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2014 Best in travel poll - Bangkok is the No.1 holiday destination in Asia

TRAVEL POLL

Best Asian Travel Brands 2014

Our readers vote in Asia's best hotels and cities and the world's best airlines and airports. Here are the full results of our 2014 Best in Travel Poll. See our Facebook winners' album.

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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 | Best Boutique Hotels

The SmartTravelAsia.com 2014 BEST IN TRAVEL POLL – now in its 10th year – is a distillation of our readers’ perceptions and favourite travel brands. Their vote is based on substantial hands-on travel experience with 12 annual air trips. The open poll ran for three months May-July (without usurious nomination fees for brands or fancy premiums for voters). The results offer some classic winners and a few surprises.

{Travellers rate good service and attention to simple details far higher than design wizardry and blinding hi-tech - though these two can coexist quite happily

Travellers tend to rate good service and attention to simple details far higher than design wizardry and blinding hi-tech – though these two can coexist perfectly happily at times. They also tend to favour hotels that represent local traditions and ‘sense of place’ as ‘contemporary’ and ‘pastel’ become commonplace. This accounts for some strong performances on this poll by otherwise smaller brands.

What influenced the vote? Readers said the three most important determinants for their vote were:

1) Actual use of the product,
2) Feedback from friends and colleagues, and
3) Visibility of the brand in their browsing space.

In this age of proliferating brands, largely indistinguishable from one another online where a no-star dump and an exquisite five-star hideaway may look equally enticing, we posed the million-dollar question to our readers, "What do these brands represent to you?" Their answer below – complex, confident, curious, but above all clear.

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.

Send us your Feedback / Letter to the Editor

Smart Travel Asia is the region’s dedicated online travel magazine with over one million readers worldwide – frequent travellers in the know.

Who were the voters? On average, voters took 12 air trips over the past 12 months and earned US$155,000 in household income. As many as 86% of readers say Smart Travel Asia helps them make travel decisions after which 54% book through their travel agent, 33% through an online agent (OTA), and 13% through a hotel site.

Where did they come from? 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 96% of the voters said they drew their primary image of brands from the Internet.

Very clearly, the brand comes before booking, and research before retail.

Cathay Pacific Airways, Voted Best Airline in the world
Best Airines worldwide
WORLDWIDE
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Cathay Pacific Airways
2
2. Singapore Airlines 1
3. Qatar Airways 3
4. Emirates 1
5. Korean Air
    Thai Airways International
5
4
6. British Airways 7
7. Air New Zealand
    Jet Airways
9
9
8. Japan Airlines
    Malaysia Airlines
-
6
9. ANA
    Lufthansa
    Qantas
10
9
10
10. Garuda Indonesia -
Singapore Airlines, Best Cabin Service worldwide
Best Airlines for in-flight service and cabin crew
WORLDWIDE
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Singapore Airlines 1
2. Cathay Pacific Airways 3
3. Korean Air
    Thai Airways International
6
3
4. Garuda Indonesia 9
5. Bangkok Airways
    Emirates
    Malaysia Airlines
6
2
5
6. Qatar Airways 4
7. ANA
    SilkAir
-
8
8. Asiana Airlines
    Japan Airlines
    Jet Airways
7
-
6
9. Etihad Airways -
10. Air New Zealand
     Turkish Airlines
-
10
Bali, Indonesia, Best Holiday Destination in Asia
Best Asian holiday destinations
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Bali, Indonesia 2
2. Hong Kong 5
3. Maldives 6
4. Phuket, Thailand
    Seoul, South Korea
3
5
5. Bangkok, Thailand
    Tokyo, Japan
1
4
6. Angkor (Siem Reap), Cambodia
    Rajasthan, India
6
8
7. Koh Samui, Thailand
    Macau, China
    Palawan, Philippines
    Taipei, Taiwan
9
10
6
7
8. Danang, Vietnam
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Singapore
7
5
9
9. Goa, India
    Hokkaido, Japan
    Penang, Malaysia
8
10
10
10. Bhutan
     Sabah, Malaysia
     Sanya, China
8
9
10
Grand Hyatt, Best Hotel Brand
Best Hotel Brands
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Grand Hyatt 3
2. Ritz-Carlton 6
3. Four Seasons 2
4. Shangri-La 1
5. Mandarin Oriental 4
6. Peninsula 5
7. Hilton
    JW Marriott
    Westin
8
7
9
8. Conrad
    Park Hyatt
    Raffles Hotels & Resorts
    St. Regis
6
7
6
-
9. Sofitel
    W Hotels
9
7
10. Sheraton
     Taj Hotels
8
9
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Voted the Best Business Hotel in Asia
Best Asian business hotels
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong 1
2. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 3
3. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
    Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
       on the Bund
3
13
 
4. The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore 5
5. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong
    Park Hyatt Sydney
    The Peninsula Hong Kong
2
4
6
6. Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
    The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
19
10
7. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore 6
8. The Peninsula Tokyo
    The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
17
17
9. The Peninsula Shanghai 12
10. Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
     InterContinental Hong Kong
8
9
11. The St Regis Bangkok 16
12. InterContinental Bangkok
     Raffles Hotel Singapore
     The St Regis Singapore
8
19
15
13. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
     Mandarin Oriental Singapore
     Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
18
11
18
14. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
     Grand Hyatt Singapore
     Park Hyatt Saigon,
        Ho Chi Minh City
10
15
11
 
15. Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
     The Shilla, Seoul
     The Upper House, Hong Kong
     The Westin Chosun, Seoul
12
20
-
10
16. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
     Grand Hyatt Seoul
     Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
     Palace Hotel Tokyo
7
15
24
23
17. Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
     Park Hyatt Seoul
     Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit,
        Bangkok
     Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
16
12
13
 
17
18. JW Marriott Dongdaemun
        Square Seoul
     Langham Place Hong Kong
     Park Hyatt Beijing
     The Leela Palace New Delhi
-
 
23
21
20
19. Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
     The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai
     The Regent Singapore
     Waldorf Astoria Beijing
23
21
21
-
20. Grand Hyatt Beijing
     JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai
        at Tomorrow Square
     The Oberoi, New Delhi
     The Plaza Seoul
     Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
19
21
 
18
25
22
21. Conrad Hong Kong
     Grand Hyatt Shanghai
     The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing
     The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu
20
17
14
-
22. InterContinental Asiana Saigon
     Le Meridien Taipei
     Mandarin Oriental Pudong
        Shanghai
     Sofitel Wanda Beijing
     The Okura Prestige Bangkok
20
24
-
 
19
24
23. Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore
     Raffles Makati
     The Regent Taipei
-
-
18
24. Dusit Thani Bangkok
     Kerry Hotel Beijing
     Lotte Hotel, Seoul
22
25
-
25. Centara Grand at CentralWorld,
       Bangkok
     Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou
     Sheraton Imperial
       Kuala Lumpur Hotel
     The Okura Prestige Taipei
20
 
24
22
 
-
Banyan Tree Phuket, Voted the Best Asian Spa Hotel
Best Asian spa hotels and resorts
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Banyan Tree Phuket 1
2. Ayana Resort And Spa, Bali 3
3. Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang
       Resort & Spa, Penang
    W Retreat Koh Samui
8
 
-
4. Four Seasons Resort Bali
       at Jimbaran Bay
5
 
5. Amanpuri, Phuket 5
6. Banyan Tree Samui 25
7. Bulgari Resort Bali 2
8. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
    Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
    The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
4
10
6
9. Six Senses Samui 7
10. Capella Singapore
     Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
     Grand Hyatt Bali
14
8
9
11. Hotel Tugu Bali
     The Legian Bali
12
12
12. The St Regis Singapore 13
13. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental,
        Hong Kong
12
 
14. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra
        Golf and Spa Resort
15
 
15. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
     The Peninsula Bangkok
     The St Regis Bali Resort
     The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Maldives
20
10
18
-
16. Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
     Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
     The Peninsula Hong Kong
     The Royal Pita Maha, Bali
8
24
15
10
17. JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
     The Farm At San Benito,
        Philippines
     The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
11
23
 
18
18. Kamalaya Koh Samui
     W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak
-
17
19. The Andaman, Langkawi
     The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya
     The Samaya Seminyak, Bali
20
20
16
20. InterContinental Bali Resort 22
21. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui 19
22. Centara Grand Beach
        Resort & Villas Hua Hin
16
 
23. Shangri-La's Mactan
        Resort and Spa, Cebu
19
 
24. Atlantis The Palm, Dubai 22
25. Pangkor Laut Resort 23

Boutique hotels with an army of young brand ambassadors, show up on Facebook and all manner of social media, thus proliferating exponentially, without cost

Singapore Airlines, Best Business Class in the world
Best Business Class Worldwide
WORLDWIDE
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Singapore Airlines 1
2. Cathay Pacific Airways 3
3. Qatar Airways 4
4. Emirates
    Thai Airways International
2
6
5. Korean Air 5
6. Air New Zealand
    Jet Airways
5
8
7. Japan Airlines
    South African Airways
9
10
8. Garuda Indonesia 10
9. Asiana Airlines
    Malaysia Airlines
9
7
10. Virgin Atlantic 7
AirAsia, Best Budget Airline
Best Asian budget airlines
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. AirAsia 1
2. Indigo 3
3. Jetstar Asia 2
4. Cebu Pacific 4
5. Spice Jet 4
6. Scoot
    Tiger Airways
7
5
7. HK Express -
8. Peach -
9. Nok Air
    VietJet Air
-
10
10. Jin Air 9
Hong Kong International Airport, Best Airport worldwide
Best Asian airports
WORLDWIDE
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Hong Kong International Airport 2
2. Singapore Changi Airport 1
3. Kuala Lumpur International Airport,
       Malaysia
3
 
4. Incheon International Airport,
       South Korea
3
 
5. Dubai International Airport,
       Emirates Terminal 3
5
 
6. Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok,
       Thailand
5
 
7. Delhi Indira Gandhi International
       Airport, Terminal 3, India
7
 
8. London Heathrow Airport,
       Terminal 2, United Kingdom
9
 
9. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,
       Netherlands
4
 
10. Frankfurt Airport, Germany 6
Hong Kong, Best Asian City for Business
Best Asian business cities
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. Hong Kong 1
2. Singapore 2
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Shanghai, China
3
8
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Seoul, South Korea
5
3
5. Taipei, Taiwan 7
6. Sydney, Australia 6
7. Tokyo, Japan 6
8. Bangkok, Thailand 4
9. Melbourne, Australia 9
10. Bangalore, India
     Manila, Philippines
10
-
New Majestic Hotel, Singapore, Best Boutique Hotel in Asia
Best Boutique Hotel
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. New Majestic Hotel, Singapore -
2. Hotel de l'Opera, Hanoi -
3. The Luxe Manor, Hong Kong -
4. Hotel Quote, Taipei -
5. IP Boutique Hotel Seoul
    Naumi Liora, Singapore
    The Scent Hotel, Koh Samui
-
-
-
6. Pei Mansion Hotel, Shanghai
    Tandjung Sari, Bali
-
-
7. Fusion Maia Da Nang, Vietnam
    J Plus Hotel by YOO, Hong Kong
-
-
8. Sireeampan Boutique
       Resort & Spa, Chiang Mai
-
 
9. Fleur De Chine, Taiwan
    Helga's Folly, Sri Lanka
    Savoy Hotel Yangon
-
-
-
10. Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi
     Duge Courtyard Boutique Hotel,
        Beijing
     Mira Moon, Hong Kong
-
-
 
-
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Best Conference Hotel in Asia
Best Asian conference hotels
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore 1
2. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 2
3. Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
    The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore
21
3
4. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore 5
5. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi 10
6. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong 7
7. The St Regis Singapore 10
8. Grand Hyatt Seoul 13
9. Grand Hyatt Bali
     Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
14
4
10. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
     The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
8
12
11. InterContinental Hong Kong
     The Peninsula Shanghai
13
15
12. Conrad Hong Kong
     Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
     The Peninsula Hong Kong
16
11
10
13. Mandarin Oriental Singapore 16
14. Grand Hyatt Beijing
     Grand Hyatt Macau
12
19
15. InterContinental Bangkok
     Park Hyatt Saigon,
        Ho Chi Minh City
     The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
     The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
3
12
 
20
18
16. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
     The Regent Taipei
     The Venetian Macao
6
15
24
17. Park Hyatt Sydney
     The Shilla, Seoul
18
24
18. JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
     The Westin Bund Center, Shanghai
     The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa
14
23
22
19. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
     The Westin Beijing Financial Street
9
17
20. Conrad Tokyo
     Grand Hyatt Taipei
23
17
21. Conrad Macao
     Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit,
        Bangkok
25
16
 
22. Angsana Laguna Phuket
     DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel
        Sanya Haitang Bay
15
25
 
23. InterContinental Sanya
        Haitang Bay Resort
     Le Meridien Taipei
-
 
24
24. Centara Grand at CentralWorld,
        Bangkok
     Sheraton Sanya Resort
22
 
22
25. Conrad Seoul
     Dusit Thani Bangkok
     Renaissance Harbour View Hotel
        Hong Kong
23
20
21
 
The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam, Best Leisure Hotel in Asia
Best Asian resorts and leisure hotels
ASIA
2014 Rank 2013 Rank
1. The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
    The Peninsula Hong Kong
1
3
2. The Opposite House, Beijing 3
3. Amankila, Bali
    Capella Singapore
4
12
4. Four Seasons Resort Bali
       at Jimbaran Bay
    The Legian Bali
4
 
4
5. Amandari, Bali
    Amanpuri, Phuket
    Grand Hyatt Bali
5
2
6
6. Banyan Tree Phuket
    Bulgari Resort Bali
    Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
5
7
8
7. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
    Raffles Hotel Singapore
    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
10
7
6
8. Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
    The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India
    Twinpalms Phuket Resort
    W Retreat Koh Samui
5
12
6
21
9. The Chedi Muscat
    Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang
       Resort & Spa, Penang
     The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
-
11
 
13
10. Ayana Resort And Spa, Bali
     Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore
     The Upper House, Hong Kong
     Waldorf Astoria Shanghai
        on the Bund
10
13
14
8
 
11. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
     Four Seasons Resort Maldives
        at Landaa Giraavaru
     Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra
        Golf and Spa Resort
8
16
 
9
 
12. Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali
     Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
     The Chedi Club
        at Tanah Gajah, Ubud
9
7
15
 
13. Banyan Tree Samui
     Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives
-
16
14. Samode Palace, Rajasthan
     The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
15
17
15. Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa
     The Sukhothai Bangkok
16
10
16. Anantara Hoi An Resort, Vietnam
     The Strand, Yangon
17
17
17. InterContinental Bali Resort
     JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
20
15
18. Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui
     SALA Phuket Resort And Spa
     The Andaman, Langkawi
     The St Regis Bali Resort
14
14
23
19
19. Kempinski Hotel
        Haitang Bay Sanya
     Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort
        by Anantara, Abu Dhabi
     The Royal Pita Maha, Bali
     The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa
25
 
-
 
15
-
20. Grand View Resort Beitou, Taiwan
     The Library, Koh Samui
     The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya
22
18
19
21. El Nido Lagen Island Resort,
        Palawan
     One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
     Sofitel So Bangkok
     W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak
18
 
20
24
19
22. Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang
     Sheraton Sanya Resort
     The Siam, Bangkok
23
20
24
23. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa,
        Dubai
     Aman At Summer Palace, Beijing
     Lotte Hotel World Seoul
     Oriental Residence Bangkok
     Princess d'Ân Nam Resort & Spa,
        Ke Ga, Vietnam
21
 
21
-
-
24
 
24. Angsana Laguna Phuket
     InterContinental Danang Sun
        Peninsula Resort, Vietnam
     The Imperial New Delhi
-
25
 
22
25. Aleenta Phuket - Phang Nga
        Resort & Spa, Thailand
     Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay
     Palais De Chine Hotel, Taipei
     The Diaoyutai Boutique Chengdu
     Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
20
 
21
25
-
-

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