Global Traveler has published their 6th annual reader travel survey based on the responses of 25,000 participants. Published in the December 2009 issue, the survey results cover 60 travel categories of airline, hotels, and loyalty programs.
Here are some of the hotel category winners:
Hyatt Hotels Park Hyatt brand ranked #1 for Best International Hotel Chain.
Park Hyatt is the luxury market segment brand for Hyatt Hotels. There are currently 26 Park Hyatt hotels with 4 in North America in Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington, D.C., and a hotel scheduled to open in 2011 in Mexico City.
Between the current promotion for a free night after every two stays and stays count double for elite credit, there is no reason a frequent guest can’t check out a Park Hyatt property on the cheap.
Sophia Coppola’s 2003 movie “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson featured the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel. A quick look at the Park Hyatt Tokyo rates at $475 per night in February places this hotel out of my economic bracket, and perhaps yours too, but a loyalty traveler can take advantage of Hyatt Gold Passport’s promotion over the next two months to earn free nights that you can redeem at the Park Hyatt Tokyo or any of the other Park Hyatt hotels worldwide.
And if flying international is not in your near future, the award winners will be feted at a cocktail reception at Hyatt’s newest luxury hotel, Andaz Wall Street in New York City on January 21. Along with Park Hyatt hotels, Andaz is another luxury brand of the Hyatt Hotels chain with just two properties currently open in London and Hollywood. The Andaz Wall Street is taking room reservations beginning February 15. I assume the bar will be completed in time for the party. Andaz 5th Avenue will be the fourth hotel property to open in the Andaz brand sometime in spring 2010.
Best Hotel Chain in Asia – Grand Hyatt
While there are 7 Park Hyatt hotels in Asia, the Global Traveler readers pick for Best Hotel Chain in Asia was another Hyatt Hotels brand, the Grand Hyatt with 16 properties in Asia.
Readers of Global Traveler shared the love across hotel chains. I am fond of saying that a top elite member in any hotel chain is generally pretty satisfied with the special treatment received at hotels from complimentary upgrades, meals, and elite member lounge access. And those bonus points and perks that come with elite-level status are sweet.
Best Hotel Chain in Europe – Conrad Hotels (Hilton Hotels brand)
With the recent departure of the Conrad Mt Juliet in Ireland, this is a rather short list of 3 properties in Europe with just the Conrad Brussels, Conrad Dublin, and Conrad Istanbul. A new Conrad hotel in Portugal’s Algarve will open in 2010.
Best Hotel Chain in Latin America – Sheraton (Starwood Hotels)
My last trip to South America in 2007 involved stays at the Sheraton in Colonia, Uruguay, and the Sheraton Libertador in Buenos Aires. I thoroughly loved my hotel stays.
Best Domestic Hotel Chain – Marriott Hotels
Marriott has a large number of hotels with nearly 3,000 properties in the US covering market segments from lower midscale with Fairfield Inn to the luxury with JW Marriott, Marriott Vacation Clubs, and the ability to use your points for free nights at Ritz-Carlton hotels. The size of Marriott rivals Hilton Hotels, its closest competitor, and provides more upscale hotels in the US with Renaissance and Marriott brands than the larger IHG chain with Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Hotels.
Best Hotel Rewards Program – InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
Priority Club meets the needs of the business traveler who wants a choice of properties and loads of hotel points. IHG is larger than Marriott or Hilton with over 4,000 hotels globally. The real bang for your buck with Priority Club is the ability to earn hotel points from a myriad of promotions. Sign up for everything and don’t even bother trying to match where all those points in your account came from which promotions. Priority Club has great loyalty traveler earn and burn potential.
Denver International Airport ranked Best Airport Dining.
I’ll be passing through this airport in a couple of weeks. Perhaps I should stick around for a meal.
As an aside, GlobalTraveler interviewed me as Loyalty Traveler in 2008. I finally came across the article months later last December when looking through magazines in the Club Floor lounge of the Grand Hyatt Denver. There were some errors in the math of the article regarding my discussion of hotel loyalty program promotions, but I was thrilled to see my name in print in a travel magazine at a hotel.