PHUKET: The island fell one spot to 3rd in the Top 10 Holiday Destinations in Asia list of this year’s “Smart Travel Asia Awards”, which was based on an Internet travellers’ choice poll that ran from May to July.
Although Bali narrowly edged Phuket, just like last year, the Indonesian leisure hub didn’t have highest honors this time, as there was a new category topper – Bangkok, the Thai
capital surging to the top this year from 5th last year.
Commenting on the poll results and methodology, editor of SmartTravelAsia.com, Vijay Verghese, said: “Once we cleared the air of enthusiasts who simply love voting for their country, those following ‘team orders’ and a great many more tinkering incessantly – but unproductively – with proxy servers and robot voting programs, we arrived at other truths, no less important… Unlike many polls, ours is not paid for and there is no alarming nomination fee or arm-twisting for that gala dinner. This is about research, not razzmatazz.
Nonetheless, seven Phuket properties were shown “top preference” by the website’s traveller user-base, in several categories as follows:
Banyan Tree Phuket got the number one rating in the Top 25 Spa Hotels & Resorts list, up from its 4th spot last year; the luxury Phuket property was followed by Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Bali; Ayana Resort And Spa, Bali; and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (last year’s category topper).
Retaining its 5th spot in this category was Amanpuri, Phuket, who shared the honors with Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran (2nd last year).
Likewise, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa retained its 11th place standing on the list, equal with Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai.
Falling two spots from last year, the fourth Phuket property to make this list was Angsana Laguna Phuket, this year joint 23rd, sharing the honors with Pangkor Laut Resort and The Farm At San Benito, Philippines.
Amanpuri, Phuket triumphed to 2nd in the Top 25 Leisure Hotels & Resorts list, up two spots from last year. Taking the number one spot in this category is The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam – second last year, when The Peninsula Hong Kong was on top, though this year falling to joint-3rd along with The Opposite House, Beijing.
Banyan Tree Phuket, jumped seven spots up from its 12th spot last year, up to joint-fifth this year, along with Amandari, Bali, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Up a spot from last year, the Twinpalms Phuket Resort was rated joint-6th with Grand Hyatt Bali and Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
Dropping a spot from last year, the SALA Phuket Resort and Spa made this year’s list joint-14th with the Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui and The Upper House Patong.
Improving four spots from last year, JW Marriott this year achieved joint-15th, side-by-side with Samode Palace, The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud and The royal Pita Maha Bali.
Making its debut on the list, the 6th Phuket hotel on the list is the Aleenta Resort & Spa, Phuket – Phang Nga, in 20th alongside the InterContinental Bali Resort, One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh and Sheraton Sanya Resort.
Moreover, two Phuket Hotels made the list for the Top 25 Conference Hotels: Angsana Laguna Phuket and JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Angsana, which was 17th in the category last year climbed up two spots to joint-15th this year – level with Raffles Hotel Singapore, The Peninsula Shanghai and The Regent Taipei.
Meanwhile, JW Marriott improved four spots from 25th last year to 21st this year, on the same tier with Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, Renaissance Harbour View Hong Kong Hotel and Wynn Macau.
Topping the category was The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, swapping places with the reining number 1 Conference Hotel – the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong.
IN THE AIR
Phuket International Airport did not make the Top 10 Airports Worldwide list, although Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi was joint fifth with Dubai International Airport’s Emirate’s Terminal Three, while Samui Airport was 10th on the list, just like last year.
Topping the list was Singapore’s Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Kuala Lumpur International, Malaysia and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands.
AirAsia and Jetstar Asia retained their number one and two spots, respectfully in the Top 10 Budget Airlines in Asia list.
Indigo jumped up to 3rd from 6th previously, while Cebu Pacific and Spice Jet were joint-4th, followed by Tiger Airways, Thai Smile, Scoot Jet Konnect, Jin Air and VietJet Air.
Sharing the number one spot for Top 10 Airlines Worldwide were Emirates and Singapore Airlines, followed by Cathay Pacific Airways; Qatar Airways; Thai Airways International; Korean Air; Malaysia Airlines; British Airways; Virgin Atlantic; Air France, Air New Zealand, Jet Airways and Lufthansa; ANA, Etihad Airways and Qantas.
As for hotel branding, Shangri-La was perceived by poll participants as number one on the Top 10 Hotel Brands list, followed by Four Seasons; Grand Hyatt; Mandarin Oriental; Peninsula; Conrad, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Ritz-Carlton; Aman Resorts, JW Marriott, Park Hyatt and W Hotels; Hilton and Sheraton; Sofitel, Taj Hotels and Westin; and Hard Rock and InterContinental Hotels.
— Phuket Gazette
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