The best of the World Travel Awards 2016:
the travel industry Oscars
Some destinations live up to the promises of their marketing; others fall flat. The same is true of probably the most important part of any holiday: your hotel or other type of accommodation.
To help sort the high flyers from the underachievers, the World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 and are now regarded as the Oscars of the travel industry. Voted for by travellers and travel industry experts alike, here are the pick of 2016’s main winners.
The most romantic holiday destination in 2016
If you’re looking for the ultimate place to discover true romance with your significant other, jet off to the Maldives. Set amongst the serenity of the Indian Ocean, it’s here that you’ll find the Baros Maldives luxury resort, on a small, picture-perfect coral island. It has the obligatory – and immaculate – white sandy beach, but the sea life-rich reef it sits by is just as much a feature. As you’re whisked to the resort by speedboat, you’ll spot its row of wooden water pool villas, which seem to float above the turquoise blue sea beside the lush island vegetation – all only 25 minutes from Malé International Airport.
The best tourist attraction 2016
It’s no shock that Belfast is home to the largest Titanic attraction in the world, as the legendary luxury liner was built in the port city and departed – never to return – in 1912. The six-storey Titanic Experience building opened in 2012 and aims to impress its visitors with special effects, interactive touch screen exhibits and ‘talking’ holograms. The unsinkable ship that sunk continues to fascinate people as much as ever, with a full-scale replica currently under construction in China.
The top culinary destination 2016
You might be surprised to learn that the judges’ pick for best country to travel to for your (breakfast, lunch and) dinner was Peru. Perhaps not so well known by many outside foodie circles, Peruvian cuisine is staking a claim for global prominence with delicate and innovative dishes like ceviche: fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime. For the more adventurous, national dishes such as skewered cow’s heart or cuy – grilled guinea pig – are said to be delicious.
The best Hotel 2016
Every year the World Travel Awards hand out gongs to hotels in several subcategories, but only one can be crowned the outright best hotel of the year. In 2016 that honour went to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. The complex consists of five towers, located directly on the waterfront next to the Arabian Gulf. 382 rooms and 199 apartments with hotel services are contained within in the luxury glass-enclosed domicile, which has three swimming pools, a private beach and several chic restaurants and bars.
The top destination for adventure holidays
If you like your holidays full of action, go to Chile. Judges gave the South American country the award this year due to the landscapes it offers for every kind of adventure: the Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine National Park and the lakes and snow-capped volcanoes in the Andes. Biking, climbing, hiking rafting, trekking – or horseback riding through the Patagonian ice field: the possibilities are almost endless.