DUBAI, UAE – The world’s leading hotels, destination, airline, airport and cruise line, as voted for by the 25 million globetrotting members of the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme, were unveiled at the 17th edition of luxury travel awards ceremony, the ULTRAs, on Monday 20th November 2023.
Recognising the best of the best in global travel, the ULTRAs is a must-attend yearly event for the luxury travel and tourism elite, organised by Nick Perry, Chairman of multi-media brand Ultratravel, with whom Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of award-winning loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY has a long-standing joint venture – Ultratravel Collection.
Staged at Dubai’s glamorous beachfront lifestyle destination, Nikki Beach Club, the ULTRAs acknowledged travel leaders across 18 categories, representing the awards programme’s largest edition yet, with each winner voted for by GHA DISCOVERY’s global membership.
The awards were presented by well-known UK TV presenters Kate Garraway and Gethin Jones, with a raft of celebrity sport stars in attendance including international rugby union greats Simon Shaw MBE and Dylan Hartley of England, and former South Africa world cup winners Bryan Habana and Schalk Brits.
Nine categories celebrated the achievements of properties operated by GHA’s hotel brands, with Hotel Lutetia Paris, part of The Set Collection, named ‘Ultratravel Collection Hotel of the Year’, and Portrait Milano, a new Lungarno Collection property in the Italian city’s fashion district, voted ‘Best New Hotel in the World’.
Capella was crowned ‘Ultratravel Luxury Brand of the Year’, while GHA DISCOVERY members voted for Pan Pacific Orchard as their ‘Favourite Green Collection Hotel’, a new category for 2023 following the recent launch of Green Collection, which brings together more than 200 hotels, resorts and palaces pioneering sustainable practices and initiatives that protect nature and benefit communities, as recognised by global certification bodies.
GHA DISCOVERY members also voted for their favourite airlines, airport and cruise line, and for the second year running, Dubai’s home-grown carrier, Emirates, won two awards – ‘Best Airline in the World’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’ – while its mega hub, Dubai International, the busiest airport globally for international passenger traffic, was named ‘Best Airport in the World’.
When it comes to holidays at sea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) was selected as ‘The Best Luxury Cruise Line’ for the second consecutive year, beating off stiff competition from competitors Seabourn and Silversea Cruises. RSSC’s triumph follows the ultra-luxury cruise line becoming the first cruise operator to partner with GHA and its loyalty programme earlier this year.
When it comes to most popular destinations in 2023, Japan was named by members as their ‘Favourite Country for a Holiday’, scooping Italy and Australia, the runners-up in this awards category.
“With the ULTRAs awards based on the opinions and preferences of our 25 million GHA DISCOVERY members, who travel on average 4-5 times a year, they are a true barometer of luxury traveller sentiment,” said GHA CEO Chris Hartley.
He added: “I would like to congratulate all the ULTRAs winners for setting new benchmarks in luxury travel and meeting ever-evolving traveller demands, as we end a year of luxury travel that for most has exceeded expectations, and in many cases, set new records.”
The article The best in global travel for 2023 celebrated at star-studded ULTRAs Awards ceremony in Dubai first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.