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Best in Travel Poll 2019 - Asia's top airlines, luxury hotels, destinations


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Go blissfully vintage in India or spa out in Muscat

Whisk your main squeeze to Muscat for a spa escape, cart your kids to Bali, holiday in style in Vietnam, and check out how travellers flew in India in the 1940s.

Vistara's retro jet outfits are a throwback to the original flights by TATA

Never too old for a spot of retro

India's premium airline Vistara (www.airvistara.com) takes a trip back in time with flights on its gussied up A320Neo retro jet (flying as TATA SIA Airlines) complete with vintage uniforms in lilac with pump shoes, berets, and pillbox bags, the whole enchilada. This was all in vogue on the original TATA Air Lines DC-3 launched by JRD in the 1940s. Himself a pilot and not one to bear a grudge, JRD went on to helm Air India with its iconic maharajah after his airline was rudely nationalised by the government. The modern A320Neo with its unique signage and sepia coating is a tribute to JRD and 150 years of the much admired Indian business conglomerate founded by him. Masala omelette anyone?

Andaz Seoul Gangnam (www.hyatt.com/andaz-seoul above left) has opened in the bustling Apgujeong neighborhood known for its fashionable teen crowds, lively cafes, and clubs. Upscale Cheongdam-dong is the neighbouring district. The hotel is close to the metro with fast access across the river. Expect 241 mod pastel-tone pale-wood rooms with open spaces, unfussy minimalism and pops of colour. Find an indoor 16m pool, spa, whirlpool, hot baths, sauna, several dining options, and meeting space. The lively Just Sleep Taipei Ximending (above right, www.justsleep.com.tw/ximending) has returned after a massive NT$100m makeover. Sited at the bustling intersection of Zhonghua Road and Hankou Street, the brand was part of the development of this hip quarter a decade back and was also the first of its line from Silks Hotel Group. Rooms are bright with dollops of cheery colour and practical touches. Park in a Superior room (with an innovative twin design) at a special rate of NT$2,900 (valid until 20 Dec 2019) and choose one exclusive offer. Breakfast is included in the reopening package-.

Chedi Muscat spa experience

A sweaty Muscat luxury escape

At the elegant breezy palm-lined The Chedi Muscat (www.ghmhotels.com/muscat/), a bunch of spoiling spa escapes for you and your main squeeze from two to seven nights. Need a luxe escape? This could be the one. Think an 800sq m spa retreat with 13 private treatment suites and an array of amenities for stretching out and burning calories. A 'Two-day Escape' bundles a stay for three nights in a Chedi Club Suite, a specialist consultation, a two-hour 'Indulgent Oriental' or 'Nurturing Envelopment Ritual', plus a one-hour 'Rejuvenating Beauty Ritual' with a cooking class throw-in. Seems to cover all bases. The 'Six-day Escape' includes a room for seven nights. A two-day package is priced at US$4,915 for the high season (six days cost US$11,443).

Andaz Seoul Gangnam opens Just Sleep Taipei Ximending returns with a deal

From Banyan Tree Phuket (above left www.banyantree.com), a new batch of Serenity Pool Villas and Residences for the sybaritic crowd. Forget your bags but pack your wallet - you'll need it. These posh new villas set a new benchmark for luxurious living and are available from 1 November 2019. Dabble in golf, football if the feet are nimble and willing, and feel-good tree planting events. From the luxe Mulia Resorts & Villas Nusa Dua, Bali (www.themulia.com/mulia-bali/) a 'Gourmet Getaway' deal for bookings until 20 December 2019. Bag what the hotel touts as a 'once-in-a-lifetime dining experience with a Michelin star award-winning chef' - at The Lounge, overlooking a mirror-smooth infinity pool. The deal is valid when purchasing a two-night stay at The Mulia over Fridays. The deal includes a special dinner experience at Apericena, and breakfasts at The Lounge – 'where guests can choose from French toasts to Fillet Mignon'.

Three Bedroom Serenity Pool Residence at Banyan Tree Phuket Mulia Bali - blue vistas

Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara (www.anantara.com/al-baleed-salalah/) serves up mobile camping expeditions in southern Oman taking guests through wilderness and desert. No worries, there's no sweat and stress, just a luxe vacation with veteran host Oman Expeditions. Explore the seaside or bump along on well-kitted four-wheel-drive vehicles to take in two nights of camping under glittering stars with three full days of exploration. Sightings of the majestic ochre dunes rippling 200m high in the Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali) are an option too. For pedal-power freaks, from Spice Roads Cycling (www.spiceroads.com) an e-biking experience in Thailand during November 2019. Pick from the Bangkok-Phuket tour or the Chiang Mai-Bangkok option. For the scenic Chiang Mai to Bangkok run plan on a distance of 925km over 10 days of pedalling (aided by some power. Both runs are priced at US$2,200
Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara luxe camping holidays in Oman Spice Roads launches an e-cycle tour Chiang Mai to Bangkok in 2019

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Al BAit Sharjah