The ceremony encompasses 18 categories which celebrate the best hospitality properties, projects and professionals working in the region over the last year:
The Chambers English Dictionary defines luxury as an “abundant provision of means of comfort, ease and pleasure"; of “indulgence" and “anything delightful, often expensive". This award celebrates all 5-Star hotels which offer a consistently exceptional environment with comprehensive facilities, unique and diverse features, excellent service and a superlative guest experience.
The founder of the boutique hotel sector Ian Schrager has defined the concept as “to do with having a single focus, an attitude, product distinction, creating an elevated experience. It’s not trying to be a generic commodity to satisfy all people. There’s a singular focus." This category is open to any design-centric, stylish hotel which creates a unique and striking impression through its decor, service and atmosphere that has a maximum of 175 rooms.
4-Star hotels satisfy customers with often extremely high expectations of luxury, features, service levels and value which have to be delivered with higher overheads than their 3-Star, and lower charges than their 5-Star counterparts and competitors. This award acknowledges excellence in this intensely competitive segment of the market.
This award celebrates the most successful launch and operation of a hotel or resort in the 3-, 4- or 5-Star categories that has opened since the 1st of July 2017. Judged within the context of its market positioning, the award will reward leading business performance, design, services and value.
Industry commentators expect that the regional hotel market will continue to see a significant trend towards high quality and well appointed, yet more affordable 3-Star hotels. Successful examples are already winning business from discerning but more cost-conscious travellers to the region, with design, technology, branding, service, facilities and value all important differentiators. This award is open to distinctive and successful hotels in this section of the market.
This award recognises a conspicuous and impactful single feature of a hotel or resort that creates significant excitement and interest for guests and helps define an overall sense of the venue’s identity. Such features can take many forms: entrants can include - but are not limited to - entrance areas, lobbies, sculpture, fountains, swimming pools or other water features, theatres or sophisticated lighting displays.
This award is open to any resort hotel in operation for at least one year. Successful entrants will typically be self-contained environments located outside of urban areas that are able to provide for all of their clients’ needs whilst they remain on the premises. Amenities will include, but are not limited to lodging, food, drink, entertainment and recreation. Resort hotels will also typically feature at least one signature amenity or characteristic.
This special award is open to young professionals who have worked in the hospitality profession for at least one year and demonstrate exceptional work, passion, commitment and a desire to learn and progress in their chosen field. Candidates will typically be nominated by a colleague, manager or mentor although they can nominate themselves if the application is accompanied by an endorsement letter from an appropriate referee. This letter can also list quotations from colleagues or clients to help build a vivid and faithful picture of the candidate’s qualities for the judging panel.
Character, atmosphere, entertainment, service standards, branding, design, food and beverage quality, effective promotions and a strong value proposition will all be key considerations in assessing the best bar, beach club or nightlife venue in operation over the last year. Successful applicants will be venues which are within or connected to hotels or other licensed sites and present a distinctive and popular offering which stands out in an often crowded and noisy marketplace.
This category recognises gyms or sporting facilities situated within hotels that provide outstanding fitness opportunities to guests through the quality of their equipment, event / training programmes, customer service, identity / branding and value.
This applies to any spa or wellness centre which is built and operating within the premises of a hotel that demonstrates consistently high standards of service, quality and value. Successful applicants will provide a distinct, therapeutic environment with a clear and compelling identity, well trained and skilled staff, excellent customer service and an extensive selection of treatments, packages and products.
Owners of existing properties face ever-increasing pressure to refresh and update their offerings as new capacity floods into the market and guest expectations and choices rise. This category celebrates a part or whole of a hotel in any market segment which has transformed or enhanced a significant aspect of its offering, leading to improved performance and impacting the property’s overall proposition. This can be a completely renovated property, an extensive refurbishment of bedrooms, restaurants, bars or other spaces or and is open to all hotel operators, architects or interior designers.
This award celebrates the most successful launch and operation of a restaurant that has opened and been in operation since the 1st of July 2017. Open to all cuisines and price points and judged within the context of its market positioning, the award will celebrate business performance, design, originality and above all else, excellence in service standards and food and beverage offerings.
Whether accommodating weddings, corporate meetings or conferences, art exhibitions, award ceremonies, music concerts or banquets, this award will focus on hotels or resorts which provide an excellent service, facilities, layout, design and setting for one-off special events.
Great hotels are only as good as their people. This award is open to any team that have excelled over the last year, whether in consistent back office or front office functions ranging from procurement to housekeeping, or a special purpose team brought together for a specific project initiative initiated and completed over the last 12 months.
A working head chef in the Middle East who is creating exceptional food in any cuisine or style and who serves as an inspirational example to other kitchen professionals. Eligible chefs must have been running a service within their restaurant since the 1st of July 2017 and since this time, displayed impressive talent, flair, consistency and leadership.
Open to senior hospitality professionals who have been in post since the 1st of July 2017, this award recognises Founders / CEOs / MDs / GMs or Heads of Department who have demonstrated exceptional business performance, initiative and leadership qualities over this period, enhancing or transforming the operation and reputation of their brand.