Go to Homepage
An exclusive collection of the best Asian hotels, resorts and spas
2013 Best in travel poll - Bangkok is the No.1 holiday destination in Asia

TRAVEL POLL

Best Asian Travel Brands 2013

Asia's best business hotels, luxury resorts, spas, destinations, business cities, and the world's best airlines and airports. Full results of our 2013 Best in Travel Poll. See some Award Photos.

Visit our Fackbook pagePrintE-mail Page

 

JUMP TO Best Airlines | Best Business Class | Best Cabin Service | Best Budget Airlines | Best Hotel Brands | Best Holiday Destinations | Best Cities for Business | Best Airports | Best Business Hotels | Best Leisure Hotels & Resorts | Best Spa Hotels | Best Conference Hotels

The Smart Travel Asia 2013 Best in Travel Poll results roll out as usual with some classic winners and a few surprises. In this age of proliferating brands, largely indistinguishable from one another on the Web where a no-star and five-star may look equally enticing, we posed the million dollar question to readers, "What do these brands represent to you?" Their answer below – complex, confident, curious, but above all clear. A brand that is not seen in a traveller’s media space simply “doesn’t exist”. Disappearing big brands are becoming word of mouth rarities online while boutique establishments with an army of brand ambassadors at their behest show up on Facebook and all manner of social media, proliferating exponentially, without cost.

{Readers’ votes were based on 1) use of the product, 2) feedback from friends, and 3) brand visibility in their browsing space, the key item in a crowded online space

Big brands spending small fortunes advertising image in print magazines head like the Titanic, magnificently, to the bottom of the sea. Why? Because most print magazines in SE Asia, at least in the English language, simply do not get read. Having lost subscribers they are now circulated free in bulk in hotel rooms where no one has the time to peruse their content in an age when travellers are online.

Readers said the three most important determinants for the vote were 1) Actual use of the product, 2) Feedback from friends and colleagues, and 3) Visibility of the brand in their browsing space. Out of sight out of mind, quite literally. In the case of luxury brands, the hotel stay may have accounted for just 30 percent or less of the decision process. What this means is, visibility in a crowded online space, is critical for both votes and bookings.

{Big brands are sinking, albeit majestically, like The Titanic. Why? A focus on print (sans subscribers and languishing unread in hotels) means expensive image ads are simply not getting seen

Send us your Feedback / Letter to the Editor

Smart Travel Asia is the region’s only dedicated online travel magazine with over one million readers worldwide. These are frequent travellers in the know. We offer review-based editorial written by seasoned journalists to help people make intelligent choices.

The SmartTravelAsia.com 2013 BEST IN TRAVEL POLL – now in its ninth year – is a distillation of our readers’ perceptions and favourite travel brands. Their vote is based on substantial hands-on travel experience.

Our poll ran for three key months May-July. There was no incredible premium. There was no charge for nominations or any hidden fee to ensure a good result. Readers picked products from an unlimited field of thousands of possible choices in Asia. Who were these voters? On average, voters took 12.32 air trips (down from 16.22) over the past 12 months and earned US$156,307 in household income.

{80.7% of readers say Smart Travel Asia helps them make travel decisions after which 50.6% book through their travel agent, 35.2% through an online agent (OTA), and 14.2% through a hotel site

Approximately 70 percent were based in Asia (largely Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and the Middle East), 15 percent in UK/Europe and 15 percent in USA and North America.

As many as 94 percent of the voters said they drew their primary image of brands from the Internet. As many as 80.7 percent said Smart Travel Asia helps them make travel decisions after which 50.6 book through their own travel agent, 36.2 percent through an online travel agent (OTA), and 14.2 percent through a hotel website.

Most of our readers said they go online primarily to seek independent "reviews and information" and not just the "best price", in other words, research comes before retail and brand before booking.

Singapore Airlines, Voted Best Airline in the world
Best Airines worldwide
WORLDWIDE
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Emirates
    Singapore Airlines
3
1
2. Cathay Pacific Airways 2
3. Qatar Airways 6
4. Thai Airways International 4
5. Korean Air 6
6. Malaysia Airlines 5
7. British Airways 5
8. Virgin Atlantic 6
9. Air France
    Air New Zealand
    Jet Airways
    Lufthansa
8
8
8
9
10. ANA
     Etihad Airways
     Qantas
10
10
7
Singapore Airlines, Best Cabin Service worldwide
Best Airlines for in-flight service and cabin crew
WORLDWIDE
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Singapore Airlines 1
2. Emirates 3
3. Cathay Pacific Airways
    Thai Airways International
2
3
4. Qatar Airways 5
5. Malaysia Airlines
    Virgin Atlantic
4
9
6. Bangkok Airways
    Jet Airways
    Korean Air
6
6
7
7. Asiana Airlines
8
8. SilkAir 8
9. Garuda Indonesia -
10. Turkish Airlines -
Bangkok, Best Holiday Destination in Asia
Best Asian holiday destinations
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Bangkok, Thailand 5
2. Bali, Indonesia 1
3. Phuket, Thailand 2
4. Tokyo, Japan -
5. Hanoi, Vietnam
    Hong Kong
    Seoul, South Korea
6
3
6
6. Angkor (Siem Reap), Cambodia
    Maldives
    Palawan, Philippines
4
4
4
7. Boracay, Philippines
    Danang, Vietnam
    Taipei, Taiwan
-
-
8
8. Bhutan
    Goa, India
    Rajasthan, India
-
9
8
9. Kerala, India
    Koh Samui, Thailand
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Singapore
6
10
-
-
10. Hokkaido, Japan
     Macau
     Penang, Malaysia
     Sanya, China
     Shanghai, China
     Sri Lanka
-
-
10
10
7
-
Shangri-La, Best Hotel Brand
Best Hotel Brands
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Shangri-La -
2. Four Seasons -
3. Grand Hyatt -
4. Mandarin Oriental -
5. Peninsula -
6. Conrad
    Raffles Hotels & Resorts
    Ritz-Carlton
-
-
-
7. Aman Resorts
    JW Marriott
    Park Hyatt
    W Hotels
-
-
-
-
8. Hilton
    Sheraton
-
-
9. Sofitel
    Taj Hotels
    Westin
-
-
-
10. Hard Rock
     InterContinental Hotels
-
-
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Voted the Best Business Hotel in Asia
Best Asian business hotels
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong 3
2. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong 3
3. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
    The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
2
1
4. Park Hyatt Sydney -
5. The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore 6
6. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
    The Peninsula Hong Kong
9
4
7. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok 8
8. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
    InterContinental Bangkok
7
15
9. InterContinental Hong Kong 5
10. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
     The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
     The Westin Chosun, Seoul
16
12
14
11. Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
     Park Hyatt Saigon
11
10
12. Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
     Park Hyatt Seoul
     The Peninsula Shanghai
11
18
12
13. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit,
        Bangkok
     Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
        on The Bund
14
 
10
 
14. The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing 10
15. Grand Hyatt Seoul
     Grand Hyatt Singapore
     The St Regis Singapore
19
16
14
16. Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
     Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
     The St Regis Bangkok
16
12
-
17. Grand Hyatt Shanghai
     Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
     The Peninsula Tokyo
     The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
13
-
18
-
18. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
     Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
     The Oberoi, New Delhi
     The Regent Taipei
24
-
24
13
19. Grand Hyatt Beijing
     Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
     Raffles Hotel Singapore
     Sofitel Wanda Beijing
19
-
17
21
20. Centara Grand At CentralWorld,
        Bangkok
     Conrad Hong Kong
     InterContinental Asiana Saigon
     The Leela Palace New Delhi
     The Shilla, Seoul
     W Taipei
23
 
15
21
-
15
21
21. JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai
        at Tomorrow Square
     Park Hyatt Beijing
     The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai
     The Regent Singapore
-
 
-
23
24
22. Dusit Thani Bangkok
     Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
     Raffles Dubai
     Sheraton Imperial
        Kuala Lumpur Hotel
     Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
25
-
21
25
 
20
23. Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
     Langham Place Mongkok Hong Kong
     Makati Shangri-La, Manila
     Palace Hotel Tokyo
     The Excelsior Hong Kong
25
-
24
-
-
24. Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
     Le Meridien Taipei
     Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou
     The Okura Prestige Bangkok
-
-
-
-
25. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
     Conrad Seoul
     Kerry Hotel Beijing
     The Plaza Seoul
     The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta,
        Mega Kuningan
-
-
-
-
20
 
Banyan Tree Phuket, Voted the Best Asian Spa Hotel
Best Asian spa hotels and resorts
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Banyan Tree Phuket 4
2. Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Bali 5
3. Ayana Resort And Spa, Bali 6
4. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 1
5. Amanpuri, Phuket
    Four Seasons Resort Bali
       at Jimbaran Bay
5
2
 
6. The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam 3
7. Six Senses Samui 8
8. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
    Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
    Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang
       Resort & Spa, Penang
7
13
9
 
9. Grand Hyatt Bali 7
10. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
     The Peninsula Bangkok
     The Royal Pita Maha, Bali
11
10
10
11. JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
     Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi,
        Chiang Mai
11
12
 
12. Hotel Tugu Bali
     The Landmark Mandarin Oriental,
        Hong Kong
     The Legian Bali
13
9
 
8
13. The St Regis Singapore 10
14. Capella Singapore 14
15. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and
        Spa Resort, Angkor (Siem Reap)
     The Peninsula Hong Kong
14
 
15
16. Centara Grand Beach
        Resort & Villas Hua Hin
     The Samaya Seminyak, Bali
12
 
-
17. W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak 11
18. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
     The St Regis Bali Resort
17
14
19. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
     Shangri-La's Mactan
        Resort and Spa, Cebu
18
16
 
20. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
     The Andaman, Langkawi
     The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya
18
-
17
21. Como Shambhala Estate, Bali
     Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
20
22
22. Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
     InterContinental Bali Resort
23
18
23. Angsana Laguna Phuket
     Pangkor Laut Resort
     The Farm At San Benito, Philippines
21
24
24
24. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
     Hilton Maldives/Iru Fushi
        Resort & Spa
     Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor,
        Angkor (Siem Reap), Cambodia
25
21
 
20
 
25. Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa
     Banyan Tree Samui
     Conrad Bangkok
20
-
25
Singapore Airlines, Best Business Class in the world
Best Business Class Worldwide
WORLDWIDE
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Singapore Airlines 1
2. Emirates 3
3. Cathay Pacific Airways 2
4. Qatar Airways 5
5. Air New Zealand
    Korean Air
4
4
6. Thai Airways International 6
7. Malaysia Airlines
    Virgin Atlantic
5
7
8. British Airways
    Jet Airways
7
6
9. Asiana Airlines
    Japan Airlines
    Lufthansa
-
-
10
10. Garuda Indonesia
     Qantas
     South African Airways
-
10
9
AirAsia, Best Budget Airline
Best Asian budget airlines
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. AirAsia 1
2. Jetstar Asia 2
3. Indigo 6
4. Cebu Pacific
    Spice Jet
3
4
5. Tiger Airways 5
6. Thai Smile -
7. Scoot -
8. JetKonnect 8
9. Jin Air -
10. VietJet Air -
Singapore Changi Airport, Best Airport worldwide
Best Asian airports
WORLDWIDE
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Singapore Changi Airport 1
2. Hong Kong International Airport 2
3. Incheon International Airport,
       South Korea
    Kuala Lumpur International Airport,
       Malaysia
4
 
3
 
4. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,
       Netherlands
5
 
5. Dubai International Airport,
       Emirates Terminal 3
    Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok,
       Thailand
7
 
6
 
6. Frankfurt Airport, Germany -
7. Delhi Indira Gandhi International
       Airport, Terminal 3, India
9
8. Zurich Airport, Switzerland 8
9. London Heathrow Airport,
       United Kingdom
    Narita International Airport,
       Terminal 2, Japan
10
 
-
 
10. Samui Airport, Thailand 10
Hong Kong, Best Asian City for Business
Best Asian business cities
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. Hong Kong 1
2. Singapore 2
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Seoul, South Korea
3
3
4. Bangkok, Thailand 4
5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates 8
6. Sydney, Australia
    Tokyo, Japan
5
10
7. Taipei, Taiwan 6
8. Shanghai, China 6
9. Melbourne, Australia -
10. Bangalore, India
     Colombo, Sri Lanka
9
-

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Best Conference Hotel in Asia
Best Asian conference hotels
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore 2
2. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 1
3. InterContinental Bangkok
    The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
11
4
4. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 3
5. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore 7
6. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok 14
7. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong 6
8. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong 7
9. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok 10
10. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
     The Peninsula Hong Kong
     The St Regis Singapore
8
9
8
11. Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur 9
12. Grand Hyatt Beijing
     Park Hyatt Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
     The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
9
18
14
13. Grand Hyatt Seoul
     InterContinental Hong Kong
15
11
14. Grand Hyatt Bali
     JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
12
10
15. Angsana Laguna Phuket
     Raffles Hotel Singapore
     The Peninsula Shanghai
     The Regent Taipei
17
5
17
11
16. Conrad Hong Kong
     Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
     Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit,
        Bangkok
15
19
16
 
17. Grand Hyatt Taipei
     The Westin Beijing Financial Street
15
13
18. Park Hyatt Sydney
     The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
-
22
19. Grand Hyatt Macau -
20. Dusit Thani Bangkok
     The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
25
-
21. Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
     JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
     Renaissance Harbour View
        Hotel Hong Kong
     Wynn Macau
-
25
-
 
22
22. Centara Grand at CentralWorld,
        Bangkok
     Sheraton Sanya Resort
     The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa
24
 
23
-
23. Conrad Seoul
     Conrad Tokyo
     Raffles Dubai
     Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok
     The Westin Bund Centre, Shanghai
-
25
22
25
-
24. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
     Le Meridien Taipei
     The Shilla, Seoul
     The Venetian Macao
-
-
13
20
25. Conrad Bangkok
     Conrad Macao
     Doubletree Resort by Hilton
        Hotel Sanya Haitang Bay
     Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra,
        Phnom Penh, Cambodia
     The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
22
-
-
 
25
 
24
The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam, Best Leisure Hotel in Asia
Best Asian resorts and leisure hotels
ASIA
2013 Rank 2012 Rank
1. The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam 2
2. Amanpuri, Phuket 4
3. The Opposite House, Beijing
    The Peninsula Hong Kong
5
1
4. Amankila, Bali
    Four Seasons Resort Bali
       at Jimbaran Bay
    The Legian Bali
6
4
 
4
5. Amandari, Bali
    Banyan Tree Phuket
    Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor,
       Angkor (Siem Reap), Cambodia
3
12
8
 
6. Grand Hyatt Bali
    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
    Twinpalms Phuket Resort
5
3
7
7. Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali
    Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
    Raffles Hotel Singapore
6
-
10
8. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
    Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
    Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on The Bund
4
10
-
9. Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali
    Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and
       Spa Resort, Angkor (Siem Reap)
23
10
 
10. Ayana Resort And Spa, Bali
     Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
     The Sukhothai Bangkok
13
13
-
11. Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi,
        Chiang Mai
     Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang
        Resort & Spa, Penang
14
 
9
 
12. Capella Singapore
     The Chedi Chiang Mai
     The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India
15
13
14
13. Amanpulo, Philippines
     Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore
     The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
15
14
9
14. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
     SALA Phuket Resort and Spa
     The Upper House Hong Kong
15
13
25
15. JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
     Samode Palace, Rajasthan
     The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, Ubud
     The Royal Pita Maha, Bali
19
18
19
16
16. Four Seasons Resort Maldives
        at Landaa Giraavaru
     Shangri-La'a Boracay Resort & Spa
     Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives
12
 
-
-
17. Amantaka, Luang Prabang, Laos
     Anantara Hoi An Resort, Vietnam
     The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
     The Strand, Yangon
-
-
20
18
18. Centara Grand Beach
        Resort & Villas Hua Hin
     El Nido Lagen Island Resort, Palawan
     Jimbaran Puri Bali
     The Library, Koh Samui
17
 
9
-
25
19. La Résidence Phou Vao, Laos
     The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya
     The St Regis Bali Resort
     W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak
-
18
15
17
20. Aleenta Phuket - Phang Nga
        Resort & Spa, Thailand
     InterContinental Bali Resort
     One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
     Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh
     Sheraton Sanya Resort
-
 
18
21
14
19
21. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
     Aman At Summer Palace, Beijing
     Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay
     W Retreat Koh Samui
-
19
23
-
22. Grand View Resort Beitou, Taiwan
     The Imperial New Delhi
     The Leela Goa
     Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa
-
23
-
23
23. E&O Hotel, Penang, Malaysia
        (Eastern & Oriental Hotel)
     The Andaman, Langkawi
     The Lodhi, New Delhi
     The Mulia, Bali
     Wynn Macau
25
 
-
-
-
20
24. Conrad Bali
     Princess d'Ân Nam Resort & Spa,
        Vietnam
     Putahracsa, Hua Hin
     Sofitel So Bangkok
     The Siam, Bangkok
25
20
 
-
-
-
25. Hotel de L'Opera, Hanoi
     InterContinental Danang Sun
        Peninsula Resort, Vietnam
     Kempinski Hotel Haitang Bay Sanya
     Neemrana Fort – Palace, Rajasthan
     Palais de Chine Hotel, Taipei
-
-
 
-
24
25

{Our voters took an average 12.32 air trips over the past year and earned an average US$156,307 in household income.

Send us your Feedback / Letter to the Editor

▲ top

NOTE: Telephone and fax numbers, e-mails, website addresses, rates and other details may change or get dated. Please check with your dealer/agent/service-provider or directly with the parties concerned. SmartTravel Asia accepts no responsibility for any inadvertent inaccuracies in this article. Links to websites are provided for the viewer's convenience. SmartTravel Asia accepts no responsibility for content on linked websites or any viruses or malicious programs that may reside therein. Linked website content is neither vetted nor endorsed by SmartTravelAsia. Please read our Terms & Conditions.