Pacific Rim Leads With High Scores in All Categories of Conde Nast Traveler's 'Readers' Choice Awards' Poll of 37,000 Readers

No. 1 U.S. City: San Francisco; No. 1 Foreign City: Sydney;

No. 1 U.S. Hotel: Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

Oct 15, 1998, 01:00 ET from Conde Nast Traveler

    NEW YORK, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 37,000 Conde Nast Traveler
 readers voted on the world's best destinations, hotels, cruise lines, airlines
 and more in this year's 11th Annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards
 Poll, considered to be the most credible, authoritative and comprehensive poll
 of its kind.  Results of the poll were announced today by Thomas Wallace,
 editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Traveler, at an awards ceremony held by the
 magazine at The Streisand Center for Conservancy Studies in Malibu, California
 during the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) World Travel Conference.
     Despite economic problems in the region, the Pacific Rim was voted the
 most desirable place to vacation by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, the top
 travel magazine in the world.  The Pacific Rim countries dominated the top
 scores in all applicable categories with 10 of the top 20 hotels and resorts
 found in the Best of the Best in 98.  Sydney, Australia, for the fourth
 consecutive year, leads the Top Foreign Cities category with 5 other Pacific
 Rim cities -- Melbourne, Kyoto, Queenstown, N.Z., Singapore and Hong Kong --
 close behind.  Maui, for the fifth year in a row, reigns as the favorite
 island as well as the best for lodging/dining and activities/fun.  Nine other
 Pacific Rim islands appeared on the Top 20 Islands List.
     For the fourth consecutive year, San Francisco, which is also at the top
 for restaurants and fun/energy, and Sydney, Australia hold the No. 1 position
 for best U.S. and foreign city, respectively.  For most friendly foreign city,
 Queenstown, New Zealand was the top scorer.  In the U.S., Charleston scored
 the highest while Atlantic City, once again, was voted the least friendly.
     A new feature of this year's poll is the creation of two new categories,
 Top Monuments and Top Small Hotels.  The top score for monuments goes to the
 pre-Columbian cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, Colorado.  The very elite
 category of Small Hotels has a virtual newborn, Amandari, Bali, as the
 inaugural winner with a score so impressive it is not only the world's top
 small hotel but also No. 2 among all hotels, large and small.
     The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Hotel
 category as well as rated the highest overall hotel in the world.  New Orleans
 was once again ranked No. 2 in the Top U.S. Cities List and scored well in the
 restaurants and fun/energy categories.
     The annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards Poll analyzes the
 travel preferences of the magazine's readership in the following categories:
 cities, islands, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, spas, resorts and car
 rentals.  Thirty-seven thousand magazine subscribers participated in the poll.
 Complete results of the poll will be published in the November 1998 issue of
 Conde Nast Traveler, which hits newsstands the first week in November.
     Other Poll Results:
     Top 10 Foreign Cities:  Sydney; Rome; Florence; Paris; Venice;
 Victoria, British Columbia; London; Vancouver; Cape Town; Melbourne.
     Top 10 U.S. Cities:  San Francisco; New Orleans; Santa Fe;
 Charleston, S.C.; Boston; New York; Seattle; San Antonio, Chicago;
 Washington, D.C.
     Top 10 Islands:  Maui; Bermuda; Kauai; Bali; Big Island; Bora Bora;
 Moorea; Fiji Islands; Virgin Gorda; Lanai.
     Best Hotel Worldwide & Best U.S. Hotel:  Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans
     Best Small Hotel:  Amandari, Bali
     Best European Hotel:  Hotel Plaza Athenee
     Best Pacific Rim Hotel:  Regent, Hong Kong
     Best International Airline:  Singapore Airlines
     Best U.S. Airline:  Midwest Express
     Best Large Ship Cruise Line:  Crystal Cruises
     Best Small Ship Cruise Line:  Silversea
     Best Car Rental:  Hertz
     Best Spa: Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, Lenox, Mass.
     Best Spa Resort:  Grand Wailea Resort, Hotel and Spa, Maui
     METHODOLOGY:  A randomly selected sample of Conde Nast Traveler
 subscribers received the "Poll of Consumer Attitudes" with their May 1998
 issue.  Of 37,293 responses, the first 28,736 that conformed to the geographic
 distribution of our readership were tabulated by Mark Clements Research, Inc.
 Readers were asked to evaluate individual cities, airlines, hotels, and so on,
 as "excellent," "very good," "good," "fair," or "poor" in a variety of
 categories.  A minimum number of responses were required for a candidate to
 qualify to win in its field.  Final percentages quoted in the 1998 Readers'
 Choice Awards were compiled using "excellent" and "very good" votes that a
 candidate received in the following categories:
     Cities:  Environment/ambiance, people/friendliness, cultural enrichment,
 restaurants, fun/energy
     Islands:  Environment/scenery, people/friendliness, activities/fun,
 lodging/dining, beaches
     Hotels:  Rooms, service, food/restaurants, location/environment
     Airlines:  Routes/scheduling, punctuality, comfort/service, food, baggage
 handling, frequent flier program, fares
     Cruise Lines:  Destinations/itineraries, staff/service, cabins/decor,
 food, excursions/activities
     Spas:  Location/service, rooms, diet/cuisine, staff/service,
     Resorts:  Rooms, service, food/restaurants, location/environment,
     Car Rental Companies:  Service/courtesy, reliability of fleet, speed of
 check-in/check-out, rates
     The Travel Channel will air a special program of the Conde Nast Traveler's
 11th Annual Readers' Choice Awards Ceremony with on-location segments shot at
 all the winners' properties/headquarters.  The program, hosted by Travel
 Daily's Michelle Garforth, will air on Thursday, October 15, 5 p.m., & 10 p.m.
 on the Travel Channel and seven additional times during the fall.
     For more information, call Celia Chen, Paul Wilmot Communications,

SOURCE Conde Nast Traveler