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Filial Piety
JUST GO, BE ALERT and do your best, as always,” my mother Tundra used to tell me on the eve of each new journey. It was her way of chasing away bad luck, for my unconventional traveling-and-writing lifestyle gave her both infinite pride and inextingu
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Europe Hotels
TOP 10 CITY HOTELS 1. Raffles Istanbul 98.40 Elegant Byzantine flourishes and Turkish artwork imbue this glistening 185-room tower with an unrivaled sense of place. 2. Shangri-La Hotel, at the Shard London 98.06 3. Hotel Café Royal London 97.07 4. Ri
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Head Over Heels
IF YOU’D ASKED me a year ago about my yoga practice, I’d have shrugged and said it was fine. I mean, I wasn’t a beginner. After years of haphazard attendance at assorted classes and showing up diligently for morning yoga at resorts, I could touch my
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U.S. Hotels
TOP 15 CITY HOTELS 1. The Mark New York City 96.24 Urban hotels often distinguish themselves by harnessing the personality and excitement of their hometown, and no property accomplishes that better than this dashing Manhattan hideaway. 2. The Georges
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A Conversation with José Andrés
I FIRST MET José Andrés in January 2014 at the Cayman Cookout: a beachside celebration of food and wine headlined by marquee names in the culinary world at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. At a Sunday champagne brunch, Andrés was working the room—a sk
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Tour Operators and Safari Outfitters
TOP 10 1. Ker & Downey 99.10 Operating since 1946, before “experiential travel” ever entered the industry lexicon, this adventure-focused company has excelled in orchestrating immersive itineraries across all seven continents. 2. Greaves India 98.96
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Green Means Go
POSITIVELY ITCHING FOR A BREAK, you’ve decided to run the new-normal gauntlet of international travel, with deserted beaches, unsurfed waves and sunrise-volcano hikes firmly fixed in your mind’s eye. You’re absolutely in need of a tropical island dri
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The Methodology
A SURVEY developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with research firm M&RR, was made available at tlworldsbest.com from November 4, 2019, to March 2, 2020. Readers were invited to participate through Travel + Leisure magazine, T+L
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Explore Iconic Museums, Wherever You Are
Zoom in on high-definition images of permanent-collection gems—such as Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, one of van Gogh’s self-portraits, and Hopper’s Nighthawks—in photos so detailed you can see cracks in the oil paint. You can also pop through
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Characteristics
Cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service, value. Access, check-in/security, restaurants/bars, shopping, design. Vehicle selection, vehicle availability, car-rental location, service, value. Sights/landmarks, culture, food, friendliness, sho
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Perfect Manors
YES, FLYING is becoming an option again as countries emerge from lockdown and reopen their borders. But if you’re leery of boarding an airplane right now, there’s never been a better time to get in your car and drive to your own stunning private abod
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Travel+leisure
Kyoto How to have a whirlwind of Zen in Japan's newly luxe ancient capital page 58. The Outback The ultimate test of self-reliance page 66 ■
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Word On The Street
IF THE PANDEMIC has taught us anything, it’s that local is more reliable than global—and that neighborhood diners provide food for the soul. Forced out of our usual routines and shuttered out of our favorite top tables, we turned increasingly to our
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Changing Seasons
IT’S A GREY AND SHIVERY LATE-FEBRUARY DAY AT KITANO TENMANGU SHRINE. BUT INSTEAD OF SNOW DUSTING the stone pathways and frosting the tips of the trees, the scene is awash in ume—plum blossoms of red, white and fairy-tale pink. Today at the Plum Bloss
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The World’s Best Awards
COURTESY OF ANANTARA HOTELS, RESORTS & SPAS ■
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The Best Of Kyoto In Bloom
Fly into Tokyo or Osaka and take a bullet train to Kyoto Station. Japan Airlines (jal.com) offers daily flights from most major cities. Park Hyatt Kyoto (hyatt.com; doubles from ¥98,000) offers guesthouse-style luxury near Ninenzaka slope. For a reso
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Best Hotels In The World
TOP 100 OVERALL 1. Capella Ubud Bali, Indonesia 99.85 Architect and designer Bill Bensley created this intimate refuge, where nightly entertainment ranges from screenings of black-and-white movies to campfire tales spun by a local storyteller. 2. Hot
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The Outback On My Own
I’ve been driving for two hours before the dust hits. In a matter of seconds, the hard-blue cloudless skies have been washed sepia, and the wind has turned an angry gale-force, whooshing giant tumbleweeds around like dried-up asteroids. The only othe
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Islands
TOP 25 OVERALL 1. Palawan Philippines 94.83 In addition to its incredible tropical scenery, this archipelago between the South China and Sulu seas captivates with affordable resorts, leisurely snorkeling and plentiful birdlife—including the endangere
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Three Forays Off The Aussie Grid
This all-inclusive 200-hectare station and homestead in the Northern Territory is the place for guests that want to experience life on a working cattle station. Home to 4,000 cattle and a variety of local fauna—wallabies, dingoes and crocodiles—here
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T+l Digital
THE MOST ROMANTIC GETAWAYS TO INSPIRE YOUR NEXT TRIP Bohemian isles, castaway retreats, adults-only hideouts—make it a magical couple’s getaway in one of these lush luxury escapes. DESPERATE FOR TRAVEL? TOUR AN AIRPORT OR BRING A 5-STAR HOTEL TO YOUR
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Transportation
TOP 10 1. Singapore Airlines 90.84 ⋆ This beloved carrier aces the flying experience every step of the way. The airline continues to innovate, prioritizing not only luxury and safety but also fliers’ wellness through its partnership with Canyon Ranch
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Wish You Were Here
THAT DAY, WE HIRED A TAXI GUIDE specifically to take us to Bagan’s most popular viewpoint. We hoped for a speedy ride so we could catch the sunset in time, but he must have been new because he was unfamiliar with the roads. I realized that we would n
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Contributors
GREEN MEANS GO (P. 22) What did you discover about Bali while you had the island to yourself? Trekking Batur volcano alone at sunset on a moody day when the peak was shrouded in cloud was a strange and magical experience. The island has taken a big,
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Cruise Lines
TOP 10 1. Quasar Expeditions 99.17 The staff members aboard this Galapágosbound line’s two ships—one for 16 passengers, the other for 32—coordinate activities like kayaking, while naturalists tee up unforgettable wildlife viewings. 2. Crystal Cruises
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Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia
EDITOR IN CHIEF Jeninne Lee-St. John FEATURES EDITOR Bek Van Vliet Owen ART DIRECTOR Wannapha Nawayon GRAPHIC DESIGNER Phetmaysa Noklek DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER Veronica Inveen DIGITAL MEDIA ASSISTANT Siree Yaviraj REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS / PHOTOGRAPHERS K
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Cities
NB: This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented due to COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic. We hope that this year’s honorees
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LETTER From The Editor
ON FEBRUARY 29, a friend of mine crossed the water border from Thailand into Burma to sail off-grid into the Mergui Archipelago, where he and four other volunteers planned a three-week conservation project at a five-star resort. Four months and a glo
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Asia Hotels
TOP 10 RESORT HOTELS 1. Capella Ubud Bali, Indonesia 99.85 Raised above the forested slopes of the Keliki Valley, 22 dramatic, one-bedroom tents outfitted with antiques, local textiles and private pools immerse guests in a Bill Bensley–designed glam
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Inward Journeys
Past experiences that have shaped us, new adventures born of isolation—and some Buddhist mantras for every day. This issue we reflect on travel from a different perspective. EARLIER THIS YEAR, as the world came to a grinding halt and citizens around
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