Savvy Traveller 'Best of 2011' List
Congratulations to our winners for 2011!
Jet Airways - India
- new fleet, newly-designed First Class, excellent cuisine, professional and friendly cabin crew. Plus great connections via Brussels (BRU) European hub
Best Premium Class
Air New Zealand / Qantas
- Air New Zealand for their Business Class and Qantas for their International First Class (pictured above). " If you're going that far, these two airlines are perfect!' - Travel expert James Gordon
Best Coolest Hotel
The Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale (AZ)
- "For pure flashback to the Rat Pack era (an era I love), this hotel delivers. The rooms, the lounge, the look, I expected to find Sinatra, or "Mad Men's" Don Draper drinking in the bar." - Travel expert James Gordon
Best Coolest Resort
Gaya Fusion, Bali
Great customer service, extremely helpful staff. Say the owners: "Like the archipelago in which it stands, Gaya is an organic fusion of different islands of art and culture. Art Space, Restaurant and Lounge, Villas, Gelato - each remains true to itself, but together they create synergies, hidden connections, the unexpected. They re-integrate art with life and bring together interesting people from around the world, while re-investing all profits into dreams that become projects that become events that change lives."
Best New Restaurant
Candlenut Kitchen, Singapore
The home of classic Peranakan food. Their mission statement says it all: "In a time of many changes, our culture is in danger of slowly fading away...We fight this with our very heart and soul, bringing the food of our people to the forefront, sharing and preserving our tradition and heritage."
Best Car Rental Company (North America)
Exceptional, company-wide customer service; new and well-maintained vehicle, good rates and occasional upgrades.
Best Small Airport
This year it's a tie between Bob Hope International Airport (BUR) in Burbank, CA and Victoria International Airport (YYJ) in Sidney, BC Canada. Efficient, friendly and fast! Both have car rental lots just steps away from baggage carousels. Free wifi.
Best Concierge Award
Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver
Every concierge we encountered never failed to impress is with their graciousness and knowledge. See our review here: http://www.mysavvytraveller.com/16.html
Best New Travel App
- great last minute deals for growing list of US cities; hip and easy to use; accurate hotel intelligence. Plus they recognize loyalty with credits.
Best Airline App
- Easy-to-use, frequent updates, stores preferences and credit card information, great online booking, alert notification
Best Boutique Winery
Le Vieux Pin (BC)
Hand-crafted wines made in the Italian style. The reds transport you to Italy with their richness and earthiness. Friendly folks run this winery.
Jason-Stephens, Santa Clara Valley (CA)
- They do a pretty mean syrah and estate cab. Started literally from the ground up – they call themselves a “bootstrapped, grass-roots winery” The winemaker is Jason Goelz.
Best New Destination
- Easily accessible via South Africa, uncrowded, untouched wilderness, hiking, mountains, and remote lodges. Extreme value for money.
Here is HUMNEWS' take on the "Kingdom in the Sky": "Spending a night in a Basotho village on the edge of townships surrounding Maseru. Hiking along the top of the Drakensberg escarpment. Climbing Thaba-Bosiu (Mountain at Night), where King Moshoeshoe the Great established his second mountain stronghold. Riding sure-footed Basotho ponies throughthe rugged and beautiful interior. Driving the spectacular road between Leribe and Katse over the Maluti Mountains. Following in the fossilised footsteps of dinosaurs near Quthing."
- Special thanks to Savvy Friends Sharon Aeria and James Gordon, as well as HUMNEWS