Travel Weekly Readers Choice 2016



NOMINATED: Overall Hotel Group, Agent Loyalty Program

AMResorts provides sales, marketing and brand management services to six resort brands comprising 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.

Best Western

NOMINATED: Domestic, Europe, Midpriced, Overall Hotel Group

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 the Canadian Automobile Association. Best Western, which includes properties under the Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier delineations, has more than 25 million loyalty-program members.

Comfort Inn

NOMINATED: Midpriced

The flagship brand of Choice Hotels International franchises almost 1,700 U.S. hotels between its Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites badges. Comfort Inn hotels participate in the Choice Privileges rewards program. This year saw major renovations at the Comfort Inn Maingate in Kissimmee, Fla., and the Comfort Inn Cleveland.

Crowne Plaza


InterContinental Hotels Group's business traveler-oriented Crowne Plaza brand manages or franchises about 400 hotels totaling more than 112,000 rooms worldwide, with over 90 hotels worldwide in the development pipeline.

Fairfield Inn

NOMINATED: Midpriced

With more than 800 properties totaling about 76,000 rooms in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Fairfield Inn is a leading Marriott International-owned brand. The brand's recently updated properties offer free hot, healthy breakfasts and free in-room, high-speed internet access.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts


Fairmont manages nearly 70 properties worldwide, including New York's Plaza, London's Savoy, Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel and Quebec City's Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. This year Fairmont was acquired by AccorHotels and announced plans for the Fairmont Taghazout Bay in Morocco and Fairmont Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia, both scheduled to open before 2020.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts


Four Seasons Hotels began with the opening of a 125-room property in downtown Toronto in 1961. Today the Toronto-based chain consists of 101 hotels in 42 countries, each emphasizing personalized 24-hour service and elegant surroundings. The company opened an Oahu hotel in early 2016.

Hampton Inn

NOMINATED: Midpriced

There are more than 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.

Hard Rock Hotels

NOMINATED: Caribbean, Mexico, All-Inclusive

Hard Rock properties around the world are united by the common thread of music. Currently the brand has four all-inclusive resorts: the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific coast and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Abu Dhabi; Atlanta; Berlin; Dubai; London; New York; and Shenzhen, Dalian and Haikou in China.

Hilton Worldwide

NOMINATED: Asia, Domestic, Europe, Hawaii/South Pacific, Upscale, Sales and 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 4,800 hotels totaling almost 790,000 rooms in over 100 countries, include Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton and the Waldorf Astoria Collection. This year the company opened its first Canopy by Hilton lifestyle brand in Reykjavik, Iceland, and broke ground on its first Tru by Hilton midscale property.

Holiday Inn

NOMINATED: Midpriced

In 1952, Kemmons Wilson opened the first Holiday Inn, in Memphis. Today the midscale brand, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, includes more than 1,200 Holiday Inn properties globally (not including Holiday Inn Express) with more than 260 in the development pipeline.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt/Playa Resorts

NOMINATED: Asia, Caribbean, Domestic, Mexico, Hawaii/South Pacific, All-Inclusive, Upscale, Sales and Service, Overall Hotel Group

Hyatt operates more than 650 hotels, resorts and vacation club properties totaling more than 170,000 rooms worldwide, specializing in full-service hotels with meetings facilities and services for the business traveler. This year saw the grand opening of the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, and the company announced plans for its Unbound Collection of independent properties.

Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: Caribbean, Mexico, All-Inclusive

Spain-based Iberostar operates more than 100 properties in 16 countries, including resorts in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. The brand's Grand Collection includes the Grand Amazon cruise ship, which offers luxury cruises on the Amazon River. This year the company made its U.S. debut with the opening of New York's Iberostar 70 Park Avenue.

InterContinental Hotels Group

NOMINATED: Asia, Domestic, Europe, Hawaii/South Pacific, Sales and Service, Overall Hotel Group

InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises about 5,100 hotels totaling more than 750,000 rooms and has nearly 1,500 hotels under development. Its brands include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Hotel Indigo.

JW Marriott


Marriott International's luxury JW Marriott brand comprises 75 hotels in over 25 countries; by 2019, those numbers are expected to grow to 100 properties in over 30 countries. This year, Singapore's South Beach hotel was slated to become the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. This year also saw the opening of the 345-room JW Marriott Hotel Chengdu in China.

Karisma Hotels and Resorts

NOMINATED: Mexico, All-Inclusive, Boutique

Karisma Hotels & Resorts owns and manages properties in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. 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


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 its first non-U.S. property on Grand Cayman in 2016.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group


Mandarin Oriental launched in 1963 with the opening of its flagship property in Hong Kong; today it operates 29 hotels and nine luxury residential properties in 19 countries and territories. The hotelier is planning new hotels in Boca Raton, Fla. (scheduled to open in late 2017), and Beirut, Lebanon (scheduled to open in 2018).

Marriott International

NOMINATED: Asia, Domestic, Europe, Hawaii/South Pacific, Upscale, Sales and Service, Overall Hotel Group

In September, Marriott International completed its $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, bringing its total hotel count to almost 6,000 properties totaling almost 1.2 million rooms. The world's largest hotel company oversees more than 500 hotels under its flagship brand as well as about 450 Sheraton-branded hotels.

Outrigger Hotels

NOMINATED: Hawaii/South Pacific

Honolulu-based Outrigger operates about 30 properties worldwide, including 21 in Hawaii as well as sites in Australia, Guam, Fiji and Bali. This year KSL Capital Partners, whose travel investments include ski resort company Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and the Monarch Beach Resort in Southern California, reached an agreement to acquire Outrigger.

Palace Resorts

NOMINATED: Mexico, All-Inclusive

Palace Resorts has nine all-inclusive properties in Mexico (in Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres). This year Palace Resorts teamed up with Runtriz for a mobile app enabling guests to access directions and information for dining and amenities and to book spa treatments, golf outings, offsite excursions and tours.

Red Carnation Hotel Collection


Beginning in the early 1950s with the opening of a few hotels in South Africa, today the Red Carnation Hotel Collection comprises 17 luxury properties in Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. Last year its Ashford Castle, set on 350 acres in Ireland's County Mayo, concluded a two-year, $75 million renovation.

Relais & Chateaux


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


Founded in 1983, Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts, an independently operated division of Marriott International, operates over 90 hotels and 43 luxury residential properties worldwide. In July, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach welcomed its first guests. The brand plans to open its first New Zealand property in 2019.

Riu Hotels & Resorts

NOMINATED: Caribbean, Mexico, All-Inclusive

This family-owned and -operated Spanish company has over 100 hotels in 18 countries. Riu Plazas are designed to cater to business and leisure travelers in urban settings. This year saw the opening of the Riu Republica in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; the Riu Reggae in Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Riu's first New York hotel.

Sandals Resorts

NOMINATED: Caribbean, All-Inclusive, Upscale, Sales & Service, Overall Hotel Group, Agent Loyalty Program

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. Due to demand, this year the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay added 12 overwater bungalows.

Secrets Resorts and Spas

NOMINATED: Caribbean, Mexico, All-Inclusive

Secrets Resorts & Spas, a member of the AMResorts portfolio, has 15 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.

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts


St. Regis Hotels & Resorts oversees 37 hotels totaling nearly 8,100 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. Marriott International acquired St. Regis parent Starwood Hotels & Resorts in September.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

NOMINATED: Domestic, Asia, Europe, Hawaii/South Pacific, Sales and Service, Overall Hotel Group, Agent Loyalty Program

Marriott International completed its merger with Starwood this year, acquiring Starwood's almost 1,300 owned-and-managed properties totaling more than 360,000 rooms in almost 100 countries. The Starwood portfolio comprises the following brands: St. Regis, the Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien, Aloft and Element, and the Tribute Portfolio soft brand.

W Hotels Worldwide


Marriott International's W Hotels brand includes 49 properties in gateway cities such as New York, Beijing and Paris. This year W announced it would open the W Algarve in 2018 on Portugal's Algarve coast.

Waldorf Astoria


Hilton Worldwide's luxury brand, which stems from the iconic New York hotel, includes 26 hotels worldwide. The Los Angeles area's first Waldorf Astoria, a 170-room property, is slated to open in Beverly Hills in 2017.

Westin Hotels & Resorts


Westin Hotels & Resorts, an upper-upscale brand of Marriott International, operates more than 200 hotels totaling more than 80,000 rooms. This year, Westin opened its first Nashville hotel as well as Egypt's Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa Katameya Dunes.

Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts


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." The brand will add its first Aruba property in 2018.

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