By Léo Azambuja

Kalalau Beach is seen here in this undated photo.

Kalalau Beach is seen here in this undated photo.

Considering there are more than 180,000 islands spread around the globe, being picked as one of the top-three best islands on the planet is no small feat.

The Travel + Leisure magazine has just released the results of its 2014 World’s Best Awards, placing Kaua‘i as the third best island in the world.

Last year, magazine readers — who vote on the awards — had picked the Garden Isle as the seventh best island in the world. So Kaua‘i’s reputation as a travel destination is just climbing.

Greece’s Santorini and Maui placed in first and second on the 2014 list, respectively. This means Kaua‘i was chosen by Travel + Leisure as the second best island among more than 18,600 islands in the United States and its territories.

Being the third best island in the world and second in the U.S. wasn’t Kaua‘i’s only accolade at the World’s Best Awards from the famous travel publication.

The Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa placed ninth on a list of best hotels and resorts in Hawai‘i, a state where the visitor industry is paramount to the economy and the competition for tourism dollars is fierce.

Other Kaua‘i hotels also placed high on the list, with the St. Regis Princeville Resort placing 12th, the Koa Kea Hotel and Resort placing 13th and Kaua‘i Marriott Resort at Kalapaki placing 19th.

As far as transportation, Travel + Leisure placed Hawaiian Airlines as the third best domestic airline in 2014, an improvement from fourth place on last year’s list.

On a list of 10 best large-ship cruise lines, there are nine ships that come to Nawiliwili Port. Those ships are: Crystal Cruises, first on the list; Azamara Club, second; Regent Seven Seas, third; Oceania Cruises, fourth; Holland America, fifth; Cunard Lines, sixth; Royal Caribbean International, seventh; Princess Cruises, ninth, and in 10th place, the familiar Norwegian Cruise Lines, which operates around the islands and touches Nawiliwili Port at least once a week,

The winners of the World’s Best Awards were picked by Travel + Leisure magazine readers, who filled a questionnaire available from Dec. 2 through March 31. Responses from travel-industry professionals were eliminated from the final tally, to protect the integrity of the data.

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