In advance of our NNN Awards voting cut off — less than a week left, folks! — we’re doing a countdown with a few of our experts on the Awards Nominating Academy. Every one of these folks is a professional travel writer…yes, they have your dream job.
Anyway, we started the week with our pal Mark Ellwood, and for day two we’re hitting the other edge of the Commonwealth, and checking in with the lovely Aussie travel and style writer, Emma Sloley. She’s absurdly well traveled, always amusing and preternaturally stylish. As for adventures, she’s had a few. “I’ve narrowly avoided being savaged by a grizzly bear; talked politics with Tommy Hilfiger over Mint Juleps in Mustique; been reduced to tears by heartless Hollywood agents; watched the sun rise behind Angkor Wat and over the Masai Mara; survived a stay in an Ice Hotel (never again); attended Elton John’s Oscars party; swum with dolphins in Jamaica (depressing) and sharks in Bora Bora (exhilarating); endured a vigorous full-body scrubbing from a zaftig topless woman in an Istanbul hammam; declined the offer to have a snake wrapped around me in the Marrakech medina…and more.”
Anyway, here are Emma’s picks for our NNN Travel Awards 2011:
1. Best Annual Event
• Art Basel
• Cannes Film Festival
2. Sexiest Destination
• Florianopolis, Brazil Hot resort city/island off the Emerald Coast, with great surfing, partying and people watching. And it’s Brazil, so sexiness is a given.
• St. Barts
3. Best Airline
• Air New Zealand (business class): Great flat beds, in those little personal pods that lend the sense of being cocooned in your own bubble…perfect for in-flight sociaphobes like me. And the food and wine is decent, served by actually friendly and helpful human beings!
• Cathay Pacific
4. Favorite Travel TV Show
5. Best Resort
• This is a hotel rather than a resort, but Villa Feltrinelli on Lake Garda, Italy is my favorite property of all time. From the moment you arrive – when they hand you a tiny, perfect bouquet of pink roses – to the time they force you to leave, everything is just utterly swoony, romantic, straight-out-of-a-Fellini-film gorgeous.
• Post Ranch Inn, California
• Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
6. Best Global Destination
• Istanbul One of my favorite cities for its unforgettably beautiful skyline, its harmonious melange of cultures, religions and nationalities and its ability to be both completely exotic and of-the-moment hip.
• Marrakesh; tied with Luang Prabang, Laos
• South of France; tied with Andalucia, Spain
7. Best US Destination
• Big Sur, California Heart-racing scenery, fantastic food and wine and world-class accommodation make this my fave all-time American destination, the kind of place I dream about fleeing to when New York is getting to me! And if you can tack on a few days at the end in Napa and Sonoma, then life’s pretty much perfect…
• New York
• Yellowstone Yes, I am a nature nerd.
9. NewNowNext Destination (meaning a killer city that’s about to get really hot)
Istanbul I mean, I realize this is already hot, but I feel like it’s going to soon become an essential “must-see” European stop, and the hotel/nightlife scene there is going crazy
Agree or disagree with Emma’s picks? Take a look at our full list of nominees, and cast your votes today. Voting closes this Friday, October 28th.