Travel Awards

Marco Polo Club Members’ Choice Awards: Best hotels and experiences

The best hotels for business, leisure, new and dining experiences, as voted by members of Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club

Top leisure hotel brand

Winner: Shangri-La

Hong Kong-based luxury hotel chain Shangri-La took first place in the top leisure hotel brand category. The more than 100-strong chain has properties across the world, with the most recent openings in China’s Harbin and Sri Lanka.

Marco Polo Club members liked Shangri-La’s service and the size of its rooms, as did David Leung, founder of JJ Explorer Tours. He praised Shangri-La’s ‘high fashion design’, ‘friendly staff ’ and the consistently fine locations.

Top business hotel brand

Winner: JW Marriott

The upscale JW Marriott took the top spot for best business hotel brand for Cathay Pacific’s most frequent fliers, with members noting the brand’s convenient locations and top business facilities.

Found in more than 75 locations around the world, JW Marriott hotels are known for their standards of service and sleek interiors.

Mark Tjhung, editor of Silkroad, says: ‘There’s always exemplary service, faultless facilities and cuisine that really represents a city. But there’s a personality that comes through, too, and JW Marriott is not afraid to push the boundaries of innovation, such as at the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach.’

Second and third place went to Hilton and Sheraton respectively.

Best new hotel

Winner: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

As the number of international travellers continues to spike, more hotels are opening up to service them – particularly in Asia. While the February 2016 opening of Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii (which came second) and the October opening of Maldives’ Soneva Jani (which took third place), were highly commended, it was The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto that took the top spot.

Mark Tjhung adds: ‘Finally, a hotel that’s worthy of Kyoto. But not just in terms of a luxurious destination – it really captures the culture, design and incredible cuisine of Japan’s most romantic city.’

Top dining experience

Winner: Amber

How far would you travel for one of the best meals of your life? Hong Kongers, luckily, don’t have to go far – as Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental came out on top as the dining experience members would be most likely to travel for. Members noted its superlative service, with one labelling a meal there ‘unforgettable’.

Mark Jones, editor of Discovery, says: ‘In Hong Kong’s notoriously argumentative dining scene, everyone agrees that The Landmark’s temple to gastronomy sits alone, unchallenged at the pinnacle.’

Sushi Sora at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo came second, while Gaggan in Bangkok – recently voted Asia’s best restaurant for the third year running – took third place.

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