Thursday, 19 January 2012

TripAdvisor announces India’s top hotels with Travellers’ choice awards 2012

STATE WIState Winners

· Kerala emerges as the winner in B&B/Inn’s and Relaxation & Spa categories
· Rajasthan has the most number of properties across Bargain, Luxury and Service categories.
· Maharashtra leads the Trendiest pack with most hotels in the category.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site today announced the winners of its 2012 Travellers’ Choice® Hotel Awards. Running in its 10th edition globally and 3rd edition in India, the annual awards are based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers across India and the world. The awards recognise the best hotels across  seven categories for India - Luxury, Bargain, Service, Relaxation and Spa, Top 25, B&Bs and /Inns and Trendiest hotels, a debut category for India.

Kerala emerges as the most hospitable state with 42 winning properties, knocking off last year’s winning state, Rajasthan which has 34 winning properties this year. Kerala also leads with the highest number of winning hotels in the Top Relaxation & Spa and B&Bs and Inns list. Interestingly, Rajasthan has the largest number of hotels in both Bargain and Luxury hotels category, as well as Service, a testimony to Rajasthan’s well known and exemplary hospitality.  It also makes the state an ideal destination for budget conscious & opulence seeking travellers alike. 

The average nightly rate for the  top Bargain hotels in India is Rs.2, 100/- and  top Luxury hotels is Rs.18,800/-  This clearly shows the wide spectrum of great accommodation options to suit travellers of all budgets, dispelling any notions that great hospitality always comes with a hefty price tag.

The prominent hotel chains continue their tussle this year for a clear lead. The Oberoi Group has the maximum number of winning properties (17) this year across all categories followed closely by The Taj Group (16). Last year, the Taj Group had outnumbered Oberoi by a slim margin of 2 winnings hotels.

Elaborating on the significance of the awards, Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager of TripAdvisor India says, “The Travellers' Choice Awards are a celebration of the heroes of the Indian hospitality industry – hotels that have received an enthusiastic endorsement from millions of Indian travellers. They are a testament to our vibrant hospitality industry which over the course of the last 3 years, has grown to love and covet a TripAdvisor TCH Award more than any other form of recognition of the excellent service, quality, value and experience they provide. Not to mention the fact that they inspire millions of travellers in India and abroad to pack their bags and make a beeline for these hotels.”

Winning Hotels of 2012: India List
·      Top B&B/Inn : Saubhag Bed and Breakfast, Delhi
·      Top Bargain Hotel: Kaiya House, Kerala
·      Top Luxury Hotel: The Imperial, Delhi
·      Top Relaxation & Spa: Casa Colvale, Goa
·      Top 25 Hotel: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
·      Top Trendy Hotel: The Waterstones Hotel,  Mumbai
·      Top Service Hotel: Sajhome, Kochi

Indian Gems among Asia’s Best
·         In the Asia Top 25 hotels, Taj Lake Palace Udaipur ranks No.1 while Orange County Kabini, Mysore stands at No. 11.
·         Delhi’s Saubhag B&B emerges as the Top B&B in Asia. 6 more Indian properties also make it to the same list.
·         The Imperial, New Delhi ranks No. 14 in Asia’s top Luxury hotels. The Oberoi Grand (Kolkata), Wildflower Hall (Shimla) and The Oberoi Udaivilas (Udaipur) also make it to the list.
·         Kerala’s Kaiya House and Goa’s Bougainvillea Guest House feature in Asia’s Top Bargain hotels.
·         Kerala’s Sajhome ranks No. 10 in Asia’s best Service hotels category.

India’s select amongst World’s best
·         Goa’s Casa Colvale has been ranked No. 13 in the world list of best relaxation spa’s category. This is the first time any Indian property has made it in this category of world list.
·         Delhi’s Saubhag Bed and Breakfast is ranked No. 20 on the world list of Top B&B’s/Inns. In 2011, the property was ranked No. 10 in the same list.
·         In 2011, Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur was ranked no. 7 in the world list of top luxury hotels. This year the property has come down and is now ranked No. 16.

Indian Properties in the World List
Relaxation Spa
Top 25
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

For the complete 2012 Travellers’ Choice Hotels list and more reviews, opinions and candid holiday photographs, go to

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

15 Holiday Destinations on the Rise

  • TripAdvisor reveals the destinations travellers are increasingly talking about

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), the world’s largest travel website, today reveals holiday destinations on the rise for 2012*.

TripAdvisor travellers and editors have identified the top places to go in 2012. The list – diverse in geography, culture and traveller experience – is comprised of destinations which have seen remarkable increase in traveller reviews over the last year.  Between Riga’s architecture, Moscow’s history and Seminyak’s beaches, TripAdvisor has uncovered a top destination to suit every traveller’s preference.

“These destinations have really piqued traveller interest and we expect to see this momentum continue over the next 12 months,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “They encompass a wide range of holiday experiences, everything from beautiful beaches to UNESCO World Heritage sites, so there’s somewhere in here for every traveller.”

TripAdvisor’s Holiday Hotspots for 2012:

1.      Tallin, Estonia
A 2011 European Capital of Culture, Tallinn has recently come into its own.   It’s scenically located on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, while Tallinn Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.   The city’s beautiful architecture makes it a great place to explore on foot.
2.      Riga, Latvia
Riga is Latvia’s largest and capital city and is home to an extensive collection of Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) architecture.  The Old Town is particularly lovely with its cobbled streets and the city is well-known for its lively nightlife scene.
3.      Moscow, Russia
Russia’s capital will not fail to impress.  It boasts beautiful architecture, world-famous theatre and an endless supply of must-visit museums and historical sites, including the Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin and more. 
4.      Zurich, Switzerland
Located in north Switzerland on Lake Zurich and against a mountainous backdrop, Zurich is arguably one of Europe’s most enviably located cities. It is known for its excellent restaurants and for a truly local experience, try the city’s quintessential dish, Zürigschnätzlets - veal in a cream and wine sauce
Fethiye offers history alongside natural beauty.  This as an ideal choice for a holiday that combines beach and culture – travellers can visit the ruins of the ancient city of Telmessos, while also enjoying the beautiful sandy coastline. 
Away from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s main drag, Kuta beach, this picturesque town is one of the island’s more upscale areas.  Enjoy fresh seafood while watching gorgeous sunsets and be sure indulge in the famous Balinese spa treatments.  
7.      Vilnius, Lithuania
Vilnius, a European Capital of Culture in 2009, is the Lithuania’s largest city.  It boasts an impressive array of Baroque and Gothic architecture, while the large Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The capital of America’s second-largest state, Austin is well-known for its music scene, as well as its great restaurants.  With its rolling hills, clear lakes and granite ravines, it also offers a variety of adventure and outdoor activities. 
Located on the western side of Crete, the highlight of Chania Town is the Old Town which features centuries-old Venetian architecture.  The sandy, turquoise-water beaches are beautiful, while the beachside bars and restaurants won’t fail to impress.
10.  Chaweng, Koh Samui (Thailand)
Chaweng is the beach on the east coast of Koh Samui.  The pristine white-sand and turquoise water beach is several kilometres long, with accommodations, restaurants and attractions to appeal to travellers of all budgets and interest. 
Bordeaux is renowned not only for producing some of the best wines in the world, but also for its unique architecture which has earned a UNESCO World Heritage site listing.  When not visiting vineyards, be sure to check out the area’s picturesque beaches.
The ways to keep entertained in San Sebastian are seemingly endless, with its stunning scenery, great restaurants, beautiful beaches, lively nightlife and major film and music festivals, as well as ski resorts within driving distance. 
Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Lyon is France’s third-largest city. Like many of its neighbours, Lyon is well-known for its gastronomy and impressive selection of Michelin-starred restaurants, while the Saint-Jean and the Croix-Rousse areas – UNESCO World Heritage sites – are well worth visiting.
Essaouira provides a relaxed alternative to the high energy of Marrakech.  Visitors to this lovely coastal destination are attracted to its beaches, fresh seafood and medina.
Mendoza enjoys a picturesque location on the eastern side of the Andes and holds the majority of Argentina’s vineyards.  With an abundance of parks, lakes and rivers, as well as its great skiing, Mendoza is an ideal destination in which to enjoy the outdoors.