Global Traveler Announces Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year for 2022
- December 4, 2022
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AIRLINE OF THE YEAR
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Singapore Airlines dedicated seven decades to building a long-standing reputation for innovation and impeccable customer service that has placed the company at the forefront of commercial aviation around the world. Of course, the airline is no stranger to prestigious accolades and accolades, receiving top accolades for attentive service, world-class cabin offerings and technological innovation. That doesn’t mean it’s resting on its laurels, however. Staying at the forefront requires a constant commitment to improving the inflight experience through innovation, redesign and upgrades while anticipating future travel trends.
The airline, which began operations in 1947 as Malayan Airways Limited, operated three weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang in a twin-engine Airspeed Consul. In 1963 the company changed its name to Malaysian Airlines Limited and in 1966 to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines. 50 years ago, in 1972, the two airlines split into Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airline System.
Over the decades, Singapore Airlines has made impressive firsts and achievements in aviation. In 1983 the first Boeing 747-300 flew from Los Angeles via Tokyo and in 1989 it became the first airline to fly a commercial Boeing 747-400 flight from Singapore across the Pacific. Inflight dining reached new heights in 1998 with the launch of the airline’s International Culinary Panel, made up of five renowned chefs from five countries.
Singapore Airlines met the challenges of the 21st century in 2001 with the introduction of the first audio and video on-demand system for all passengers in all classes. The airline was the first to fly the Airbus A350-900, the world’s largest commercial airliner, as well as the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner and the Airbus A380.
The fleet continued to grow with expanded routes and services and now operates more than 150 aircraft. Today, the far-reaching global airline, a cornerstone of Star Alliance, not only has one of the most modern and fuel-efficient fleets in the air, but also some of the most comfortable and spacious aircraft.
Striving to improve service and the flight experience, the airline over the years has introduced new cabin products for all classes of travel with aesthetically pleasing and innovative cabin designs and expanded dining and entertainment options, and introduced new technology products geared towards making travel smoother. In 2015 he introduced his new Premium Economy Class. In 2021, the airline introduced new economy and business class cabins for its Boeing 737-8 fleet, featuring 10 lie-flat business class seats with a generous 22-inch width, expanding into a full recline flat bed.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Suite reaches the pinnacle of luxury and comfort with features designed to pamper you like a hotel room made in heaven: leather seats that freely rotate and recline, an adjustable bed, a sliding door and blinds for privacy, an enhanced entertainment system , which saves your playlists for future flights, and a refined gourmet dining experience, as well as a spacious lavatory with a vanity and seat stocked with exquisite toiletries. And for couples traveling together, the partitions between rooms can be removed to create a double suite with a real double bed… the ultimate wow factor.
WALDORF ASTORIA HOTELS AND RESORTS
HOTEL OF THE YEAR
With unforgettable experiences, exquisite personal service and culinary expertise, Hilton’s iconic luxury hotel brand continues to expand into pioneering destinations around the world, signaling optimism for the future of luxury travel. Each Waldorf Astoria property not only carries the brand’s legacy of luxury, but also creates a unique sense of place that reflects the history and heritage of each location.
Like many hotel brands, Waldorf Astoria began with a single hotel. But its beginnings were far from humble, opening at the height of New York City’s Golden Age.
In 1893, William Waldorf Astor built the original Waldorf Hotel at 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue. Four years later, John Jacob Astor IV, William’s cousin and rival, built the Astoria Hotel next door. Not to be outdone, he built his hotel several stories higher than the Waldorf, sparking a healthy competition to see who could build the best luxury hotel. Eventually, the two men agreed to a truce and together decided that they really could be the best. They connected the two buildings through a 300-foot marble corridor called Peacock Alley, where tourists and local New Yorkers gathered to marvel at the tycoons, theater stars, and dignitaries who walked by.
From its inception, the Waldorf-Astoria has been a symbol of opulence and has become the ultimate destination for New York’s socialites. His legendary service set the standard for American hospitality and earned him a worldwide following.
The Waldorf-Astoria remained in its original location until 1929, when it was demolished to make way for the Empire State Building. In 1931 the hotel reopened at its current location on Park Avenue. Designed in Art Deco style, it became the largest and tallest hotel in the world, welcoming presidents, kings, celebrities and cultural luminaries to its grand public spaces and palatial suites.
Throughout its history, Waldorf-Astoria has been ahead of the pack and has set many precedents around the world. It was the first hotel to have electricity on every floor and the first to have a private bathroom in every room – an idea so outrageous at the time that the project was dubbed “Astor’s Folly”. It was also the first hotel to offer 24-hour room service with a rose to top each order.
Conrad Hilton acquired management rights to the hotel in 1949. In 1972, Hilton Hotels Corp. Waldorf-Astoria, expanded the brand to Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and became a luxury division of Hilton.
Today, the brand operates more than 30 hotels and resorts in 15 countries and territories, but those numbers are set to change over the next few years as more hotels are in the pipeline. Each new property will, of course, honor the legendary attributes at the heart of the brand: highly personalised, elegant service and iconic settings.
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts will make its Australian debut in 2025, reflecting the company’s commitment to expanding into the world’s most desirable destinations, with construction of the Waldorf Astoria Sydney already underway. Opening as part of the One Circular Quay mixed-use development, the 28-story, 220-room luxury hotel is designed to infuse a sense of ease and calm within elegant interiors. The hotel will include a spa, the signature Peacock Alley Lounge, two restaurants honoring Sydney’s gastronomic heritage and a rooftop bar.
The Waldorf Astoria brand will also debut in Vietnam in 2025 with the opening of the Waldorf Astoria Hanoi in a converted Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel. The new 187-room hotel will feature four dining concepts including Peacock Alley, a rooftop lounge and two additional restaurants; a spa; a fitness center; and a pool.
Hilton’s expansion into Asia will include three more Waldorf Astoria hotels: Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur (2023), Waldorf Astoria Shanghai Qiantan (2024) and Waldorf Astoria Xi’an (2025).
Meanwhile, the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York — often dubbed “the greatest of them all” — will remain closed until 2023 as it undergoes a $1 billion renovation. The extensive renovation will introduce a new condominium residential component to the history-steeped hotel while restoring the splendor of the exquisite Art Deco landmark, including a renewed facade that will bring back the glory of the original design.
We are delighted to honor Singapore Airlines and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts as this year’s winners for standing the test of time and maintaining a consistent standard of luxury and service while pursuing innovation.