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Condé Nast Traveler announces the winners of its 22nd annual…

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Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of its 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards, ranking the best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels, resorts, and car rental agencies worldwide. The awards appear in the November issue (on newsstands October 20) and are derived from the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice survey. This year, 25,008 readers voted on more than 10,000 properties and destinations.

“The big news is that, undaunted by tough times, our readers are still out there, discovering the coolest experiences and reaffirming an enduring passion for travel,” said Condé Nast Traveler Editor in Chief Klara Glowczewska. “It’s clear that our readers are as devoted to the worldwide diversity of travel as ever.”

The full list of winners is on at:

The results of the 2009 Readers Choice Awards reveal some surprising news:

The friendliest U.S. cities are Charleston, Savannah, and Honolulu, while the least friendly, by an uncomfortable margin is New York (54/100—ouch)

Ubud, Bali, is the friendliest town of all

Santa Fe, New Mexico, bumped New York City out of the #3 spot for best U.S. city to visit. San Francisco remained #1 and New York City slid to #4.

San Francisco takes the Best U.S. Cities category for a whopping 17th year in a row, a feat never before accomplished by any destination or property. One reason: its worldwide high restaurant score.

Ubud dethrones Bangkok as the Best Asian City. Bangkok held the top spot since the category debuted in 2004.

Newcomer Virgin America was once again named the Best Domestic Airline, for the second year in a row, with JetBlue Airways at #2.

Singapore Airlines is again the #1 International Route Airline, and has led this category for 21 of the past 22 years. (Only Swissair, in 1994, has taken the top spot from Singapore Airlines.)

The growing number of mega-ship cruise lines merit their own category for the first time, led by Celebrity.

With so many superb hotels with fewer than 50 rooms, this year’s survey has three new categories: Small Hotels in Europe, Small Hotels in the United States, and Small Resorts in the United States with the Kenwood Inn and Spa taking first place.

Fully one-third of the hotels and resorts on our Top 100 list began their journey on our Hot List of the world’s best new properties, published each May, confirming that Condé Nast Traveler readers are ahead of the curve and connoisseurs of the cutting edge.

Below are results for the top three winners in each category.

Top Cities United States1. San Francisco
2. Charleston, SC
3. Santa Fe

Top Cities Europe1. Florence
2. Rome
3. Venice

Top Cities Asia1. Ubud, Bali
2. Bangkok
3. Hong Kong

Top Cities Africa/Middle East1. Cape Town
2. Jerusalem
3. Beirut

Top Cities The Americas1. Vancouver
2. Buenos Aires
3. Quebec City

Top Cities Australia/Pacific1. Sydney
2. Melbourne
3. Queenstown

Top Islands Caribbean/Atlantic1. Bermuda
2. St. John
3. St. Barts

Top Islands Pacific
1. Maui
2. Kauai
3. Bora Bora

Top Islands Asia/Indian Ocean1. Maldives
2. Bali
3. Phuket

Top Islands North America1. Kiawah, SC
2. Vancouver Island
3. Nantucket, MA

Top Islands Europe1. Mykonos and the Cyclades
2. Bozcaada and the Turkish Aegean Islands
3. Capri

Top Resorts Asia1. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
2. Oberoi Vanyavilas, Rajasthan
3. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Top Resorts Mexico1. One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos
2. The Tides, Riviera Maya
3. The Tides, Zihuatanejo

Top Resorts Africa1. Mombo and Little Mombo Camps, Botswana
2. Sandibe Safari Lodge, Botswana
3. Safari Lodges at Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Top Resorts Europe1. Hotel du Palais, Biarritz
2. Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo
3. Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, Co. Limerick

Top Resorts Hawaii1. Four Season Resort Maui at Wailea
2. Four Season Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, Big Island
3. Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele

Top Resorts Atlantic Ocean1. The Reefs, Bermuda
2. One & Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas
3. Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos

Top Resorts Middle East1. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
2. Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
3. One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

Top Resorts Oceana1. Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa
2. Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand
3. La Taha’a Island Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

Top Resorts Mainland U.S.1. Sanctuary at Kiawah Island
2. Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach
3. Montage Laguna Beach

Top Small Resorts Mainland U.S.

Kenwood Inn and Spa, Sonoma

Casa Palermo, Pebble Beach

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin

Top Resorts Canada1. King Pacific Lodge, Princess Royal Island
2. Emerald Lake Lodge, Alberta
3. Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Vancouver Island

Top Resorts Caribbean1. Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
2. Curtain Bluff, Antigua
3. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis

Top Resorts Central/South America1. Four Seasons Resort Carmelo, Uruguay
2. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo3. Hotel Salto Chico, Explora en Patagonia, Chile

Top Cruise Lines Mega-Ship




Top Cruise Lines Large Ships1. Crystal
2. Regent Seven Seas
3. Cunard

Top Cruise Lines Small Ships1. Sea Cloud
2. Yachts of Seabourn
3. Regent Seven Seas

Top Airlines Global1. Singapore Airlines
2. Emirates
3. Tie: Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific

Top Airlines North America1. Virgin America
2. JetBlue Airways
3. Midwest Airlines

Top Car Rental Agencies1. Hertz
2. Enterprise
3. Avis

Top Hotels Southern Europe1. Il San Pietro di Positano, Positano, Italy
2. Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole, Tuscany
3. Four Season George V, Paris

Top Hotels Northern Europe1. Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden
2. Four Seasons Gresham Palace, Budapest
3. Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Top Small Hotels Europe

La Scalinatella, Capri

La Colombe d’Or, St-Paul de Venece

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda

Top Hotels Central America
1. Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa Peninsuala, Costa Rica
2. Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua
3. Villas Caletas, Costa Rica
Top Hotels Oceana1. Blankey Bay, South Island, New Zealand
2. Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart
3. Park Hyatt, Sydney

Top Hotels British Isles

Chewton Glen, Hampshire

Milestone Hotel, London

The Goring, London

Top Hotels Caribbean/Atlantic1. Peninsula House, Samaná, Dominican Republic
2. The Caves, Jamaica
3. Hôtel Le Toiny, St. Barts

Top Hotels Asia1. Oberoi Udaivilas, Rajasthan
2. Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
3. The Peninsula, Hong Kong

Top Hotels Africa1. The Saxon, Johannesburg
2. Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town
3. Cape Grace, Cape Town

Top Hotels Canada1. Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City
2. Fairmont Vancouver Airport
3. Hôtel Le Germain-Dominion, Quebec City

Top Hotels Mexico1. Casa Natalia, San Jose del Cabo
2. Las Mananitas, Cuernavaca
3. JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City

Top Hotels United States1. 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville
2. The Peninsula, Chicago
3. Mandarin Oriental, Boston

Top Small Hotels United States

Blantyre, Lenox, Mass.

The Swag, Great Smoky, Mountains, N.C.

Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, Gold Beach, Oregon

Top Hotels South America1. Hotel Monasterio, Cuzco
2. Four Seasons Hotel, Buenos Aires
3. Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires

Top Hotels Middle East1. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
2. David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem
3. Park Hyatt Dubai

The Readers Choice Awards gala was held on Thursday, October 15th in New York City at the IAC Building and was hosted by Stanley Tucci and Mary Louise Parker. Select photos and video from the event are available upon request.

Every year since 1988, a select sample of Condé Nast Traveler readers have taken the Readers’ Choice Survey. In 2009, the questionnaire was available to all readers through a secure Web site. The final tabulations of 25,008 responses were done by Mediamark Research, Inc., of New York City. Poll categories (Cities, Hotels, etc.), and the criteria for each appear at the bottom of the first page in every category. Questionnaires contained lists of candidates (individual cities, hotels, etc.), and write-ins were allowed. Only candidates that received a required minimum number of responses were deemed eligible for an award. Each candidate was rated, by various criterion, on a five-point scale: excellent, very good, good, fair, poor. Criterion scores, which represent the percentage of respondents rating a candidate excellent or very good, were averaged to determine the final score—e.g., in the category of Islands, Maui’s 90.1 is the average of its scores for Activities, Atmosphere/Ambience, Beaches, Friendliness, Lodging, Restaurants, and Scenery.

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