Etihad and palatial Turkish hotel win big at World Travel Awards

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Etihad's The Residence

For the sixth year in a row, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, has been named the world’s leading airline at an event known as the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry, cementing its reputation as the standard bearer for airlines.

Winners of the World Travel Awards Grand Final were announced at a gala ceremony in Anguilla over the weekend, an event that aims to single out the best in hotels, airlines, resorts and cruise lines around the world.

This year, Etihad raised the bar in luxury travel with the launch of ‘The Residence,’ a new three-room, in-flight apartment that comes with an en-suite shower, double bed, and personal butler aboard its A380 aircraft.

Meanwhile, in the category of world’s leading hotel, the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul in Turkey managed to break the Burj Al Arab’s incredible nine-year winning streak and nab the coveted title this year.

Formerly an Imperial Ottoman palace, the Turkish hotel sits along the Bosphorus coast and harkens the grandeur of the era with ornate Arabic and Middle Eastern decor, columns, arches and lush tropical palm trees.

Winners of the World Travel Awards are determined by votes cast by members of the travel industry as well as consumers.

The results come on the heels of another ranking that named Air New Zealand the airline of 2015. Editors at lauded the Kiwi carrier for being a textbook case of what airlines should be today.

When it comes to the flying public, however, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific is the consumer favorite, as it was voted the top brand among millions of travelers at the Skytrax World Airline Awards this year.

Other big winners at the World Travel Awards include the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was named the world’s leading boutique hotel; Royal Caribbean, which was named the world’s leading cruise line; world’s leading low-cost carrier, AirAsia; and Dubai, which was named the world’s leading destination.

For the full list of winners visit