The Singita Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park was recently named the Best Hotel in the world in the 2008 Travel + Leisure Magazine's World Best Awards, making it the only hotel to win the accolade three times in the 13 year history of the awards.
Singita came second in last year's rankings but earned first place honours in 2004 and 2006.
The World's Best Award winners are determined through an online poll where globe trotters are asked to score a range of tourism companies and destinations based on their recent travel experiences. In the 2008 awards, Singita achieved an overall score of 94.2, for its "exceptionally well-designed lodges deep in the African bush."Other key features of Singita that were highlighted by Travel + Leisure include Singita's 14 000 bottle wine cellar, cuisine and "service that set the gold standard for bush luxury".
Despite their luxury rooms and facilities and unique bush experiences, Group Manager Mark Whitney attributes the hotel's success to the people who work there. "When we look at feedback from our guests, 90% of the time they write about the people who work here. It's our culture of service and the authenticity of our service that people remember." Whitney believes that Singita's success in the global tourism industry bodes well for South Africa. "[The global recognition] is remarkably good news for a small place on the southern end of the continent, that doesn't get a lot of good press."
Other South African hotels that featured in this year's Top 20 are Sabi Sabi Game Reserve (8) and the Cape Grace (20), while Bangkok was voted the world's best city and Virgin America, the world's best domestic airline. Singita will be presented with their award at a ceremony in New York on the 24th of July.
For a full list of winners visit: http://www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2008/
Article curtsy of http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/