TODAY

TODAY   |  July 02, 2013

Best travel awards: Top cities, hotels, spas, more

Nilou Motamed of Travel + Leisure shares some of the winners of the magazine’s 18th annual best travel awards, from cities and hotels to airlines, spas, and more.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> if you're looking for a great place to get away, travel and leisure is out with the 18th annual world's best travel award.

>> 17,000 readers weighed in with their favorites. she is the feature director at travel and leisure and here to let us in on the top spots.

>> good morning.

>> 18 years doing this survey and it's great because these are the readers. these are the people that travel and enjoy giving it to you straight.

>> exactly what we do. what we love about the survey year after year is these incredibly sophisticated well travelled readers of ours go around the globe and tell us about their favorite experiences. whether it's hotels, airlines, cruise ships , cities and so on.

>> let's get to the top u.s. canadian cities .

>> charleston . they pulled it out this year. they pulled themselves above new york and san francisco to get the number one spot . last year they were number four. our readers love it for the friendliness of the people. the beautiful historic buildings . the incredible local food scene. if you haven't had it you must go immediately. but what's amazing is they also love it for the hotels. in fact, 3 out of 5 of the top small hotels in the u.s. are in charleston .

>> they're cleaning up. best city and 3 out of 5 hotels.

>> the number one hotel is the market pavilion hotel . it's a newer property that offers fantastic views over the incredible downtown of charleston and you can see the water from there. if you're looking for a great historical option, the inn is at $137 a night.

>> great.

>> great value. you can't not go to charleston this year. please listen.

>> it's been a long time. top large city hotels. where should people will looking, big u.s. city vacations.

>> the number one spot went to peninsula in beverly hills . it's a gorgeous property. i'm interested in the number three spot. the mandrian in las vegas . it's all about bling and casinos but it does something different. it's about certainty. it has no casino and two level spa that is over 27,000 square feet . imagine all the massages that are there.

>> you have to figure out which button opens what.

>> there's a lot of technology in those rooms but it feels like an oasis and fantastically, until labor day rates under $200 a night to stay there.

>> next up, top domestic airline, who won.

>> i like the way you top me from talking.

>> we want to keep going. virgin america . what's incredible about this number one spot six years running. do you know how long the airline has been in business? six years. every year they got the top spot. they have incredibly friendly staff. great cabins. great deals on rates and they're expanding. it's a small airline that's really going places . one thing i love is if you see somebody cute in row 15 a.

>> like prince harry .

>> you can send them a drink or you can send them a snack. their entertainment --

>> you can creep on people on the plane.

>> you know, what do you do all those hours.

>> before we go, best cruise.

>> best cruise, this is a mega cruise, celebrity, number one. we didn't get to the island which is is in the philippines. i was there last month. one of the most beautiful places i have ever been. if you like drama and beauty, this is the place to go.

>> all right. thank you so much.

>> a lot more on that list by the way.