Sunday, November 4, 2001

Picturesque areas like Hana contribute to Maui's charm.

Conde Nast puts
Maui at top
of tropical isles

The travel magazine's readers rate
Hawaii highly in other areas

By Helen Altonn

Never mind Maui's dengue fever outbreak: Readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine have voted it "the best tropical island in the world."

Maui is the only island ever to win that title, and not just once. This is the eighth time in a row.

Four other Hawaiian isles made the top ten list: Kauai is third, the Big Island fifth and Lanai tied with Australia's Fraser Island for sixth place. Oahu is ninth.

The complete report is headlined in this month's issue of Conde Nast Traveler, which raves: "Santorini (Greece) for scenery, Paris and San Francisco for food, Maui for everything."

"I'm just thrilled ... With over 1,000 islands in the world, this is truly an honor for all of us," said Marsha Wienert, Maui Visitors Bureau executive director.

The magazine tabulated 28,941 reader responses to questionnaires, sent before dengue fever was discovered in East Maui in September.

The outbreak has abated, and concerned travelers have been encouraged to continue visiting the island.

"Just take some mosquito repellent," Gov. Ben Cayetano has advised.

In addition to Maui's best tropical island status, the state placed in several best lists in the magazine.

Lanai had two resorts listed among the world's 100 best resort hotels, cruise lines and small hotels in the world. Koele Lodge ranked 26th and Manele Bay was 39th.

Honolulu is No. 7 in a list of top U.S. cities headed by San Francisco. Hawaiian Airlines made 7th place in the best of airline domestic routes.

Of 25 top Pacific resorts, 18 are from Hawaii. High on the list are Koele Lodge, second; Manele Bay third; Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel, fourth; Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui, fifth; and Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island and Four Seasons Wailea, Maui, tying for sixth place. The Halekulani on Oahu was ninth and the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa was 11th.

Wienert, who directs Maui's public image campaigns, will receive the top tropical island award at the American Society of Travel Agents World Congress in New York City.

Gov. Ben Cayetano will present 600 Hawaii vacations to be distributed among police, firefighters and rescue personnel working at the site of the World Trade Center.

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