By Wendy Osher
For an unprecedented 17th time, Maui has been named Best Island in the World by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
With a score of 92.1, Maui was also voted Best US Island for the 21st consecutive year in the magazine’s 24th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
The award was presented to Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau executive director Terryl Vencl by veteran actor Chris Noth (Law & Order, Sex in the City and The Good Wife) in an awards ceremony held last night in New York City.
During the presentation, Noth shared his love for Maui saying he visits the island regularly. His mother, a former CBS television reporter, has also made Maui her home.
“Maui continues to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of visitors the world over,” said Vencl.
“Recent branding studies reveal our visitors seek variety, choice and adventure, planned or spontaneous. They want to know lots of options are available, but want to have the freedom to be as active or relaxed as they choose. I believe this coveted award speaks to that,” said Vencl.
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa added, “Maui has so much to offer. It is an island of incredible beauty featuring unparalleled service, top-notch activities, excellent restaurants, a wide variety of accommodations and the friendliest folks anywhere.”
“This is a proud moment for the visitor industry and our people of Maui,” said Arakawa.
The island of Kaua’i placed second this year with a total of 90 points, followed by Kiawah in South Carolina, which earned third place with 86.6 points.
The Big Island of Hawai’i (now being re-branded as “Hawaii Island”) earned fourth place honors with 85.8 points. Maui’s sister island of Lana’i rounded out the top six with a score of 84.6.
Other top island destinations worldwide include winners in the following geographical categories: Asia (Maldives, 87.5), Caribbean/Atlantic (Bermuda, 87.4), Asia/Indian Ocean (Bora Bora, 87.0), Europe (Bozcaada and The Turkish Aegean Islands, 84.2) and Canada (Vancouver Island, 81.5).
Maui and Lana’i also fared well in the Top Hawai’i Resorts category, capturing top honors for various properties.
Topping the list was Travassa Hana (95.0) followed by Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (93.9). Oahu’s Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk (93.7) placed third and Hawaii Island’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (93.4) ranked fourth.
The island of Lanai captured fifth and sixth place respectively as Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay scored 93.4 and Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele finished with 93.1.
Other Maui resorts making the Top 20 included 11th place Grand Wailea (89.3), 12th ranked Fairmont Kea Lani (89.0.) and 13th place Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa (87.8). The Ritz Carlton, Kapalua (86.9), captured the 14th spot.
*** Supporting information courtesy Maui Visitors Bureau.