Readers’ Choice Awards 2010

  • Looking down on the interior atrium at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel.

    Looking down on the interior atrium at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel.

  • Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

    Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

  • A private dining room at the Park Hyatt Saigon, readers’ favorite hotel in Ho Chi Minh City for the fourth year running.

    A private dining room at the Park Hyatt Saigon, readers’ favorite hotel in Ho Chi Minh City for the fourth year running.

  • Singapore’s Changi Airport

    Singapore’s Changi Airport

Click image to view full size

Which are your favorite hotels and resorts in the Asia-Pacific region? Where do you return time and again for superlative amenities, service, and location? And which are your top picks for airlines, airports, city destinations, spas, and island getaways? Six months ago we asked you these questions in our fifth annual Readers’ Choice Awards poll, and the results are compiled here in a list that defines the best that regional travel has to offer

BEST HOTELS AND RESORTS

When it comes to comfort and convenience, these lodgings tick all the boxes for business and leisure travelers alike.
For the fifth year running, business travelers rated the Hyatt group as their favorite chain of hotels in the Asia-Pacific region. “Hyatt hotels usually have an excellent location, well-trained staff, and good Gold Passport benefits,” you told us. In your downtime, you love checking into Four Seasons hotels for rest and relaxation. The group’s “beautiful resorts” and “personalized service” keep you coming back, again and again. Below, your favorite individual properties, from Bali to Beijing.

BALI

  1. Four Seasons Sayan
    Offering a winning combination of  “beauty and luxury,” this resort on Ubud’s Ayung River impresses with its “magnificent views and tranquil setting” (62-361/ 977-577; fourseasons.com).
  2. Ayana Resort & Spa
    Aside from the “serenity and elegance” of this cliff-top resort in Jimbaran, readers continue to rave about the “decadent pampering options” at the spa (62-361/702-222; ayanaresort.com).

BANGKOK

  1. Banyan Tree
    This slick city hotel is “modern, yet personal” and “exclusive and romantic.” You also prefer it for its central location (66-2/679-1200; banyantree.com).
  2. Mandarin Oriental
    “Timeless and classic,” this 133-year-old hotel (née The Oriental) on the banks of the Chao Phraya River never fails to inspire you with its old-world charm  and “flawless service” (66-2/659-9000; mandarinoriental.com).

 

BEIJING

  1. Grand Hyatt
    With its “unbeatable location,” within walking distance of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, this hotel is also popular for its “classy ambience” (86-10/8518-1234; beijing.grand.hyatt.com).
  2. Peninsula
    Business and leisure travelers alike rave about the Pen’s “luxurious, modern amenities”(86-10/8516-2888; peninsula.com).

 

DUBAI

  1. Burj Al Arab
    You find checking into the world’s only seven-star hotel the “experience of a lifetime.” In addition to breathtaking vistas of the Arabian Gulf, it offers guests “opulent amenities” and “personal service” (971-4/301-7777; burj-al-arab.com).
  2. Shangri-La
    Located in the heart of Dubai’s business district, thisproperty stands out for its understated design and “attentive staff” (971-4/ 343-8888; shangri-la.com).

HANOI

  1. Sofitel Metropole
    The “fabulous French character” is one of the reasons why you return to this landmark 1901 hotel—the “luxurious rooms and attentive staff” are other draws (84-4/3826-6919; sofitel.com).
  2. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
    With a “spectacular location” on the banks of Hanoi’s West Lake, the InterContinental matches “resort-style ambience” with state-of-the-art amenities (84-4/6270-8888; ichotelsgroup.com).

 

HO CHI MINH CITY

  1. Park Hyatt Saigon
    “Sleek,modern, and sophisticated,” this hotel scores points across the board, from its “stylish design” to its “unbeatable location” at Lam Son Square in the center of town (84-8/3824-1234; saigon.park.hyatt.com).
  2. Sheraton Saigon
    The rooftop bar, offering “great views” of the adjacent Opera House, is one of the main draws of this “well located” hotel, set in HCMC’s entertainment district (84-8/3827-2828; starwoodhotels.com).

 

HONG KONG

  1. The Peninsula
    It’s no surprise that this Kowloon-side grande dame took home top honors again—aside from the “class, elegance, and comfort” of its rooms, you recommend indulging in the hotel’s “fabulous high tea” (852/ 2840-7788; hongkong.peninsula.com).
  2. Four Seasons
    You cannot speak highly enough of the “location and views” of this harborside hotel on Hong Kong Island. The service is also hard to beat: “The concierge team is one of the best ever,” according to one reader (852/3196-8888; fourseasons.com).

 

JAKARTA

  1. Grand Hyatt
    Overlooking the Welcome Monument, this Hyatt impresses you with its “good location in the heart of the city,” and its “excellent restaurants and bars” (62-21/390-1234; jakarta.grand.hyatt.com).
  2. Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place
    The “superb rooms and service” at this all-club hotel score points among readers. Set atop Jakarta’s Pacific Place building, the property also “offers endless conveniences for travelers” (62-21/2550-8888; ritzcarlton.com).

 

KUALA LUMPUR

  1. Mandarin Oriental
    The location of this hotel, between the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL City Centre Park, is “second to none.” Readers agree that the “superb spa and leisure facilities” are almost as noteworthy as the “fabulous city views” (60-3/2380-8888; mandarinoriental.com).
  2. Hilton
    Readers love the fact that this hotel is so accessible, with “unbeatable train connections to the airport.” The “impeccable service, visit after visit” is also a draw (60-3/ 2264-2264; hilton.com).

MANILA

  1. Shangri-La Makati
    The Shangri-La may be “well located” among Makati’s restaurants and shops, but you still find it a “tranquil retreat,” with “fantastic restaurants” and“good quality rooms” (63-2/813-8888; shangri-la.com).
  2. The Peninsula
    Also popular for its “great Makati location,” this five-star stalwart charms you with its “warm welcome” and facilities, which one reader believes to be “the best of any Manila hotels” (63-2/887-2888;manila.peninsula.com).

 

MUMBAI

  1. Taj Mahal Palace & Tower
    This 107-year-old landmark hotel, with its newly reopened heritage wing, offers the perfect blend of “tradition and modernity.” Aside from the luxurious rooms, readers rave about the hotel’s “diverse collection of paintings and artwork” (91-22/6665-3366; tajhotels.com).
  2. JW Marriott
    Favored for its “great location on Juhu Beach,” not tomention its shimmering swimming pool, this 358-room hotel complements its water attractions with “extremely comfortable rooms” (91-22/6693-3000; marriott.com).

 

NEW DELHI

  1. Taj Mahal
    You find the Mughal-inspired architecture here to be “graceful and luxurious,” with “legendary service” to match (91-11/ 2302-6162; tajhotels.com).
  2. The Oberoi
    Set between Delhi’s Golf Club and Humayun’s Tomb, the Oberoi is like a “city oasis” with its “harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication” (91-11/ 2436-3030; oberoidelhi.com).

 

PHUKET

  1. Banyan Tree
    From the “excellent service” to the “superb rooms,” you find this beachfront resort an overall “wonderful experience.” One reader told us: “I wish I lived there for two months of every year” (66-76/324-374; banyantree.com).
  2. Anantara Phuket Resort & Spa
    Thanks to its secluded location along Phuket’s northwest coast, the newly opened Anantara won you over as a place for “rest and relaxation.” The pool villas are “extremely nice”—one reader rated them as “the best I’ve ever stayed in” (66-76/ 336-100; phuket.anantara.com).

 

SEOUL

  1. Westin Chosun
    Aside from its “excellent location,” within walking distance of the subway and downtown Seoul’s restaurants and shops, this hotel was also favored for its “impeccable facilities” (82-2/771-0500; starwoodhotels.com).
  2. Grand Hyatt
    Business and leisure travelers alike return to this hotel for its serene hilltop setting, with “great views over the Han River” and “lovely landscaped gardens.” The sleek, Super Potato-designed rooms and restaurants are also a popular (82-2/797-1234; seoul.grand.hyatt.com).

 

SHANGHAI

  1. Grand Hyatt
    This towering Pudong property offers “fantastic views,” not to mention “excellent restaurants and bars.” It may not be the highest hotel in Shanghai anymore (that honor now goes to the nearby Park Hyatt), but you still love staying in the “smartly designed” rooms (86-21/5049-1234; shanghai.grand.hyatt.com).
  2. Four Seasons
    On the Puxi side of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, you rate the Four Seasons for its “boutique feel” and “great services.” When it comes to cuisine, one reader calls theCantonese restaurant here, Si Ji Xuan, “number one in town” (86-21/6256-8888; fourseasons.com).

 

SINGAPORE

  1. Ritz-Carlton, Millenia
    Space is not an issue at this hotel, sprawling over seven acres in the heart of the Marine Centre on Raffles Avenue.  You love its “big bedrooms andbathrooms,” but what really stands out is the “excellent service” (65/6337-8888; ritz-carlton.com).
  2. St. Regis
    One of the newest hotels in Singapore, the St. Regis takes luxury up a notch with its “amazing, classically inspired rooms” and “sophisticated room amenities.” The “VIP service,” extended to all guests, is also appreciated (65/6506-6888; starwoodhotels.com).

 

SYDNEY

  1. Park Hyatt
    Set right on Sydney Harbour, overlooking the city’s iconic bridge and Opera House, this hotel is hard to beat for “breathtaking views.” But there are other draws, including acclaimed restaurants and “sleek, contemporary” rooms (61-2/9241-1234; sydney.park.hyatt.com).
  2. Shangri-La
    Also loved for its “stunning views” of the harbor, this 563-room property in the Rocks district charms readers with its “excellent service” as well as “some of the city’s best restaurants and bars” (61-2/9250-6000; shangri-la.com).

 

TAIPEI

  1. Grand Hyatt
    This huge 856-room hotel adjacent to Taipei 101 gives you “easy access to the very best of the city,” complemented by “gracious hospitality and service” (886-2/2720-1234; taipei.grand.hyatt.com).
  2. Sheraton
    Praised for its “quality rooms” and decor, this hotel won you over with its convenient location, a “stone’s throw from the city’s main train station” (886-2/2321-5511;sheraton-taipei.com).

 

TOKYO

  1. Park Hyatt
    The Park Hyatt stands tall in Tokyo, wowing you with its “amazing views.” Looking inward, you’re equally impressed by the “contemporary Japanese design” in the smart rooms, not to mention the acclaimed restaurants and bars (81-3/5322-1234; tokyo.park.hyatt.com).
  2. Mandarin Oriental
    One of the city’s newest five-star hotels, the Mandarin Oriental impresses with its “stylish rooms” and “fabulous concierge offerings”—one service that you feel is essential in Tokyo (81-3/3270-8800; mandarinoriental.com).

BEST SERVICED APARTMENTS

Ascott continues to deliver all the comforts of home

Readers gave Ascott top marks for its “well-managed properties in key cities” across the region. You were particularly happy with the group’s “attention to detail,” as well as the “great service.” Frasers Hospitality was a hot runner-up, praised for its “warm service,” “consistent quality” and “family-friendly environment.”


BEST SPAS

Once again, the Banyan Tree pampers readers with its indulgent city and resort spas

Banyan Tree seems to have perfected its spa offerings in Thailand; from Bangkok to Phuket, you found the group’s outlets the best in the region. In the Thai capital, the Banyan Tree Bangkok was your favorite city spa, while farther south, the Banyan Tree Phuket came up trumps for its “experienced therapists” and “great selection of massage experiences.”


BEST AIRLINE AND AIRPORT

Singapore’s ever-efficient flag carrier and airport fly high

 

Singapore Airlines does it again, taking home all the top awards in our airline poll for the fifth year in a row. The carrier not only offers you the best Premium and Economy Class travel experiences, but also delights with its in-flight entertainment service and frequent-flyer program. With its “top-notch service,” it’s no surprise that you also voted it the Best Airline overall, with Cathay Pacific coming in second for its “efficient, friendly service” and “great in-flight entertainment.”

 

Changi Airport was once again voted as your favorite regional hub. “I have no objection to flight delays, as long as I am stuck at Changi,” one reader told us, citing “great shopping and facilities” as ways to pass the time.


BEST PLACES TO VISIT

Southeast Asia remains at the top of your travel agenda

Bali still beguiles as an island destination, offering an “unbeatable mix of natural beauty, luxe hotels, fabulous food, and friendly people.” When it comes to city breaks, you find it hard to look past the “vibrant offerings” of Bangkok. While food was one of the main reasons you return to the Thai capital, you also appreciate the “shopping, temples, and culture, still as strong as ever despite all the development.” Besting Hong Kong for the first time, Singapore is your favorite city when it comes to doing business. Not only is the city-state “very convenient and safe,” but it is “modern and up to date” and has a real “international outlook.”

Share this Article