Spear’s’ Christabel Milbanke reports on the prestigious World Boutique Hotel Awards that she presented earlier this week.
The annual World Boutique Hotel Awards and gala dinner was held at the Merchant Taylor’s Hall on Wednesday night. This was sixth year for the Boutique Hotel Awards founded by Cambridge graduate and young entrepreneur Edward Gabbai. The glittering event, presented by Spear’s writer and hotel judge Christabel Milbanke, celebrated boutique hotels, and their proprietors, from all corners of the globe during a spectacular evening of Laurent Perrier champagne, live music and fine dining.
Keynote speaker, Tim Dingle, gave an inspiring talk on how train your brain to manage stressful situations; a pitch aimed at those who tolerate the high-pressures of upholding the impossibly high standards of a luxury hotel.
Other esteemed speakers included Brian McCabe, the CEO of JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts, Alex Buchanan representing Best Travel Services, Paolo Macchiaroli, the founder of My Private Villas, Elizabeth Visoanska the founder of luxury skincare brand Visoanksa, and Brian Froelich the chairman of JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts.
The audience comprised of boutique hotel owners and hoteliers from around the globe. As well as travel and lifestyle press and influencers from publications such as CNN Travel, Elite Traveler, The Telegraph, Spear’s, Boat International, Time Out and The Financial Times.
The World’s Best New Hotel was presented to Hotel Gotham, Manchester, a retro-styled hotel situated in a grand listed building and former premises of the Midland’s Bank.
The highlight of the night was a speech by Manolis Vordonis, the owner of the Poseidonion Hotel, who conveyed the concept of the ‘Master Key Society’ created by Vordonis and Gabbai as a unique club where award winning hotel owners may exchange visits with other winners and develop new friendships along the way.
The most prestigious award of the night, the World’s Best Boutique Hotel, went to Secret Bay Hotel, Dominica.
The 2016 World Boutique Hotel Award winners are as follows:
World’s Best Beach or Coastal Award – El Nido, Pagulasian Island, Philippines
World’s Best City Hotel – 11 Mirrors, Kiev, Ukraine
World’s Best Classic Hotel – Hotel Heritage, Bruges, Belgium
World’s Best Culinary Hotel – Vila Joya, Algarve, Portugal
World’s Most Inspired Design Hotel – Kau Manor, Estonia
World’s Best Honeymoon Hideaway – Punta Tragara, Capri, Italy
World’s Best New Hotel – Hotel Gotham, Manchester, United Kingdom
World’s Best Relaxation Retreat – The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Bali, Indonesia
World’s Best Romantic Hotel – Aenaon Villas, Santorini, Greece
World’s Most Sustainable Hotel – Vigilius Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy
World’s Best Wellness Spa – Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy
World’s Best Private Villa – Over Yonder Cay, The Bahamas
World’s Best Boutique Hotel – Secret Bay Hotel, Dominica