Global luxury travel network Virtuoso revealed the winners of its 2019 Best of the Best awards, with more than 1,800 industry leaders at the 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week.
The awards recognised the year’s top 10 hotels and hoteliers, as voted for by 20,000 professional travel advisors from 50 countries.
The 2019 Virtuoso Best of the Best winners are:
Hotelier of the Year
Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
The judges said: "Hyndman arrived at the Hyde Park property two days before a fire shuttered the hotel. She transitioned staff to help with rebuilding, weathering the nine-month closure with no layoffs until the hotel reopened last spring."
Hotel of the Year
Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
The judges said: "The property delights guests with impeccable service, and treatments and fitness programmes, including a staff-led jog past landmarks including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. The hotel has three restaurants – the three-Michelin-starred Le Cinq as well as Le George and L’Orangerie, with a Michelin star each."
Best Dining Experience
La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa – Restaurant Le Gabriel, Paris
"The two-Michelin-starred restaurant in a 19th-century mansion-turned-hotel makes an unforgettable impression," said the judges. "Chef Jérôme Banctel brings influences from his travels to his cooking with modern takes on French classics."
Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club – Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar, Surfside, Florida
The judges liked the lounge in the hotel’s ballroom which serves the largest selection of Champagne in the Miami area, plus grappas, liqueurs, and bubbly-infused cocktails, in handblown Venetian glasses.
Best Achievement in Design
Rosewood Hong Kong
The blend of Western and Asian aesthetics at Rosewood’s 65-storey glass tower impressed the judges. The hotel features artwork by Damien Hirst and Indian artist Bharti Kher’s life-size elephant sculpture.
Sustainable Tourism Leadership
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia
"This resort shows how degraded ranchland can be restored to its natural grandeur," said the judges. "Kangaroos, wombats, and other wildlife roam the resort grounds, which was the world’s first to achieve internationally accredited carbon-neutral certification."
Best Family Programme
Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The judges said: "Families bond over horseback riding, boogie boarding, snorkelling and relaxing at the pool or spa. The Kids’ Club offers 4- through 12-year-olds storytelling, movies and games, and teens enjoy karaoke, pool tables and dancing."
Best Wellness Programme
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tucson, Arizona
The judges were impressed with the range of offerings at Miraval’s flagship property, where guests choose from more than 100 workshops, classes, and activities that include cooking, workouts, beekeeping or equine therapy – all fuelled by healthy gourmet meals.
Best Virtuoso Newcomer
Montage Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The judges said: This contemporary retreat offers guests plenty of choice – sipping mezcal and dining at the two restaurants, playing the 18-hole golf course, enjoying Baja-inspired spa treatments, and snorkelling and paddleboarding in Santa Maria Bay."
Best Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador
Carlos Quereda, Querido Representation Co.
"During his decade-long tenure at the Marbella Club on Spain’s Costa del Sol, Quereda greeted guests and staff, converting them into lifelong friends of the hotel," said the judges.
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