Based on a poll that queried sophisticated frequent travelers over a three month period from May-July 2006, SmartTravelAsia.com recently announced its list of the "best of the best" covering airlines, hotels, and destinations. Mirroring results in the recent Travel + Leisure readers' survey, Bali was, once again, selected as the "Best Holiday Destination" in Asia.
Best Holiday Destination
Proving that Bali's magic is truly indestructible, SmartTravelAsia.com voted Bali its favorite Asian holiday destination, saying, "It is an island that has retained its disarmingly honest and simple charm, a peaceful ritual-minded Hindu enclave in a bustling Muslim country."
Bali garnered 18.7% of total votes in the category followed by Phuket in a distant second receiving 11.3% of the votes cast. The South Indian destination of Kerala captured third place (7%) followed by Bangkok in fourth.
In reviewing Bali's win SmartTravelAsia.com said: "Bali held top spot - and by a wide margin - demonstrating that integrity and authenticity can attract visitor votes, and dollars. This is a reassuring message in an age of instantly bottled and serially manufactured destinations where neon and crocodile shows push everything else off the stage."
Best Conference Hotels, Asia
In their list of the top 25 conference hotels in Asia two Bali properties brought honor to the island with the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa ranking No. 22 and the Ritz Carlton Bali tying with The Peninsula Hong Kong for No. 24.
Best Leisure Hotels & Resorts, Asia
In listing the best reports in Asia, the poll participants named six Bali properties to their list of the top 25, namely: Amandari, Bali (No. 1); Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay (No. 2); The Legian, Bali (No. 11); Grand Hyatt Bali (No. 16); Four Seasons Resort at Sayan (No. 17); and The Bale (No. 22).
Best Spa Hotels, Asia
Equally impressive was Bali's attainment of six properties on the list of the Best Hotel Spas in Asia with COMO Shambhala Estate at Begawan Giri, Bali (No. 5); InterContinental Resort Bali at (No. 6); Hotel Tugu Bali (No. 7); The Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort & Spa (No. 12); The Legian Bali (No. 18); and Maya Ubud Resort & Spa, Bali (No. 23).
Reacting to the honors bestowed on Bali by SmartTravelAsia.com, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board, Bagus Sudibya, told the Indonesian language BisnisBali: "We need not be humble. This award should at the very least urge us all to work harder to develop Bali's tourism." Sudibya went on to ask that if the world votes its support for Bali, why should we (the Balinese) hesitate to work together for recovery?
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