With the SLH Awards 2020 we are recognizing some really exceptional hotels at a time when they need recognition more than ever... The best way to show your support is to book a stay and discover exactly why independent hotels are so very special.
LONDON (PRWEB) September 30, 2020
Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) has announced Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda in Italy as Hotel of the Year in the SLH Awards 2020. Selected for the accolade by SLH’s Executive Panel, this pioneer of sustainable hospitality manages to create a haven for body, mind, soul and conscience on the shores of Lake Garda, and is one of 18 hotels to have been honoured in this year’s awards. With over 400 hotels now open again, these winners - along with 46 Highly Commended hotels embody the inspirational spirit of all SLH member hotels in demonstrating that the show goes on despite the many challenges faced in 2020.
This year several of the awards were voted for by a panel of experts from the worlds of luxury, travel, wellbeing and cuisine – Simon Leadsford (Publisher, Conde Nast Traveller), Katy Simpson (CEO, Noble Isle Fine Fragrance), Dominique Crenn (3 Michelin-starred chef, Atelier Crenn in San Francisco), Gary Allen (Managing Director, Luxury Travel Media) and Carol Duval-Leroy (Owner, Champagne Duval-Leroy). These winners include Castello di Reschio in Umbria, Italy (Most Inspirational Interior Design), Cap Rocat in Mallorca, Spain (Most Intimate Bedroom for The Sentinels), Castle Hot Springs in Arizona, USA (Most Mindful Wellness Retreat), The George in Christchurch, New Zealand (Most Intense Bespoke Experience) and The Seminyak Resort & Spa in Bali, Indonesia (Best Gourmet Experience).
Two specific members of staff have been honoured with awards. Chef Marc Collins from Wentworth Mansion in South Carolina, USA, has been named Local Food Champion in recognition of his work as a proactive advocate of the state’s culinary traditions and produce. Meanwhile, Michael Ferreira, Guest Experience Manager at Le Barthélemy Resort & Spa in St Barths, has been awarded the Hotel Hero award for consistently demonstrating incredible thoughtfulness and an absolutely-can-do attitude to guests.
In line with SLH’s commitment to helping its member hotels operate with integrity and conscience, two awards heralded those who lead by example. The Sustainable Innovator of the Year is Arima Hotel in San Sebastián, Spain, for creating a ‘soulstainable’ escape in constant contact with nature. The Stay Small, Stay Considerate Award has been awarded to Lefay Resorts, in recognition of their two Italian hotels in Lake Garda and The Dolomites being carbon neutral as part of a philosophy that ‘personal wellness should never overlook environmental wellness’.
The heritage awards see hotels recognized by hotel type and by key members of the SLH community. The Norman Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv, Israel) has been voted City Centre Hotel of the Year, Hotel Villa Franca (Positano, Italy) has been named Resort Hotel of the Year and Château la Chenevière (Normandy, France) has been awarded Country House Hotel of the Year. Members of SLH’s INVITED loyalty programme have chosen The Tokyo Station Hotel (Tokyo, Japan) as their INVITED Hotel of the Year while the Travel Agents’ Hotel of the Year is Hotel Relais Christine in Paris (France). Finally, the Mystery Inspectors’ Award saw SLH’s elusive group of over 100 inspectors have their say based on their first-hand experiences staying at each and every one of SLH hotels over the last twelve months, with Hemingways Nairobi in Kenya coming out on top.
Member hotels were also invited to submit entries to applaud innovation in their use of digital platforms:
- Halcyon House (Australia) is the Most ‘Liked’ Hotel for its curated portrayal of life on Cabarita Beach in New South Wales - @_halcyonhouse. This award was judged by Gisele Orellano, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hermana Creatives.
- The Frederick Hotel and The Iroquois Hotel, as part of Triumph Hotels (New York City, USA), have been recognized for the experiences focus of their website with the Digital Excellence Award
Richard Hyde, Managing Director of Small Luxury Hotels of the World says: “Great hotels are still great hotels despite the many curve balls that COVID-19 continues to throw at them. With the SLH Awards 2020 we are recognizing some really exceptional hotels at a time when they need recognition more than ever. As the winner of Hotel of the Year and our inaugural Stay Small, Stay Considerate Award, Lefay Resorts is a shining example to all of how luxury and social responsibility can complement each other. This sense of responsibility is now also about sustaining our hospitality industry and the communities that hotels support. The best way to show your support is to book a stay and discover exactly why independent hotels are so very special.”
For more information or to make a booking visit http://www.slh.com.
The full list of winners and highly commended hotels is as follows:
- Hotel of the Year – Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda (Italy)
- City Centre Hotel of the Year – The Norman Tel Aviv (Israel)
Highly Commended – Hotel Lungarno (Italy); Refinery Hotel New York (USA); DUKES London (UK)
- Country House Hotel of the Year – Château la Chenevière (France)
Highly Commended – Schlosshotel Kronberg (Germany); Stein Eriksen Residences (USA); Hotel Rangá (Iceland)
- Resort Hotel of the Year – Hotel Villa Franca (Italy)
Highly Commended – Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay (Spain); Canaves Oia Suites (Greece); Keemala (Thailand)
- Mystery Inspectors’ Award – Hemingways Nairobi (Kenya)
Highly Commended – Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal (France); Pimalai Resort & Spa (Thailand); Rockliffe Hall (UK)
- Most Inspirational Interior Design – Castello di Reschio (Italy)
Highly Commended – Le Coucou Méribel (France); Gangtey Lodge (Bhutan); Ksar Char-Bagh (Morocco)
- Most Intimate Bedroom – Cap Rocat (Spain)
Highly Commended – Thorngrove Manor (Australia); Carmo’s Boutique Hotel (Portugal); Le Grand Bellevue (Switzerland)
- Most Mindful Wellness Retreat – Castle Hot Springs (USA)
Highly Commended – Quinta da Comporta (Portugal); Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti (Italy); Spa Village Tembok Bali (Indonesia)
- Most Intense Bespoke Experience – The George (New Zealand)
Highly Commended – Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay (Spain); Milaidhoo Maldives (Maldives); Pangkor Laut Resort (Malaysia)
- Best Gourmet Experience – The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa (Indonesia)
Highly Commended – The Atlantic Hotel (Channel Islands); Castle Hot Springs (USA); Halcyon House (Australia)
- Local Food Champion – Chef Marc Collins, Wentworth Mansion (USA)
Highly Commended – Chef Salvatore Minneci, Susafa (Italy); Chef Carvison Pratt, Sailrock Resort (Turks & Caicos); Chef Jim Hopkins, Stein Eriksen Residences (USA)
- Hotel Hero – Michael Ferreira, Le Barthélemy Resort & Spa (St Barths)
Highly Commended – Laksiri Perera, The Fortress Resort & Spa (Sri Lanka); Harold Shepherd, The Sandpiper (Barbados)
- Sustainable Innovator of the Year – Arima Hotel (Spain)
Highly Commended – Susafa (Italy); Petit St Vincent (St Vincent & The Grenadines); Domaine de Manville (France)
- Stay Small, Stay Considerate Award – Lefay Resorts (Italy)
Highly Commended – Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa (Costa Rica); AKARYN Hotel Group (Thailand); Gaya Island Resort (Malaysia)
- INVITED Hotel of the Year – The Tokyo Station Hotel (Japan)
Highly Commended – Dormy House Hotel (UK); Velassaru Maldives (Maldives); Hotel Relais Christine (France)
- Travel Agents’ Hotel of the Year – Hotel Relais Christine (France)
Highly Commended – Viceroy Bali (Indonesia); Hotel Vilòn (Italy); Casa Angelina (Italy)
- Most ‘Liked’ Hotel – Halcyon House - @_halcyonhouse - (Australia)
Highly Commended – Canaves Oia - @CanavesOia (Greece); Castello di Reschio - @Reschio (Italy); Cap Rocat - @cap_rocat (Spain)
- Digital Excellence Award – Triumph Hotels (USA)
About Small Luxury Hotels of the World: Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) is the most desirable community of independently minded travellers and independently spirited hotels in the world. We turned the luxury boutique hotel into a phenomenon and selected the distinctive, the diverse and the downright delightful. People, places and experiences with individual character, intimate charm and inherent class. We've personally visited, vetted and verified over 520 hotels in more than 90 countries. We are envisioning a future where people experience the world with intention, experience its intensity and protect its integrity. Be part of the community - join us at INVITED, visit us at http://www.slh.com, contact a travel agent or call the Small Luxury Hotels of the World VIP. Click here to view a full contact listing by country.
Additional information about the winners:
Hotel of the Year – Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda (Gargnano, Italy)
Taking inspiration from the tiered lemon houses of Lake Garda, Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda was awarded SLH’s Hotel of the Year award for its strong eco-friendly philosophy and outstanding wellness area combining classical Chinese medicine with Western scientific research. Offering highly customized treatments designed to cure stress and insomnia, Lefay SPA extends over 3,800 square metres boasting six saunas of varying temperatures, an ice pool and a large salt lake.
City Centre Hotel of the Year – The Norman Tel Aviv (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Located in a UNESCO-designated site The Norman Tel Aviv offers unbeatable views from a rooftop infinity pool, a restaurant serving the some of the best Japanese food in the country, resident DJs and a private art collection managed by its own in-house curator. The expert concierge can arrange bespoke experiences for guests including the chance for them to craft their own signature scents with a perfumer or securing access to usually off-limits artists’ studios.
Country House Hotel of the Year – Château la Chenevière (Normandy, France)
Set along Normandy’s lush, north-west coast, Château la Chenevière ticks all the boxes of a grand yet welcoming country house hotel from marble fireplaces and velvet-backed beds to beautiful rose gardens with beehives, an outdoor pool and a tennis court. On on-site kitchen garden provides fresh ingredients to the restaurants backed by sustainable permaculture techniques and the hotel’s speakeasy-style Zanzibar bar specialises in Calvados-themed cocktails.
Resort Hotel of the Year – Hotel Villa Franca (Positano, Italy)
Perched high on the hill overlooking the town of Positano, Hotel Villa Franca was awarded Resort Hotel of the Year for its top-notch facilities and wide range of experiences including an L-shaped swimming pool with stellar views of the Amalfi Coast, lemon-infused spa treatments to detoxify the body and a fine dining restaurant rooted in Campanian culinary traditions.
Mystery Inspectors’ Award – Hemingways Nairobi (Nairobi, Kenya)
Set between Nairobi National Park and the foot of the Ngong Hills, Hemingways Nairobi offers personalized service with the kindness inherent to East African culture. A bespoke butler service ensures guests every whim is catered for, from tailor-made afternoon tea and arranging outings to The Giraffe Centre or the Karen Blixen Museum to adjusting their personalized pillows, setting out their nightcap and packing their suitcase for departure.
Sustainable Innovator of the Year - Arima Hotel (San Sebastián, Spain)
Hidden among the trees in the Miramón Forest of San Sebastián, Arima Hotel’s building structure is named as a prototype of zero-energy buildings, marked by the European Union as a mandatory standard to mitigate the effects of climate change. Its savings in CO2 emissions compared with a standard construction are similar to the carbon that 15,000 trees would absorb annually.
Stay Small, Stay Considerate Award – Lefay Resorts (Italy)
Created around the philosophy that personal wellness should never overlook environmental wellness, Lefay Resorts is fully committed to operating in the most responsible way possible, whilst creating a haven of luxury and wellbeing. As the first Italian hospitality company to sign an agreement with the Italian Ministry of the Environment aimed at neutralizing C02 emissions, both its hotels in Lake Garda and The Dolomites (opened in August 2019) are 100% carbon neutral. Sustainable practices are integral to the hotels’ day to day operations including in the spa and restaurants. The company’s results and objectives are summarized in an annual Sustainability Report that is published on its website.
Most Inspirational Interior Design – Castello di Reschio (Umbria, Italy)
Perched in the Umbrian hills Castello Di Reschio is a thousand-year-old castle meticulously restored and stylishly reimagined by architect Count Benedikt Bolza and his wife Nencia Corsini. Now opening in April 2021, Count Benedikt designed much of the furniture and lighting himself and sourced rare pieces from Italy’s below-the-radar antiques markets and art fairs.
Most Intimate Bedroom – Cap Rocat (Mallorca, Spain)
Housed within an imposing 19th Century military fortress, Cap Rocat’s three Sentinel suites are carved out of the rocks that the fortress was built into, with private infinity pools featuring unobstructed views of Palma Bay. The three intimate rooms are each decorated with sumptuous king-sized beds, refined rugs, soft Mediterranean fabrics and a private terrace.
Most Mindful Wellness Retreat – Castle Hot Springs (Arizona, USA)
Castle Hot Springs’ remote location, tucked in a rugged canyon surrounded by Saguaro Cacti, makes it an oasis in every sense of the word. The star of the show are three hot springs that well up from deep within the desert surface and offer pristine 115 degree waters filled with revitalizing minerals. The waters are also piped through to enjoy in the guest rooms and to feed the three-acre sustainable farm. Guests can further absorb the landscape doing immersive activities like hot springs Paddleboard Yoga and Via Ferrata – a state of the art course and one of only a handful in North America.
Most Intense Bespoke Experience – The George (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Drawing upon the traditional Maori cultural values of care and guardianship, The George offers an exclusive half-day Flight Path Conservation Experience accompanied by an Endangered Species Ranger. Guests are taken to Canterbury’s forest valleys to support the conservation efforts of the critically-endangered orange-fronted Kakariki, a native parrot whose numbers are estimated at fewer than 300. A portion of every flight from the Conservation Experience is donated to the recovery programme.
Best Gourmet Experience – The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa (Bali, Indonesia)
The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa has launched Bali’s first ever Dine in the Dark event in collaboration with Yayasan Dria Raba, a donation-only orphanage for visually-impaired children. Held in the resort’s darkened Klass & Brass private dining room, the six-course sensory dinner experience focuses on texture, aroma and flavour, served and guided by children from the orphanage. The aim is to help provide the children with employment opportunities and basic hospitality training. The experience is available for overnight guests and requires at least 8 participants.
Local Food Champion – Chef Marc Collins, Wentworth Mansion (Charleston, USA)
Located in central Charleston, Wentworth Mansion’s restaurant Circa 1886, is regarded as one of the best in the region. Beyond working with local farmers and fishermen to curate the best local Southern dishes, their executive chef Marc Collins also holds the title of South Carolina Chef Ambassador. Chef Collins co-founded the Charleston Wine + Food Festival in 2006 with the objective to spotlight Charleston and the Lowcountry’s diverse culinary and hospitality community. In 2019, Chef Collins launched a unique menu concept that takes guests from South Carolina’s humble beginnings to Charleston’s Southern-modern foodie scene. Culinary highlights include the Broken Arrow Axis Venison with sunchoke hash and sunflower seed butter and Piedmontese Oxtail with conch fritter and mustard greens.
Hotel Hero Award – Michael Ferreira, Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa (St Barthélemy, Carribean)
Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa’s personalised service is exemplified through Guest Experience Manager Michael Ferreira. Michael’s proactive attitude has been demonstrated through thoughtful actions such as preparing a unique welcome amenity of detox juices, sun cream and hat for a cancer patient checking in, and accompanying a Portuguese guest to the hospital to help translate and make sure that the guest was well-taken care of. Michael showed true dedication when two guests fell in love at Le Barthélemy and spontaneously decided to get married - he organised the entire wedding event, from master of ceremony to musicians and floral arch, within 24 hours.
INVITED Hotel of the Year – The Tokyo Station Hotel (Toyko, Japan)
Located inside The Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building, INVITED guests praised The Tokyo Station Hotel for preserving its deep-rooted heritage from QR codes attached to framed old photographs and notepads made of Japanese manuscript paper to staff wearing pillbox hats and train timetables hanging in the corridors. The property’s sumptuous Japanese and Western style breakfast should be high on any traveller’s bucket list including sashimi and mini wagyu steaks.
Travel Agents’ Hotel of the Year – Hotel Relais Christine (Paris, Île-de-France, France)
Built atop a 13th century Augustinian monastery in Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, Hotel Relais Christine was commended by travel agents for its refined calm, remarkable home-from-home ease and vintage glamour. The hotel features a secret garden with beehives producing honey for the hotel’s breakfast table and basement Spa Guerlain with medieval stone vaults and impressive display of Guerlain perfume bottles.
Most ‘Liked’ Hotel – Halcyon House (Cabarita Beach, Australia)
Found on Instagram as @_halcyonhouse, Halcyon’s colourful and eclectic interior and idyllic beachside setting makes it an Instagrammers dream. The hotels, lauded for its ‘Instagram-worthy interiors’, includes a mix of ocean blue décor juxtaposed with bold clashing prints, vintage cameos and beachside bits and bobs.
Digital Excellence Award – Triumph Hotels
Triumph Hotels underwent a revamp of all their digital platforms in 2019, including those of SLH member hotels The Frederick Hotel and The Iroquois Hotel. Reflecting the aesthetic and contemporary edge of the hotels, the newly designed websites employ an experiential approach that brings to life the destination and energy of NYC.