The Travel Top 50 Awards 2019/20

We’d like to announce the winners of our annual Travel Top 50 Awards. In part, our rundown is a celebration of travel and hospitality but our recommendations are also supposed to start a debate: one that we’ll continue in print, on Monocle 24 and at a dedicated event in June.

Since launch, Monocle has taken a singular view on travel that celebrates service and quality. We’re not impressed by a lick of paint or a glossy rendering and we’d rather see an age-old hotel revived rather than bulldozed. This is reflected in our winners. Our 50 favourite travel experiences of the year shine a spotlight on the opportunities, benchmarks and must-sees from planes, to places to new faces.

We have a few guarantees too. In the interest of independence Monocle won’t accept press trips or freebies – you won’t find our journalists parlaying a place in our list for free flights to the Bahamas. As such, our awards represent something deeper and more fundamental than what you get up to on your holidays (although we’ve got tips aplenty if you need them).

01 Best Med addition
Can Bordoy, Palma

02 Best in-flight media
‘Air France Madame’, France

03 Winning rolling-stock concepts
Glacier Express’s Excellence Class & RhB’s InnoTren, Switzerland

04 Most anticipated aviation project
Qantas, Australia

05 Exciting new airport-food concept
Manufactory Food Hall, San Francisco International Airport

06 Most handsome crew
TAP, Portugal

07 Place to tackle the bigger questions
Fireside at Schloss Elmau, Bavaria

08 Cosiest carrier
Edelweiss Air, Switzerland

09 Most intriguing bit of M&A
LVMH buying Belmond, global

10 Best lounge concept
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong

11 Best regional airport
Paine Field, Seattle

12 Top front-of-house staffer
Erik the Leonberger, Hotel Jungfrau Wengernalp, Switzerland

13 Leading First Class, Europe
Swiss & Air France, Switzerland & France

14 Amenities we want more of
Claus Porto, Lisbon

15 Best First Class, Asia
Japan Airlines, Japan

16 Best uniforms for a greeting
Hôtel de Crillon, Paris

17 Coffee concept we need more of
Autogrill’s Motta outlets, Milan

18 Greatest city-hopper
Airbus A220 series, global

19 Flight attendant of the year
Marianne Zumofen, Swiss

20 Dish we most look forward to
Roastbeef mit Bratkartoffeln & Remoulade, Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg

21 Most anticipated aviation runabout
Dornier Seastar, global

22 Excellence in Economy
Finnair, Finland

23 Top southwest Europe switch-off
São Lourenço do Barrocal, Portugal

24 Cleverest roadside concept
Mollie’s Motel, UK

25 Most anticipated new opening
Park Hyatt Kyoto, Japan

26 Most dependable GM
Markus Odermatt, Villa Feltrinelli, Italy

27 Sturdiest luggage
Rimowa, Germany

28 Leading Europe hub
Zürich Airport, Switzerland

29 No-nonsense room award
Belmond Reid’s Palace, Madeira

30 Europe’s most underrated short-haul weekender
Madeira, Portugal

31 Best Business Class
Qantas, London to Perth

32 Most conveniently located long-haul hub
Lisbon Airport, Portugal

33 Most ambitious in-flight catering
Turkish Airlines & Do & Co, Turkey & Vienna

34 Sharp-thinking transport CEO
ÖBB’s Andreas Matthä, Austria

35 Top highway pit-stop
Marché, Switzerland

36 Top taxi
Toyota’s JPN Taxi, Tokyo

37 Most welcome hotel shake-up
Rosewood Hotel, Hong Kong

38 Most scenic railway ride
Odakyu’s Romancecar service, Tokyo to Hakone

39 Queen of the sky
Lufthansa’s 747-8, Germany

40 Hotelier on the up
Valeri Chekheria, Georgia

41 Smartest station addition
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), Zürich

42 Best hotel shop
BBB Haus, Japan

43 Best fleet addition
ANA’s first Airbus A380, Japan

44 Best buffets
The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz & Mandarin Oriental, Lisbon & Hong Kong

45 Top TGV accompaniment
Nanashi bento box, Paris

46 Leading Asian airport
Hong Kong International, Hong Kong

47 Leading literary outpost
Ludwig, Leipzig

48 Greatest pre-journey pit-stop
Union Station Food Court and Front Street Promenade, Toronto

49 Top way to go high speed on land
Gran Class, Hayabusa Shinkansen, Japan

50 Most consistent carriers
Lufthansa & Finnair, Germany & Finland

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Pick up a copy of our bright travel-minded annual
The Escapist, on newsstands now, for a detailed rundown of the Travel Top 50 Awards.

Already a subscriber? Read the article

Looking for more inspiration? The Monocle Travel Guide Series reveals our favourite spots in each city, from the ideal route for an early-morning run to the best streets for independent retail.

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