The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and The Nam Hai in Hoi An share top billing as Asia’s best leisure properties for 2011, according to an online poll by Smart Travel Asia, a leading authority on the regional travel industry.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Tying for first place in the Leisure Hotels and Resorts category, Vietnam’s top contenders trumped upscale brands from more established destinations, such as the Peninsula in Hong Kong and Amanpuri in Phuket.
The results of the three-month Best in Travel Poll 2011 were culled from votes cast by the readers of SmartTravelAsia.com, a dedicated online travel magazine with more than a million readers worldwide. Based on actual experiences, word-of-mouth and exposure in the media, voters submit their own nominations from thousands of possible choices in Asia.
Following the Metropole and Nam Hai, the Peninsula in Hong Kong and the Amandari in Bali won 2nd and 3rd in the Top Leisure Hotels and Resorts category, respectively. The Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City claimed 23rd on the list of top business hotels in Asia.
The Nam Hai in Hoi An
Aside from being named Asia’s Top Leisure Hotel and Resort, voters also ranked the Metropole 18th on the list of Asia’s Top 25 Business Hotels and 8th among Asia’s Top 25 Conference Hotels. The Nam Hai collected an additional award as one of Asia’s three Top Spa Hotels and Resorts.
Editor and director of Smart Travel Asia, Vijay Verghese noted that the placement of two Vietnam properties at the peak of the leisure list of ‘aspirational brands’ underscores the country’s increasing appeal as a holiday destination.
“Vietnam has ranked equally with Hong Kong as the top destination on the Smart Travel Asia magazine site based on page visits over 2010 and 2011,” said Verghese. “The country remains one of Asia's less trodden destinations and this is perhaps its greatest appeal. Vietnam presents visitors with a sense of history and romance, a largely unspoiled coastline, and great food. And then there are the people.”
Verghese believes Vietnam’s properties benefit from a ‘feel-good’ factor that is amplified by hotel staff. “There is a certain innocence about Vietnam that is hard to find elsewhere in Asia,” he says, “this is what discerning travellers seek today.”
A total of six Vietnam properties made the poll’s lists, including the Park Hyatt Saigon, the Furama Resort Danang and Princess d’Annam Resort and Spa.
According to the poll, voters deem Bali to be the number one holiday destination in Asia, followed by Phuket and Hong Kong.