The 2019 Virtuoso Best of the Best winners are…
Every year Virtuoso’s winners raise the bar even higher for global luxury hospitality. Find out the winners in the following categories: Hotel of the Year, Best Wellness Program, Best Achievement in Hotel Design, Best Dining Experience, Best Bar, Sustainable Tourism Leadership, Best Family Program, Hotelier of the Year 2019 and more.
Global luxury travel network Virtuoso revealed the winners of the celebrated 2019 Best of the Best awards, before more than 1,800 industry leaders at the 31st annual Virtuoso Travel Week. The ceremony at the 13th annual Hotels & Resorts Dinner recognized the year’s top 10 hotels and hoteliers in categories ranging from best wellness program to best dining experience. Four Seasons Hotel George V triumphed with the most prestigious prize: Hotel of the Year.
Virtuoso’s 20,000 professional travel advisors from 50 countries served as Best of the Best award voters.
Hotel of the Year 2019: An iconic hotel that epitomizes excellence in luxury hospitality and encourages positive change in its community.
Winner: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, France
The property delights guests with impeccable service, fine art and antiques and stunning floral displays. A new spa features an indoor pool and dozens of treatments and fitness programs, including a staff-led jog past landmarks including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. The hotel offers three restaurants: the three-Michelin-starred Le Cinq as well as Le George and L’Orangerie, which each boast a star of their own.
Best Achievement in Hotel Design: Outstanding architecture and design of a hotel or component (room or suite, restaurant, spa, public space, etc.), whether a new property, renovation, or restoration.
Winner: Rosewood Hong Kong, China
Soaring 65 stories above Victoria Dockside, a new art and design district on the Kowloon waterfront, Rosewood’s glass tower enhances Hong Kong’s skyline. Inside, Western and Asian aesthetics blend seamlessly, from the octagonal Chinesebagua symbol on carpets and walls to copper-mesh-lined French pendant lights, Damien Hirst artwork, and Indian artist Bharti Kher’s life-size elephant sculpture.
Best Dining Experience: Excellence in hotel dining encompassing outstanding food, wine list, service, ambiance, or even a stunning view.
Winner: La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa – Restaurant Le Gabriel, Paris, France
The gilded dining room of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant in a 19th-century mansion-turned-hotel makes an unforgettable impression. And that’s before chef Jérôme Banctel brings his notable pedigree, Breton upbringing, and influences from his travels to the table with modern takes on French classics such as coriander-spiced artichoke heart and pigeon with cacao and buckwheat.
Best Hotel Bar 2019: A hotel bar that offers a social meeting spot where innovative drinks, lively mixologists and servers, and an enticing atmosphere create a “see and be seen” buzz.
Winner: Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club – Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar, Surfside, Florida, U.S.
Amalfi Coast bars perfected the art of aperitivo, and that spirit is exemplified in this stylish import from Positano’s Le Sirenuse hotel. The lounge in the historic hotel’s original ballroom serves the largest selection of Champagne in the Miami area, plus grappas, liqueurs, and bubbly-infused cocktails, in handblown Venetian glasses.
Sustainable Tourism Leadership: A property that exhibits a commitment to the pillars of sustainable tourism including environmentally friendly practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, and social and economic benefits for local people.
This 7,000-acre success story shows how degraded ranchland can be restored to its natural grandeur. Kangaroos, wombats, and other wildlife roam the resort grounds, which was the world’s first to achieve internationally accredited carbon-neutral certification. Guest experiences focus on the outdoors, such as guided glow worm walks, stargazing, nocturnal animal viewing and tree planting.
Best Family Hotel Program: A property offering children’s programs, from creative activities to educational endeavors and active adventures.
Winner: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Families bond over horseback riding, boogie boarding, snorkeling and more, then relax at the pool or spa (with a kids’ treatment menu). The Kids’ Club offers 4- through 12-year-olds storytelling, movies, and games, while teens enjoy karaoke, pool tables, and dancing. Family accommodations lie near the pool and beach, and a “baby concierge” stocks everything from strollers to bottles – and arranges sitters too.
Best Wellness Program: A hotel focusing on mind/body balance through excellence in nutrition or diet programs, fitness and wellness classes, spa experiences, and inspiring location.
Winner: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Miraval helped pioneer the modern spa resort, and its flagship property continues to lead the way. Guests choose from more than 100 workshops, classes, and activities that include cooking, private and group workouts, beekeeping, and even equine therapy. Healthy gourmet meals fuel guests’ paths to wellness, as do rituals including massages and acupuncture at the Life in Balance Spa.
Best Virtuoso Newcomer: The most noteworthy network addition from April 2018 onward.
Winner: Montage Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This contemporary retreat offers an abundance of memorable experiences. Guests sip mezcal and dine at the two restaurants, play the 18-hole golf course, enjoy Baja-inspired spa treatments, and snorkel and paddleboard in Santa Maria Bay – a marine sanctuary and one of the area’s few swimmable beaches.
Hotelier of the Year 2019: An experienced manager who demonstrates leadership and vision, a passion for the industry, a commitment to Virtuoso advisors, and an appreciation for detail.
Winner: Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, U.K.
Hyndman’s career spans more than 30 years and some of the world’s most prestigious hotels, including Mandarin’s Bangkok flagship, where she was the first female general manager. She arrived at the Hyde Park property in June 2018, one week after a two-year renovation was completed – and two days before a fire shuttered the hotel. Hyndman transitioned staff to help with rebuilding, weathering the nine-month closure with no layoffs. The hotel reopened last spring with Hyndman and her kindness and commitment at the helm.