This is not the first year that the Seychelles, an archipelago of 116 islands, has scored the top spot, thanks to its natural beauty and memorable hotels. (Kate Middleton and Prince William evidently agree — they spent their honeymoon here, as did Amal and George Clooney.) Almost half the land is protected for wildlife to thrive, and the country’s marine parks are home to species like whale sharks and stingrays, making it a diver’s dream. If you’d rather not don scuba gear, swimming with hawksbill sea turtles is as simple as stepping into the tropical waters off the beach at esteemed properties like Six Senses Zil Payson, whose parent company has been voted best hotel brand for a third straight year. Wrote one reader of these islands, “Paradise on earth.”

The award was accepted on behalf of Seychelles by CornerSun Destination Marketing‘s David DiGregorio, shown here with Jacqueline Gifford, Editor in Chief and Jay Meyer, SVP/Publisher at Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards in New York on July 16th.