luxury travel network Virtuoso®
revealed the winners of the celebrated
2019 Best of the Best awards last night, 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.
is the leading international travel agency network specializing in
luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization
comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel
advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the
Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best
hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and
premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with
exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More
than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a
powerhouse in the luxury travel industry.
a wide-ranging portfolio of more than 1,400 hotels, resorts, villas,
tented camps and private island retreats in over 100 countries,
Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is the industry’s most renowned
program. Started in 1992 with 20 hotels, today it includes more
five-star properties than any other group.
20,000 professional travel advisors from 50 countries served as Best
of the Best award voters. Editors of
Virtuoso Life, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine,
lent insights to narrow the field of nominees for which the advisors
voted. Winners will be showcased in the September/October issue of
the magazine, reaching 200,000 affluent households.
exceptional contributions of these Best of the Best winners are
emblematic of the caliber of creativity, service and guest
experiences that are the hallmark of the Virtuoso Hotels &
Resorts program,” said
Albert Herrera, senior vice president of Global
Product Partnerships for Virtuoso. “Every year our
winners raise the bar even higher for global luxury hospitality, and
we are proud to honor their accomplishments while expressing
gratitude for the inspiration they provide to us all.“
2019 Virtuoso Best of the Best winners are:
of the Year:
iconic hotel that epitomizes excellence in luxury hospitality and
encourages positive change in its community.
Seasons Hotel George V,
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
The hotel offers three restaurants: the three-Michelin-starred Le
which each boast a star of their own.
Achievement in Design:
architecture and design of a hotel or component (room or suite,
restaurant, spa, public space, etc.), whether a new property,
renovation, or restoration.
Hong Kong, China
65 stories above Victoria
a new art and design district on the Kowloon
Rosewood’s glass tower enhances Hong Kong’s skyline. Inside, Western
and Asian aesthetics blend seamlessly, from the octagonal Chinese
bagua symbol on carpets and walls to copper-mesh-lined French pendant
artwork, and Indian artist Bharti
life-size elephant sculpture.
in hotel dining encompassing outstanding food, wine list, service,
ambiance, or even a stunning view.
Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa –
Restaurant Le Gabriel, Paris, France
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.
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.
Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club –
Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar, Surfside, Florida, U.S.
Coast bars perfected
the art of aperitivo, and that spirit is exemplified in this stylish
import from Positano’s
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
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
One&Only Wolgan Valley,
Wolgan Valley, Australia
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 glowworm walks,
stargazing, nocturnal animal viewing and tree planting.
Family Program: A
property offering children’s programs, from creative activities to
educational endeavors and active adventures.
Velas Riviera Maya,
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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.
A hotel focusing on mind/body balance through excellence in nutrition
or diet programs, fitness and wellness classes, spa experiences, and
Arizona Resort & Spa,
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
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.
most noteworthy network addition from April 2018 onward.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
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.
Virtuoso Hotel Ambassador: An executive (other than
general manager or managing director) who embodies Virtuoso’s power
of human connection and strives for the mutual benefit of network
advisors and their brand, property, or properties.
Carlos Quereda, Querido Representation Co.
decade-long tenure at the Marbella
Club on Spain’s
Costa del Sol, Quereda was inspired by cofounder Count
Rudolf von Schönburg’s ritual of greeting guests and staff,
converting them into lifelong friends of the hotel. Quereda brings
this hospitality to life to satisfy travelers’ quests for unique
properties that embody local traditions and soul.
of the Year:An
experienced manager who demonstrates leadership and vision, a passion
for the industry, a commitment to Virtuoso advisors, and an
appreciation for detail.
Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin
Oriental Hyde Park, London,
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.
more on Virtuoso and its properties in over 100 countries, including
booking a stay online at the global portfolio of luxury hotels, visit