Tag Archives: World Travel Awards

Oberoi is World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand

Oberoi, Mumbai
Oberoi, Mumbai

After rich haul last year, Indian hospitality industry bagged just two awards this year at the World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2014 in Anguilla. Besides Maharajas’ Express winning the World’s Leading Luxury Train title, Oberoi Hotels and resorts also won the award for World’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand. Oberoi also won the title for third year in row. It has also been the Asia’s Leading Luxury hotel brand thrice. The World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the most celebrated event in the travel industry, a venue for government and industry leaders to connect with international print and broadcast media. Winning a World Travel Award has a proven track record of significantly raising a company’s profile, and escalating profitability and recognition.

gallery_big33CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa welcomed 300 international hospitality industry leaders to the sunshine island to witness the Abu Dhabi flag-carrier take the title for the sixth consecutive year. After touring the globe in search of the world’s best hospitality organisations over the past year, World Travel Awards celebrated its 21st year by hosting the crème de la crème of the industry in Anguilla for the first time.

22268Among tther winners on the night included Sandals Resorts International, which was recognised as the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company, while Katara Hospitality of Qatar took the title of World’s Leading Hospitality Company. Etihad Airways has successfully defended its title as the World’s Leading Airline. World Travel Awards voters also selected Anguilla as the World’s Leading Luxury Island Destination. Award-winning actress Vivica Fox hosted the hotly anticipated Gala Ceremony, which also saw leading entertainers from Anguilla and across the Caribbean take to the stage.

gallery_big32Joining those honoured with awards were hundreds of dignitaries, luminaries and international media, as well as government and industry leaders who continue to set the standard of excellence in travel. Also celebrating was Frasers Hospitality, which took the title of World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand, while Ecuador was recognised by World Travel Awards voters as the World’s Leading Green Destination, and Rovia took the title of World’s Leading Online Travel Agency.

gallery_big7This year has been one of the most successful to date for World Travel Awards, with the annual Grand Tour beginning with the Middle East Gala Ceremony, which took place at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai in May. This was followed by the Europe Gala Ceremony at Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso, in Athens, Greece, before the organisation was welcomed to Quito, capital of Ecuador, for the South & Central America Gala Ceremony in August. Most recently World Travel Awards visited The Oberoi, New Delhi, in India, for the Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony, completing the regional events for the year.

22293The multi-award winning CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa harbours an exceptional setting for the World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony. Situated in the crescent curve of Rendezvous Bay, CuisinArt offers luxurious suites and villas, an exceptional range of fine dining experiences, the highly revered Venus Spa, and a thrilling challenge for golf aficionados at the resort’s stunning 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Design Championship Course.

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World’s Leading Luxury Train: Maharajas’ Express once again

Passing through Taj in Agra

Train at a station and local women passing though

India’s premier luxury train Maharajas’ Express has once again won the coveted award for World’s Leading Luxury Train at World Travel awards. World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2014 was held at Cuisin Art Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla. Eel shaped Anguilla island is nestled amid the Leeward islands of the Carribean. Maharajas’ Express has one the title for third time in row, having it one already for 2012 and 2013.  Two other Indian luxury trains- Deccan Odyssey and the Golden Chariot were in the contention for the award having nominated in finals.

Just as India has a host of luxury heritage hotels lined up, it also has some of the best luxury trains to offer. Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels had been popular among travelers for decades. But there are many to more offer.Owned by IRCTC, Maharajas’ Express is often dubbed as India’s equivalent to the Orient Express of Europe. With its 5 tastefully crafted rail journeys, Maharajas’ Express presents India in a way never seen before. Long before the arrival of colonial power, India used to be the land of maharajas. Kingdoms were founded, cultures flourished and art developed. Each dynasty that flourished here left there indelible imprints through art and architecture which today manifest in India’s rich heritage.

presidential suite of the Maharajas Express

Whereas the life of the train is designed for cultural interactions, life on board Maharajas’ Express is all refinement, opulence and elegance. Each coach incorporates as its motif the gemstone after which they are named. The 14 guest carriages of the Maharaja’s Express are each named after a precious stone. The Presidential Suite, the only of its kind in the world, spans an entire carriage and is aptly called the Navratna. The train has a four-cabin configuration – Presidential Suite, Suite, Junior Suite and Deluxe Cabin. All cabins and suites feature large panoramic windows to run the beautiful imagery of varying landscapes whizzing by. Facilities such as Live Television, Wi-Fi Internet and individual climate control transform your cabin into a cocoon of comfort.

mayur mahal restaurant of the train

Gourmet dining on board Maharajas’ Express is arranged in 2 dining cars which are named Rang Mahal (Color Palace) and Mayur Mahal (Peacock Palace). The plates are fine Limoges, edged with gold, the glasses Swarovski hand-cut crystal and the cutlery monogrammed with the letter M. Guests could engage in recreational activities inside the Rajah Club – Lounge Car. Rajah Club has a well stocked library with general books and pictorial guidebooks offering glimpses of Indian Maharajas who used rule their kingdom before India became democracy. Board games and card games could also be enjoyed in Rajah Club over sip of your favorite wine. At one end stands the bar and at the other stands a souvenir shop named Treasure Chest from where you could buy mementos of this royal train journey.

Some lighter moments: life on board on Maharaja Express

Maharajas Express offers five itineraries which crisscrosses some of the most significant tourist destinations in India. Three of them are 7 nights/8 days journey: The Heritage of India, Indian Panorama and Indian Splendor. Two other are 3 nights/4 days journey: Treasures of India and Gems of India. The journeys of Maharajas Express either begins or ends in Delhi and each one of them includes a tour to Agra for Taj Mahal sightseeing.

Dubai gets World’s largest cruise terminal at Mina Rashid

cruise-DPDP World’s third cruise terminal in Dubai has been inaugurated by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal is set to be the world’s largest covered cruise facility capable of welcoming 14,000 cruise passengers a day. DP World welcomed 4,000 passengers at the new terminal on last week from the Costa Cruise and Aida Cruise ships, part of Arabian Gulf tours. Incidentally Mina Rashid was for the seventh consecutive year was voted as world’s leading cruise port in the World Travel Awards just a few days ago.

DP-World-Inaugurates-Major-Cruise-Terminal-in-DubaiThe Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal covers 28,000 square metres and is the latest addition to The Dubai Cruise Terminal facility at Mina Rashid. Dubai’s vision is to attract 20 million tourists a year by 2020, with the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) anticipating cruise tourist numbers reaching the one-million mark by that time. The new building will increase the handling capacity of the three cruise terminals in Dubai from two million tourists a year to seven million.

Port_Rashid_on_1_May_2007_Pict_1The terminal is the largest and most modern cruise facility in the Middle East and the wider region, enabling award winning Mina Rashid to now serve up to seven cruise vessels at one time and more than 25,000 passengers in its three cruise terminals. This expansion came in response to requests from cruise liners and will enable them to increase the number of their trips to Dubai. The Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal offers visitors customs and handling facilities with streamlined immigration and entry procedures coordinated by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Features include duty-free outlets, shops, currency exchange, ATM machines and a VIP business centre. It also provides office facilities to related organisations including the police, customs, immigration, shipping agents and airlines. Earlier this week, Dubai Cruise Tourism, part of Dubai Tourism, said it has completed its first major roadshow in China as part of its plans to grow as a cruise tourism destination.

cruise ship AmadeaRoadshows were held in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou where Dubai officials met top travel trade professionals alongside representatives from cruise industry partners MSC, Costa Crociere and Royal Caribbean International (RCI). Dubai Tourism, with four overseas offices in China, has worked closely with China’s travel trade to attract tourists to Dubai, but this is the first time that the Dubai Cruise Tourism team has undertaken a dedicated roadshow to promote Dubai’s cruise offerings. The number of Chinese cruise passengers who travel overseas has increased from 160,000 to 660,000 in the last six years, representing a significant growth in demand for cruise travel, and Dubai aims to be part of this growth. The new terminal has strong green credentials having been built using re-cycled materials from Jebel Ali, including the steel structure, interlocking bricks, and shipping wood pellets for interior finishing.

DP CruiseIts key features include a Green Wall Shade System to reduce solar ingress, controlled LED and daylight illumination, landscaping and irrigation supply.  It also provides bicycle and electric car parking with charging stations. A 70,000 square metre car park can also accommodate 36 buses and 150 taxis in addition to private cars and parking bays for employees and visitors. Mina Rashid has been voted the Leading Cruise Port at the World Travel Awards for seven years in a row. The port also handles ferry passengers between Dubai and port cities across the Arabian Gulf handled at Mina Rashid Ferry Terminal.

World’s Leading Luxury Train: One for Maharajas

Passing through Taj in Agra
Passing through Taj in Agra

As if winning World’s Leading Heritage hotel (World’s leading Heritage hotel again – The Raj Palace) award and World’s Leading Luxury Hotel (Read: Oberoi Gurgaon is World’s Leading Luxury Hotel) award as well as World’s Leading Tourist Board (Incredible India) was not enough, India has one more award in its kitty at World Travel Awards (WTA). This one was for World’s Leading Luxury Train to The Maharajas Express. Just as India has a host of luxury heritage hotels lined up, it also has some of the best luxury trains to offer. Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels had been popular among travelers for decades. But there are many to more offer.

Train at a station and local women passing though
Train at a station and local women passing though

Owned by IRCTC, Maharajas Express is often dubbed as India’s equivalent to the Orient Express of Europe. With its 5 tastefully crafted rail journeys, Maharajas’ Express presents India in a way never seen before. Long before the arrival of colonial power, India used to be the land of maharajas. Kingdoms were founded, cultures flourished and art developed. Each dynasty that flourished here left there indelible imprints through art and architecture which today manifest in India’s rich heritage.

presidential suite of the Maharajas Express
presidential suite of the Maharajas Express

Whereas the life of the train is designed for cultural interactions, life on board Maharajas’ Express is all refinement, opulence and elegance. Each coach incorporates as its motif the gemstone after which they are named. The 14 guest carriages of the Maharaja’s Express are each named after a precious stone. The Presidential Suite, the only of its kind in the world, spans an entire carriage and is aptly called the Navratna. The train has a four-cabin configuration – Presidential Suite, Suite, Junior Suite and Deluxe Cabin. All cabins and suites feature large panoramic windows to run the beautiful imagery of varying landscapes whizzing by. Facilities such as Live Television, Wi-Fi Internet and individual climate control transform your cabin into a cocoon of comfort.

mayur mahal restaurant of the train
mayur mahal restaurant of the train

Gourmet dining on board Maharajas’ Express is arranged in 2 dining cars which are named Rang Mahal (Color Palace) and Mayur Mahal (Peacock Palace). The plates are fine Limoges, edged with gold, the glasses Swarovski hand-cut crystal and the cutlery monogrammed with the letter M. Guests could engage in recreational activities inside the Rajah Club – Lounge Car. Rajah Club has a well stocked library with general books and pictorial guidebooks offering glimpses of Indian Maharajas who used rule their kingdom before India became democracy. Board games and card games could also be enjoyed in Rajah Club over sip of your favorite wine. At one end stands the bar and at the other stands a souvenir shop named Treasure Chest from where you could buy mementos of this royal train journey.

Some lighter moments: life on board on Maharaja Express
Some lighter moments: life on board on Maharaja Express

Maharajas Express offers five itineraries which crisscrosses some of the most significant tourist destinations in India. Three of them are 7 nights/8 days journey: The Heritage of India, Indian Panorama and Indian Splendor. Two other are 3 nights/4 days journey: Treasures of India and Gems of India. The journeys of Maharajas Express either begins or ends in Delhi and each one of them includes a tour to Agra for Taj Mahal sightseeing.

Oberoi Gurgaon is World’s Leading Luxury Hotel at WTA

Exterior view of the Hotel
Exterior view of the Hotel

Indian hospitality industry seems to be having a good time. Alongwith The Raj Palace being named as World’s Leading Heritage Hotel for seventh year in running (Read: World’s leading Heritage hotel again – The Raj Palace), The Oberoi, Gurgaon (very close to national capital New Delhi) has been voted World’s Leading Luxury Hotel, for 2013 by the World Travel Awards. This was announced at the Grand Final Gala Ceremony held in Doha, Qatar. The 2013 World Travel Awards Grand Final was hosted at a glittering ceremony at La Cigale Hotel in Doha, Qatar on 30th November 2013. Oberoi, Gurgaon too has won this award for the third consecutive year. In 2011, it became the first Indian hotel to win the coveted prize. In December 2011, CNNGo also  named it amongst, “11 Indian hotels to visit in 2012”. The Oberoi Gurgaon was named “Favourite Hotel Visited on Business in India” by Conde Nast Readers Travel Awards 2013.

Described as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel and tourism industry by The Wall Street Journal, World Travel Awards are recognised globally by the travel, tourism and hospitality industry as the foremost acknowledgement of excellence in product and service. World Travel Awards celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those companies, organisations and brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service.

View from lobby of the hotel
View from lobby of the hotel

Oberoi, Gurgaon hotel restaurants include the 24-hour multi-cuisine threesixtyoneº and Amaranta which serves speciality coastal Indian cuisine. threesixtyoneº is a celebration of the Asian essence of interactive, friendly cooking, where food is not just what you eat but also what you see and what you sense; where Chefs are an integral part of your dining experience with their culinary showmanship.The property also has a bar termed as ‘The Piano Bar’, a cigar lounge and a spa. Featuring the most spacious accommodation in any business hotel, the 202 guest rooms and suites are planned with a host of innovative features. The rooms feature landscape windows that bathe every room with abundant daylight offering a view of the serene reflection pools and landscaped gardens. A 24 hour personal butler service and select suites with private heated swimming pools are only some of the features unmatched amongst luxury hotels in Delhi.

Besides these two awards, there were two more for the Indian travel trade at the World Travel Awards. Maharajas’ Express was named as World’s Leading Luxury Train and India’s national tourist board Incredible India as World’s Leading Tourist Board.

World’s leading Heritage hotel again – The Raj Palace

The palace courtyard
The palace courtyard

Being awarded in World Travel Awards (WTA) is no fluke and for getting awarded in same category for years in running (seven times precisely), one has to be something special. The Raj Palace in the heart of Pink City- Jaipur in Rajasthan in Western India has seems to made this its habbit and also the habbit of its connoisseurs of  luxurious life. It has been once again selected as World’s Leading Heritage Hotel at WTA. Rajasthan is so rich in heritage hotels, that no other place in world can perhaps be. From Neemrana to Samode to Umaid Bhawan to Devigarh to Shiv Niwas, palaces turned into hotels are all queued up.

The Royal Feeling
The Royal Feeling

A stay at Raj palace in Jaipur will make you feel like a real king, with one of the most hospitable and colourful culture of Rajasthan at one’s service. For example what can be our idea of a staying at a suite? At Raj Palace, The Maharaja’s Pavilion suite is a four floor apartment with a private entrance through the Charbagh. The entrance leads you to your private secretarial area, this further leads you to a large luxurious private Lounge with a bar. The Pavilion has a private elevator connecting all four floors and the total area of the suite is 16000 sq/fts and has four bedrooms and four luxurious bathrooms. It has a private swimming pool on the top floor and beautiful lounges on each level. This suite was awarded Asia’s Leading Suite last year. And remember, luxury never comes cheap, tariff for this suite reads 15K USD. And if it sounds exorbitant, than hold your breath, The Presidential Suite or the  Shahi Mahal will be all yours for a night at 45K USD. But this suite is under renovation and will be available only next year.

For the selected ones
For the selected ones

The Palace Suites & Presidential suite offer the complete Royal apartment blocks within the Palace which include multiple bedrooms, Living rooms, Dining room, Private access to Home theatre, Gym Spa, Pool, Kitchen, Staff accommodation, Meeting rooms, Office, Library etc. they are actually own private Pavilions within The Palace. Then there are prestige suites, the historical rooms and the heritage Rooms. Overall, The Raj Palace has 29 Rooms / Suites with 38 bedrooms overlooking towards Gardens, Chandani Chowk (Courtyard), and the pool. Each suite / room is unique and each seems still to breathe the spirit of illustrious guests who once stayed here. Then there is a multicusine restaurant  Swapna Mahal. Swapna Mahal means the palace of Dreams. Formal receptions remained the focal activity of courtly life during the British period. Hence The Swapna Mahal was made imitating the great houses of the British and French nobility. This hall is completely fitted out with European furniture, chandeliers, mirrors, curtains and a crockery collections. The double height ceiling has breathtaking majestic crystal chandeliers and panels of silk curtains will take you to the dream world. Besides, there is also a Kebab Shop, a coffee shop at the Royal Lounge and a bar- Shikarbadi.

Game for the royalty
Game for the royalty

The Raj Palace, the traditional with some of the modern structures robs the town of its singular character and charm. This beautiful blend of Mughal and Periodic is the oldest mansion of Jaipur, claimed to be almost three hundred years old. In 1995, Princess Jayendra Kumari of the erstwhile royal family decided to restore this luxurious palace into the finest luxury Palace hotel. The Royal family renovated the arched corridors, the residential quarters and its courtyards with small amplifications, Best services were added. Museum suites were created which have the finest Royal antiques giving the property the honor of being first museum suite palace hotel of the world as the suites have their private museum. The specially designed frescoes deciphered with the finest mirror and hand painted work and rare palace furniture , Large crystal chandeliers leave you adorned with an astonishing fantasy. The elegance personified and the renowned hospitality is served in its 40 well-appointed rooms and beautiful venues with extreme intimacy and caring personal service in the reborn Raj Palace.

Diving into Luxury
Diving into Luxury