Travel Weekly Readers Choice 2015


Hotels

Hard Rock Hotels

NOMINATED: CARIBBEAN, MEXICO, ALL-INCLUSIVE

The 21 Hard Rock properties around the world are united by the common thread of music. Hard Rock has four resorts in Mexico (two in the Riviera Maya, one each in Cancun and the Riviera Nayarit) and one in Punta Cana. Further expansion is planned for the region, including one planned for Mexico’s Los Cabos.

AMResorts

NOMINATED: OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

AMResorts provides sales, marketing and brand management services to six individual resort brands more than 45 all-inclusive properties throughout Mexico, Jamaica, Curacao, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. The brands include Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Now Resorts & Spas and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. This year AMResorts reached agreements for 15 new resorts and saw the opening of such properties as Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya and Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.

Best Western

NOMINATED: EUROPE, MIDPRICED

Best Western International lists more than 4,100 independently owned and operated hotels in more than 100 countries and territories. More than 90% of affiliated hotels in Europe boast three- or four-star ratings, while more than 1,000 North American properties have received at least a Three Diamond rating from AAA and CAA. Best Western, which includes properties under the Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier delineations, has more than 25 million loyalty-program members. Best Western in 2015 reached agreements for properties under its Vib urban boutique brand to open in Chicago and Seoul. Best Western was named the best upper-midpriced chain in the Business Travel News 2015 Hotel Survey.

Comfort Inn

NOMINATED: MIDPRICED

The flagship brand of Choice Hotels International franchises more than 1,700 U.S. hotels between its Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites badges. Comfort Inn hotels participate in the Choice Privileges rewards program. Choice Hotels in 2014 agreed to waive franchise royalty fees for three years to developers who commit to building Comfort Inns under a new design prototype.

Crowne Plaza

NOMINATED: UPSCALE

InterContinental Hotels Group’s Crowne Plaza brand manages or franchises about 400 hotels totaling more than 112,000 rooms worldwide, with more than 80 hotels worldwide in the development pipeline as of September

Fairfield Inn

NOMINATED: MIDPRICED

With more than 750 properties totaling about 70,000 rooms in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Fairfield Inn & Suites is a leading Marriott International-owned brand. The brand’s recently up- dated properties offer free hot, healthy breakfasts and free in- room, high-speed Internet access.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: LUXURY

Fairmont manages more than 70 properties worldwide, including New York’s Plaza and London’s Savoy. The company will expand its 648-room Fairmont Scottsdale in Arizona by 102 rooms in 2016 and will open a 1,017-room hotel in Austin, Texas, in 2017.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

NOMINATED: DOMESTIC, EUROPE, HAWAII/SOUTH PACIFIC, LUXURY

Four Seasons Hotels is a Toronto-based chain consisting of about 100 hotels worldwide. The company opened Bahrain and Casablanca properties in 2015 and is slated to open an Oahu hotel in early 2016. Four Seasons was named the best luxury chain in the Business Travel News 2015 Hotel Survey.

Hampton Inn

NOMINATED: MIDPRICED

There are almost 2,000 Hampton locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America. Amenities at the Hilton Worldwide-owned brand include free breakfast daily and free high-speed Internet access in guestrooms, lobbies and meetings rooms.

Hilton Worldwide

NOMINATED: DOMESTIC, ASIA, EUROPE, HAWAII/SOUTH PACIFIC, UPSCALE, SALES & SERVICE, OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

Hilton’s franchise brands span the lodging segments from luxurious, full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and midpriced hotels. Its brands, representing more than 4,500 hotels totaling almost 750,000 rooms in 97 countries, include Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton and the Waldorf Astoria Collection. The company’s Canopy by Hilton lifestyle brand will make its global debut in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2016.

Holiday Inn

NOMINATED: MIDPRICED

InterContinental Hotels Group’s upper-midscale brand includes more than 1,200 Holiday Inn properties globally (not including Holiday Inn Express) with 275 in the pipeline.

Hotel Indigo

NOMINATED: BOUTIQUE

Hotel Indigo, a brand of InterContinental Hotels Group, is expanding quickly across the globe, with 64 locations open and 61 in the pipeline. Its global growth is credited to the Interpret Indigo design concept, which drives the brand’s ability to offer a distinct product design from location to location. The badge’s first downtown Los Angeles hotel is slated to open in 2016.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt/Playa Resorts

NOMINATED: DOMESTIC, CARIBBEAN, MEXICO, HAWAII/SOUTH PACIFIC, ALL-INCLUSIVE, UPSCALE, SALES & SERVICE, OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

Hyatt operates more than 600 hotels, resorts and vacation club properties totaling more than 160,000 rooms worldwide, specializing in full-service hotels with meetings facilities and services for the business traveler. The first hotels under the new Hyatt Centric lifestyle brand opened in Chicago and Miami Beach in 2015.

Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: CARIBBEAN, MEXICO, ALL-INCLUSIVE

Iberostar operates about 70 hotels worldwide; it has nine properties in Mexico, six in the Dominican Republic and three in Jamaica. The brand’s Grand Collection includes the Grand Amazon cruise ship, which offers luxury cruises on the Amazon River.

InterContinental Hotels Group

NOMINATED: DOMESTIC, ASIA, EUROPE, SALES & SERVICE, OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises almost 5,000 hotels totaling more than 725,000 rooms and has more than 1,300 hotels under development. Its brands include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Hotel Indigo. IHG introduced its Even Hotels wellness-oriented badge in 2014 and debuted its first two Hualuxe properties in China in 2015.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: MEXICO, ALL-INCLUSIVE, BOUTIQUE

Karisma Hotels & Resorts is a collection of what the company calls 17 “gourmet inclusive” resorts: three properties in Colombia, three in Croatia, 10 in Mexico and one in Jamaica. The company’s resorts are geared toward different markets, with El Dorado adults-only and Azul and Generations for everyone, including families, weddings and groups.

Kimpton Hotels

NOMINATED: BOUTIQUE

Progenitor of the boutique hotel concept upon its 1981 founding, Kimpton Hotels operates about 60 hotels under brands such as Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar as well as about 60 restaurants. The San Francisco- based hotelier, which was acquired by InterContinental Hotels Group in early 2015, opened a Palm Beach, Fla., property in late 2014 and debuted in Austin, Texas, in 2015. It is slated to open its first non-U.S. property on Grand Cayman in 2016.

Mandarin Hotel Group

NOMINATED: ASIA, LUXURY

Mandarin Oriental operates or has under development 46 hotels totaling 11,000 rooms in 25 countries, with 21 hotels in Asia, nine in the Americas and 16 in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The hotelier acquired Madrid’s Hotel Ritz and opened its first Africa property in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2015, and is planning a new hotel in Beirut in 2018.

Marriott International

NOMINATED: DOMESTIC, ASIA, EUROPE, HAWAII/SOUTH PACIFIC, UPSCALE, SALES & SERVICE, OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

Marriott International manages and franchises almost 4,400 lodging properties totaling about 750,000 rooms worldwide, including about 600 Marriott-branded hotels and resorts. In 2015, the largest publicly traded U.S. hotelier by sales acquired Canada’s Delta Hotels & Resorts and reached an agreement to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Outrigger Hotels

NOMINATED: HAWAII/SOUTH PACIFIC

Outrigger operates about 30 properties worldwide, including 21 in Hawaii as well as sites in Australia, Guam, Fiji and Bali. The company in 2014 said it would delineate about a third of its properties under its new Outrigger Resorts brand. The company in 2014 also acquired the Maldives’ Konotta Island Resort and reopened the property as the Outrigger Konotta Maldives.

Palace Resorts

NOMINATED: MEXICO, ALL-INCLUSIVE

Palace Resorts has eight all-inclusive properties in Mexico, in Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres. Its first in Jamaica, the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, opened in 2015. The 730-room resort, the former Sunset Jamaica Grande, underwent a  $70 million renovation.

Relais & Chateaux

NOMINATED: BOUTIQUE

Relais & Chateaux is an association of more than 500 hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs in more than 60 countries. Relais & Chateaux started with only eight establishments in Paris and the French Riviera but now boasts properties from the vineyards in California’s Napa Valley to the Fiji Islands, from the olive trees in France’s Provence region to the lodges in South Africa.

Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: LUXURY

Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts, an independently operated division of Marriott International, operates 90 hotels worldwide. Founded in 1983, the brand in 2015 opened a Cairo hotel at the old Nile Hilton site as well as a hotel in Bali, and announced plans to take over Geneva’s historical Hotel de la Paix.

Riu Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: CARIBBEAN, MEXICO, ALL-INCLUSIVE

This family-owned and -operated Spanish company has more than 100 hotels in 19 countries, including Mexico, where it has most of its beds. Riu Plazas are designed to cater to business and leisure travelers in urban settings. Early this year the company opened its first U.S. property in Miami Beach. The Riu Reggae hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is scheduled to open at the end of 2016.

Sandals Resorts

NOMINATED: CARIBBEAN, ALL-INCLUSIVE, UPSCALE, SALES & SERVICE, OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

Sandals Resorts is a collection of all-inclusive resorts in beachfront locations across the Caribbean. It operates 15 Sandals-branded “Luxury Included” resorts in Antigua, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Grenada. The company debuted its Barbados resort in 2015.

Secrets Resorts and Spas

NOMINATED: CARIBBEAN, MEXICO, ALL-INCLUSIVE

Secrets Resorts & Spas, a member of the AMResorts portfolio, has 16 adults-only resorts in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Mexico. The brand offers “Unlimited Luxury” all-inclusive suite accommodations with 24-hour concierge and room service. The company added a property in Mexico’s Riviera Maya in 2015 and is slated to debut in Panama this month.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

NOMINATED: ASIA

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts comprises more than 90 hotels and resorts in key cities in Asia, North America and the Middle East. The company in 2015 took over its first Mauritius property

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: LUXURY

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is a Starwood Hotels & Resorts luxury brand that includes 35 hotels totaling 7,700 rooms worldwide, including properties in San Francisco, Florence, London and Osaka, Japan. The brand was founded by John Jacob Astor with the landmark St. Regis Hotel, New York, in 1904. The brand reflagged Mumbai’s Palladium Hotel as its first India property in 2015 and announced plans for its first Maldives hotel for 2016

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

NOMINATED: DOMESTIC, ASIA, EUROPE, HAWAII/SOUTH PACIFIC, SALES & SERVICE, OVERALL HOTEL GROUP

Starwood boasts almost 1,300 owned-and-managed properties totaling more than 360,000 rooms in almost 100 countries. Its portfolio includes the following brands: St. Regis, the Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien, Aloft and Element, and it added the Tribute Portfolio soft brand in 2015. The company in late 2015 agreed to be acquired by Marriott International.

W Hotels Worldwide

NOMINATED: BOUTIQUE

Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ W Hotels brand includes 46 properties in such gateway cities as New York, Beijing and Paris, and is slated to add its first Israel property in Tel Aviv in 2016. The brand in 2015 said its first Philadelphia outpost will open in 2018 and announced plans for its first Las Vegas hotel in one of the current towers of the SLS Las Vegas in 2016.

Waldorf Astoria

NOMINATED: LUXURY

Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand, which stems from the iconic New York hotel, includes 27 hotels worldwide. Waldorf Astoria in 2014 opened its first Israel property in Jerusalem and announced plans for a new hotel next to Beverly Hills’ Beverly Hilton in 2017.

Westin Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: UPSCALE

Westin Hotels & Resorts, an upper-upscale brand of Starwood, operates more than 200 hotels totaling more than 77,000 rooms. Westin, which in 2014 emphasized its guest-wellness angle, also said its first Nashville hotel will open in 2017.

Zoetry Wellness & Spa

NOMINATED: BOUTIQUE

AMResorts’ four Zoetry resorts in Mexico, Aruba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are described by the all-inclusive resort company as “boutique havens” with “the highest level of luxury … unequaled romantic and holistic experiences …[and] socially responsible practices, expressive architecture and exceptional service.” Zoetry’s fourth resort opened in Cancun in late 2014. The brand will add its first Aruba property in 2018.

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