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Conde Nast Readers Name the Top Hotels Around the World:
The Top Hotel United States - 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville and the
Top Resort Mainland U.S. - Sanctuary at Kiawah Island


NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2009 - Conde 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 Conde 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 Conde 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 results of the 2009 Readers Choice Awards reveal some surprising news: 

  • 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 Conde Nast Traveler readers are ahead of the curve and connoisseurs of the cutting edge.
  • 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.
The Top Three Winners the Hotel and in the Resort Category.
Top Hotels
Top Resorts
Top Hotels United States
21c Museum Hotel, Louisville
The Peninsula, Chicago
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 Southern Europe
Il San Pietro di Positano, Positano, Italy
Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole, Tuscany
Four Season George V, Paris

Top Hotels Northern Europe
Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski Dresden
Four Seasons Gresham Palace, Budapest
Ritz-Carlton, Berlin

Top Small Hotels Europe
La Scalinatella, Capri
La Colombe d'Or, St-Paul de Vence
Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda

Top Hotels Central America 
Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa Peninsuala, Costa Rica
Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua
Villas Caletas, Costa Rica

Top Hotels Oceana
Blankey Bay, South Island, New Zealand
Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart
Park Hyatt, Sydney

Top Hotels British Isles
Chewton Glen, Hampshire 
Milestone Hotel, London
The Goring, London

Top Hotels Caribbean/Atlantic
Peninsula House, Samana, Dominican Republic 
The Caves, Jamaica 
Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barts

Top Hotels Asia
Oberoi Udaivilas, Rajasthan
Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
The Peninsula, Hong Kong 

Top Hotels Africa
The Saxon, Johannesburg
Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town 
Cape Grace, Cape Town

Top Hotels Canada
Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City
Fairmont Vancouver Airport
Hotel Le Germain-Dominion, Quebec City

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

Top Hotels South America
Hotel Monasterio, Cuzco
Four Seasons Hotel, Buenos Aires
Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires 

Top Hotels Middle East
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem
Park Hyatt Dubai

Top Resorts Mainland U.S.
Sanctuary at Kiawah Island 
Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach
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 Asia
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
Oberoi Vanyavilas, Rajasthan 
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Top Resorts Mexico
One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos 
The Tides, Riviera Maya
The Tides, Zihuatanejo

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

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

Top Resorts Hawaii
Four Season Resort Maui at Wailea
Four Season Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu, Big Island
Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, The Lodge at Koele

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

Top Resorts Middle East
Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai 
One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

Top Resorts Oceana
Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa
Huka Lodge, Taupo, New Zealand
La Taha'a Island Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

Top Resorts Canada
King Pacific Lodge, Princess Royal Island
Emerald Lake Lodge, Alberta
Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Vancouver Island

Top Resorts Caribbean
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Curtain Bluff, Antigua
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis 

Top Resorts Central/South America
Four Seasons Resort Carmelo, Uruguay 
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Hotel Salto Chico, Explora en Patagonia, Chile

The full list of winners is on at:

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 Conde 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. 


Conde Nast Traveler
Sarina Sanandaji, +1-212-286-6898,

Also See: Conde Nast Traveler Names Top Hotels and Resorts Around the World that Manage to Exceed our Expectations / October 2008
Conde Nast Names Top Hotels Around the World; Top Hotel Mainland US -Ritz - Carlton Chicago; Top Resort Mainland US - Lodge on Little St. Simons Island / October 2007

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