The VFMs

It's The Sunday Times Travel Magazine's Value for Money Awards 2016, the most sought-after accolade of the travel industry!
Votes have been checked, red carpets unfurled, and our 'golden piggy bank' trophies shined - now turn over to
see which destinations, hotels, airlines and companies offer the biggest bargains in the business.

The panel

We handpicked a globe-trotting team of 75 travel writers and editors to share their favorite VFM finds.

Gold: Winner and bearer of the best-value in its field, according to our experts. It isn't necessarily the cheapest, but is always competively priced and great quality.

Silver: Second place and a snip compared to similar offerings.

Bronze: Third place and yet another example of great travel value.

Runners-up: They're not medal winner but champions all the same.

Rip-off alert: We name and shame our panel's worst travel peeves, including hidden costs and sneaky smallprint extras.

Best-value spa

Gold: Jari Menari, Bali
Its name means dancing fingers, and the therapists at this 'serene massage school offer highly focused, deeply relaxing' pummelings for just £21 (75mins) - that's about 29p a minute ( A similar sorting-out at the nearby Samaya Resort would set you back thrice as much. In the alfresco treatment rooms, bamboo sways, water tinkles, and (if you fancy) 'Tibetan singing bowls thrum'. You can opt for a yoga-influenced 'massage with movement' - but you will need extra £3 to spare.

Silver: Szechenyi Baths, Budapest
Bossing the City Park for a century now, Europe's biggest thermal bath is a 'Neo-Baroque masterpiece' - part spa, part lido. Yes, there are massages, saunas, etc, but the main thing is just to wallow in its trip trio of outdoor pools.'Go in the snow for maximum magnificence'(your best bet is January). Day tickets cost from £12(

Bronze: Spa London
In offbeat locations (Bethnal Green, for one) and often beautiful old buildings, Spa London's seven dinky day spas can't be beaten for value, and have a traditional thermal-bath experience at their core: hot rooms, hammam, sauna and plunge pool from £15 for a three-hour session ( 'A proper treat,' says one panellist, especially the signature salt scrub (£37) - 'scintillating!'

Runners-up: Thailand's escapist Phulay Bay (; countrified Soho Kilic Ali Pasa, Istanbul (;log-fire-burning Archerfield in Scotland (; Pennyhill Park, Surrey, for its 'spa-day deals' (

Rip-off alert: Imagine paying £100-plus for a facial but then being charged to hop in the sauna afterwards, or use the pool. That's what many top hotel spas are up to, Corinthia, Hotel Cafe Royal and the Connaught in London all included (anything from £50 to £145).

Buy Jari Menari Gift Certificates
For Massages or Workshops.

Our fabulous Massage Gift Certificate are now available for purchase
online. For your friends, family and colleagues.

Buy Now