded Best Rental Car Company by GT Tested Reader Survey four years in a row.

© 2017 Hertz System, Inc. All rights reserved.


International Airport Medina 6. Muscat International Airport 7. King Khalid International Airport Riyadh 8. King Fahd International Airport Damman 9. Al Maktoum Dubai World Central

HAMAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Best Airport in the the Middle East


Best Airport in South America 1. Jorge Chávez International Airport 2. Quito International Airport 3. Bogota El Dorado 4. José Joaquín de Olmedo Guayaquil International Airport 5. Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez Santiago International Airport 6. Ministro Pistarini Buenos Aires International Airport 7. São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport 8. Rio de Janeiro International Airport 9. Simón Bolívar Caracas International Airport


Best Airline for Business Class and Best Airport Staff/Gate Agents PHOTO: © TURKISH AIRLINES


Best Airport Shopping and Best Duty-Free Shopping in Europe PHOTO: © YELLOWPAUL | DREAMSTIME

Best Overall Airport in the World 1. Singapore Changi Airport 2. Munich Airport 3. Incheon International Airport 4. Hamad International Airport 5. Hong Kong International Airport 6. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 7. Frankfurt am Main International Airport 8. Beijing Capital International Airport 9. Shanghai International Airport 10. Tokyo International Airport/ Haneda Airport Best Airport in North America 1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport 2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport 3. Denver International Airport 4. San Francisco International Airport 5. George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston 6. Newark Liberty International Airport 7. Portland International Airport 8. Pittsburgh International Airport


9. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 10. Miami International Airport Best Airport in Asia 1. Incheon International Airport 2. Singapore Changi Airport 3. Tokyo Haneda International Airport 4. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport 5. Osaka Kansai International Airport 6. Hong Kong International Airport 7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport 8. Tokyo Narita International Airport 9. Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport 10. Beijing Capital International Airport Best Airport in Africa 1. O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg 2. Cape Town International Airport 3. King Shaka International Airport Durban 4. Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos


5. Port Elizabeth International Airport 6. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport 7. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Mauritius International Airport 8. Cairo International Airport 9. Seychelles International Airport Best Airport in Europe 1. Vienna International Airport 2. Munich Airport 3. Zürich Kloten International Airport 4. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport 5. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 6. Brussels Airport 7. Frankfurt am Main International Airport 8. London Heathrow Airport 9. Copenhagen Airport 10. Hamburg Airport Best Airport in the Middle East 1. Hamad International Airport 2. Dubai International Airport 3. Abu Dhabi International Airport 4. Bahrain International Airport 5. Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz

Best Airport Staff/Gate Agents 1. Turkish Airlines 2. EVA Air 3. Delta Air Lines 4. Singapore Airlines 5. Qatar Airways 6. Lufthansa 7. Emirates 8. United Airlines 9. Asiana Airlines 10. Etihad Airways Best Airport Dining 1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport 2. Singapore Changi Airport 3. Hamad International Airport 4. Vienna International Airport 5. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 6. London Heathrow Airport 7. Brussels Airport 8. Los Angeles International Airport 9. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 10. Frankfurt am Main International Airport Best Airport Shopping 1. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 2. Dubai International Airport 3. Incheon International Airport 4. Hong Kong International Airport 5. Hamad International Airport 6. London Heathrow Airport 7. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport 8. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport 9. Miami International Airport 10. Zürich Kloten International Airport


Best International Hotel Chain, Domestic Hotel Chain, Hotel Club Floor, Hotel Website and Hotel Chain in the Middle East PHOTO: Š THE RITZ-CARLTON

Best Duty-Free Shops 1. Dubai Duty Free 2. Hamad International Airport 3. Incheon International Airport 4. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 5. Hong Kong International Airport 6. Singapore Changi Airport 7. Abu Dhabi International Airport 8. Frankfurt am Main International Airport 9. Vancouver International Airport 10. London Heathrow Airport Best Duty-Free Shopping in Asia 1. Singapore Changi Airport 2. Incheon International Airport 3. Tokyo Haneda International Airport 4. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport 5. Osaka Kansai International Airport 6. Hong Kong International Airport 7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport 8. Tokyo Narita International Airport 9. Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport 10. Beijing Capital International Airport Best Duty-Free Shopping in Africa 1. O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg 2. Cape Town International Airport 3. King Shaka International Airport Durban

4. Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos 5. Port Elizabeth International Airport 6. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport 7. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan Mauritius International Airport 8. Cairo International Airport 9. Seychelles International Airport Best Duty-Free Shopping in Europe 1. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol 2. London Heathrow Airport 3. Munich Airport 4. Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Rome 5. ZĂźrich Kloten International Airport 6. Frankfurt am Main International Airport 7. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport 8. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport 9. Vienna International Airport 10. Brussels Airport Best Duty-Free Shopping in the Middle East 1. Dubai Duty Free 2. Hamad International Airport 3. Abu Dhabi International Airport 4. Bahrain Duty Free 5. Amman Queen Alia International Airport Jordan 6. Muscat International Airport 7. King Khalid International Airport Riyadh 8. Al Maktoum Dubai World Central

Best International Hotel Chain 1. The Ritz-Carlton 2. Westin Hotels & Resorts 3. The Peninsula Hotels 4. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 5. Hilton Hotels & Resorts 6. Conrad Hotels & Resorts 7. Marriott Hotels 8. Four Seasons 9. Park Hyatt 10. Waldorf Astoria

Best MICE Hotel 1. Lotte Hotel Seoul 2. The Fairmont San Francisco 3. Hyatt Regency Incheon 4. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 5. China World Hotel, Beijing 6. Crowne Plaza Changi 7. Grosvenor House, London 8. Kempinski Hotel Wuxi 9. Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong 10. The Gleneagles

Best Domestic Hotel Chain 1. The Ritz-Carlton 2. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 3. Hilton Hotels Corp. 4. Park Hyatt 5. Waldorf Astoria 6. Marriott Hotels 7. Four Seasons 8. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 9. W Hotels 10. Westin Hotels & Resorts

Best Hotel Club Floor 1. The Ritz-Carlton 2. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts 3. Grand Hyatt Grand Club 4. The Peninsula Hotels 5. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 6. Hilton Hotels 7. Marriott Hotels & Resorts 8. Westin Hotels & Resorts 9. Renaissance Hotels

Best Lifestyle Hotel 1. Andaz 2. Aloft Hotels 3. W Hotels 4. Moxy 5. Element Hotels 6. Kimpton Hotels 7. Affinia Hotels 8. Hotel Indigo 9. Vida Hotels + Resorts

Best Hotel Website 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.



thank you for voting us number one. The oneworld® member airlines thank readers of Global Traveler for honoring us with ‘Best Airline Alliance’ for the eighth consecutive year. 13 airlines. More than 1,000 destinations. 150-plus countries. Learn more at

the world’s leading airlines working as one. American Airlines British Airways Cathay Pacific Finnair Iberia Japan Airlines LATAM Malaysia Airlines Qantas Qatar Airways Royal Jordanian S7 Airlines SriLankan Airlines

raise a glass to oneworld. Our wines and Champagnes don’t just taste great on the ground, they taste great in the air as well. Thank you for voting us Best Airline Alliance ‘Wines on the Wing’.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.


Park Hyatt New York Mandarin Oriental, New York Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas The Four Seasons, New York The Waldorf Astoria Chicago The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown

Best Hotel in Asia 1. Mandarin Oriental, Taipei 2. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo 3. Four Seasons Seoul 4. The Peninsula Bangkok 5. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 6. The Peninsula Shanghai 7. The Mulia, Bali 8. Signiel Seoul 9. The Upper House, Hong Kong 10. The Peninsula Hong Kong

Best New Luxury Hotel in Asia 1. Signiel Seoul 2. Park Hyatt, Bangkok 3. Conrad Bora Bora Nui 4. Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto 5. Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An 6. The St. Regis Langkawi 7. Kokomo Island, Fiji 8. Alila Fort Bishangarh 9. W Shanghai The Bund Best Hotel Rewards Program in the World 1. InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Rewards Club 2. Marriott Rewards 3. Hilton Honors 4. Starwood Preferred Guest 5. World of Hyatt 6. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Golden Circle 7. Loews Hotel YouFirst 8. Leading Hotels of the World Leaders Club 9. Fairmont President’s Club 10. Club Carlson Best Frequent-Stay Elite-Level Program 1. World of Hyatt Platinum 2. Hilton Honors Diamond 3. Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite 4. Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Preferred 5. InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite 6. Wyndham Rewards ByRequest 7. Fairmont President’s Club Platinum 8. Sol Meliá MAS Rewards 9. Choice Privileges Platinum Best Frequent-Stay Bonus Program 1. Marriott Rewards 2. Hilton Honors



3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Rewards Club World of Hyatt Club Carlson Starwood Preferred Guest Wyndham Rewards Omni Select Guest Sol Meliá MAS Rewards Fairmont President’s Club

Best Frequent-Stay Award Redemption 1. World of Hyatt 2. Hilton Honors 3. InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Rewards Club 4. Starwood Preferred Guest 5. Club Carlson 6. Sol Meliá MAS Rewards 7. Wyndham Rewards 8. Omni Select Guest 9. Fairmont President’s Club Best Frequent-Stay Customer Service, Americas 1. World of Hyatt 2. Marriott Rewards 3. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards 4. InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Rewards Club 5. Sol Meliá MAS Rewards 6. Starwood Preferred Guest 7. Hilton Honors 8. Club Carlson 9. Kimpton In Touch 10. Fairmont President’s Club Best Hotel in the United States 1. The Peninsula Beverly Hills 2. The Langham, Chicago 3. The Peninsula Chicago 4. Montage Beverly Hills

Best Hotel in South Korea 1. Lotte Hotel Seoul 2. Park Hyatt Seoul 3. The Plaza Seoul 4. Four Seasons Seoul 5. Grand Hyatt Seoul 6. The Shilla, Seoul 7. InterContinental Seoul 8. The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul 9. The Westin Chosun Best Hotel in the Middle East 1. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah 2. Al Maha Resort & Spa 3. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach 4. One&Only Royal Mirage 5. The St. Regis Dubai 6. Four Seasons Bahrain Bay 7. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel 8. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort 9. Emirates Palace Hotel 10. The Palace Downtown Dubai Best Hotel in Europe 1. Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon 2. Le Meurice Paris 3. Hotel de Russie Rome 4. Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich 5. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Place Budapest 6. Belmond Hotel Cipriani Venice 7. Merrion Hotel Dublin 8. Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus 9. Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome 10. Le Bristol Paris Best European Hotel Chain 1. St. Regis 2. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 3. The Ritz-Carlton 4. The Luxury Collection 5. Westin Hotels & Resorts 6. W Hotels 7. Marriott Hotels 8. Kempinski Hotels 9. Hilton Hotels & Resorts 10. Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Wonderful moments await Whether it’s for business or leisure, traveling is always better when you get a great deal. So, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on the best rate—Your Rate—when booking directly with IHG.® This exclusive rate is available only to IHG® Rewards Club members, but what exactly does it mean to join? Simple, it means you get great rewards every time you stay.

To get the best rate, book directly at or on our mobile app.

*IHG® Rewards Club not applicable to Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants; to be included at a future date.*IHG® Rewards Club not applicable to Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants; to be included at a future date. ©2017 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.

Best Hotel Chain in Asia 1. Grand Hyatt 2. Mandarin Oriental 3. The Peninsula Hotels 4. Park Hyatt 5. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts 6. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts 7. Four Seasons 8. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 9. Conrad Hotels & Resorts 10. Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces

7. 8. 9. 10.

Kempinski Hotels W Hotels Raffles Hotels Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Best Hotel Chain in Latin America 1. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 2. Westin Hotels & Resorts 3. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 4. Sol Meliá Hotels 5. Barceló Hotels & Resorts 6. Fiesta Americana 7. Accor Hospitality 8. Riu Hotels & Resorts 9. The Ritz-Carlton 10. Caesar Park Hotels

Best Car Rental Company 1. Hertz 2. Avis 3. National Car Rental 4. Budget 5. Enterprise 6. Alamo 7. Sixt

Best Hotel Chain in Mexico 1. Fiesta Americana 2. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 3. Sheraton Hotels 4. Westin Hotels 5. W Hotels 6. Barceló Hotels & Resorts 7. Riu Hotels & Resorts Best Hotel Chain in the Middle East 1. The Ritz-Carlton 2. Jumeirah International 3. Marriott International 4. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 5. The Address Hotels + Resorts 6. Four Seasons

Best MICE City 1. Seoul 2. Abu Dhabi 3. Singapore 4. Dubai 5. Hong Kong 6. Madrid


Best Photographic Equipment PHOTO: © NIKON


Best Overseas Delivery Program 1. Volvo 2. Porsche 3. BMW 4. Audi 5. Mercedes

Best Tourism Destination 1. Mexico 2. Ireland 3. Spain 4. South Africa 5. United Kingdom 6. Australia 7. Israel 8. Hong Kong 9. Brazil 10. India




7. 8. 9. 10.

London Sydney San Francisco Paris

Best WiFi Service 1. Boingo Wireless 2. AT&T Wireless 3. Verizon 4. iPass 5. LodgeNet Best Wireless Service in the World 1. Verizon 2. AT&T Wireless 3. T-Mobile 4. U.S. Cellular 5. Sprint 6. MetroPCS 7. Cricket Wireless 8. Boost Mobile Best Noise-Cancelling Headset 1. Sony Digital Noise-Cancelling Headphones MDR1000X Wireless 2. Sony 1ABT Wireless 3. Sennheiser Urbanite XL 4. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones 5. Sony H.ear on Wireless NC 6. Beats Solo3 7. JVC 900 Mhz Wireless Headphones 8. Audio-Technica ATH M50x Headphones Best Luggage Brand 1. Briggs & Riley 2. Samsonite 3. Tumi 4. Delsey 5. Travelpro 6. Hartmann 7. Swiss Army 8. Rimowa 9. Victorinox 10. Louis Vuitton

Best Photographic Equipment 1. Nikon D7500 2. Nikon CoolPix P900 3. Nikon D5500 4. Canon EOS 3D Mark I 5. Sony a6000/a6300 6. Fujifilm X-T10 7. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II 8. Sony Alpha a7RII 9. Canon EOS 6D 10. Canon Rebel SL1 Best Ride Share 1. Uber 2. Lyft 3. Juno 4. Curb 5. Via 6. Summon 7. Bridj 8. Way2Ride 9. Arro 10. Flywheel Best Hotel App 1. Hilton Hotels & Resorts 2. Hyatt Hotels 3. The Ritz-Carlton 4. Marriott Hotels 5. Starwood Hotels & Resorts 6. Four Seasons 7. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 8. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 9. Sofitel Best Airline App 1. Delta Air Lines 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Asiana Airlines 4. United Airlines 5. American Airlines 6. Etihad Airways 7. Alaska Airlines 8. Swiss International Air Lines 9. Lufthansa 10. Air Canada

Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card 1. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase 2. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan 3. Choice Privileges Visa Signature 4. World of Hyatt Card 5. Hilton Honors Card from American Express 6. US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Card 7. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa

Best Overall Credit Card 1. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase 2. American Express Platinum Card 3. Delta SkyMiles Gold Card from American Express 4. American Express Blue Card 5. Chase Ink Card 6. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase 7. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 8. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America 9. Escape Card from Discover 10. Plum Card from American Express Open Best Small-Business Credit Card 1. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan 2. Chase Ink Cash Business Credit Card 3. American Express Business Platinum Card from Open 4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business 5. Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card 6. Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business Credit Card from American Express 7. Business Card from Discover Best Credit Card Special Events 1. Inside Access from Chase 2. Citi Private Pass 3. Chase Sapphire Best Credit Card Rewards Program 1. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase 2. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase 3. Membership Rewards Program from American Express 4. Capital One Venture Rewards 5. Delta SkyMiles by American Express 6. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase 7. Chase Sapphire 8. Miles by Discover 9. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 10. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card from Chase



Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Promotions 1. Hilton Honors Card from American Express 2. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa 3. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan 4. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase 5. World of Hyatt Credit Card 6. Choice Privileges Visa Signature

Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Promotions 1. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 2. JetBlue American Express Card 3. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America 4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase 5. British Airways Visa Signature Card 6. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase 7. Delta SkyMiles by American Express 8. Lufthansa Miles & More Card 9. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Benefits 1. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 2. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 3. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America 4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase 5. Aeromexico Club Premier La Tarjeta from American Express 6. British Airways Visa Signature Card 7. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase 8. Lufthansa Miles & More Card 9. JetBlue American Express Card 10. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card

Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Benefits 1. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase 2. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa 3. Hilton Honors Card from American Express 4. World of Hyatt Credit Card 5. Choice Privileges Visa Signature Best Frequent-Stay Affinity Credit Card Redemptions 1. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from J.P. Morgan 2. IHG Rewards Club Select Visa 3. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase 4. World of Hyatt Card 5. Choice Privileges Visa Signature 6. Hilton Honors Card American Express Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card 1. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America 2. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 3. Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express 4. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase 5. British Airways Visa Signature Card 6. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase 7. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card 8. JetBlue American Express Card 9. Lufthansa Miles & More Card

Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemptions 1. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase 2. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card from Bank of America 3. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 4. United MileagePlus Club Card from Chase 5. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card 6. British Airways Visa Signature Card 7. JetBlue American Express Card 8. Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express Best Cruise Line Affinity Credit Card 1. Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature Card 2. Royal Caribbean Visa Credit Card from Bank of America 3. Norwegian Cruise Line MasterCard from Bank of America 4. Princess Cruises Visa Signature Card

Wines on the Wing 2017 The results of Global Traveler’s annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition were first released in our August 2017 issue. A number of airlines submitted samples of their in-flight wine and sparkling selections. Twenty-one professional wine experts presided as judges over the annual competition. Starting in Asia, we find our Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing award winner, Asiana Airlines. The carrier also won Best International First-Class Red Wine. Japanese airline All Nippon Airways won Best International Business-Class Red Wine. Our aroundthe-world wine tasting includes a stop in the Middle East, as EL AL Israel Airlines earned Best International First-Class White Wine accolades. Next, we’re off to Europe, where three airlines received wine honors: Aeroflot, Best International Business-Class Champagne; TAP Air Portugal, Best International Business-Class Sparkling; and Brussels Airlines, tied for Best International Business-Class White Wine. That tie takes us to North America, where Air Canada also won a nod for Best International Business-Class White Wine. The airline took top honors as Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing. United Airlines dominated, winning Best International First-Class Champagne. Speaking of bubbles, Hawaiian Airlines won Best North American Sparkling Wine. American Airlines’ vinos took the No. 1 spot in three categories: Best North American Wines on the Wing, Best North American White Wine and Best North American Red Wine. AA’s alliance, oneworld, won Best Alliance Wines on the Wing.

WINES ON THE WING WINNERS LIST Best International First-Class Wines on the Wing Gold: Asiana Airlines Silver: British Airways Bronze: United Airlines Best International First-Class Champagne Gold: United Airlines Silver: American Airlines Bronze: Singapore Airlines Best International First-Class White Wine Gold: EL AL Israel Airlines Silver: All Nippon Airways/Asiana Airlines (TIE) Bronze: British Airways



Best International Business-Class Sparkling Wine PHOTO: © TAP AIR PORTUGAL

Best International First-Class Red Wine Gold: Asiana Airlines Silver: Asiana Airlines Bronze: Singapore Airlines

Best International Business-Class Red Wine Gold: All Nippon Airways Silver: American Airlines Bronze: Aeromexico

Best International Business-Class Wines on the Wing Gold: Air Canada Silver: Brussels Airlines Bronze: TAP Air Portugal

Best International Business-Class Sparkling Wine Gold: TAP Air Portugal Silver: Alitalia Bronze: Hawaiian Airlines

Best International Business-Class Champagne Gold: Aeroflot Silver: All Nippon Airways Bronze: Delta Air Lines

Best Airline Alliance Wines on the Wing Gold: oneworld Silver: Star Alliance Bronze: SkyTeam

Best International Business-Class White Wine Gold: Air Canada/Brussels Airlines (TIE) Silver: Air Serbia Bronze: United Airlines

Best North American Wines on the Wing Gold: American Airlines Silver: JetBlue Bronze: Delta Air Lines


Best North American Sparkling Wine Gold: Hawaiian Airlines Silver: Delta Air Lines/JetBlue (TIE) Bronze: Virgin America Best North American White Wine Gold: American Airlines Silver: United Airlines Bronze: JetBlue Best North American Red Wine Gold: American Airlines Silver: JetBlue Bronze: Delta Air Lines



Best Airline in North Asia PHOTO: © CHINA AIRLINES

Welcome to the Club Global Traveler honors the Quint Status inductees for 2017. BY ALLIE MENZIONE Fame in the years to come. IN GLOBAL TRAVELER’S 14TH ANNUAL GT Tested Carefully selected by our distinguished readers, Reader Survey awards, we celebrate those winners deemed the best in travel for the year. Our QUIN the annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards applaud the best of the best in the travel Quint Status reflects those winners collecting industry, honoring the readers’ favorite airthe same GT Tested Reader Survey award lines, credit cards, destinations, hotels and in the same category for the fifth consecutravel goods and services. GT’s readers are tive year. In previous years, the Hall of expert travelers, flying in first and business Fame reflected winners collecting the class on domestic and international carrisame GT Tested Reader Survey award in ers and staying in 4- and 5-star properties the same category for 10 consecutive years. around the world. While we don’t have any winners entering the Best Airline in North Asia This year, four commendable companies Hall of Fame in 2017, we expect to see the recipireached Quint Status. The elite group has been consisents of this year’s Quint Status inducted into the Hall of Airlines China



Fifth Consecutive Year

2017 68


Offering more than 250 nonstop destinations.



@fly2ohare @fly2midway

@flyohare @flymidway

/fly2ohare /fly2midway



Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program PHOTO: © UNITED AIRLINES


Best AirlineAirlines in North Asia China



Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption

UNITED MILEAGEPLUS Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program

LIFEMILES Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption


tently recognized by our readers for having the highest standards of service, a penchant for achieving excellence in their respective fields and striving toward the future with new innovations. We’re happy to welcome these new inductees into the winners’ circle. The fantastic four include United MileagePlus (Best FrequentUNITED MILEAGEPLUS EXPLORER CARD FROM CHASE Flyer Bonus Program), LifeMiles Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption PHOTO: © CHASE (Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption), China Airlines (Best Airline in North Asia) and United MileagePlus ing new incentives and initiatives for its members that help Explorer Card from Chase (Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity sustain its brand loyalty. Credit Card Redemption). Readers also voted LifeMiles Best Frequent-Flyer United MileagePlus won Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Award Redemption for the fifth consecutive year. The Program for the fifth consecutive year. Partnerships with unified loyalty program between Avianca and TACA intebrands like Hilton, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven grates the best practices of two airlines to benefit members. Seas Cruises and others allow members to earn bonus LifeMiles boasts more than 5 million members around the miles when they book a vacation. Most recently, members world and has been recognized globally for its redemption could book a stay with Hilton and receive 5,000 bonus ability. In 2014 LifeMiles became the only loyalty program miles. The program continues to lead in the industry, offerin Latin America to receive a Freddie Award. Members of


LifeMiles have access to more than 1,200 cities; 1,000 VIP lounges; and more with the award-winning frequent-flyer program. China Airlines is the Best Airline in North Asia for the fifth year in a row. The airline’s commitment to constant innovation in airline technology, safety, convenience, comfort and entertainment made it a repeat winner with our readers. The company boasts a fleet of 96 aircraft, including 75 passenger jets, which fly to 143 destinations in 29 countries and districts. From the moment travelers step on board a China Airlines flight, they are welcomed with the finest hospitality and accommodations. “If you have not flown China Airlines’ business class … I suggest you try it,” said Francis. X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler, speaking of his experience flying with China Airlines from New York (JFK) to Taipei (TPE) this past September. United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase takes home Best Frequent-Flyer Affinity Credit Card Redemption for its fifth year. Members earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account, and two miles for every dollar spent on tickets from United Airlines. Additional benefits include your first checked bag free, priority boarding and no foreign transaction fees. The MileagePlus Explorer Card wins consistently in this category because it makes it easy for members to redeem the miles they’ve earned when booking their next trip. Congratulations to all of the winners. Who will we welcome into the Quint Status club next year?


Best Frequent-Flyer Award Redemption PHOTO: © BOARDING1NOW | DREAMSTIME


VO LVO OV E R S E A S D E L I VE RY Personalize the Volvo of your choice and receive two round-trip plane tickets to Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. Pick up your car from the country that inspired its design and then set off on an unforgettable adventure. The land of Volvo – and beyond – is yours to explore. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT YOUR LOCAL VOLVO DEALER OR CALL (800) 631–1667. CHECK OUT VOLVOCARS.COM/US/MYBAGSAREPACKED

mice | JAKARTA

Business in the Big Durian Plan outstanding events in the dynamic city of Jakarta. BY DEBRA BOKUR


(Left to right) Selamat Datang Monument and fountain in Central Jakarta; Mandarin Oriental ballroom and meeting room; and Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta ballroom




WHEN IT COMES TO MEETING planning, the words “island” and “tropical” are pretty powerful incentives. Toss in a host of highend venues, a cornucopia of exciting dining options, accessible parks, festivals and art — plus world-class entertainment — and the vast Indonesian city of Jakarta becomes a natural choice for MICE organizers. Ranked 34th in economic growth among the world’s 200 biggest cities, Jakarta’s steady development also earned it recognition by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2016 as an Alpha Global City, based on its connectivity in accountancy, advertising, law and the banking and financial sector. Trade fairs remain an important component of the MICE market, and upcoming 2018 trade shows and conferences include the Indonesia Sport Expo & Forum (May 2–6), Inatronics (May 3–5), PowerGen & Renewable Energy Indonesia (May 3–5) and IBME Indonesia International Exhibition for Building Mechanical and Electrical (July 11–13). “As the capital city of Indonesia [and]

Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Jakarta is the hub for the country’s commerce and government activities,” offers T. Marlene Danusutedjo, director of communications, Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta. “This vibrant city is complemented with a wide range of shopping, dining and golfing options — as well as [numerous] art galleries and museums.” Restaurants prove particularly popular meeting venues, especially when the dining component includes Javanese architecture and authentic Indonesian fare. A wonderful example is Plataran Cilandak, where event spaces include a wide, green outdoor terrace where exotic native flora lend a sense of place. The restaurant-dining angle makes luxury hotels an easy choice for large-scale MICE events. The Mandarin Oriental is particularly well-suited, thanks to its key address and award-winning restaurants and bar. “Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta has the most centrally located venue in the iconic Welcome Monument Roundabout in Central Jakarta, offering the perfect setting for high-level business meetings,” says Danusutedjo. Meeting and banquet facilities occupy the entire third floor of the building with separate access, allowing for enhanced privacy and comfort and ideal for VIP arrivals. A permanent breakout area is also available, giving delegates a private space with a residential feel. “All the meeting rooms feature state-of-the-art technology and

are decorated in a refined Southeast Asian theme complemented by natural daylight,” adds Danusutedjo. “The escalators leading to and from this level have been cleverly concealed by a fretwork screen decorated with bold, indigenous patterns.” At other upscale properties, outstanding ballroom-style settings include the stunning Segara Ballroom at The Dharmawangsa, with an interior reminiscent of an opulent Indonesian mansion. The Grand Ballroom at the Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta can hold up to 3,000 attendees beneath its glittering crystal chandeliers, while the Grand Ballroom at Kempinski’s Jakarta property (also with a 3,000person capacity) offers direct access to and from the Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. When space is a priority, Jakarta Convention Center, commonly referred to as Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center, provides extensive facilities with high-tech sound, lighting and communications resources. Along with meeting rooms, two large exhibition halls and dedicated catering services, the center also has an in-house art department available to design and construct stages and décor. For corporate and professional meeting space and support, The Executive Centre Jakarta — part of a network of leading office space providers in Asia — helps locate, secure and set up spaces at prestigious addresses appropriate to small or large meetings, with state-of-the-art productivity and communication tools and access to local business support services.


For intimate business gatherings or a low-key corporate tea soirée, the elegant ambience of Rumah Kartanegara is perfect. This lovely private estate accommodates up to 125 people (or up to 150 for stand-up cocktail functions) in swish Kartanegara in the southern area of the city. Decked out in a heady blend of European, Asian and Javanese design, the space includes eight separate, beautifully furnished rooms with plush vintage touches. To help with the details, the property has a dedicated staff with private butler services. The building is air-conditioned, and on-site amenities include WiFi, microphones, televisions and projectors. Once the private villa of the governors-general appointed by the Dutch East India Co. and now a museum, the 18th-century Gedung Arsip Nasional (National Archives Building) offers a gracefully proportioned space that’s become popular for special events. The colonial heritage structure was completely renovated in 1992 and can provide for up to 1,000 people indoors and in the manicured gardens, replete with a lovely belfry. Meeting breaks allow for perusal and enjoyment of the museum’s permanent collection, which includes original 17th-century ebony furniture and an impressive exhibit of maps with selections dating back to 1541.

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BUSINESS destinations








LEISURE destinations










destination one | DOHA

Urban Wonder A hub of commerce and culture, Doha lures business and leisure travelers. BY FELICITY LONG

THE MASSIVE, TECHNICOLOR LIGHT POLES, lining the access road from Hamad International Airport to Doha city center and changing color as you proceed along the route, prove a fitting symbol for this city, Qatar’s capital and its undisputed center of commerce. Despite its tiny size — Qatar is about half the size of New Jersey, just to give you an idea — Doha is flashy and opulent and not afraid to show it. In short, when it comes to style, less is definitely not more.



Located on Doha Bay along the Persian Gulf coast, Doha boasts dramatic skyscrapers, many adorned with colored lights that emblazon the sky at night. Here find seven miles of waterfront called The Corniche, a vibrant center adorned with parks, and traditional Arabic souks or markets offset by a swath of growing suburbs and planned communities. Once a British Protectorate, Qatar gained independence in 1971, and its citizens hold the distinction of having the highest per capita income in the world. It’s hard to imagine Doha before its vast oil reserves put it on the region’s map in terms of wealth and influence, but once upon a time the pearl trade was the lifeblood of the country’s economy. Pearling boats were a common sight offshore in the early part of the 20th century, but by the time of the Great Depression — in tandem with competition from the cultured pearl industry — Doha’s pearl trade all but collapsed, and the population declined along with it.


Arabic is the official language of Doha, but English is widely spoken, especially among tourism and commerce professionals, and many road signs are bilingual.

GLOBAL CITY: The Pearl landmarks (left) and different cultures in Doha (right) PHOTOS: © QATAR TOURISM AUTHORITY, © TIJANAA | DREAMSTIME


MARSA MALAZ KEMPINSKI, THE PEARL – DOHA The 281-room, 5-star hotel lures guests with its central location, a Spa by Clarins, a fitness center and a whopping seven restaurants. Costa Malaz Bay $$$$ SHANGRI-LA HOTEL DOHA The hotel boasts a location adjacent to the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre as well as the Shanghai Club, with a hopping bar scene, Asian cuisine and panoramic views of the city. Conference Centre Street, West Bay $$$

By mid-century, however, locals enjoyed the rewards brought about from oil drilling, and the population rebounded accordingly, swelling to just more than 2.5 million people at last count. That said, one of the most interesting aspects of the city, and Qataris in general, is a commitment to being more than a nation of the rich and idle. Even during the earliest days of the boom times, Qatar, whose current emir is Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was forward-thinking in its collective determination to diversify the country’s economy into business, tourism, education and other ventures to reduce its dependence on oil. For example, in addition to petrochemical companies, the city attracted numerous international engineering, energy and financial firms, many with regional headquarters in the country. Doha’s influence in the media has also been outsized, thanks to the presence of Al Jazeera, the Arabic news channel, broadcasting from Doha for more than 20 years. But while Doha continues to emerge as a financial

force to be reckoned with in the region, Qatar hit a speed bump earlier this year when the country became the subject of an economic and diplomatic blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in retaliation for the country’s alleged support of certain Islamist extremist groups. The rift brought about a cessation of relations, a ban on Qatari media in the region and an ongoing travel ban between Qatar and the affected countries. That said, the Qataris strongly deny any sympathy for terrorist groups and, as of this writing, the situation remains in flux. None of this is apparent to visitors to the city, which as recently as 2015 was named one of the New7Wonders cities, a global competition based on an online poll and decided by voters around the world. Other winners include Havana, Beirut, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz, Durban and Vigan. Big-name sports events remain a key component of Doha’s reputation, and to that end the city aggressively campaigns to attract notable international sporting events.

SHARQ VILLAGE & SPA This 174-room Ritz-Carlton property on the Gulf Bay offers nearly 1,000 feet of private beach, nine restaurants and a Six Senses Spa. Ras Abu Abboud Street $$$


U.S. citizens must hold a passport with a minimum validity of six months and at least two blank pages. Qatar does not require prior visa arrangements for those traveling on a U.S. passport; travelers may obtain a free visa waiver upon arrival, valid for 30 days from the date of issuance. This is a new policy as of Aug. 9, 2017.





In 2011 alone, for example, the city hosted the AFC Asian Cup and the Pan Arab Games and is poised to host a number of events for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The success of these ventures spurred the construction of new sports venues, such as the Al Wakrah Stadium, along with a multimillion-dollar airport, opened in 2014, which served 37.3 million passengers in 2016 alone. Other large-scale projects include a new Doha metro system, the first phase expected to be operational by 2020; a new shipping container port opened in 2016; and the National Museum of Qatar, set to open on The


Corniche by next year. Education plays a key role in Doha’s international influence. Education City, encompassing more than eight square miles on the outskirts of Doha, dates from 2003. It houses a number of American university satellites including Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown University of Foreign Service, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and Weill Cornell Medical College. Meanwhile, Qatar Science & Technology Park, which won numerous awards for its architecture, serves as a hub for tech companies and startups as well as a center for research. Tourism remains another Qatari priority, and the country has been proactive about luring visitors and investors to this sector. In fact, by 2020 the government expects a split of about 54 percent business and 46 percent leisure travel. Hotels tend to be high-end, falling into the 4- and 5-star categories — such as the new Mandarin Oriental, Doha, and the Mondrian Hotel, set to open this year. They include the kinds of amenities business travelers expect to find, such as well-equipped meeting rooms, spas and fitness centers, swimming pools and eateries. Cuisine options range from international to traditional Persian, and while alcohol is not typically available in stand-alone restaurants, it is usually served at high-end hotel establishments. It’s useful to note women are not required to cover their hair in Doha, although many local women do. General Western dress, as long as it’s not over-thetop, is perfectly acceptable when touring the city. When planning or organizing visits, keep Doha’s desert climate in mind. Average monthly temperatures range from 62 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 96 degrees in summer, although that can climb above 100. Rain is scarce, with brief showers relegated mostly to the winter months. Expats and other non-Qataris, who widely outnumber nationals, are welcome to purchase real estate in certain areas of Doha, which in turn allows them to live and work in the country.


Time zone: GMT +3
 Phone code: Country code: 974 Currency: Qatari riyal
 Key industries: Oil and gas, construction, tourism, sports events, education and transport


AL ENNA RESTAURANT Nab an outdoor table and enjoy casual, traditional Qatari cuisine, including yogurt-based chicken and seafood dishes in generous portions, all served with a friendly attitude. Souq Waqif $$$


Hotel Manager, Sharq Village & Spa, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel The Sharq property in Doha presents a mix of Western and Arabic influences. What was the goal when designing the property? Designed to reflect the local communities, the traditional architecture and construction of Sharq Village & Spa serve to guide visitors through a maze of courtyards and alleyways to discover age-old Arabian treasures [but] ... within the traditional décor, the hotel features the finest state-of-the-art facilities, amenities and services. What activities does the property offer families? The exclusive Ritz Kids and recreational resort schedule offer activities ranging from family beach volleyball and non-motorized water sports to movies under the stars and cupcake decoration. For the young guests, the Ritz Kids’ daily and weekly changing schedule of environmental activities to wellness happenings enables the smallest visitors to explore natural wonders, discover surroundings and learn about healthy lifestyles while having fun.  

What are some of the most popular leisure activities in the region for kids? For the winter days, children enjoy desert trips where they can dune bash, play in the sand and experience a true Arabian evening ... as well as camel racing at Al Shahaniya Racetrack, fishing at the Arabian Gulf or enjoying the nice weather at any of the city parks and The Corniche. For the summer days, the pool and beaches [offer] a broad selection of water sports. The hotels and resorts of the city offer children’s activities where they can learn, play and mingle with other children of their age [such as] the Aqua Park Qatar; Snow Dune, where guests slide through the snowy slopes and [ride] a carousel; Juniverse, where young guests can explore futuristic careers in an ultramodern environment with role-play activities and rides; and Angry Birds World, an exciting theme park based on the Angry Birds game that includes educational activities and thrill rides.

NOBU DOHA Fans of Japanese cuisine can dine in style and enjoy a lively bar atmosphere at the Four Seasons Hotel’s restaurant, which holds the distinction of being one of the world’s largest Nobu restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel Doha, The Corniche $$$$ SPICE MARKET This Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant at the W Hotel in West Bay serves authentic Thai- and Vietnamese-inspired street food in a casual atmosphere. W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay $$$$ OFF TO THE RACES: Hotel exterior (top); Belal Al-Kadry (left); and camel racing at Al Shahaniya Racetrack, where remote-controlled robot jockeys ride the camels PHOTOS: SHARQ VILLAGE & SPA, A RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL, © TYPHOONSKI | DREAMSTIME



ART AND HISTORY: The Museum of Islamic Art (top), and Al Zubarah Fort (bottom) PHOTOS: © QATAR TOURISM AUTHORITY, © TYPHOONSKI | DREAMSTIME


Hamad International Airport, a glossy destination unto itself, lies about 20 minutes by car from city center. Qatar Airways, the national airline, operates daily, direct service from 10 U.S. gateway cities, and other international airlines also fly into Doha. Business travelers from neighboring countries should check with their airline or travel agent before booking until the travel ban is resolved. Because Doha is a popular gateway for long-haul passengers on their way to Africa and Asia, Qatar Airways passengers with a layover of five to 12 hours can take advantage of a complimentary tour of Doha. Transportation into the city is available by taxi, and metered charges start at $7. Private limousine transfers also are available. Doha’s state-run bus network connects Hamad International Airport to various destinations in the city, payable by a smartcard that can be purchased at the airport near baggage claim. Rates range about $3–8.



Doha sees itself as a capital of culture, thanks in part to the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art, which opened to much international fanfare in 2008 on The Corniche overlooking Doha Bay. In addition to its arresting exterior, the museum houses a world-class permanent collection of objects spanning 14 centuries and hailing from three continents. Admission to the permanent galleries is free. The Sheikh Faisal Museum at Al Samriya, on the other hand, showcases a private collection of more than 15,000 exhibits, including vintage cars, ancient sailing craft and historic costumes. The National Museum of Qatar, expected to open by early 2019, will also be located on The Corniche near the Museum of Islamic Art. The desert rose is said to have inspired the exterior, designed by Jean Nouvel. The museum is built around Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani’s original palace, which served as his family home and as the seat of the Qatari government for 25 years. Other cultural venues include the Katara Cultural Village, offering open-air theatrical performances, and the Al Zubarah Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tourists who’d like to participate in sports rather than just watching can play golf and enjoy scuba diving, fishing and a number of other water activities in and around Doha. Venues include Aspire Park, an oasis of green that features


a lake, playgrounds for the kids and picnic grounds. In addition, Doha welcomes and caters to families, with play areas at key shopping malls, parks and beaches. Speaking of shopping, visitors can choose between highend, modern malls and traditional souks for more authentic wares. The best-known souk is the Arab market in Souq Waqif, offering everything from spices, traditional clothing and artisan crafts to a hospital for falcons. Other popular activities include camel rides, desert barbecues and dinner cruises aboard a traditional covered boat called a dhow. You can also try dune bashing, available in the so-called Inland Sea at the Khor Al Adaid desert, where three people and a driver tear around the massive sand dunes in a four-wheel-drive vehicle at top speed.

stateside | PORTLAND

Poised for Possibility Business opportunity booms in fast-growing Portland. BY MEGAN HILL


Forest for the Trees Northwest mural PHOTO: © TRAVELPORTLAND

e to is hom d n a l t Por 00 han 5 t e r o m 80 ts; 1,0 r a c d foo and shops; e e f f co s. ewerie r b 2 13 82

PORTLAND, ORE., MAY BE FAMOUS for its quirky residents, thanks in large part to the popularization of the sketch comedy television show Portlandia. But visit Portland today and you’ll see there’s far more to the Rose City than mustachioed men wearing plaid and selling all things “craft” and “local.” Sure, the characters that give Portland its personality are still here — but the city is growing into its own as a vibrant regional hub for business and economic opportunity. Portland’s seemingly ever-present construction cranes and in-progress buildings, especially in and around the downtown area, provide clues to the area’s growth. The spurt has lasted nearly a decade as population numbers skyrocketed, with home prices following. For the first 10 months of its current fiscal year, the City of Portland issued 12,000 building permits that account for a record $2.5 billion in construction projects. That’s about $6 million more than the year before.


The city can attribute much of the growth to a tech boom. So many companies in this sector moved to or started up in Portland that the famously green city earned the nickname “Silicon Forest.” Companies like Tektronix, Intel and Mentor Graphics are among the biggest names, and software and IT continue to be among the fastest-growing sectors in Oregon. But signs this year show this growth leveling out, down from 3 percent to closer to 1 percent within the past year, closer to the national average, according to a report released in May from Portland State University. And though population growth leveled in 2017, estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau released in March show Portland to be the 14th fastest-growing metro area in the country. The state of Oregon is also enjoying a record low unemployment rate spurred by job growth that is expected to keep the region attractive for business. Portland International Airport, which often graces “best of ” lists, is getting ready to undergo a five-year, $1.3 billion facelift of its core terminal, the first major reworking since its construction in 1956. The upgrades will help PDX expand its capacity to handle incredible growth of passenger volume, which has seen record-setting increases the past six years. Hotels are taking note of this growth, too. Marriott debuted


The Knock Back (top), and Portland Japanese Garden tea ceremony (bottom) PHOTOS: © TRAVELPORTLAND


two new properties downtown this year, and Hilton aims to open its luxury Porter Hotel, also downtown, in March 2018. Hilton is opening a hotel in the city’s Pearl District under its Canopy lifestyle brand in March 2018, making Portland one of only 11 cities around the world to receive a property in this portfolio. Radisson RED plans to open its Broadway Tower property in January 2018, bringing its futuristic hotel concept — operating without a front desk and relying on an app to facilitate the guest experience — to Portland. Plenty more lodging is on the way, with the city anticipating more than 1,700 rooms to come on line by the end of 2017 and some 1,600 rooms adding to the options in 2018. Earlier this year Portland officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the highly anticipated Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center. The $224 million LEEDcertified, 600-room project is scheduled to open in late 2019. A coup for Portland, the hotel is expected to help the city attract large events and conventions, potentially bringing in thousands of additional visitors each year, to the tune of around $1 billion additional convention-related spending annually. The area around the convention center, known as the Lloyd District, is putting the finishing touches on a revitalization that should help further sell convention-related visitors on the area. More public spaces, sidewalks, storefronts and dining options contribute to the effort. Lloyd Center, the state’s largest shopping mall, is nearing completion of its two-year remodel to add eight to 10 full-service restaurants in addition to a mix of retail. One of Portland’s marquee attractions, the Portland

Japanese Garden, completed a massive expansion project in April. The world-class garden added new educational opportunities, Japanese architecture and more acreage to better accommodate a growing number of visitors. The expansion, which carried a $33.5 million price tag, added 3.4 acres to its existing 9.1 acres. Portland often draws attention for its restaurant and beer scene, and that sector continues to raise the bar. In 2016, 12 new breweries bubbled up within city limits, making the city an even more attractive destination for craft beer lovers. In fact, breweries, distilleries, wineries and cideries are popping up at such a fast clip the alcohol industry added more jobs in Oregon between January 2008 and September 2016 than did the software industry. All told, Portland is poised to remain an attractive place to do business — and a great place to get a beer after a long day at the office.

Portland’s location provides easy access to the Cascade Mountains and wild stretches of Pacific coastline. Oregon law forbids any inch of coastline from being privatized, so all 363 miles of the Pacific shore are open to the public. The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway lets you access it all. Locals love to head to Cannon Beach with its art galleries, boutiques and 235-foot Haystack Rock set amid crashing ocean waves. Heading south, the town of Garibaldi is a hub for fishing and kayaking, while the village of Depoe Bay is famous for whalewatching excursions. Don’t miss a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, offering free samples galore. Heading east from Portland, pick up the Mount Hood Scenic Byway and be treated to some of the Pacific Northwest’s most regal forests — and the crown jewel, the glaciercovered volcano of Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest peak. The route skirts the mountain’s southern flanks, where hikes abound, and threads through the Hood River Valley, famous for its abundance of wineries, breweries and fruit orchards. At the northern end of the valley, Hood River will delight with great restaurants and even more breweries, plus a chance to spot windsurfers on the Columbia River.



9–5 | MUMBAI

Center of Energy Get acquainted with clients amid Mumbai’s vibrant modern vibe. BY ILONA KAUREMSZKY ROOMS WITH A VIEW:

The Presidential Suite of The Oberoi Mumbai (top), and hotel exterior (bottom) PHOTOS: © THE OBEROI MUMBAI

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INSIDE THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE of The Oberoi Mumbai in the southern part of the city, my morning stretch feels that much nicer. What could be finer after a long haul than having around-the-clock butler service, a dream pillow menu and amenities that include a personal fitness machine and a waterproof television in the bathroom? The Oberoi Mumbai is the go-to for good sleeps, eats and unwinds. Part of the luxury hotel group of Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, the 287-room luxury property features unparalleled views of the ocean and the Queen’s Necklace, a golden crescent of lights adorning the shoreline after dark. In a financial city that quickly morphed from its staid British colonial past into an exciting, vibrant megalopolis (more than 22 million people live here), this part of India provides proof of a country in transition. South Asia’s largest city splays over an archipelago formed by uniting seven islands in an intricate patchwork of thoroughfares. India’s wealthiest city includes, among other bragging rights, the epicenter for the country’s DECEMBER 2017

decision makers, plus home to the Bollywood film industry, India’s larger version of Hollywood. Ever since the financial boom in the 1990s when IT, exports, services and outsourcing skyrocketed, Mumbai has dwelt at the center of economic activity. To boot, it is not without reason that Mumbai reportedly boasts 28 billionaire residents and ranks sixth among the top 10 global cities on the billionaire count. And there’s no better way to explore the action with potential clients than to visit Mumbai’s financial nerve center: the Bandra Kurla Complex, lying less than one hour from the Oberoi Mumbai. A chauffeured hotel Mercedes S-350 limo whisks corporate clients along the tony waterfront of Marine Drive to the city’s first planned commercial complex, nicknamed BKC. Built in 2012 and helmed by a futuristic building called The Capital, it is an aberration from normally gridlocked Mumbai. Located in South Mumbai, the 18-story LEED Gold-certified high-rise features the world’s largest automated car parking system. Meanwhile, a colleague back home suggests renting the private

facilities of the Executive Centre on the seventh floor as an on-site meeting hub. With its advanced audio and video from CISCO and Polycom, the venue is considered a leading premium serviced-office provider. Styled in a bespoke office space design, it features Herman Miller furniture, state-of-the-art workspaces and executive lounges. Get acquainted with your first prospective clients over gingery specialty chai tea. Located at the Sky Lobby of BKC, Tea Trails overlooks the Jio Garden and numbers among several fine-dining restaurants, cafés and lounges suitable for hosting business luncheons, brunch or tea. India is not the United States — or Europe for that matter — so when closing the deal, consider a few basic rules of etiquette. No serious business deal should be conducted without food involved. “Don’t go to a formal meeting place first,” advises Armand Cucciniello III, vice president of a New York-based global public relations firm and a former U.S. diplomat who’s twice lived in India. “The place you pick sends a message,” he notes and further adds, “Do your homework — know your client as much as possible before meeting him or her to seal the deal.” For lunch, the corporate crowd converges in Bandra East at the dim sum darling Yauatcha (pronounced yah-WAH-chah). The famed Michelin-starred dim sum tea house and patisserie from London caters to food aficionados obsessed with plate sharing. With two private dining rooms, mingle over steamed and fried dumpling delicacies at this eatery tucked away in the heart of Mumbai’s financial hub. Make a mental note, however, of other lunch spots nearby. The Masala Library, a molecular gastronomy den helmed by the “Czar of Indian Cuisine,” Jiggs Kaira, sits inside the 15-story First

International Financial Centre. Meanwhile, the investment-banking hub Maker Maxity is where uncanny Peruvian dishes are conceived by the Indian-born, British-based, two-Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. His devotees consistently return to his Lima Restaurant and Bar for the mouthwatering plates. For a post-lunch excursion, avoid tourist traps and crowds around the Prince of Wales Museum and the Gateway of India, a relic from the British Raj days. Instead, head to historic Malabar Hill for an outdoor refresher, a more calming environment than the midday urban frenzy around the city’s lauded landmarks. Overlooking the Arabian Sea and Chowpatty Beach, the Hanging Gardens provide an ideal backdrop for some simple shop talk during an intimate walk around fanciful animal-shaped topiaries that flourish there. But before the afternoon ends, make one final stop: the Jahangir Art Gallery located in the pedestrian-friendly Kala Ghoda district. Since first opening in 1952, this cultural mainstay houses exquisite contemporary Indian art and schedules temporary exhibitions. Afterward, prepare for an easy coffee break. In a three-minute walk, the artistically minded can gather inside a retrofitted barn at the environmentally conscious Kala Ghoda Café for South Indian Arabica organic coffee. Here, among the funky décor and youthful vibe, you’ll bid adieu to the local clients. Of course, there’s time for one more meeting, but this one needs to be close to the airport. That dilemma is solved. The Ark Bar at the Courtyard by Marriott Mumbai International Airport Hotel offers a gateway for get-togethers with friends and new clients. The setting, steeped in funky cosmopolitan flair, provides open and quiet nooks. Music mellows the crowd for a relaxed vibe as happy hour gets underway only hours away from a themed Bollywood night. DECEMBER 2017




after 5 | OSLO

Nordic Nights Oslo serves up sophistication and seaside views for evenings out. BY RON BERNTHAL

WHEN THE BUSINESS DAY ENDS in Oslo, its night spots sparkle, especially during the long winter when the sky darkens in the afternoon and lighted windows line the snowcovered streets. Norway is a new star on the world’s culinary tourism map, one reason for the phenomenal increase in leisure and business travel to Oslo. With its excellent restaurants, seafood markets and regional suppliers, Oslo boasts extraordinary venues for experiencing the city’s culinary offerings during cold winter evenings or soft summer nights. In late afternoon visit Mathallen, an exciting indoor food hall in the new Vulkan mixed-use development alongside the Aker River in the Grünerløkka neighborhood, not far from downtown. The Scandic Vulkan design hotel, Dansens Hus and Mathallen anchor the project. Converted from an early-20th-century ironworks factory, Mathallen makes a great place to take local clients to explore more than 30 specialty food shops, cafés, restaurants and produce markets. Stop for wine and tapas at Champagneria Bodega or visit Hopyard to pair American-style sub rolls made with Norwegian ingredients with any of 300 beers on offer. SMELT, focusing on grilled cheese sandwiches, also sells high-quality bread and pastries, fresh juice, smoothies and coffee. You’ll likely see pop-up restaurants, cooking demonstrations or a lively band in the hall as well. A leisurely 20-minute walk or quick taxi ride gets you



downtown for dinner at Maaemo, the only restaurant in Norway — and just one of two within the five Nordic countries — to achieve three Michelin stars. Under head chef Esben Holmboe Bang, Maaemo features an intimate, brightly lit interior and a mezzanine-level kitchen. The fresh, colorful and original seasonal dishes utilize locally sourced ingredients. The pricey 20-course tasting menu (the only option) may include Norwegian langoustines with pine, mackerel with ramson and Røros butter ice cream with brown butter caramel. Reservations are mandatory: The restaurant has just eight tables in the dining room plus a private Test Kitchen table with a view of the chefs at work. Maaemo, meaning Mother Earth, offers dinner Monday–Saturday. April to early September, The Thief hotel in trendy Tjuvholmen opens the Thief Roof, boasting views across the Oslo Fjord and serving signature cocktails and refreshing summer dishes, often featuring locally caught seafood. When seasons change, move inside to the second floor, where Fru K serves breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring Norwegian ingredients. The Nordic atmosphere includes artwork from the nearby Astrup Fearnley Museum. Thursday–Saturday nights enjoy music and drinks at Astrup Fearnley’s Vingen cocktail and food bar, a five-minute walk from The Thief. Vingen overlooks the sea, a sublime place to spend the last few hours of the evening.


Typical Oslo window display at Le Chambre aux Confitures (left), and The Thief Hotel's Fru K restaurant (right) PHOTOS: © RON BERNTHAL, © THE THIEF HOTEL

a Before at mance r o f r e p ng stunni Oslo’s a l Oper a n o i t Na e , try th House enu urse m o c e v fi lovely at its rant Restau . Argent


Mandarin Oriental, Taipei exterior

Club Lifestyle Suite


Café Un Deux Trois

Ya Ge Private Dining Room

A New Era of Luxury Mandarin Oriental, Taipei is the leading luxury hotel in Taiwan with unprecedented indulgence. COMMITTED TO DELIVERING legendary and unparalleled services, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei brings the ultimate in luxury, comfort and indulgence to the city. In early 2017, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei was the first and only hotel in Taiwan to be awarded with two Five-Star honors for its hotel and spa by Forbes Travel Guide. Designed with classic inspiration and contemporary touches, its 256 guestrooms and 47 suites, among the most spacious in Taipei, boast the latest in technology, alongside marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. Ultimately, Mandarin Oriental, Taipei elevated and redefined the definition of luxury in Taiwan. Beyond the sophisticated accommodations, the restaurant and bars showcase innovative concepts and exceptional cuisine. The elegantly

appointed Ya Ge, designed by Tony Chi, serves fine-dining Chinese, while all-day dining Café Un Deux Trois offers international favorites. Heartwarming Italian cuisine is served at Bencotto, with indulgent desserts on offer at Mandarin Cake Shop. The Jade Lounge serves the hotel company’s renowned afternoon tea, and an extensive range of cocktails delight at M.O. Bar. The two-floor spa, the largest among Taiwan’s luxury hotels, relaxes with holistic signature treatments and wellness and beauty programs. A fitness center and outdoor swimming pool complement the 12 treatment rooms. Additionally, the property offers a range of function spaces, meeting the needs of a variety of event types. All this and the 5-star ,award-winning

hotel is in a desirable Taipei location, within the city’s most established business district and nearby key city attractions. This is also the reason why Mandarin Oriental, Taipei has become international celebrities and local VIPs’ preferred choice when traveling. International legends including Madonna, Mila Jovovich, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Tom Cruise; legendary bands The Scorpions, Queens and Coldplay; and the renowned British designer Paul Smith have all chosen to stay at Mandarin Oriental, Taipei as their grand residence in Taipei. To experience Mandarin Oriental, Taipei’s exemplary service, rooms and dining, book the Club Delight offer, designed to pamper travelers at the iconic landmark in one of the world’s great cities. Guests can enjoy luxurious rooms or suites with daily breakfast for two at Oriental Club Lounge, spa service credit of TWD1,000 per stay, complimentary pressing of three garments during the stay and other exclusive benefits. For more information on Taipei’s most desirable address, visit


2016 and 2017 Winner of GT Tested Reader Survey Award for Best Credit Card Special Events INSIDE ACCESS FROM CHASE brings once-in-a-lifetime experiences to select Chase Cardmembers. These Cardmembers have the opportunity to purchase access to specially curated events, including celebrity meet and greets, private culinary and cultural events and behind-the-scenes views of the sports and fashion worlds.

Š Art & Clarity Photography

Enjoy this glimpse of recent Cardmember experiences and visit to view current offers for select Chase Cardmembers.


Chase cardmembers enjoyed a harvest weekend in Napa Valley with two-night accommodations at Silverado Resort & Spa, a grape stomp at Schweiger Vineyards and two wine tasting evenings with Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible. The wine tasting evenings included a reception and a four-course dinner featuring Blackbird Vineyards wines, and a reception and four-course dinner with wine pairings specially-curated by Executive Chef Robert Curry at Auberge du Soleil. The grape stomp included a wine tasting and casual lunch with Fred and Andy Schweiger.


Country music great Martina McBride joined Chase cardmembers for a private evening of music, food and conversation at Dosey Doe Big Barn in Houston. Appetizers and a family-style, three-course, country-themed dinner complemented a 50-minute performance and casual Q&A session with McBride. The purchase price for the event was donated to Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.


Cardmembers enjoyed a special Thanksgiving morning in New York City. During a casual breakfast, attendees watched the parade pass through Columbus Circle from Robert Restaurant, offering panoramic views of the 91st annual event’s floats, balloons and entertainment.


2016 and 2017 Winner of GT Tested Reader Survey Award for Best Credit Card Special Events

© Reusch_Spiess

© JoannDost

Check out these INSIDE ACCESS FROM CHASE events, coming soon in 2018. For more information and details on how to purchase, please visit


Now’s your chance to ski in Vail, Colorado, with world-class champions Lindsey Vonn and Jonny Moseley. The experience begins on a Saturday evening with a private reception and casual question-and-answer session with Lindsey and Jonny. On Sunday, ski with each champion in small-group, skill-building sessions. The weekend concludes with a casual Aprés Ski reception with Jonny.



Join Chef Ryan Pera for a private evening at Coltivare Pizza & Garden in Houston. Chef Pera will host a reception in the outdoor garden, featuring specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a five-course indoor dinner paired with wines.

Play a round of golf on one of America’s most iconic golf courses, Pebble Beach Golf Links® and The Links at Spanish Bay™. The weekend kicks off on Friday with a casual welcome reception. On Saturday, Laird Small, Director of Instruction at The Pebble Beach Golf Academy, will host a clinic prior to your Pebble Beach Golf Links® round. Then on Sunday, consecutive tee times will be available at The Links at Spanish Bay™. Weekend accommodations are provided at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.

neighborhoods | RHODES

Legendary Rhodes History comes to life in the walled city’s Old Town. BY BECCA HENSLEY Bulgaria


Greece Turkey



Hippocrates Square in the historic Old Town of Rhodes PHOTO: © IAN WOOLCOCK | DREAMSTIME



ARRIVE BY CRUISE SHIP, as do many travelers to Rhodes, and you’ll experience a kind of unsettling déjà vu. From the deck of my Seabourn ship (the cruise line stops in Rhodes on a variety of Adriatic and Mediterranean itineraries), my first glimpse of the ancient, walled city fills me with awe. I’ve heard about the Knights of St. John the Hospitallier who built the wall in the 1300s, stopping at this largest of the Greek Dodecanese Islands en route to the Holy Land. From the water I can almost see them, swords in their scabbards, shiny armor glimmering in the sunlight. Boggling the imagination, the UNESCO-listed city/island seems frozen in time. Tawny and mottled with age, the wall’s fortification towers rise at intervals. Within the wall, a warren of cobblestone streets; churches with flying buttresses and frescoed walls; slim, tall minarets; and buildings manifesting a range of architectural styles from Moorish to Italian define the city fabric — es-

pecially in storied Old Town. Palpable, the history buzzes, rendering Rhodes enchanting and unchanged despite that throng of camera-snapping tourists tackling the streets. Rhodes embodies the point where East meets West, ensuring it became an important port with international flair, fueled by trade and power. Though considered the first of Europe’s true medieval towns, the ancient city and outlying, verdant expanses beyond always had eclectic occupants. Their legacy remains in the food, architecture and culture — even in the genes — of its denizens today. While you may want to explore the hilly countryside and ancient ruins of the island’s interiors or lounge for an afternoon at a variety of sandy beaches, most visitors find plenty to do in the area known as Old Town. What to do? Plan several hours for the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture built in the seventh century. Emblematic to Rhodes, it crowns a hill, filled with arcades, mosaics and artifacts. Also fascinating, the Archaeological Museum further brings history to life. In Old Town, tavernas abound, offering just-caught fish and Greek dishes such as stifado, a traditional stew. After dinner, stop at the bars along Miltiadou (or change neighborhoods and check out New Town’s Diakonou Street). Shoppers can haggle for the best deals on silver and gold in various shops in Old Town, but for top of the line, head to Ilias Lalaounishas, a boutique on Plateia Alexandrou. A place worth a longer visit, compact Rhodes nevertheless offers cruise travelers, too, a treasure trove of wonder in just a day.

2018 Leisure Lifestyle Awards Ballot Please write in your personal favorites, based on your own experience, on the line next to each of the following categories.

Best Historical Attractions________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Beaches _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Adventure Destination ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Caribbean Island ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Island in Europe ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Island Pacific Rim ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Family Cruise Line __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Luxury Cruise Line __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Line Suites ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Adventure Cruise Line ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Small-Ship Cruise Line ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Large-Ship Cruise Line _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best River Cruise Line ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Line Entertainment _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Line Dining __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Ship Excursions _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Line Rewards Program ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Favorite Cruise Ship ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Cruise Port __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Luxury Leisure Hotel Group in the World __________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Hotel Chain Resorts ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Pet-Friendly Hotel __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Family Resort Chain in the World __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Leisure Airline ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Premium-Economy Class ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Pet-Friendly Airline __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Luxury Vehicle ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Favorite Luxury Fashion Brand __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Favorite Luxury Watch Brand ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Favorite Luxury Jewelry Brand ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Favorite Athleisure Brand ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Best Car Rental ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PLEASE MAIL THE COMPLETED SURVEY TO Kevin Ryan, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, 1800 JFK Blvd., 20th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103 | Or fax to 215 545 4810 Or vote online at Name Street Address City


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friends & family | TOKYO

A Feast in Tokyo Plan a gastronomic gallop through Japan’s megacity. BY CHADNER NAVARRO

“I CAN’T WAIT TO EAT” seemed to be at the core of everyone’s excitement for our trip to Tokyo. In fact, so strong was our intent to eat our way through one of the world’s greatest cities, we picked our hotels based on their proximity to two exciting culinary hot spots. We wanted to be within walking distance of both Tokyo Station and Tsukiji Fish Market. (We also chose the former because it’s much cheaper and faster to get into Tokyo from Narita Airport via train or bus rather than taxi, so being able to walk to the station became a secondary priority.) There are so many delicious things you can eat inside a Japanese transportation terminal that my friends and I see Tokyo Station as massive Japanese food court first, transportation hub second. There’s ramen, yakitori and sushi; stands selling takoyaki; and fabulous convenience stores plying all sorts of local candies, cookies, potato chips and other snacks.



Because food was the biggest motivation behind this trip, it was only fitting our arrival to Tokyo would be in a place ready to feed us. As someone who had been here before, I was quite insistent we, strapped with luggage, first head to Daimaru, a department store connected to Tokyo Station. Its 12th floor includes an outpost of an iconic Japanese restaurant chain called Maisen, known for its tonkatsu, or breaded and fried pork cutlets. I wasn’t silly enough to suggest we actually sit down and eat there, as nearly everyone was suffering the physical exhaustion that comes with flying to Japan from the United States. But that’s what makes Tokyo Station so fantastic. You’re most likely going to arrive tired and hungry. The station offers a vast selection of places to eat, most of which will gladly hand you something to go. At Maisen I cleverly grabbed two orders of its famous tonkatsu sandwich, made up of three elements: Fried cutlets are stuffed between two slices of white bread swiped with a thin layer of tangy katsu sauce. Our hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, lies only a few minutes outside Tokyo Station. I ate sandwich No. 1 soon after we checked in. I ate the second when jet lag unsurprisingly woke me up before 3 a.m. Obviously, this was not my first rodeo. Mornings after a grueling day of travel to a destination with


Fried takoyaki balls (left), ramen (middle), tonkatsu (top), and yakitori (bottom) PHOTOS: © YOORAN PARK | DREAMSTIME, © EMPADA78 | DREAMSTIME, © VAPADI | DREAMSTIME, © MARK ANDREWS | DREAMSTIME

heading to Consider youthful Koenji, a f od west o neighborho ’ll where you Shinjuku, d-hand find secon ko res, pachin thrift sto d temples parlors an ts restauran along with t food and stree stalls.

LODGING CONRAD TOKYO Sleek, spacious accommodations housed inside a towering skyscraper, Conrad Tokyo delivers views like no other, especially as you sip fine Japanese whiskey from TwentyEight, a bar on the building’s 28th floor.

roughly a half-day time difference can be weird, with your body not really knowing what to do with itself. After a fortifying breakfast of miso soup and rice (when in Rome …), we leisurely toured the verdant gardens of the Imperial Palace on two wheels. The gardens offer more than just exquisitely manicured bonsai trees. As a centuries-old royal residence, it also includes moats, fortification walls and even guardhouses as well as pretty water features topped with curved bridges. The Four Seasons can outfit you with glistening BMW bikes to take in the gardens’ beauty at greater speed. It’s an atmospheric place that pulls in quite a few tourists, but we didn’t want to be there all day. The spa was waiting. Surrounded by glittering skyscrapers and chichi shopping malls, the smallish Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi (with fewer than 60 rooms) definitely caters to business travelers, so the spa isn’t an expansive port of indulgence. But following a 14-hour flight from the East Coast, who wouldn’t be thrilled to soak in a small but atmospheric indoor onsen-style thermal bath? Onsens, traditional hot spring baths found all over Japan’s volcanic islands, can be quite stunning when located outdoors, with

mountains and trees providing the kind of unforgettable setting that makes relaxation all too easy to achieve. We may not have had the transporting natural surrounds this time around, but the serenity of the spa and the just-hotenough waters of the bath were more than enough to soothe our travel-weary bones. At more than 840 square miles, the city is massive — yet another reason staying adjacent to Tokyo Central is such a genius choice. It makes every neighborhood of this urban sprawl that much more accessible. The network of trains and subways that stop at this station makes commuting effortless. The western neighborhood of Koenji, known for its overflowing vintage and thrift shops, is a brisk ride away. So is Kichijōji, a laidback, bohemian enclave with bustling yokocho alleys housing everything from artisan boutiques, bakeries and beer pubs to a buzzing yakitori hot spot, where we enjoyed dinner one night. Two-floor street food eatery Tetchan recently earned renown thanks to its psychedelic aesthetic, with some of the walls and seats covered in a tie-dye pile of Ethernet cables. We chose to sit at the tightly packed bar, featuring no such whimsy except for the nearly overwhelming din of the chatter of

1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minatoku $$$$$ FOUR SEASONS HOTEL TOKYO AT MARUNOUCHI This centrally located boutiquesized hotel boasts a stunning restaurant overlooking the train tracks of Tokyo Central. 1-11-1 Pacific Century Place, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku $$$$$ PARK HYATT TOKYO You won’t find a more iconic hotel in Japan than the Park Hyatt Tokyo, located in the heart of Shinjuku and immortalized in Sofia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation. 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku $$$$$




Guests learn to make buckwheat soba noodles at Tsukiji Soba Academy PHOTO: © TSUKIJI SOBA ACADEMY

DINING NICHIGEKKA Book a table at this sprawling restaurant where you can sit at typical tables or traditional low-lying seats while indulging in a seasonally informed kaiseki with dishes like bitter tofu and blowfish. ZOE Ginza 6F, 3-3-1 Ginza $$$$ SUSHI SAITO Book well in advance to secure a seat at this revered threeMichelin-starred sushi mecca. Each piece of fish boasts the perfect texture and temperature, and a hint of vinegar seasons the rice. Ark Hills South Tower 1F, 1-4-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku $$$$$ TETCHAN Soak in the inimitable atmosphere of Tokyo at this bombastically designed yakitori hangout in the western suburb of Kichijōji. 1-1-2 Honcho, Musashino-shi $$


the evening crowd. It seemed we all had an identical agenda: Chow down on perfectly charred meats on a stick and toss back ice-cold Sapporos. By the time we transferred to the Conrad Tokyo, on the other side of glamorous Ginza from the Four Seasons, more than half our time in the Japanese capital had passed. We had seen plenty and eaten even more, but with still a lot to squeeze into the last couple of days of the trip. A few years ago, Conrad launched the Stay Inspired program, a collection of hand-selected local experiences that help travelers dig a bit deeper into a destination. The experiences are categorized based on how long each activity might take: one hour, three hours or five hours. It’s obviously helpful if you have a limited schedule and are overwhelmed with the breadth of options at your fingertips in a city as vast and ever-changing as Tokyo. The hotel’s website provides detailed descriptions of the experiences, and we found another culinary adventure listed here: a soba-making class. Chef Akila Inoue of the Tsukiji Soba Academy teaches a three-hourlong primer on all things buckwheat noodle. We donned headscarves and aprons and dug


deep into our limited reservoir of cooking knowledge and skills to use rolling pins and samurai-style knives, turning dough into edible strands of noodles that would eventually end up floating in a steaming bowl of broth for us to enjoy. It was also in this class some of us learned wasabi doesn’t always come perfectly packaged in plastic tubes but must be made from grating a plant into a paste. Conrad Tokyo is a 15-minute walk to the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market. We ended up missing the legendary early-morning auction, but the spectacle of the market didn’t lose its luster just because we didn’t watch men bid for the world’s finest tuna. To arrive around 6 a.m. still provides a largely unforgettable experience. The market is mostly full of local chefs as well as home cooks picking up an assortment of fish and seafood while the briny scent of the sea wafts all around. The market has become such a bucket-list destination for travelers, some of the vendors gladly hand over small plastic plates of finely sliced tuna drizzled with soy sauce. You may not want to eat this at such an early hour, but I did. After all, delicious discoveries were the purpose of this trip.


Two international airports service Tokyo. Narita (NRT) is larger and farther away (it’s not unheard of for the drive into town to require two hours) while Haneda (HND) lies much closer to the heart of the city. Regardless of which airport you use, traffic can be an issue in Tokyo, and taxis are expensive (starting at around $50). There’s usually a surcharge if your flight lands late at night. Trains and buses operate from both airports and cost a fraction of the price of a taxi. The bus from Haneda into Tokyo, for example, should cost about $10 each way, depending on where in Tokyo you’re staying.

bucket list | COLOMBIA

Coffee Culture Tour Colombia for a dose of coffee harvesting, brewing and tasting. BY TIM LEFFEL

DRINK IT ALL IN: (Left to right) Jeeps traveling through Cocora Valley, coffee farm tour guide, drying beans, dog design at Café Jesús Martín in Salento, ripening coffee beans and barista at Café Jesús Martín PHOTOS: © TIM LEFFEL


“HOW MANY OF YOU PUT sugar in your coffee?” asked the barista at Café Jesús Martín in Salento. Five of the seven in our group raised their hands sheepishly. “I don’t blame you,” he answered, surprising us. “Most of the coffee you get is probably so bad that you need sugar to make it drinkable.” With a smile he added, “We’re not going to drink coffee like that today.” When our perfectly made cappuccinos arrived, carefully brewed with freshly roasted beans from one of the best local farms, we had to admit he was right. This did not taste like the usual burnt black liquid from a corporate coffee chain or — even worse — your average diner. This brew was complex, rich, bursting with flavor and balanced. This is what it tastes like to drink good coffee at its source. Coffee didn’t start out in Colombia, of course. The beans we now consume by the ton each day originated in some of the oldest human lands in Ethiopia, then made their way to Yemen. Eventually the bushes themselves migrated around the world to appropriate climates. In the 20th century, Colombia became the country most associated with coffee.


While it has never been the biggest producer by volume, it has been the biggest quality producer. Colombian growers aim higher, too, as consumer tastes moved from Maxwell House to craft coffee. More coffee drinkers want niche beans tagged organic, fair trade or single origin — or all of the above. For specialty shops serving complex brews, buying beans by the container ship load is not desirable, so more farmers each year embrace sustainable growing and harvesting practices. Associations such as the Colombian Small Coffee Growers Association and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation have worked to raise quality and dampen the big commodity price swings for coffee beans. They’re also educating the next generation, as 55 schools in growing areas implemented an Escuela y Café curriculum where kids ages 12 to 18 learn coffee production techniques. With a combination of classroom training and hands-on work, it gives youngsters who may have turned to crime or revolution in the past a way to make a solid living and find a more stable future.


The main airport serving the Coffee Triangle of Colombia is El Eden International Airport in Armenia. Spirit Air flies direct from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) three days per week, while Avianca flies here daily from multiple cities via Bogotá (BOG). Taxis, Uber and rental cars are available, but most hotels and tour companies can set up a private car and driver.

For someone who loves this beverage, a trip to the Coffee Triangle region of Colombia is like a pilgrimage to Bordeaux for wine lovers. The triangle part of the name refers to the three main cities anchoring the farming areas: Manzanares, Pereira and Armenia. Each offers its own reasons to visit, but travelers often choose to stay in boutique or hacienda hotels in the countryside. Many of the hotels are converted or expanded farm homes such as colorful Hotel Hacienda Combia. This is a great all-in-one experience since Combia sits on the site of a working hacienda and features a walking path with stations explaining the growing and production steps. Russell Coleman, a British transplant who cofounded the Colombia57 tour company based in Manzanares, is happy to see new hotels popping up to meet demand from more upscale travelers. “Just outside Pereira is the recently opened Casa San Carlos Lodge. The high-end boutique hotel Hacienda Buenavista in Armenia has terrific views.” Coffee farms appear everywhere you look in the countryside here. There’s even a coffee-based amusement park — Parque Nacional del Café — with rides, a museum and dancers performing a show celebrating coffee harvesting. Most farms open to the public function like wineries. First

there’s a tour of the growing areas with their ripening red berries, then the drying areas where the fruit separates from the beans and moisture evaporates. The indoor facilities may involve processing machines, separators and roasting equipment. The climax is a staged tasting process at the end, with insight into the roasting and brewing process. The serving may involve a French press, a pour-over or some other method of extracting the full flavor of the beans. For scenery, a stop in the stunning Cocora Valley is a must, as much for the experience of getting there as the destination. You hop in a Jeep in the town of Salento and take off toward the clouds. Dramatic green mountains rise up beside pastoral fields accented by towering wax palm trees. In a four-wheel-drive with the top down, it’s easy to feel the wide valley narrowing as you climb past 6,500 feet and into the mist. At the end of the road sits a restaurant with big wooden beams, horse rental stands and hiking trails leading farther into the mountains. While regular doses of caffeine may not be the best idea for a relaxing vacation, a trip to the coffee region of Colombia provides a chance to drink the good stuff while learning more about the world’s most popular beverage.

ly orted p e r ee is of Coff urce o s 1 o. the N the ts in n a d i x antio nd iet, a d n ica Amer to a ie it t s e i stud k of d ris e c u red nes, llsto a g , s ete al diab sever d n a osis cirrh cer. f can o s e typ



kicking back | ITALIAN RIVIERA

Coast of the Rising Sun Succumb to the charms of the irresistible Italian Riviera. BY MICHELLE LYN NESTLED IN THE NORTHWESTERN COASTAL area of Italy, Liguria, more commonly known as the Italian Riviera, is popular among tourists for its beaches, colorful towns and cuisine. Genoa more or less divides the region into two sections. To the west lies the Riviera di Ponente, which translates to “the coast of the setting sun,” and to the east is the Riviera di Levante, which translates to “the coast of the rising sun.” The latter boasts more fame as it lays claim to jet-setting towns like Portofino and Santa Margherita, with the picturesque Cinque Terre a few train stops away. The perfect visit to the Italian Riviera combines glitz and glamour with traditional rustic charm, or in other words, the best Liguria has to offer. Begin your journey in Portofino, the fishing village famous for its picturesque harbor and celebrity-laced history. Five-star hotels



abound, so pick one and make sure to have a drink at each of the others. Do as Elizabeth Taylor loved to do and make the luxurious Belmond Hotel Splendido your home for a few days. Dine at La Terraza, the outdoor restaurant with a patio overlooking the bay, and indulge in her namesake pasta featuring housemade spaghetti and fresh tomatoes from San Marzano, Sorrento and Pachino. Head to the property’s sister hotel, Splendido Mare, for a Tintoretto (pomegranate and Prosecco cocktail) under the stars at Chuflay restaurant. Portofino offers myriad ways to explore the area, all with the touch of a button. The concierge at Belmond Hotel Splendido can coordinate kayak tours, allowing you to journey to Portofino’s lighthouse by night, paddle to Olivetta, or kayak along the coast to an authentic 18th-century Ligurian mill where you can relax with a sumptuous lunch. If you prefer to tour by land, set off on a Portofino cycling tour through Liguria’s stunning landscapes, led by a professional guide who will cycle you up and over Mount Portofino or race you beside the shimmering sea. If fishing sounds appealing, you can experience a day in the life of a fisher-


(Left to right) Portofino at night, the famous town's name on a boat, small shops in Genoa, and panorama of Vernazza and suspended garden, Cinque Terre PHOTOS: © UNKNOWN1861 | DREAMSTIME, © PERSEOMEDUSA | DREAMSTIME, © RNDMST | DREAMSTIME, © JANOS GASPAR | DREAMSTIME


BELMOND HOTEL SPLENDIDO A beautifully restored former 16th-century monastery, Belmond Hotel Splendido is the epitome of Italian glamour, nestled snugly in Portofino’s hillside. Salita Baratta 16, Portofino $$$$$

man on the Castel Dragone boat where you will learn local fishing techniques, dive into the waters of the famous Blue Mile, lunch on your catch and then head to the tiny Fishing Museum in Punta Chiappa. An unusual sight in Portofino is the statue of Christ of the Abyss, a bronze statue submerged underwater that represents Christ giving a blessing while looking up toward the sky with open arms in a sign of peace. Created to protect fishermen and scuba divers, it was also dedicated to the memory of Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian scuba diver. Images of the statue, which capture an ethereal silhouette, cause Instagram envy among divers on coordinated tours. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Portofino without a dash of romance. Charter a luxury yacht to tour the bay and enjoy sunset views of the town from the sea while sipping Spumante. Once you’ve had your fill of the luxe life, nearby Genoa is chock-full of ancient shops, enchanting eateries and quaint museums. Spend a day wandering through boutiques and tasting sweets. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit the Aquarium of Genoa to feed penguins, meet dolphins or book a private Ligurian brunch in front of the shark or dolphin tank. Farther afield, Cinque Terre, or “five lands,” comprises five remote villages that cling to the rugged coastline. Genoa is the region’s capital city, and while the train runs along the coast,

the best way to experience Cinque Terre is to make one village your home base, then trek the stunning path connecting each of the towns. Making headlines back in 2011 for devastating mudslides and floods that carried fishing boats all the way to Morocco, Vernazza has made a comeback and is as inviting as ever. Book a room in the pedestrian-only center of Cinque Terre’s prettiest town and connect with locals in the colorful square overlooking the water. Sip cappuccino, sample gelato and admire the locals’ laundry unabashedly hanging out windows over the square. Put the maps away and wander down the narrow alleyways, losing yourself in this quaint village. Meander down to the water and marvel at the tiny boats that sustain the livelihood of many of the town’s residents. The 16th-century Belforte Tower at the edge of town was converted into a restaurant 50 years ago, and local families continue to manage it and offer local cuisine with incredible views of the sea. Make a reservation in advance, as this is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. When ready to hike between villages, first check to make sure the trails are open and purchase the Cinque Terre hiking pass from one of the town visitor centers. The entire trail can be done in a day or spread out over a few days — either way, you can always hop on the train for a lift back to your base. Be

GRAND HOTEL MIRAMARE Built in 1903, the Miramare was one of the first grand hotels on the Riviera, rapidly becoming a must for the international jet set of the time. Via Milite Ignoto 30, Santa Margherita Ligure $$$$ LA MALÀ An antique Ligurian house converted into elegant and comfortable rooms offers breathtaking views from a natural stone terrace. Via San Giovanni Battista 29, Vernazza




Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, view of the bay with bronze sculpture of a monk (top); and Monterosso al Mare beach (bottom) PHOTOS: © FREESURF69 | DREAMSTIME, © ROMAN RODIONOV | DREAMSTIME


RISTORANTE BELFORTE Whether on one of the terraces or in the medieval tower, each table offers incomparable views, and the food is excellent wherever you sit.


Via Guidoni 42, Vernazza $$$$ RISTORANTE PUNY Traditional and charming, snag a table overlooking the marina and try the famous pappardelle. Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta 5, Portofino $$$$ TRATTORIA DAL BILLY Sample fresh trofie pesto pasta while sipping local wine and enjoying a view of terraced vineyards overlooking the sea from Manarola. Via Rollandi 122, Manarola $$$


prepared to see several tourists, as the villages and paths are quite small. Wear comfortable shoes, pack sunscreen and water and take the train to Riomaggiore, where you can start with the easier, paved path. With a small beach and a wharf framed by towering houses, get a whiff of fresh basil as restaurant owners sit outside tearing leaves apart for the region’s most famous sauce, pesto. The waterfront trail connecting to the next town, Manarola, is called La Via dell’Amore, as it previously provided an easy path for young lovers to connect. Currently undergoing repairs, it may be partially closed, so be sure to check before embarking on the next leg of the journey. Once you arrive, climb the terraced vineyards of Manarola for lunch at Trattoria dal Billy and indulge in the house specialty, fresh trofie pasta with pesto, the perfect fuel for


the steep hike to the village of Corniglia which sits high above the sea, providing the perfect vantage point for views of the coastline and a much-needed break. As the sun begins to set, wind your way back down the mountain to Vernazza, where you can call it quits for the day or hop the train to Monterosso al Mare to treat yourself to a refreshing lemon granita on the widest strip of beach in all of Cinque Terre, reflecting on your favorite view of the day. However you choose to schedule a visit to the Italian Riviera, you’ll be certain to find the same stunning sea views, vibrant buildings nestled in lush green hillsides, handmade pasta with fresh Ligurian pesto and warm-hearted locals who are proud to share their heritage with you. While it may not be off the beaten path, Liguria is understandably a destination to put on your bucket list, again and again.

The Liguria area is serviced by Genoa Airport, with connections to various European hubs and domestic destinations. Other airports which are not too far away, and which may offer more frequent and cheaper flights, include the one at Pisa (PSA) and Milan’s Linate (LIN) and Malpensa (MXP) airports. Pisa International Airport has its own train station with good connections to Cinque Terre, though one or two changes of train are required.  From Milan, trains leave from Milano Centrale station direct to most Riviera towns, and that station is easily reached by frequent airport buses or by direct trains from Malpensa. From Malpensa a direct bus connection to Genoa runs once or twice a day depending on the season.

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9–5 | lUxEmboURg

GT Members Section Eclectic Luxembourg

television, but French (at least in the city) is the de facto language in social settings, while Luxembourgish, a linguistic mix of French and German, is spoken at home. English is taught in schools starting at age 14, and you’ll even hear a The city of contrasts captivates with old and new, local and fair bit of Spanish and Dutch (those are your tourists), so many Luxembourgers learn those languages, as well. international. by JoE bAUR This international flair juxtaposes with a strong national identity that historically refused to be swallowed up by QUAINT AND The firsT Thing To impress any traveler to the City of Luxembourg is Germany and recently declined to make citizenship easier QUIET: the history, so much so that locals joke a 15th-century building is practically by lessening the Luxembourgish language requirement. It Grund, with a view modern. Indeed, this highly internationof a bridge over the may be a small country, but it is very Alzette River al city where foreign nationals account much its own country. Walking the cobblestone streets of PhoTo: © REINhARDT | for nearly two-thirds of the population Business travelers visiting the grund after an evening rain feels has as much to offer a Europhile traveler convention center find they’re not as any other more-traveled destination attending just another large event practically Parisian, except you’ll be on the continent. space. Luxembourg does business at hard-pressed to spot the tourists. Walking the cobblestone streets of the European Convention Center Grund after an evening rain feels pracLuxembourg in the Kirchberg neightically Parisian, except you’ll be hard-pressed to spot the tourists. Of course, borhood overlooking the historic city. The Meliá Luxemit doesn’t hurt that French is one of the country’s three national languages. bourg hotel sits right next to the convention center, making Luxembourgers start off learning to write German, and they watch German it an easy choice for visitors on business. Another option is

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Evolving Market An international tourism conference reflects progress in LGBTQ travel. BY MARK CHESNUT


San Francisco City Hall illuminated in rainbow colors in honor of Pride Week PHOTO: © NICKOLAY STANEV | DREAMSTIME


THE WORLD OF LGBTQ TRAVEL constantly evolves, long list of participants and sponsors at this year’s conference. so it’s no surprise the topics at the 18th Conference on Speakers included San Francisco Travel’s Joe D’Alessandro, LGBT Tourism & Hospitality — this year at San FranMGM Resorts International’s Dawn K. Christensen, Tourism cisco’s Park Central Hotel — represented a wide array of Toronto’s Heidi Wallace and Celebrity Cruises’ Ron Gulaskey. Major sponsors this year included the tourism offices of Argentrends in the marketplace. tina, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas and San Francisco, as well as the The biggest change is the ever-increasing number International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. of destinations that market to LGBTQ travelers, Workshops aimed to help attendees according to David Paisley, better sell their destinations and travel senior research director, ‘. . . evolution from a time when services to LGBTQ travelers, with topics Community Marketing just a couple hotel brands were ranging from marketing and media & Insights, the LGBTQ relations to attracting inbound travelers research and marketing firm outreaching to the LGBT from Latin America. A special educathat organizes the annual community to a time when nearly tional track was designed specifically for event. “The evolution has been mostly one of size of every hotel has an outreach plan.’ meeting professionals and planners, providing tips on how they can create more the community, starting with DAVID PAISLEY, SENIOR RESEARCH DIRECTOR, LGBTQ-friendly events and conferences the large urban cities, then COMMUNITY MARKETING & INSIGHTS themselves. smaller cities and now small So what’s different today about the many organizations that towns and resort destinations,” he said. “Today, there go after LGBTQ business? “They are less scared,” said Paisley. are hundreds of destinations of all sizes outreaching “When we started this work, many destination and travel compato the LGBT community.” nies feared backlash — or for groups and cruises, worried about In addition, Paisley noted the “evolution from a the interactions within their customer base. Today, that all seems time when just a couple hotel brands were outreachto have diminished. The pioneers that started LGBT tourism outing to the LGBT community to a time when nearly reach have demonstrated that there is nothing to fear. The LGBT every hotel has an outreach plan.” community is not too different than any niche market.” Indeed, the increased appeal is apparent in the


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November 2017

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airport update

Turbulence for Brandenburg As Berlin’s new airport faces hurdles, the opening remains uncertain. BY NICOLE QUASTÉ THE ROAD TO OPENING has been rough for Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. The airport, named for the Nobel Prize-winning former mayor of Berlin, is currently under construction — a state it has been in since 2006. While it was meant to exemplify the destination’s growth and innovation, it has been fraught with financial, political and logistical challenges since it was first proposed in 1991 following German reunification. Located next to the current Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF), 11 miles south of Berlin, Berlin Brandenburg was originally meant to replace the aging and too-small Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) and build on Schönefeld Airport by extending and adding runways and a new passenger terminal, initially designed to serve 27 million passengers per year, with a future goal of accommodating 50 million. This would make BER the third-busiest airport in Germany, surpassing Düsseldorf (DUS). Construction began on the airport in 2006 with an initial planned open date of October 2011, but following a series of delays due to governmental roadblocks and cost overruns resulting from poor construction planning, execution and management, the revised timeline sets the completion date as October 2019 — though it has been reported 2020 is a possibility. In 2006 the construction cost for the airport was budgeted at €2.83 billion, but it became clear quickly the airport would be significantly more expensive. By late 2012 expenditures totaled €4.3 billion, nearly twice the initial estimate. In 2015 those involved and invested in BER’s construction realized the financial concept for the airport was flawed. While the airport was intended to be a German hub, competition with other European hubs was too stiff, and airports like Frankfurt (FRA) and Heathrow (LHR) would be in a position to pay far more to maintain their passenger shares. It also seemed few airlines would leave their hubs for Berlin — the only one expected to operate primarily out of BER was airberlin, which filed for bankruptcy in August and officially ceased operations in October. The delays have caused and will likely continue causing legal and financial issues for airport operator Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH. Not only do the significant delays and construction issues raise concerns for interested airlines, but German



Railways Deutsche Bahn may also sue for non-usage of the station below the airport. In the meantime, TXL currently handles the majority of passengers flying into Berlin, and many believe closing it would result in chaos for the city’s travelers. The operating license for the unfinished Brandenburg airport was issued under the condition TXL’s operating license expire within six months of the new airport opening. During this time TXL would support BER during its startup period. However, some believe the legal hurdles required to keep TXL open are further delaying the opening of the new airport and the operation costs for the two airports is too high. A non-binding referendum initiated by Germany’s Liberal Party in October asked Berlin citizens whether they should “demand the Berlin Senate give up its closure intentions and take all measures necessary to ensure the indefinite operation of [TXL].” Operations out of SFX have been relatively unaffected by work on BER, with easyJet, Condor and Ryanair  — the three largest operators from the airport — expected to continue using it as a base. With several large issues to be resolved, it remains unclear when BER will be open to travelers.


Berlin Brandenburg Airport barrier PHOTO: © JÖRG HÜTTENHÖLSCHER | DREAMSTIME



Access to the World With proper planning, people with disabilities enjoy global travel. BY MARY B. GALLAGHER, RN, MSN, CCRN FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, travel is easier than ever. It just takes time to research and plan your trip. Each country has its own standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities, so the more research you do, the more accessible and pleasant your trip will be. Your vacation or business trip can be filled with accessible hotel accommodations, accessible routes between tourist attractions and wonderful experiences. Technology plays a crucial role in making travel accessible. Whatever your disability, you can go online to book trips to suit your requirements, look for accessible facilities and ask for travel assistance. For travel advice, access the website of the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality at or the Moss Rehab travel tips page at Look for apps to enhance accessible travel such as those listed at clubmatestravel .com/news/10-helpful-apps-for-travelers-withdisability. Apps can provide speech-to-text for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, help find wheelchair-accessible toilets and help people with visual impairments identify currency. Consider seeing a travel medicine specialist to help determine which vaccines and medications you may need for your trip and for advice on preventing illnesses spread through insects, water or food. If you have an immune-compromising condition, you may not be able to get certain vaccines, or you may need additional vaccines. Consult with your travel agent, hotel, airline, train or cruise ship company about accessibility and services available during your trip and at your destination, including those for a service dog. Call the Transportation Security Administration Cares helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions at 855 787 2227, or check its website at to get information about screening policies, procedures and security checkpoints. Check websites such as Mobility International USA at to find oversees disability organizations. The State Department’s Human Rights

Report at provides information on the human rights and social service framework protecting citizens with disabilities in other countries. If you have a service dog, do your homework before you travel. Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for your destination country to explore possible restrictions and cultural norms about service animals. Find out about quarantine, vaccination and documentation requirements, and make sure your hotel will accommodate your service animal. Talk with your vet about traveling with your service animal. Find out if there are specific policies for devices such as wheelchairs, portable scooters, batteries, respirators and oxygen. Research the availability of wheelchair and medical equipment providers who can also fix equipment if broken. If arranging for a power wheelchair, look into the voltage, type of electrical plug and reliability of the system for 24/7 coverage. See your primary care physician before traveling overseas to identify health care needs during your trip. If your health care plan does not provide coverage overseas, consider supplemental health insurance and plan for medical evacuation just in case. Carry medical alert information and a letter from your health care provider describing your medical condition, medications, potential complications and other pertinent medical information. Also carry a list of your specialists with their contact information. Carry sufficient prescription medications to last your trip plus extra doses in case of a delay. Always carry medications in their original labeled containers along with your doctor’s prescription. Some medications legal in the United States are illegal in other countries. Go to destination for the specific area you will be visiting. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security messages and to make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to help you in an emergency.

Book your hotels far in advance. Some hotels in Europe have only a few accessible guestrooms. Speak with someone at the hotel to discuss your needs and ask specific questions about accessibility. You may encounter challenges in hotels outside the United States. Stay in the most accessible parts of town so it is easier to get around. Consider upgrading your mode of travel and book it in advance. Access to the lounge in the airport makes your wait relaxing, and the extra space in first class makes the flight more enjoyable. An aisle seat makes it easier to get in and out to go to the restroom or receive extra assistance. You can board either first or last, whichever is more comfortable for you. Airlines must make accommodations to give people with disabilities access to the same travel opportunities as passengers without disabilities. They must provide access to the aircraft door, an aisle seat and a seat with a removable arm rest. Aircraft with fewer than 30 seats are exempt from these regulations. Airplanes with more than 60 seats are required to have a wheelchair on board. Wide-body airplanes with two or more aisles must have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. Most airlines have information on their websites geared to travelers with disabilities. Cruise ships have obligations regarding access for travelers with disabilities. Check with your cruise line before booking to make sure any needed item such as medical oxygen or a wheelchair will be available. Some cruise ships cater to travelers with special needs, such as dialysis patients. In the United States, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act regulates accessibility standards and requirements in public and private spaces. It also prohibits discrimination based on a disability. The ADA resulted in significant progress, but we still have far to go. Focus for the future needs to be placed on universal design — places and objects that work for everyone.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.



Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel The First Palmer House (shown top left) was built in 1871 as a wedding gift from Potter Palmerto to his then-fiancée Bertha Hilton Honoré. Unfortunately, the hotel burned down just 13 days later in the Great Chicago Fire. Rebuilt with a $1.7 million loan, the Second Palmer House was one of the fanciest hotels worldwide in post-fire Chicago (top middle and right).



By the 1920s, the Palmer Estate decided to erect a new, 25-story hotel on the same site. Since then, the hotel has been completely renovated and restored. The 85-seat bar (bottom left), makes an impression with an open concept blurring the lines between the famed lobby (bottom right) and Potter’s. “Even after 144 years, the Palmer House Hilton remains both current and nostalgic as it continues to change and transform,” says Ken Price, Palmer House Hilton’s resident historian. “The new Potter’s shows how bold, classic looks never go out of style.”


past & present


60,000 EARN

American Airlines AAdvantage®


spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.


C I T I® / A A D V A N T A G E ® P L A T I N U M S E L E C T ® C A R D



Visit American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete AAdvantage® program details, visit American Airlines, AAdvantage and the Flight Symbol logo are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. Citibank is not responsible for products or services offered by other companies. Cardmember benefits are subject to change. ©2017 Citibank, N.A. Citi, Citibank, Citi with Arc Design and Platinum Select are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc. Mastercard and the Mastercard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.

Š2017 St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

7:15 am

arrive by private seaplane

7:30 am

luggage whisked away and unpacked by butler

9:30 am

breakfast on private terrace overlooking Indian Ocean

11:45 am

long nap in overwater hammock

1:00 pm

quick dip in private infinity pool

2:30 pm

late lunch at Alba

4:30 pm

custom Maldivian Halfa at Iridium Spa

6:00 pm

sunset sail on Azimut 66 yacht


champagne cocktail at open-air Whale Bar


tropical Midnight Supper under the stars


ring butler to draw warm bubble bath The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

Live Exquisite. A day at St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. Celebrate the essence of St. Regis at more than 40 of the finest addresses around the world. Join us at

December 2017 Global Traveler  
December 2017 Global Traveler