VIRTUOSO – the global network of agencies specialising in luxury and experiential travel – has revealed the winners of its 2019 Best of the Best awards during the organisation’s 31st Virtuoso Travel Week.
Hotels and hoteliers, in categories ranging from best wellness program to best dining experience, were recognised with Virtuoso’s 20,000 professional travel advisors casting their votes.
Virtuoso started in 1992 with 20 hotels and today has a “wide-ranging portfolio” of more than 1400 hotels, resorts villas, tented camps and private islands in more than 100 countries.
And here are the properties the network’s travel agents working in 50 countries picked out as being the best of the best in 2019.
Hotel of the year
Hotel Four Seasons King George V – Paris
“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 design
Rosewood Hong Kong – Hong Kong
“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 Chinese bagua symbol on carpets and walls to copper-mesh-lined French pendant lights and Indian artist Bharti Kher’s life-size elephant sculpture.”
Best dining experience
Restaurant Le Gabriel, La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa – Paris
“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.”
Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar, Four Seasons Hotel The Surf Club – Miami Beach
“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.”
Best wellness program
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa – Tuscon
“Miraval helped pioneer the modern spa resort and its flagship property in Tuscon, Arizona 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.”
Hotelier of the year
Amanda Hyndman, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park – London
“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., (andhe hotel reopened last spring with Hyndman at the helm.”