Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards 2020 took place in lockdown, but "readers voted for the places that they love and would return to"
Good news is in short supply these days, but it is out there.
This month, Condé Nast Traveller revealed its annual Readers’ Choice Awards, with four Irish hotels ranking in the Top 10 Resorts in Europe.
Ashford Castle (4), Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg (5), Adare Manor (9) and Dromoland Castle (10) all featured in a list topped by the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa in France.
No other country saw as many properties in the Top 10.
The US magazine's 33rd annual awards celebrate everything from the world's top city (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico) to its No.1 airline (Singapore Airlines) and best hotel (Baur au Lac, Switzerland).
Largely voted on by US-based readers, Conde Nast's categories and winners tend to reflect the ways its voters travel and the places they visit.
Hotels are judged as individual buildings, for example, while resorts are seen as properties spread over larger areas with a wider selection of activities, often in natural surroundings.
Voting this year took place during lockdown, "when the thought of going anywhere further than the local shops seemed like a dream", it said.
"Despite this, readers voted for the places that they love and would return to."
The Readers' Choice Awards 2020 also listed Ireland's Top 10 hotels, with The Westbury in Dublin taking the No.1 spot, followed by Lough Eske Castle in Co Donegal and Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara.
Ireland's Top 10 Hotels (Readers' Choice Awards 2020)
"In a year that has brought many challenges, we are sincerely grateful," said Vincent O’Gorman, General Manager of The Westbury, who thanked guests on behalf of his team.
The awards come as a new survey of 3,000 US and Canadian travellers, carried out in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), saw 70pc say they plan to take a holiday in 2021.
Europe (38pc), the Caribbean (34pc) and Mexico (15pc) were the top-ranked international destinations of interest, providing some optimism given the collapse of international travel in 2020.
Tourism Ireland tracker research conducted during the pandemic shows overseas markets still have a favourable impression of Ireland, with most looking to summer 2021 for their next possible European trip.
However, consumer uncertainty about the risks of exposure to Covid-19 and concerns about being quarantined remain "a core problem,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO.
“With rapid testing to replace quarantine requirements, enhanced contact tracing and industry-wide standards by sector that can be clearly communicated to the public, we can help alleviate many of those concerns.”
In other Condé Nast awards categories, Italy was named 'Best Country', the Belmond British Pullman as 'Best Train', and Singapore's Changi as 'Best Airport'.
The full results are revealed in the November issue, or online here.
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