Saturday, October 13, 2012

World's Best Islands

Travel + Leisure magazine has an annual World’s Best survey where readers ranked their favorites. In 2012 survey, the readers (mostly from USA so the list is a little biased) has ranked the fantastic paradise of Philliphines, Boracay Island as the best island of the world.

Here are the world's best islands according to Travel + Leisure readers:

1 - Boracay Island, Philippines
 Tropical island Boracay with its long white sand beaches tops the list of best islands in 2012. The island is an hour's flight from Manila and other than swimming, scuba diving, boat tours, kite boarding, it offers a pulsating night life for visitors.

Boracay Island made its debut last year in World's Best Islands at No. 4 and just in a year climbed to the top spot. 2.5-mile stretch of powder-white sand of White Beach is the best beach on the island but this is also the most crowded area on the island so accommodation here is not recommended if you are looking for a calm stay.

Where to stay? - Monaco Suites de Boracay Hotel is the only exclusive all suite hotel in Boracay Island that offers infinity Dolphin Shaped Infinity Pool, wellness sanctuary & spa, on-site water sports, private access road, private beach with docking port and splendid ocean views from all the rooms. The 14 Villa and 1 Club House property consisting of 50 Ocean View Suites nestled in between a slope hill and a sparkling sea.

Another beautiful beach, Puka Beach, Boracay
2 - Bali, Indonesia
Bali, one of the world's most popular island destinations in the world, is not suprisingly in a top spot in the best islands list. Also known as island of gods, Bali appeals to a very broad range of visitors from young back-packers to the super-rich.

Where to stay?The Haven Seminyak is set in Seminyak, a thriving tourist and residential area on the west coast of Bali, north of Kuta and Legian. With surrounding high end shopping centers, eateries and commercial strips, The Haven Seminyak is a good base for travelers of all sorts.

3 - Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Travel+Leisure readers voted this isolated small Pacific archipelago of islands 600 miles off of South America to number 3 in the best islands list.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
4 -  Maui, Hawaii
The second largest of the eight major islands of Hawaii, offers many activities such as hiking, canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, snorkeling, sight seeing and whale watching. According to Travel+Leisure, Napili Beach, a crescent of golden sand lapped by blue-green sea, is the best beach on the island.

Where to stay? - 2 star Maui Seaside Hotel offers an excellent beachfront location and provides access to the city's biggest attractions.

5 - Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia

Getting to the Great Barrier Reef and staying there is not cheap. But once there, the food is great, the beaches picture perfect and the heaven on earth atmosphere to just awesome. According to Travel+Leisure, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays is the reef’s most photogenic beach: a 4.5-mile stretch of sand that seems to go on forever.

Where to stay? - 5 star Lizard Island Resort offers 24 luxurious white sandy beaches and a relaxing time where you can snorkel, dive or deep sea fish.

6 - Santorini, Greece

Santorini was ranked world's top island for 2011 in Travel+Leisure Magazine and "the world's best island" by the BBC in 2011. In 2012 list it is in the 6th spot of world's best islands list and keeps its status as the best island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Where to stay? Kalestesia Suites, on the top of Akrotiri hill, offers an exclusive collection of individually decorated units in Santorini Island.

Santorini Island
7 - Kauai, Hawaii
Covered with thick greenery and tropical plants Kauai is also known as Garden Island. It is the northwestern most of Hawaii's major islands and is the oldest. Thanks to its age, Kauai also has more miles of sandy coastline than the other Hawaiian islands.

Where to stay? Ko a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach is located on the beach in Koloa's Poipu neighborhood, close to Poipu Beach, Brennecke Beach, and Kiahuna Golf Course. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Moir Gardens and Baby Beach.

8 - Big Island, Hawaii
The beaches of the Big Island, especially on the Kona side, have been consistently voted amongst the best beaches in the world.[1] Some (like Mauna Kea Beach) front hotel resorts, while others (like Makalawena) remained unencumbered by modern tourism. Hapuna Beach is reputed to be one of the best, consistent with the picture many outsiders have in their head of what a Hawaiian beach should be.

Where to stay? - Situated on the Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island is a luxury hotel which shares 1,839 acres of oceanfront paradise with the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Perfectly nestled into the bluffs above the #1-rated Hapuna Beach, the hotel presents a flowing, contemporary Hawaiian style where guests experience the true essence of rejuvenation.

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

9 - Sicily, Italy

Sicily, Italy
10 - Vancouver Island, British Columbia
This 450 km long and 90 km wide island in British Columbia is a popular destination for hikers, campers, whale-watchers and kayakers. Tofino on  Central Vancouver Island has been transformed from a logging and fishing village to a center for ecotourism and offers activities such as whale watching, surfing, and camping.

Where to stay? - Nestled in the heart of Tofino (BC), Wickaninnish inn is an ideal spot from which to discover Tofino (BC). From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

11 - Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

This  relatively small, rural Caribbean island 8 miles east of Puerto Rico is still maintaining its rural character, although tourist interest is increasing. The island was home to a major U.S. naval base so it stayed under developed.

One of the most important attraction on the island is bioluminescent bay. The large population of microscopic bioluminescent organisms called dinoflagellates glow in the dark when stimulated.  But the greatest attractions of  Vieques Island are its uncrowded and untouched beaches.

Where to stay? -  W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island Hotel offers an upscale beachfront accommodation and a great base from which to explore this vibrant city.

bioluminescent bay Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
Bioluminescent bay - Phoro : Bio Bay
Big Island, Hawaii

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