Conde Nast Traveller’s India team set out to give away their Readers Travel Awards 2011 at a grand function in New Delhi last evening, and there were some surprises and then some non-surprises which happened out there.Yours truly, being an avid supporter of all things travel in India, did put in his vote too for the RTA 2011.
Here are some key highlights from the Award Results that came out last night:
– Airlines for Best Business Travel outside India: Singapore Airlines and Emirates
– Airlines for Best Leisure Travel outside India: Emirates and Singapore Airlines
Now this is not surprising at all, given that Emirates and Singapore Airlines both take traffic from India very seriously and use the hub-and-spoke model to fill seats on their long-haul flights. Being small city-state airlines, they have to depend on traffic from outside, and given that India’s own airlines are not being able to serve the demand fully, travelling via UAE or Singapore becomes an attractive option.
Now, here, glitz and brand has won over quality and service. I am branded a Jet Airways loyalist, though I have travelled Kingfisher also lately, and Indigo too. Okay, can’t recall if I travelled Spicejet or GoAir all of this past year, but I think Jet Airways has always had a far more consistent experience than Kingfisher. And a better route network, and which is why have I stuck with them for so long. But the glitz wins, and I sure hope it helps to be popular for them to get out of their current misery.
– Business Hotels in India: The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai and The Oberoi, Delhi
Bang on target! I love the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, and it is one of the iconic landmarks of Mumbai. In fact, I put it on my list of best Business hotels in Mumbai last month when I compiled one for CNNGo. The Oberoi Delhi is Aces too! Though of late, I like the Oberoi Gurgaon better 😉
– New Hotels in India: Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad and Trident, Mumbai BKC
Again, wonderful properties, and the Trident BKC is on my list of best Business Hotels in Mumbai. Taj Falaknuma, I am waiting to try and review. I am still adding up the small change in my pocket to get the princely sum required to stay there!
– Hotel Loyalty programs: Taj Inner Circle and SPG
Wow! I have great respect for the Taj Inner Circle. In India, it sure makes sense to be a member. SPG being second to that, comes straight away from the fact that SPG is the loyalty program also adopted by the ITC/Sheraton alliance in India which is perhaps the second biggest luxury/business hotels spread in India. Of course, now that SPG is bringing its other brands to India, we’ll see that change (or not) over a period of time!