Philippine Destinations Are Among the World's Most Favorite, According to Acclaimed Travel Survey


Luxury travel publication Condé Nast Traveler hosts a yearly Readers’ Choice Awards (RCA). Registered participants get to cast their votes for their top choices across different categories, such as hotels, resorts, and destination spas, among others. This year, for its 32nd RCA, the country was well-represented across categories.

First, two Philippine hotels made it to the world’s best hotels list

The gardens at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel

Taking the 46th spot is Edsa Shangri-La. “The hotel's two relatively nondescript white towers are set in a tropical garden in Manila's shopping and residential Ortigas Center district. But it's the interior that shines, with marble floors, wooden rails, Asian paintings, and spectacular floral arrangements,” the description read. The site then ventured to highlight its distinctive suites: “Rooms in the Tower Wing set the tone with hues of brown and red and cityscape views; the Garden Wing has views of either the cityscape or the hotel's landscaped gardens.”

The exterior of Conrad Manila

Just a spot above it, ranked 45th, is Conrad Manila. Relatively a newcomer in the Manila hotel scene, Conrad Manila was established only in 2016. Condé Nast Traveler noted the hotel’s innovative, cruise-inspired design and recognized its sustainability efforts. “To celebrate the Philippines welcoming more tourists than ever before, Conrad Manila opened in 2016 with an eye-catching design meant to bring to mind the cruise ships that fill the Manila Bay it overlooks... What’s more, the hotel’s design has been recognized with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) award for breaking new ground in sustainable hotel design, including smart room lighting that changes to suit the time of day."

Kayaking in Palawan
Photo by UNSPLASH.
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In the Best Beaches category, divided into geographic locations, the Philippines proved to be the top favorite in Asia. Three out of five spots were filled by the Philippines alone, with Palawan at 4th, Cebu and Visayas Islands at 2nd, and Boracay reigning as number one.

Exploring waterfalls in Cebu
Photo by UNSPLASH.
The white sands of Boracay
Photo by UNSPLASH.

To top it all off, the Philippines itself made it to this year’s RCA list of Top 20 Countries in The World, landing on the 8th spot. The country bested Italy, Vietnam, and Japan, among others. Filling the top spots are Indonesia, Thailand, Portugal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Peru, and Greece, in descending order. 

The Readers’ Choice Awards this year involved 600,000 registered voters. Over 10,000 hotels were chosen from, with barely 15 percent making the cut.

It isn’t the first time the country has been recognized on Condé Nast Traveler. The publication has frequently named Siargao not only as a must-see spot in the Philippines but as one of the best islands in the world. Earlier this year, El Nido was ranked among the world’s top 24 beaches.

Other destinations made it to international lists, too. Recently, Palawan was named one of the best islands in the world (again) by CNN Travel. Earlier last month as well, the city of Vigan was hailed as one of the world’s most picturesque towns, which didn’t come as a surprise to many.

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