LUXURY IN THE MOST ISOLATED REGION IN EUROPE
Casas da Cerca started 9 years ago with a single house. Over the last five years, this property on the banks of the River Mira boasts a trio of quaint, thick earth-walled Alentejo houses, outfitted and maintained to the highest standards, set dramatically against the Southern Portuguese landscape, flanked by a grape arbor and quince trees.
MAKING OUR FIRST IMPRESSION COUNT
Hotel do Canal, part of the Bensaude Hotels Collection, is located on the ocean front of Horta, Faial Island, with breathtaking views over the city bay and Pico Mountain. With the support of a friendly professional team, whether a client is traveling on business or on vacation, it is the best choice to relax and enjoy the beauty of the wonderful Azores Islands of Faial, Pico and S. Jorge. LOGO FINAL
FONTS / BODONI MT CONDENSED > HALVETT ULTRA COMPRESSED
PANTONE GREEN C
Welcome to the 2016 Hotel & Spa Awards The world of hotels and spas as we know it is rapidly changing. Gone are the days of pay to view television, swans made from towels and chocolates on your pillow: now visitors are looking for the experience of a lifetime which combines great service with quality furnishings, exquisite food and a unique, individual atmosphere. For the 2016 Hotel & Spa Awards, we will be introducing a plethora of establishments, from castles fit for royalty to unusual, niche and even themed establishments. Everyone deserves to treat themselves to a break away from everyday life every once in a while and whether you are looking to be waited on hand and foot, fall asleep under the stars, or explore high up in the trees, we give you the best of the best for this year.
The winners are... 4. Best Rural Accommodation - Portugal & LUX Location Award for Outstanding Surroundings - Casas da Cerca 6. Best Boutique Hotel - Portugal & LUX Location Award for Best Panoramic Views - Hotel do Canal 8. Day Spa of the Year 2016 - Germany - Just Pure 10. Best Contemporary Boutique Apartments 2016 & Best City Break Apartments 2016 – Australia - ADGE Hotel 11. Best Massage Therapists & Spa 2016 – San Bernardino & Client Choice Awards: Best Couples Massage Package. - Altitudes Massage & Spa 12. Spa of the Year 2016 - Chiswick - Cove Spa 13. Best Contemporary Venetian Style B&B 2016 - Venice & LUX Location Award: Most Charming B&B - Venice - Ca’ San Giorgio 14. Best Budget Accommodation - Palawan - D Lucky Garden Inn 15. Most Exclusive Acommodation - Lakan Villa & Best Signature Spa Treatments - Philippines - The Farm at San Benito 16. Best Luxury Self Catering Villa 2016 - Lefkada - Gecko 17. Most Charming Health Salon 2016 - Shropshire & LUX Recommended for Skincare Treatments - Shropshire - Heaven Health & Beauty 18. Best Luxury Hotel & Restaurant 2016 - Birmingham & LUX Customer Service Award 2016 - Birmingham - Hogarths Hotel 19. Best Harmonious Getaway - Spain - Hospedería Convento de la Parra 20. Best Mountain View Hotel 2016 - South Tyrol & Most Revitalising Holistic Spa Treatments - Hotel Gitschberg 21. Best Scenic Hotel & Spa Resort 2016 - South Tyrol & Best Sensual Wellness Spa & Treatments 2016 - Italy - Hotel Hohenwart 22. Best Luxury Accommodation - Philippines & LUX Award for Best Wedding Venue 2016 - Philippines - The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay 23. Best Luxury Hotel 2016 - Piedmont - La Villa Hotel 24. Best Luxury Wellbeing Spa - Uzes - La Villa Romaine and Day SPA in Uzes, South of France 25. Best Luxury Coastal Hotel 2016 - Zante & LUX Treatment Award: Mabely Relaxing Treatment Sessions - Mabely Grand Hotel Zakynthos 26. Best Country Inn 2016 - Augusta & LUX Excellence in Sustainability - Augusta - Maple Hill Farm Inn 28. Best Country House - Portugal & LUX Award for Best Relaxation Concept - Health through Water - Monte do Giestal - Casas de Campo & Spa
29. Best B&B Accommodation 2016 - York - No.21 York 30. Best Eco-Friendly Luxury Accommodation 2016 & LUX Location Award: Best Beach Front Hotel 2016 - Australia - The Observatory Hotel 31. Best Country House Hotel 2016 - North Yorkshire & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue 2016 - North Yorkshire - The Pheasant Hotel 32. Best Luxury Hotel 2016 - Turks and Caicos - Point Grace Hotel 33. Best Luxury Family Resort 2016 - Routt County - The Porches 34. LUX Beauty Salon of the Year 2016 - Crystal Palace - Revitalize 35. Best Luxury B&B 2016 - Harrogate - Roseberry Cottage Bed & Breakfast 36. Best Luxury Hotel & Spa 2016 - Lancashire & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue 2016 - UK - Stanley House Hotel & Spa 37. Best Luxury Self-Catering Accommodation 2016 - County Tipperary - Stone Cottage 38. Best Multi-Service Fitness Studio - Minneapolis - Studio Time Out 39. Best Countryside Retreat 2016 - Essex & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue - Essex - That Amazing Place 40. Best Luxury Rental Property - St. Lucia - Villa C’est La Vie 41. Best Contemporary Zoofari Retreat - Australia & Best Experience Accommodation - New South Wales - Zoofari Lodge 43. Best Boutique Mountain Chalets 2016 - St Martin de Belleville - The Alpine Club 44. Best Luxury Holistic Retreat 2016 - Germany - Ayurveda Parkschlosschen 45. Most Luxurious Day Spa 2016 - Royal Borough of Greenwich - Ayurveda Pura Health Spa & Beauty Centre 46. Best Luxury Hotel & Spa 2016 - Cumbria - Beech Hill Hotel 47. Best Country Pub & Boutique Hotel 2016 - Preston - The Cartford Inn 48. Best Luxury Spa Group 2016 & LUX Spa Award: Chuan Escape packages - Chuan Spa 49. Best Romantic Hideaway - Gold Coast & LUX Location Award: Best Scenic Accommodation - Clouds on Beechmont 50. Spa of the Year 2016 - West Yorkshire & LUX Customer Experience Award 2016 - West Yorkshire - Dream Spa at Gomersal Park Hotel 51. Best Boutique Hotel 2016 - Accra - East Gate Hotel 52. Best Luxury Tropical Accommodation - Thailand - Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps 53. Most Unique Rural Retreat - 2016 - Elm Cottage Tumut 54. Best Eco-Wellness Destination Bali - Fivelements 55. Best Luxury Day Spa 2016 - Lincolnshire - The Grange Spa 56. Most Romantic Retreat 2016 - Falmouth & LUX Recommended for Spa Treatments - Falmouth - The Greenbank Hotel (Falmouth) Ltd. 58. Best Traditional Bath Spa - Nicosia - Hamam Omerye 60. Best B&B Accommodation 2016 - Scottish Borders - The Home Arms Bed And Breakfast Guest House 61. Most Enchanting Accomodation - New Orleans - Hotel Maison De Ville 62. Best Luxury Hotel 2016- Iceland - Hotel Rangá 63. LUX Customer Care Award: Best Medical Centre & Spa 2016 - Kurotel Longevity Medical Center and Spa 64. LUX Hotel of the Year 2016 - Wirral & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue - Wirral - Leasowe Castle 65. Best Pilates Centre 2016 & LUX Award: Best Location - Line5 Studios 66. Best Day Spa & Beauty Salon 2016 - West Sussex - Mi Spa Ltd 67. Best 5* Luxury Accommodation - Queenstown & Most Luxurious Spa Experience - ‘True Luxury’ - Millbrook Resort 68. Best 5* Resort - Portugal & Most Dedicated Staff 2016 - Monte Santo Resort 69. Best Organic Spa 2016 & LUX Group Excellence Award - Quick Spa 70. Best Skincare & Spa Treatment Specialist 2016 - QMS Medicosmetics GmbH 72. Best Hair & Beauty Spa 2016 - Kirklees - Soul Spa 73. Most Luxurious Pet Spa 2016 - Texas - Spa Paws Hotel 74. Best Family Resort 2016 - Wisconsin - Wild Eagle Lodge 75. Best Vacation Rental Company - Oregon - Wildland Properties
4 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Best Rural Accommodation - Portugal & LUX Location Award for Outstanding Surroundings
Best Rural Accommodation - Portugal & LUX Location Award for Outstanding Surroundings
Company: Troviscais – Actividades Turísticas do Alentejo Unipessoal Lda. Email: info@ casasdacerca.com.pt Phone: 00 351 283975263; 00 351 919990418 Web Address: www.casasdacerca.com.pt Address: Herdade de S. Nuno Caixa Postal 2410 Troviscais, 7630-435 S. Luís
Casas da Cerca Casas da Cerca started 9 years ago with a single house. Over the last five years, this property on the banks of the River Mira boasts a trio of quaint, thick earth-walled Alentejo houses, outfitted and maintained to the highest standards, set dramatically against the Southern Portuguese landscape, flanked by a grape arbor and quince trees.
Graça Jalles cites her passion and love for her work as a major reason for the hotel’s success. “Since I came here 16 years ago, I have tried to give the most that I can, and transmit to guests my love for nature and my own experience here, which makes it even more unique because it comes from the heart.” Being located in one of the most protected areas of the Natural Park, most of the clients are people seeking for nature, silence and privacy. This aligns well with Graça’s specific goal. “The focus is all about pure nature with a human touch and for people to connect again with nature. Not being afraid of the silence and make peace with the silence. It’s a kind of retreat space in a genuine environment where besides nature the local original community, the Alentejanos, has a lot to give and to teach.” To Graça, it is also about peace, adventure, and a lack of other intrusive humans. Alentejo is the most isolated region in Europe, with the least people per square kilometre. This means that the Casas de Cerca offers far more than a simple accommodation, but also a holistic retreat – a place of healing. This attitude inspires Graça to think about the sort of service that her customers come to expect.
Acknowledging that many of them are coming from stressful lives and are looking for a chance to escape and relax under their own steam, she walks through “We always try to think of the phrase ‘treat others like you would like to be treated yourself’, but because people are different we have to adapt each time. Because it’s a retreat space, we try as much as we can to be attentive, and try to strike a balance between giving them what they ask for and also let them alone enjoying and discover the place. “A small example of this is the breakfast that we offer. We always go to the guest’s room in the morning and leave fresh Alentejano bread on top of the table outside. If it happens that they are already awake, we may interact a little bit, but after that we disappear and let them enjoy the place on their own. They know that they can always call us at the main house, located one and a half kilometres away from Casas da Cerca. “We are very attentive to details. Upon the guest’s arrival we explain a lot of things and make a first introduction to the place. We give them all the information, like maps, telephone numbers, etc. We also try to introduce a little bit so that there is no problem just in case something goes wrong. It is all a part of living in the countryside, where unexpected things happen and you cannot always control them.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 5
Best Boutique Hotel â€“ Portugal & LUX Location Award for Best Panoramic Views
6 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Best Boutique Hotel – Portugal & LUX Location Award for Best Panoramic Views
Hotel do Canal, part of the Bensaude Hotels Collection, is located on the ocean front of Horta, Faial Island, with breathtaking views over the city bay and Pico Mountain. With the support of a friendly professional team, whether a client is traveling on business or on vacation, it is the best choice to relax and enjoy the beauty of the wonderful Azores Islands of Faial, Pico and S. Jorge.
Company: Hotel do Canal, Bensaude Hotels Email: hoteldocanal@ bensaude.pt Phone: + 351 292 202 120 Web Address: www.bensaudehotels.com Address: Largo Dr. Manuel de Arriaga, 9900-026 Horta, Azores, Portugal
“We make our first impression count because it can set the tone for the entire stay and the guest’s experience”, explains Arlene Nazaré. “As we so often hear, ‘you only have one opportunity to make a first impression.’ Whether it’s over the phone or in-person, a genuine smile and a professional tone are the beginning of a warm and friendly service. We create an emotional connection with our guests. “We are dedicated to our guests and we do everything for their visit to be a success. We work hard to ensure that all our guests’ wants and needs are met and most of all exceeded. And this goes beyond a clean bed and healthy meals. We offer authentic experiences and unique memories for guests to take home, whether it’s a honeymoon, a wedding, a corporate event or a family holiday. Our main practice is O2O marketing to achieve a personal relationship with guests in order to know them enough to offer the most appropriate type of goods and services.” At the forefront of this goal, Arlene says, lie the hotel staff. As the first point of contact for customers, their role in delivering the hotel’s vision is essential. “Successful hotels are made of people. Leadership and teamwork ability are the successful keys. By sharing the vision and company’s mission, goals and results, our staff has an important role on decision making. This way, the staff is motivated to be involved with the firm’s aims not only with customer relations, but also with the surrounding community at a social and environmental level.” In order to build upon this rapport with new and returning clients, the Hotel do Canal also takes advantage of their location in Horta to promote a connection with visitors and tourists. “The city of Horta is linked to the history of the Atlantic voyages: the Clippers from Pan American World Airways, whaling and yachtsmen chasing the dream of traveling around the world. Hotel do Canal’s atmosphere mirrors this real and authentic storytelling. “We also promote a greater Hotel relationship with Faial’s population where our restaurant has a key role. Clipper Restaurant embodies the image that we have of ourselves: creative individuals. “Still, we develop and build educational projects and an ethical culture in the company. We develop actions to protect the natural environment. We are involved in social projects in the community and we implement personnel policies based on evaluation, training and workers’ welfare. We also promote and defend consumers’ rights.” In addition to this, wider challenges involving the dynamic tourist industry require even more dynamic solutions. “The first year of the presence of low cost airlines in the Azores in 2015 placed the region on a trending curve,” Arlene clarifies. “I believe that
we must continue working to keep the destination’s notoriety with qualified and sustainable development in the tourism sector. “Other concerns such as the preservation of the environment and the development of tourism as a promotional tool for the regional economy of the Islands are very important to position the Azores as a unique destination of exuberant nature and to improve the competitiveness of the destination and increase tourist flow.” These efforts to establish a connection with the clientele also means incorporating technology that helps customers feel more at ease. Technology is particular is one way to enhance customers’ options, and Arlene explains how they are able to turn this to their advantage. “We make it easy for customers to communicate with us. This means providing customers with an easy-to-find email address and phone number and social media links (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Newsletters, Google Hotel Finder, Bensaude Hotels website, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram among others). We also capture customer feedback in real time. “Our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) manages the Hotel interaction with current and future customers. The CRM approach improves business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention. By compiling information from a range of different communication channels, we learn more about our target audiences and how to best fulfill their needs.” This forward-thinking strategy has enabled the staff at Hotel do Canal to realize trends among their clientele, and how best to respond to them. “New values are influencing their behavior, in search of authentic experiences because they want to not only meet their needs but mainly to satisfy their wishes.” It is in this ever-changing environment that the Bensaude Hotels Collection responds to these expectations. “To remain in a constantly changing market, our key strategy is to maintain quality. Above all, the online reviews are the most valuable for they enable us to meet our guest’s needs thus encouraging all of us to fulfill our duties in the best of our abilities. We literally take care of people and they take care of us with valuable source of feedback that makes our team improve each day.” These factors give Arlene tremendous hope for the future, expressing future ambitions not only for the hotel, but for the wider Hotel Collection group. “The hoteliers are innovators by passion; this is the best part of this industry and what makes it fun and enjoyable. We have a very ambitious goal, which is to create a typical Faial Island dish with products produced only on this Island. There is a long way to go, but the team is committed to creating something unique and different from the Azores Islands.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 7
Day Spa of the Year 2016 - Germany
JUST PURE is a day spa and supplier of organic skincare products which have been certified by ICADA and produced in the AllgĂ¤u Mountains (South Germany). We invited Founder Gabriela Just to provide us with an absorbing overview of the firm and its vast range of luxurious products and services. 8 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
lux Renowned fitness, beauty and wellness expert Gabriela Just, who in the early Eighties had her own TV shows including “Enorm in Form” and “Let’s move” (ZDF), began developing her own line of natural cosmetics JUST PURE in 1996.
Company: JUST PURE DaySpa (JUST PURE GmbH) Name: Gabriela Just (CEO) Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.justpure.com Address: Postfach 1113, D-86983 Lechbruck, Telephone: 0049 89 38356999, company Head office: 0049-8367 9139330
With her deep interest in the healing properties of plants and herbs, she soon developed a holistic concept bringing together natural cosmetics and their application in the spa. The formulation of her cosmetics is based on the use of cold-pressed oils, herbs and plant extracts from organic cultivation. What makes them truly unique is the fact, that their production is strictly adjusted to the moon phases. With the favorable influence of the right moon phase, Gabriela can guarantee long-lasting shelf live, texture and fragrance of her products without chemical additives. With her sure sense for fragrance compositions, Gaby Just exclusively combines nature’s plants and herbs with pure oils and basics, constantly extending her wide range of beauty products. Alongside the vast range of products provided, the brand now involves a day spa, JUST PURE DaySpa in Munich, which is the place to go when you are looking for holistic beauty programs. Gabriela opened her JUST PURE DaySpa in Schwabing, Munich in November 2000, creating the first European spa outside a hotel. With opening the luxury Spa Suite in October 2014 their holistic and elaborate treatments, massages and beauty programs will be a haven of pure well-being, as they offer the exact opposite of the hustle and bustle of today’s life: a pure experience reduced to what really matters. They allow the customers to experience hours of wellbeing and regeneration for that special moment in our lives when everything revolves around them. Following the ‘less is more’ principle, JUST PURE stands for pure natural and unpolluted cosmetics, as Gabriela explains. “My focus is to keep JUST PURE very selective, and as such we often refrain from undertaking more clients in order to retain our high standards. In addition, we retain a very unique production philosophy focused on bio dynamics and moon phases. “The aim of JUST PURE is to produce handmade products of the highest quality, “Made in Germany”, to cover a complex area of wellness and feeling of well-being. Accordingly, our range not only covers an extensive line of cosmetics Face, Body, Bath and Hair but also cosy textiles - bathrobes and towels, massage and body brushes made of natural wood, soap, potpourris and unusual bath accessories. Our moonphase herbal teas from controlled biological cultivation and Health Drinks round off the “wellness style” and ideally complement our overall concept.” In addition to her own DaySpa, Gabriela also offers her services as a spa consultant. She develops holistic care concepts for international spa resorts and design hotels that offer the JUST PURE beauty and massage treatments in their spa menus. For her consultancy services she also incorporates her extensive knowledge from her academic studies of architecture and design as well as from her independent work in product development, where no detail is left out: from the formulation and packaging design to the design of the spa and store locations, including the spa’s structural and functional quality, detailed quality standards, a clear presentation of the spa menu with plausible pricing as well as regular staff trainings on communications skills for customer guidance and sales. Gabriela explains just what it is that sets her brand apart from the rest and marks it out as a truly perfect experience for clients. “JUST PURE prides itself on offering extremely friendly and considerate staff who forge a deep connection with clients as well as effective treatments made from only the most natural ingredients.
Day Spa of the Year 2016 - Germany
“The secret to success in the spa and cosmetics industry, in my opinion, is to keep things simple: by focusing on honesty and integrity and simply providing quality you cannot go wrong.” In line with this philosophy, JUST PURE stands for consistently pure ingredients and a consistently pure design with a focus on sustainability. By strictly linking the production to the moon phases, the organic certified JUST PURE cosmetics can go without preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, parabens and mineral oils as well as artificial aromatics. The firm’s quality standards include 100% natural and vegetable ingredients like fresh plant extracts from organic cultivation (kbA), 100% pure essential oils, cold pressed virgin vegetable oils and natural colouring with floral and herbal essences. The design of the JUST PURE cosmetics is as pure as its production: no frills, just simple glass jars and bottles with wooden or aluminium lids, all manually prepared. Only shower gels and travel sizes are filled in shatter-proof plastic bottles free from plasticizers, odorless and 100% pollutant-free and recyclable. Their puristic design perfectly reflects the puristic use of ingredients. It is this care concept that positively influences all senses, making JUST PURE treatments and products a truly holistic experience. In addition, Gabriela is eager to highlight the importance of her unique moon phase focus, which is an innovative way to manufacture products and brings the cosmetics further in touch with nature. “The knowledge about the influences of the rhythm of the moon has been passes down for thousands of years - traditional cultures were using the science of the power of the moon and the Zodiac system for farming and cultivating their land (sowing, fertilizing, harvesting, cutting of trees) “Not only the oceans of our earth are directed by the power of the moon. Also human beings can distinctly feel the influences of the different phases of the moon as 75% of the human body consist of water. “The moon also orchestrates life in the kingdom of plants and animals where growth and reproduction follow the lunar rhythm. The most famous example is the Palalowurm on the island of Samoa – reproduction occurs during the full moon phase in October. As such, my products are able to support the skin through the moon phases and the changes in nature and ensure that it is at its optimum condition.” The JUST PURE range is expansive, meaning there really is something for everyone. For the face Gabriela’s firm offers face peels, face creams, cleansing milks, tonics, oils, eye and lip balm, facial masks among many others. For the body and bath there are a vast array of shower gels, body peels, body milk, flower water, body and massage gels all of which are designed to provide a highly relaxing and natural experience. Hair, textiles and home products are all also included in the firm’s vast range and ultimately, the full JUST PURE treatment and production concept is distinguished both nationally and internationally by virtue of its absolutely unique position within the market. Moving forward, Gabriela states that it was vital that her firm retains the high standards that it has come to pride itself on. “Our future here at JUST PURE is firmly focused on continuing to provide clients with the very best treatments available. Working in an industry which thrives on compulsive purchases, we aim to offer unforgettable moments through our great service, best treatments and personal support.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 9
Daring to be Different Company: ADGE Hotel Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +61 2 8093 9888 Web Address: www.adgehotel.com.au Address: 222 Riley Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia “All guests receive a pre-arrival email offering them services such as a personal grocer,” Steven relates with pride. “The guests are able to order their shopping prior to their arrival and have everything sitting in the fridge waiting for when they check in. Our TV remotes are sanitized and vacuum sealed after every departure for the new arrivals. “With services like this, the guest is already being looked after before they have even walked through the door.” On arrival, Steven and the team provide guests with a welcome tour of their suite, along with the tantalising offer of a cheese platter and welcome drinks, which change dependant on seasonality. “For our turn-down service we provide slippers, bottles of water, and chocolates on the pillow with a weather card informing the guests of the next day’s forecast. In our Penthouse suites we also place a bread maker which will bake fresh bread overnight ready for the morning.” The suites themselves are individually outfitted, so that no one is similar to the others, and are outfitted with the hotel’s own custom made carpets, mood lighting, and kitchen amenities from SMEG and Miele. The lobby to the hotel, meanwhile, is an open and airy space, with one corner being covered in a brightly coloured wall art, which establishes from the get-go the ‘Dare to be Different’ tone that the hotel hopes to impress upon all of its guests. “We have only 12 suites, therefore the service we provide our guests is personalised and we always strive to be unique in every way with our slogan being ‘Dare to be Different’. The service that the guests receive on arrival is unique and personalised and ensures a memorable start to their ADGE experience.” The design of ADGE Hotel was based on the surrounding area of Surry Hills and each apartment is a reflection of the bold, individual character of this inner city suburb, and furnished in the styling of Sydney’s upscale lifestyle. Due to the design the guests are able to grasp the feel of the area and it creates an excitement to go out and experience and explore the affluent neighbourhood of Surry Hills, which is home to a diverse range of cafes, bars and restaurants, and is within easy walking distance of the Central Business District.
10 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Best Contemporary Boutique Apartments 2016 – Australia & Best City Break Apartments 2016 – Australia
ADGE Hotel is the ultimate lifestyle hotel for the 21st Century, with its urban adventure and daredevil design. ADGE Hotel offers a collection of fullyserviced apartments, each with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, right in the heart of Sydney’s pulsing inner city. The hotel enjoys a mix of clientele, ranging from leisure guests, corporate guests and also tourists, and its dayto-day operations are overseen by the scrutinising eye of General Manager Steven Gargano. Building upon this, Steven further remarks upon the hotel’s position within the metropolis that is Sydney. The historic hub of Australia is, he notes, definitely experiencing a resurgence with more hotels moving online. “International arrivals into Sydney are going up, and with the opening of the International Convention Centre Sydney in Darling Harbour, this will only continue to grow. We are already seeing major enquiries from the MICE market.” While the owners of ADGE Hotel have no development plans at present, they will continue to listen to the needs of their guests and develop their service accordingly, just as they have always done. An important facet of this lies with the hotel’s devoted team. “We have a fantastic team at ADGE! Everyone involved in the ADGE team are passionate about providing our guests with an unforgettable experience. They are all continuously reminded of the importance of providing each individual guest with a unique and personal service and to ensure each suite is in perfect condition at all times. Positive feedback is recognised at team events and encouraged on a daily basis.
Having been in the industry over 35 years, Steven notes that the expectations of the hotel’s guests have definitely risen. “Guests are savvier and know what they want,” he comments. “Guests now prioritise service over facilities when looking for accommodation. To meet this developing environment our staff are regularly given onsite training on how to meet guests’ expectations. “Within the accommodation sector in Sydney there is much more of a demand for upmarket, deluxe suite accommodation with self-catering facilities available. Whilst 99 per cent of the guests do not use these facilities, they like having the freedom of knowing that it is available for them.” With this is mind, the job of any hotelier worth his salt has to strive to meet every conceivable demand from customers that is within their power. “We have just introduced an online Guest Portal which contains all information guests will need during their stay such as room service menus, local eateries, bars, things to do and much more. The compendium is loaded onto a tablet which is placed in the room for the guests to enjoy at their own free will. Each room includes a smart TV and also touch screen telephones.”
Best Massage Therapists & Spa 2016 – San Bernardino & Client Choice Awards: Best Couples Massage Package
Company: Altitudes Massage and Spa Name: Chelsea Redwood Email: Chelsea@ altitudesmassage.com Web Address: www.altitudesmassage.com Address: 42184 #4 Moonridge Rd., Big Bear Lake, CA. 92315 Telephone: (909)747-9696
Best Massage Therapists & Spa 2016 – San Bernardino & Client Choice Awards: Best Couples Massage Package
Altitudes Massage and Spa Altitudes Massage and Spa is a massage therapy centre and spa based near Big Bear Lake, California. We spoke to Chelsea Redwood who talked us through the establishment and how its focus in providing quality services has helped it to achieve its current success. Altitudes Massage and Spa provide a range of treatments to visitors, including their award winning couples massage package, which Chelsea describes in detail.
use huge comfortable memory foam pillows for them when they roll over. All of these extra touches ensure our guests have the best experience possible when they visit our spa.
“Here at Altitudes Massage and Spa our main service offering is massages, facials and body treatments, which are provided to tourists getting away to our ski resort town at 7500 feet. We have an acupuncturist who has earned the nick name as Miko the magician. I am certified in 18 modalities and have been doing massage since 1997. Our clients are well off and pretty awesome people from all over the world. The couple’s massages are our primary source of revenue as they are extremely popular.
“By delivering the little extras that ease comfort and help celebrate their stay. We provide free champagne and tea also, and even drive people home if we need to when the roads are bad. We love what we do and it shows, which is why our spa is so successful.”
“Our theme is over delivering and providing all the extras that they usually have not experienced before. Hot stones and aromatherapy are used in every massage, as well as hot steamed towels. Our tables are the best that elevate the feet and adjust and we
What sets the firm apart, according to Chelsea, is the overall ambiance and the culmination of all of the hard work that she and her team have put into the spa. “The key differentiator for our firm is that we make quality the focus of every aspect of our premises. The people, décor, effectiveness of services, location, talent all come together to produce a superior experience. We are also the only spa in town that can do large groups of seven or less at a time.”
Looking to the future, Chelsea outlines the exciting plans the firm has to grow and expand whilst maintaining the high standards it prides itself on. “Moving forward we are keen to expand and are currently looking into becoming a full service spa with steam room, sauna, showers and spa tubs. In addition, we are also keen to provide education to our clients on the exercises and treatments they can perform on themselves so that they can enjoy the effects of our treatments for as long as possible. “Currently our business is booming, and we look forward to even greater success in the coming months and years. Massage and holistic healing are more popular than they ever have been, and acupuncture is even being covered by insurance companies. People know massage fixes major problems that doctors are not able to and they know quality when they see it, which is why our spa is so immensely popular.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 11
Company: The Cove Spa Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.thecovespa.co.uk
Spa of the Year 2016 - Chiswick & St Albans
The Cove Spa is an establishment which specialises in results driven skincare, relaxing holistic therapies and industry leading beauty treatments. We invited Krupesh Patel to provide us with an absorbing insight into the firm’s work and how its client focused approach has helped it to achieve its current success.
Spa of the Year 2016 - Chiswick
Multi-award winning Cove Spa is renowned for its personalised and cutting edge service, which, as Krupesh outlines, revolves around exceeding client’s expectations. “Our philosophy, which is at the heart of our organisation, is that exceeding the expectations of our customers is crucial, and this is very important to each and every one of us here at Cove Spa. We are specialists in advanced skincare and relaxing holistic therapies which is true to the Cove Spa’s theme of rejuvenation and revitalisation. This philosophy and our determination to live by this and our values, which are all customer-centric, is what sets our business apart from other spas in the area. “Another key differentiator is that the directors of our business are consistently benchmarking our performance with the industry and looking at ways of evolving treatments to keep ahead of the competition. Within the wider industry we have noticed has that the aesthetic or medi-spa concept has taken the market by storm over the last few years, however we have noticed that The Cove Spa continues to exceed the expectations of its customers through the advance treatments, products and therapies it offers in skincare, body and beauty.” The firm’s staff are vital to the success of the Cove Spa, as Krupesh explains as he describes how the spa’s team work to ensure every visitor has a truly enjoyable experience from the moment they walk through the door. “When a guest first arrives at the Cove Spa they receive a smile and warm welcome, which we believe makes all the difference. As such we pay a lot of focus on being attentive to customers, and of course the ambience and décor (lighting, aromas, music etc) make an impact too. All of these aspects combine to ensure that everyone who visits the Cove Spa has a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
12 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
“Our staff have a crucial role to play in achieving this, and as such we place a lot of emphasis on our team development, from the point of induction through to on the job and external, professional, training with key product houses. It is through this rigorous focus that we are able to keep our team highly skilled and motivated, therefore happy customers.” Being such a popular spa, thanks to its quality service and relaxing ambiance, has made repeat bookings common. Krupesh describes how the Cove Spa has adapted around this change in order to ensure that it continues to meet client’s needs. “Recently we have noticed that customers are less likely to secure a future appointment before they leave the premises now as they have the luxury of using The Cove Spa’s online booking system or mobile app to do this with ease, at their convenience. Our online bookings have gone up significantly over the last year or two thanks to the introduction of this innovative technology.
“Overall, as a business we are very up to date with the latest technology, as this helps us to ensure that clients receive the services which meet the demands of their busy, modern lifestyles. We have a good front of house system which also houses a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, as well as utilising social media and website technology, which is key to ensuring guests are always up to date with the latest developments and new treatments at the Cove Spa.” Looking to the future, Krupesh talks us through the firm’s plans for growth and expansion at it seeks to build upon its current success. “Ultimately, our firm is constantly evolving and strategic expansion is our focus moving forward as we look to bring a Cove Spa, and its high quality services, to cities across the UK. The Cove Spa has carved out a niche for itself in the market and our ambitions are to continue serving our customers with the first class results driven treatments we do today.”
lux Caâ€™ San Giorgio Santa Croce, 1725 Venezia, Salizada del Fontego dei Turchi Ph: +39 041 2759177 Fax +39 041 795542 firstname.lastname@example.org
Winner of the Best Contemporary Venetian Style B&B 2016 - Venice & LUX Location Award: Most Charming B&B - Venice
www.casangiorgio.com LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 13
Best Budget Accommodation - Palawan
Company: D LUCKY GARDEN INN & SUITES Email: luckygardeninn@ yahoo.com email@example.com, Web Address: www.dluckygardeninn.com, www.d-lucky-garden-inn.com Address: P.E.O Road Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Philippines. Telephone: Landline +6348-4336490; +63487233518; +63484336576; +63484332719 Mobile including country code: +639273423845
Best Budget Accommodation - Palawan
D Lucky Garden Inn & Suites The D Lucky Garden Inn is small and affordable accommodation in Puerto Princesa city, suitable for budget conscious travellers. The family run business is open 24 hours day, 7 days a week, and all of the staff can speak English, despite the language in the Philippines being Filipino or Tagalog. The inn has continued to improve over the years; it has added rooms and apartments for long staying guests, renovations and they make every effort to improve in all facets. They aim to provide guest satisfaction, a unique travel experience, exceptional service, and all at an affordable price. D Lucky Garden Inn is ideally located in the heart of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan’s tropical paradise. Whether traveling for business or recreation, D Lucky Garden Inn is an ideal place to stay, especially for guests with flights the next day, as they are located just 3 minutes from the airport. Guests are welcomed with the charm and comfort of Filipino hospitality. The friendly staff are dedicated to making any stay as comfortable, relaxing and indulgent as possible. The Innkeepers and staff place a great sense of honour in the care of their guests, and truly believe that they deserve a unique travel experience and exceptional service. Open for over 10 years now, the D Lucky Inn is continuously open to improvement, and regularly renovates its premises. They hire staff who have been professionally trained in hospitality and strive for continuous professional development. The D Lucky Garden Inn provides three types of accommodation; houses or cottages, Couples’ Rooms and Family Inn Rooms are available for guests to
14 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
choose from. Each Couples’ Room is furnished with one queen-size bed, a desk, a sitting chair, and a private bath, whilst the family room has 2 queen sized beds, a sitting chair, a desk and a toilet and bath. Cottages feature 2 rooms, both with a queen bed, and a toilet and shower, a refrigerator, dining area, living room and parking area. The Inn guest rooms and cottages all have their own individual air-conditioning. The bed-and-breakfast’s 25 rooms offer gracious hospitality with modern conveniences. They also use solar lighting, as they are committed to reducing their environmental impact commitment and saving energy. Business and Convention travellers who need a venue will like the Conference Hall, inside the inn, which can accommodate events up to 100 people. They specialise in corporate and non-profit retreats, wedding functions, family reunions and other events which are special in people’s lives at our conference hall. Amenities offered with any stay at D Lucky Garden Inn include free wireless internet and airport pick up. The room facitlies include carved wooden bed, cable TV and an en-suite toilet and bath. The Bahay Kubo gazebo, terrace, garden and lawn, accompanied by a chorus local chirping birds, offers a beautiful place for reflection and relaxation. Just a pleasant walk from D Lucky Garden Inn you’ll discover seafood restaurants, Filipino cuisine
and international cuisine restaurants, as well as souvenir shops, the World War 2 museum and the local beach. As a guest here, you are in the perfect location to explore Palawan. Some of the most famous places to visit in Palawan include ‘The Underground River’ which is also a Unesco World Heritage Site and Honda Bay, where you can enjoy snorkelling and swimming while island hopping. There is no shortage of activities to participate in during your stay, including firefly watching, dolphin watching, Ugong rock caving and ziplining, amongst more standard sightseeing tours and visits to historical sites. Surrounded by acacia and mango trees, and amid lush gardens with manicured lawns and gardens, you can relax with a good book, enjoy afternoon tea or perhaps just treasure some quiet time. The professional front office staff at D Lucky Garden Inn can help you create an itinerary, and reserve all of your activities. Their tours are organised by Tour Operator World holiday travel and tours, and the transportation is provided by World Holiday Transport and Rental Services in Palawan. They also offer car rental and shuttle services for guests heading to Elnido. Whether you are looking for peace and quiet or an active and fun vacation, The D Lucky Garden Inn has something to offer everyone.
Most Exclusive Acommodation - The Lakan Villa & Best Signature Spa Treatments - Philippines
Company: The Farm at San Benito Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +632-8848074 Web Address: www.thefarmatsanbenito.com Address: 119 Barangay Tipakan, Lipa City, Batangas Philippines
The Farm at San Benito is a health and wellness resort where guests can embark on a holistic healing journey to balance mind, body, and spirit, making it the sole sanctuary of its kind in the Philippines. The Farm offer transformative retreats, which enables its guests to cope with the everincreasing stress-filled challenges of everyday life through a well-managed and tailored wellness programs for restoration of balance and harmony by encouraging a commitment to a proactive healthy lifestyle.
Most Exclusive Acommodation - Lakan Villa & Best Signature Spa Treatments - Philippines
Hidden in the foothills of Batangas, the Farm at San Benito has maintained its status as a haven for over a decade. Over that time, it has expanded to offer up a range of six new wellness retreats, tailored for those that wish to bring out their more radiant self in peaceful Southeast Asian surroundings. The new retreats are based on holistic approach and principles of preventive medicine – early detection, prevention, diagnosis, and correction of age-related imbalances. Those simply seeking time away from the busy and hectic city life will enjoy the Farm Wellness Experience, whilst the ‘Farm Fitness’ is a comprehensive program that helps guests elevate their state of health. Coupled with The Farm at San Benito’s organic vegan cuisine, guests have the chance to come alive and transition into their ideal selves. True to The Farm’s farm-to-table philosophy, the ancillary hotel, Alive!, adjusts its menu to what is bountiful and in-season during each harvest. Luscious vegan meals offer delicious counterpoints to the holistic retreats, which invigorates and nurtures the body during the visitor’s stay. Guests eager to learn more about these healthy cuisines may be oriented to gain more appreciation on the principles of how a steady diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs help the body eliminate toxins and provide it the nourishment it needs to restore its radiance and vitality.
exclusivity and designed to suit a guest’s wellness needs. Every guest’s experience is assuredly a unique one. The rustic house types clearly evoke the resort’s inspirations. In places, wood-beamed ceilings and thatched roofs are drawn from traditional Filipino elements such as the Sulu Terraces. Elsewhere, there are buildings that offer tropical, modern-day comfort and style, such as the Palmera Suites. Other accommodations, like the Anahaw Family Villla, Garden Villa, and Narra Pool Villa are private villas set within walled gardens, with shady lanai and luxe outdoor bathrooms. For those seeking the ultimate comfort and privacy, the Farm’s two most lavish accommodations, The Master Villa and The Lakan Villa, are definitely worth lounging in for a truly relaxing escape. Normally catering to a clientele of mostly executives and wellness enthusiasts, nutrition and nature lie at the heart of The Farm philosophy. “We are at our most peaceful surrounded by elements of nature – the inspiration behind The Farm’s atmosphere. Fresh air and ingredients straight from nature’s bounty stimulate a potent chemistry in our bodies, working in tandem with our treatments and regimens.
To pair with every dish, a menu of organic juices and smoothies is also available – including a special menu of organic wines and spirits that can serve as perfect partners to any vegan fare.
“At The Farm at San Benito, we give our clients the opportunity to make a positive change in their lives and journey with them to rediscover their personal wellness haven. We strive to deliver a personal approach to our guests allowing them to feel that their well-being is our best interest.”
For those that choose to spend two or three nights elongating the relaxed splendour of their experience at the Farm, they will find no greater comfort afforded than in the many elegant villas. Each one is furnished with upscale amenities giving it a seamless balance of comfort and class – perfect for a well-deserved luxurious retreat. Accommodations at The Farm vary in size, style, and structure, giving it a real sense of
With the beauty of The Farm’s natural surroundings, refreshing retreats, luscious and nourishing cuisine, and upscale comforts, a stay at The Farm is indeed worth-while and rewarding. It is a sage choice for those in search of a sanctuary, who approach with a deep desire to recharge and achieve better harmony in life. “After all, with wellness comes a more positive out-look in life.” LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 15
Company: The Gecko Email: email@example.com Phone: +44 7725 617734 Web Address: www.thegecko.eu Address: The Gecko, Tsoukalades, Lefkada, Greece
Best Luxury Self Catering Villa 2016 – Lefkada
Best Luxury Self Catering Villa 2016 – Lefkada Company: The Gecko Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44 7725 617734 Web Address: www.thegecko.eu Address: The Gecko, Tsoukalades, Lefkada, Greece
Nestling in the north of the Greek island of Lefkada, The Gecko is a tranquil and stylish villa hideaway with wonderful sunset views over the Ionian Sea. Guests are able to enjoy stylish simplicity coupled with wonderful comfort and generosity. Simon Lethem, the owner of the villa, is rightfully proud in emphasising the endearing qualities of the locale, and especially the features that have made The Gecko a favourite among clients. Honeymooners, retirees, hard-working professionals and academics alike have all found the Gecko and its surroundings to be a delightful escape. “Behind a deceptively traditional façade of the house lies a stunning, cool and airy space open from floor to rafters. There’s a galleried bedroom running the entire width of the house under gently spinning fans; there is full air-conditioning and heating throughout as well, of course. “Everything is stylish and uncluttered, and the house is equipped with everything you might need – from music, films and books to fill hours and days of relaxation to the fully equipped and stylish kitchen to take advantage of the wonderful local produce. “Outside lie the terraces and mature gardens with lots of places to lounge, sit or dine, and of course there’s the lovely pool – perfect for morning lengths or just cooling from the warmth of the sunshine. Everything overlooks terraces of olives sloping down to the sea. “Surrounded by Lefkada’s rugged coast and mountains, yet gentle and hospitable people, there’s a warmth and personal attention that makes any guest feel immediately at ease, and sense the love and care that has gone into the place.” Delving further into the Gecko experience, Simon’s local knowledge shines through. “There’s a great moment for guests as they open the gates the very first time, to be greeted by a spectacular view across bougainvillea, olives and vines to the pool, and beyond to the sea, all bathed in sunshine, so you’ll know you’re in the right place straight away. “As you start to explore you’ll find not only everything you were expecting, but lots of little things you weren’t – complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks, fresh local produce as a welcome in case you don’t fancy exploring the local tavernas straight away, not to mention a generous honesty bar. 16 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
“There are a couple of bicycles for the more energetic, charcoal ready for the barbecue, local information and maps, an extensive library of books music and DVDs and even a couple of decent guitars in case you fancy treating the local wildlife to a song. These are just some of the many little things that add up to unbeatable attention to detail and a perfect home from home.” Alongside plentiful distractions, a stay at The Gecko is also a chance for privacy; as a self-catering luxury villa, there are no full time staff onsite. In fact, there are just two semi-regular members of the team. Simon, as owner, in addition to overseeing the whole operation and ensuring that the guest experience is second to none, also made the initial plans and architectural models for the house when it was very first built, and over the years has turned his hand to everything from plumbing to pool maintenance. Marianne, the house-keeper, is multi-lingual and multi-talented, able to fix most small problems straight away, but supported by a great team of local experts if anything more serious is required in the house or garden. As Simon explains, The Gecko places an emphasis upon word of mouth in expanding its client base. Through the care and attention that is provided to every customer, 2016 has seen a steady flow of clients, over 50 per cent of whom are returning guests; “others are their friends and relatives, coming to us through personal recommendation. The property is only ever let exclusively to a single party, so comfort and privacy is assured. There is ample space for two couples to share the pool and terraces, with the beautifully appointed Deck Suite tucked away offering a totally independent second guest bedroom and facilities, also with stunning sunset and sea views.” With the legendary Greek clime complimented by the stylish, relaxed façades of the villa, Simon revels in his property’s undiminished splendour, and comments on the incremental change in customer experience. “The guest experience has really only changed very subtly, with the only significant new imperative being a great internet connection and
Wi-Fi. Everything you’d expect at home or office is what you’ll have when you’re at The Gecko. The days where it might be stated as an attraction to be cut off up a Greek hillside are ancient history. Otherwise guests seek – and receive – the same experience as ever.” As The Gecko implements these new, subtle enhancements to their customer service, Simon also notes the expansion of local tourism, with the opening of new accommodation properties that bear the prospect of increasing competition for The Gecko. “There is definitely a rise in the number of high end villas, although sleepy Lefkada is never going to be as busy as its neighbours Corfu or even Kefalonia. The experience of the guest is far more than just the property itself, and for the combination of factors mentioned above, I am confident that our popularity will remain undiminished; the Gecko revels in being a special secret sought out by the discerning individual.” As well as the growth of tourist spots in the local area, there is also the question of wider strains on Greece’s tourism industry. In spite of the numerous challenges facing Greece, The Gecko and its staff benefit hugely from their location, tucked away in the Ionian region, and express inspiring hope for their future. “We are especially blessed, being utterly remote from the dramas unfolding in Athens or the Aegean. You would never know that world changing events are playing out elsewhere; a bustling and successful local economy prevails rather than the national economic torpor. Shops and restaurants are full of wonderful local fresh produce from sea and land, and hotels, bars and tavernas are enjoying a successful summer in 2016. “Greece has always been – and will remain – the most blissful and peaceful destination for a holiday. The safe combination of sunshine, scenery, simplicity and tranquillity is unbeatable in European or even global destinations. For our part, we will just concentrate on more of the same – happy guests returning with regularity, and building the market by telling their friends and associates.”
Most Charming Health Salon 2016 – Shropshire & LUX Recommended for Skincare Treatments – Shropshire Heaven Health & Beauty
Most Charming Health Salon 2016 – Shropshire & LUX Recommended for Skincare Treatments – Shropshire Heaven Health & Beauty
Company: Heaven Skincare Email: email@example.com. Web Address: www.heavenskincare.com Address: 13a Market Place, Shifnal, Shropshire, TF11 9AU Telephone: 01952 461888
Heaven Health & Beauty opened in 1995, by the Heaven Skincare founder and creator, Deborah Mitchell, as the home of the Heaven Skincare line, to bring the signature, healing Heaven Skincare treatments into reality. Heaven Skincare is a result driven organic skincare range that blurs the lines between medi-spa’s and natural skincare, to provide the ultimate skincare solutions, without the downtime.
Heaven Skincare is for everybody with every skin type. From sensitised to normal skin there is a specifically created treatment using the own brand products to heal, rejuvenate and restore. The Heaven clients are discerning and discriminating and only looking for the very best and we ensure that Heaven Health & Beauty is a little bit of Heaven for everyone. Creator, Deborah, treats numerous celebrities throughout the world, and Heaven even has royalty on its VIP client cards, but the ethos is, and always has been, ‘client consideration’ which is a term coined by Ms. Mitchell, who instils and ensures that every Heaven guest is made to feel special and welcomed. The guests are offered a special Heaven tea and welcome touch upon arrival, and refreshments are provided post treatment. The signature facial, as created by Deborah; the BeeSting Facial, and clients travel from far and wide to receive the treatment at the hands of Deborah and her specially trained ‘angels.’ The Bee-Sting facial has often been acclaimed to be nature’s answer to fillers and facefreezing injections. The Bee-Sting facial uses the Heaven Skincare signature product; the Bee-Venom Mask, which contains Deborah’s signature, patented ingredient *ABEETOXIN® to relax lines and plump the skin. *ABEETOXIN® is heaven’s patented ingredient; a secret patented formula containing bee-venom, Manuka honey, vitamin E, organic rose oil, organic lavender oil, organic marshmallow, & organic Shea butter. Deborah explains “there has been no reported adverse reactions to ABEETOXIN® but in case of allergies to bee venom or honey, a patch test recommended, to make clients comfortable”.
All of the staff at Heaven Health & Beauty are handpicked and trained by Deborah to ensure that they have the right personality to become an ‘angel’, the title that Deborah gives to her staff to ensure the ‘Heaven’ treatments are delivered with the utmost care and attention for the client’s well-being. Heaven Health & Beauty is unique in that it only delivers signature Heaven Skincare treatments, as there are no gaps in the range and all usual facial and body treatments are delivered using the natural, organic range with exceptional results. Whether it’s a Bee-Sting facial, which is like a non-invasive facelift, or a Bee-Slim Body Ritual that incorporates the Bee-Venom mask in a specially created body massage to lift, firm and tone the body. Or whether you decide to come for a London Lash & Brow eyebrow treatment, which is Heaven Skincare’s answer to brow and lash tinting, and lash extensions. London Lash & Brow uses a non-peroxide plant based tinting system, as Deborah explains ‘oxidative tinting is being banned around the eyes in Europe, and they have already banned it in the USA and Brazil, so we did what we do best at Heaven Skincare, which is look to nature for the answer.’ The lashes are applied with specially formulated branded lash glue, and have special ‘frozen-curl’ technology, to ensure they keep their shape weeks after the initial treatment. Find your eyes utterly transformed! ‘The trend we are seeing at Heaven Skincare directed towards wellness, where the client wants to be able to go somewhere to totally switch off and relax. We don’t even get mobile phone signal in the salon! Not for any reason by our doing, I just feel that Heaven Health & Beauty is meant to be a total ‘chill-out’ zone!’ Deborah continues.
The latest treatment available at Heaven Skincare is BeePeel™, where you can become absolutely flawless with the revolutionary, natural-chemical peel, delivering never-before-seen results to treat fine lines and wrinkles, Hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tones. BeePeel™ contains the Heaven Skincare patented ingredient ABEETOXIN®, coconut oil, raw cane sugar and apple pectin to gently, but effectively, dissolve away skin imperfections. It reduces dark pigmentation, evens out skin tones and, due to the inclusion of ABEETOXIN®, relaxes lines and has a plumping effect on the skin, leaving your face looking clear, refined and dewy! And all without the downtime associated with regular chemical peels. This product can be used on all skin types, including sensitive, for an immediate, perfecting effect. “Facial skin is constantly exposed to UVA and UVB light, which can cause an increase in localised melanin production, which causes Hyper-pigmentation. Pigmentation is the single most ageing skin concern, much more so than fine lines or wrinkles, and although, prevention is the key to pigmentation by using facial SPF’s like my Silk Bee-Bee creams, when the damage has already been done, my brand-new treatmentproduct, BeePeel™, will help to repair the damage and rejuvenate the skin,” describes Deborah. The industry in finally catching up, that people want to look after their skin naturally and this is the biggest trend we are seeing at Heaven Skincare, but here at Heaven, we’ve always been based on nature. Heaven Skincare uses natural ingredients to remedy the stress experienced by your skin, safely and effectively. Treat your skin like royalty.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 17
Best Luxury Hotel & Restaurant 2016 - Birmingham
Company: Hogarths Hotels Name: Steven Quick Email: steven.quick@ hogarths.co.uk Phone: 01564 779988 Web Address: www.hogarths.co.uk Address: Four Ashes Road Dorridge, Solihull, UK, B93 8qe
Best Luxury Hotel & Restaurant 2016 - Birmingham
Hogarths Hogarths Hotels are an independent family business that has been in operation for over 12 years. We invited Steven Quick to talk us through this fine establishment and provide a fascinating glimpse into the secrets behind its success. Established by Helena and Andy Hogarths, Hogarths Hotels has grown from a six-bedroom Bed-andBreakfast into a 49-bedroom hotel, which offers the very best in hospitality. Named in 2015 as a Silver Star Hotel, Hogarths is now a growing luxury hotel brand that is investing into its portfolio, and fast becoming one of the most popular start up hotel brands in the Midlands. Steven talks us through the firm’s approach to excellence and how this is key to the hotel’s success so far. “The main focus of our hotel is firstly employing the best people, training them and developing them to be professional hotel keepers. Our guests are key so everything we do is to ensure we give them an unrivalled experience. We are a genuine team, who only want guests to like us and become part of our fan club. “This client focused approach starts from the moment guests arrive. We talk and listen to our guests because fundamentally we are not sales people, but more problem solvers. Guests can always come to us with a request and it is our responsibility to find a product or service that suit the needs of the client and to deliver 100% of the time. Genuine people make our business and we have staff members from every walk of life, who work as a family to make sure every guest who enters our hotels feel like they have arrived home.”
18 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Within the hotel sector currently, there is always a high rate of competition which may come from budget brands or competitors trying to undercut each other. Steven talks us through how Hogarths is dedicated to providing a quality service in order to stay ahead of its competitors.
it is mutual respect which helps to play a part in the success of the business.”
“Hogarths Hotel is always striving for excellence in order to maintain its strong position within the market. We have invested over the past few years to ensure the hotel is one of the best in the Midlands, from our furnishings that are bespoke designs for the hotel, to the outside award winning grounds, to our resorted moat and lake side venues. The hotel offers an award winning restaurant and is famous for afternoon teas and we are proud to work with local suppliers to deliver the very best in produce. We employ a team that is dedicated to ensuring our hotels look and feel comfortable and are always set to the highest standard, a large maintenance team to ensure the ship runs well, and a front of house team who deliver at the highest level. We continually invest in our hotel and ensure each part of it looks as good today as it did when we first opened.”
“Within the industry currently we are still seeing the growth of the budget brands in the hotel market, this will continue for a while. What is encouraging is that the privately owned hotel sector is growing and some of the best hotels now in the UK are independent and now part of a large chain or investment group.
Staff are always an important component to any hotel and Hogarths is no different as Steven expresses.
“Specifically with regards to our hotel, we have just finished a £3-million-pound refurbishment of our stone manor hotel and soon will start a multi-millionpound investment in a new spa at Solihull. As well as this we are always on the lookout for the next hotel and to grow the group, and are excited for the opportunities the coming years will bring.”
“Our team are dedicated to working for us, looking after our guests and determining the future of Hogarths. Training and coaching is key to keeping the team up to date with customer trends, but most of all,
Looking to the future, Steven outlines the hotel’s plans to expand and develop alongside the ever evolving hospitality industry.
“Guests expectations are always changing, however the need for luxury and relaxation is ever present and as such, we aim to always provide an atmosphere of calmness and indulgence. We stay one step ahead by providing unrivalled service to our guests with a personal approach. Hotels over the years have not really changed that much, and it is all about creating a home away from home, where everything works, and you can get a great night’s sleep, excellent food and some much needed relaxation.
Best Harmonious Getaway - Spain
Company: Hospedería Convento de la Parra Name: Dario Martinez de Azcona Email: dario@ vivedespacio.com Web: www.vivedespacio.com Address: C/ Santa Maria 16 06176 La Parra (Badajoz)
Best Harmonious Getaway - Spain
Hospedería Convento de la Parra Dario Martinez Doblas, the owner of Hospedería Convento de la Parra, an historic boutique hotel in South west Spain, tells us about what makes his establishment unique. Hospedería Convento de la Parra is situated in the small village of La Parra in south west Spain, southwest of Badajoz, between the Tierra de Barros plains and the dehesa Sierra del Suroeste mountains. It occupies a building that was originally an enclosed convent of the order of Santa Clara, built in 1678 and inhabited by the Claris nuns until 1979. After a careful renovation project, the convent opened as a hotel in July 2000. The hotel was conceived with one main objective in mind: to combine simplicity and comfort and provide the most pleasant stay possible for our guests. The aesthetic of the hotel, presided over by the use of white, relies on the traditional architectural materials found throughout the region: clay, wood, iron and sisal. Each object and each space, has been carefully designed by our in-house team to ensure that the hotel is unique. Throughout the restoration and decoration process, we worked hand in hand with local craftsmen and most of the furniture and decorative objects in the hotel were specifically commissioned. The bedrooms are arranged around a spacious interior patio. Ten of the rooms have retained the original style of the convent and are reminiscent of the cells once occupied by the nuns, whilst in the rest of the building, every room is different, each one an unexpected surprise.
In the cloisters surrounding the patio, there are several daybeds where guests can enjoy life´s simple pleasures: the contemplation of the storks overhead, reading a book or just a good siesta, and in the summer months, the options are extended with the opening of our swimming pool, tucked away within the walls of the old orchard. Throughout the year, guests enjoy the reading room on the upper floor and the open-air south patio, with its relaxing sun loungers on which to sit in the winter sun, and white awnings, which provide shade in the summer. The main theme to our establishment is ‘Vivedespacio’, the English translation meaning ‘Live slow’, which follows the ‘slow life’ philosophy. Obviously this affects the guests’ experience in every sense, from the design of the rooms to the food we serve. As an example of this philosophy, we do not have televisions or radios in our guest rooms. We are really passionate in all that we do, and that is transmitted to the guests, ensuring our clients experience the highest quality service. Secondly, we are located in one of the poorest villages in Spain, therefore we provide people in the area with work opportunities. They return these opportunities with a great deal of commitment and effort, and these factors, plus our passion, make the stay in our hotel for clients a memorable one. Like in other industries, our industry is undergoing a revolution. The new technology, plus the necessity of
new experiences demanded by the clients, made us to transform and update our products and services. We are redefining our experiences and the way we interact with our clients, before they arrive, during the stay and when they leave. We know that technology is important today but our philosophy is to change your habits and lifestyle whilst you are staying in the hotel - that is why we provide internet but we do not have any other forms of technology available in guest rooms. The Hospedería Convento de la Parras authenticity is what makes it unique from other establishments. The convent is a traditional convent, the food is made by the ladies of the village with local products and you can watch the storks in their nests on top of the building. Like a good old convent, the outside of the hotel reveals nothing about the treasure you will find inside. Today, the necessity for having time for yourself and taking the time to enjoy the little things in life, is more important than ever. Our guests´ expectations are more or less the same as they were a few years ago. However, our goal is overcoming these expectations. We are very happy for receiving this award. For a small hotel like us, an award like this is a push to keep working hard and to maintain our passion. We are very proud of our hotel, because it maintains our historical patrimony and also gives opportunities to the people of this small village. Thanks again!
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 19
Best Mountain View Hotel 2016 - South Tyrol & Most Revitalising Holistic Spa Treatments
Company: Hotel Gitschberg Email: Info@gitschberg.it Web Address: www.gitschberg.it Address: 39037 Maranza, Italy Phone: +39 0472 520 170
Best Mountain View Hotel 2016 - South Tyrol & Most Revitalising Holistic Spa Treatments
Hotel Gitschberg For more than 40 years the Gitschberg is a small family owned hotel in the heart of South Tyrol mountains with breath-taking view over the Dolomites. In the words of the owners, Barbara and Horst Peintner, “this dramatic vista confirms our connection with nature, our emphasis on a vital environmental protection, and the transparent and economic development of our company.” “For a long time, hotels in South Tyrol were offering a “standard hotel product” – accommodation, good food and personal service. Now, guests are more and more demanding and tourism is becoming a high quality sector. So hotels will have to focus their service and product range. We are glad, that we did not have to invent or stage-manage our service and offer to the guest. Being a Climate Hotel feels more than natural to us. It is true that hotel customers are constantly seeking new things. In particular, many customers are eager to see how technology can enhance their enjoyment. At the Gitschberg, its outwardly modern appearance belies a far simpler approach. The rugged beauty of north-eastern Italy is laid out before any visitor – an expansive veranda is strategically positioned to make best use of the hotel’s south-facing vista. “At a first step guests fall in love with the stunning panoramic view,” Barbara asserts. “Maranza is a great place, 1,400 meters above everyday life. Where true luxury means space, silence and proximity to nature. When guests enter into the hotel they will be welcomed by the warm and charming atmosphere of our modern-alpine architecture, a sunny and honest smile and a delightful mountain cocktail.”
20 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
The owners express great pride about not placing too much emphasis on technology, in such a way that it does not diminish what the Italian clime has to offer any passing wanderer. “It is less technology but more nature that we try to use in order to ensure clients have an enjoyable experience. Regional and homemade food in the restaurant, oils and essences made with herbs from our mountains to enrich the holistic spa treatments – technology is more used in order to improve our environmental engagement.” The hotel’s Fenilia Spa, too, treats its customers to the view that simplicity is the basis for health, beauty and all-round well-being. In the summer months, the panoramic pool offers an invigorating cool whilst presenting sprawling summit views – the perfect fuel for reenergising the wanderlust of any visitor. In the winter months, meanwhile, the four saunas and enriching spa treatments are built upon the power of Alpine nature to include natural cosmetics. Once again, simplicity is intrinsic here, just as it is to the Hotel Gitschberg’s other accoutrements. To underpin the hotel’s emphasis on quality of service, special attention is given to the staff of the Gitschberg. “Our staff has changed significantly since our reorientation. Most of them are from the very near region and appreciate our “youthful team and
management style”. They share our commitment to nature and the regional focus and we try to involve them as much as possible.” The future of the Hotel Gitschberg, for Barbara, rests upon their continued ability to attract new visitors. “We will continue to improve – our service as well our hardware facts. Not in terms of quantity but in terms of quality. For example, our mountain kitchen still gives enormous range to develop a healthy and delightful nutrition without renunciation.” The stone and woodwork of the Gitschberg carries pride and love in its structure. The Gitschberg Hotel is a resort for anyone who loves simplicity and is seeking something truly special. “A holiday at our ClimaHotel will give a good feeling to anyone who lives in a conscious and sustainable way: pleasure, health and the joy of living in harmony with nature. Supported by energy-efficient architecture, natural materials and integration of our valuable local resources, regional specialties and quality farm products. “We see our boutique hotel as a low-key, down-toearth home in the mountains. From the “hardware perspective”, we built it in the way we love to live and to make holidays – cosy, with modern-alpine charm and direct contact with our great nature. But we think that we convince even more in the “software facts – our service”: we love our everyday work and are more than glad that our staff is doing so as well.”
Best Scenic Hotel & Spa Resort 2016 - South Tyrol & Best Sensual Wellness Spa & Treatments 2016 - Italy
Best Scenic Hotel & Spa Resort 2016 - South Tyrol & Best Sensual Wellness Spa & Treatments 2016 - Italy
Company: Hotel Hohenwart Name: Mair family Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.hohenwart.com Address: Verdinserstr. 5, I - 39017 Schenna, Italy Telephone: +39 0473 944 400
Situated in Schenna, near Merano, the four-star, superior-graded, family friendly, Hotel Hohenwart lies in a splendid, sun-kissed location and only 7 km from the picturesque culture town of Meran, which can be easily reached by car or with the public bus. Hotel Hohenwart welcomes guests with its unique combination of South Tyrolean traditions, warm hospitality and stylish modernity, combined with creative, top-quality cuisine. They also offer visitors a holistic wellness and relaxation experience, as well as a varied choice of recreational programs, designed to inspire the senses all year round. Our family operated hotel has a main building, alongside separate suites, known as the House Traube, the House Christine, as well as a mountain cabin, Gsteier, and the Buschenschank Pfefferlechner. The hotel team is like a big family, where each member of staff is integrated into the family business and communicates its values to customers. We pride ourselves on long family traditions, both our own and our staffs’, and we are proud that we generally work with many generations of the same family. Hotel Hohenwart not only stands for top quality comfort and service, but also for a warm and friendly atmosphere, which has been cultivated for many generations by our family - the Mairs. The hotel guests appreciate the warm and personal service of employees, alongside the recreational facilities which are adapted to the season. The Mair family also acquires products for its guests from its own herd of sheep, and brew their own beer. We started as small bed & breakfast, growing steadily over the last 50 years, and have remained family owned to the present day. Hotel Hohenwart’s close affinity to the region, and its natural, individual and holistic concepts make it absolutely unique. In the perfect place to view the natural landscape of South Tyrolean, surrounded by mountains and apple orchards, guests are welcomed with a truly unique and panoramic view of Meran. The exquisite view follows guests wherever they go, and asserts itself in the 93 large and light-filled rooms.
The VistaSpa area of Hotel Hohenwart, with its special spa offerings spread over three floors, provides pure relaxation, and is popular as one of the biggest spa areas in the region. All rooms offer magnificent views down to the Meraner Land and the large garden area, which is a perfect place for continued relaxation. Closely connected to the region and with the focus on a holistic recreation concept, the hotel combines sustainability and holistic relaxation in an eclectic and exciting mix. The focus on individuality, complete rest and recuperation of both the body and soul has been growing increasingly important to our customers, and we have adapted to meet these needs. The last few years have shown that Hotel Hohenwart is on the right path with these concepts and guest offerings. These include seasonal activities and events such as wine tasting, the traditional Toerggelen, golf or cycling tours, and numerous choices of Spa treatments; natural therapies offered include holistic stone massages and beauty applications with ingredients from the region. Guests can also expect special signature treatments such as The GSUND Belvita Treatment or the skin beauty treatment ‘beer!’, which includes Alpine herbs, as well as beer from the internal brewery. The motto of the hotel, ‘at home with friends’, is part of a life philosophy: here, you feel at home in an illustrious and beautiful setting. Closely connected to the region in which it is located, Hotel Hohenwart is based on the concept of holistic recreation. Guests of all age groups love the ambience of Hohenwart, whether single travellers, couples or families. Beside long-time regulars, the hotel is popular with nature and active holiday-makers and those who are looking for a holistic holiday. Our
unique position in the midst of the mountains is a perfect starting position for walks or hiking trips. Since our inception, the demands of our guests have increased. Our clients expect comprehensive offers and wellbeing applications, and due to the internet, guests now have the chance to make more thorough comparisons than they may have previously been able to. To meet this requirements, we have offers for short-term vacationers, coupled with special wellness offers and targeted offers for families, alongside a number of complementary programs. Hotel Hohenwart always welcomes innovation, and these are always carefully planned and implemented with a flair for quality and sustainability. We renovate our rooms and suites yearly, and incorporate local wood sources, timeless design and individual freedom for hotel guests into these renovations, as we have found that these are key in the interests of our guests. We include locally grown seasonal products in our culinary offerings, and Alpine ingredients from the region in the signature treatments, meet the current trend towards conscious consumption and increased sustainability. The alpine and Mediterranean gourmet cuisine offers fresh, regional products and combines traditional recipes with new aromas. New technologies give us the chance to optimize the guest experience and offer us new opportunities to strengthen our position in the market. Our ultimate aim is to give our guests greater freedom and privacy within the hotel, and the opportunity to arrive at our place, feeling at home and relaxed.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 21
Best Luxury Accommodation - Philippines & LUX Award for Best Wedding Venue 2016 - Philippines
Company: The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay Email: email@example.com Phone: O46-483-2093 Web Address: www.theinnatcliffhousetagaytay.com Address: Km. 58, General Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines
Best Luxury Accommodation - Philippines & LUX Award for Best Wedding Venue 2016 - Philippines Tagaytay City, 55 kilometers south of Manila in the province of Cavite, is a wildly popular vacation destination, celebrated for its cooler weather and scenic views. Along the bustling ridge, the chance for secluded luxury might seem slim, and yet the Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay manages to hide in plain sight, a haven from the tourist traps of the city and with commanding views of the world-famous Taal volcano. Since its discreet opening in 2009, the Inn has attracted a steady stream of affluent clients, all of whom come to realise one specific goal – peace and quiet in a hectic world. Especially popular with wedding parties, the four suites are well-outfitted for relaxed preparation for the big day, and for romantic privacy in the honeymoon aftermath. These suites are each named after and inspired by four prominent lighthouses across the Eastern Seaboard of North America. The Minot’s Lodge suite, for instance, is named after the oldest lighthouse in the historic city of Boston; this 100-square metre corner room is appropriately grandiose, with a private balcony boasting a Jacuzzi looking out onto the lake beyond. Upon first arriving, after a brief two-hour’s journey from the Makati Central Business District, or an hour’s journey from the airport to the north, Innkeeper Jeff Mancao, and his staff, are there to welcome each visitor with a cup of ice cream. Beyond that, the Cliffhouse Tagaytay complex and all of its relaxed splendours are offered up to the client. The Inn prides itself on offering a stark contrast to the crowded condominiums of the city; the air is free of smog, and the concrete towers are replaced with a slumbering volcano hewn out of the earth itself. As Jennifer Dee, co-owner and Marketing Communications Director explains, “the first thing that ships at sea look for when they seek shelter and safe harbor, is a lighthouse. Upon seeing it, sailors immediately feel a sense of comfort and security.” The Inn offers the same peace of mind by easing its clientele into their surroundings. Within the inn itself are enough accoutrements to keep guests within the walls and isolated from the bustling outside world. As clients the world over begin to demand more from their chosen abode, The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay leads by example. The ‘light’ breakfast included in the deal is in fact a three-course morning banquet; fresh fruit juices, homemade granola and yogurt trifle with strawberries, marble potatoes, roasted tomato and toast, eggs cooked any way guests want them, slices of Canadian ham, and butter-poached gala apple with cinnamon puffs. 22 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Should you feel the need for food later in the day after this feast, Cliffhouse Tagaytay presents a continental bistro, a homey Italian restaurant , a charming creperie and a homegrown Filipino café for a midday snack or a full evening meal. Afterwards, the well-outfitted restaurants lead to an open deck – the views of Taal Volcano and Lake below are known for stealing the breath of many a client in the evenings.
opportunity to channel surf, drink, read, and generally enjoy the isolated splendour of their surroundings. This emphasis on privacy is maintained through the golden rule that no more than four people be allowed to each room. While the 75- or 100-square metre sizes mean that space isn’t exactly an obstacle to this, Ms. Dee asserts that it would go against the expectations of luxury and privacy that they strive for with all of their clients.
These distractions alone have been known to keep clients within the Cliffhouse Tagaytay Complex for the duration of their stay – so complete is their luxury, that they would rather not be anywhere else. Jennifer jokes about this, acknowledging that “our guests come in, then they don’t come out for the rest of their stay. When you come here, we’re quite discreet. We pretty much leave our guests alone. We don’t bother them unless they want something from us.”
“The space is not there for you to put in an extra bed. It’s there so you can relax without the unnecessary clutter.” It is this kind of emphasis on exclusivity that continues to drive people to The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay. Each of its four suites are tailor-made to suck visitors out of their reality and place them in a state of limbo – carefree, uninterrupted peace, and free rein of the world as far as the eye can see.
This isn’t to suggest, however, that the service is aloof and impersonal. In fact, it is the polar opposite. Respecting the clients’ privacy is balanced expertly with a highly personal touch, from the warm smiles of the staff, to the plush surprises left on guests’ pillows – toys, chocolates, and hand-written notes. In the food outlets, the chef can easily accommodate special requests. “When guests come, they always come back, and that speaks very well about my staff and their service,” Jennifer explains. Jennifer places this approach down to her own wide experiences in travelling. “I’ve travelled a lot, and I knew that if we were to have our own little inn, it would have to be very personal.” Should the brave choose to venture beyond, they find the resort open before them. Once fuelled by a cup of coffee from one of the quaint cafes, a short venture into the locale with uncover a quiet collection of chain restaurants. Privacy and personal freedom are the two doctrines that have worked so well for The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay since its opening. Customers remain undeterred by the premium rates, and instead take exclusive pride in the
With such a prime location, and its delicate smattering of luxurious options, The Inn at Cliffhouse Tagaytay holds never-ending appeal, and has been gradually expanding its clientele as word of this reclusive utopia spreads. It is hard to imagine this slice of heaven ever changing much beyond its current form, but Jennifer, Innkeeper Jeff and all the staff seem well prepared for the future, as clients continue to be attracted to this private break from an increasingly busy world.
Best Luxury Hotel 2016 - Piedmont
Establishment: La Villa Hotel Website: www.lavillahotel.net
Best Luxury Hotel 2016 - Piedmont
La Villa Hotel Situated in Piedmont’s world famous vineyards, with easy links to major destinations such as Milan, Genoa and Turin, La Villa Hotel is a chic hideaway with a unique atmosphere which makes it perfect for an idyllic Italian getaway. We spoke to owner, Nicola Norton, to learn more about this stylish, independent destination. Opened in 2005, La Villa Hotel is a spectacularly sited country retreat, which Nicola and her husband Chris, were determined to bring back to life. Nicola proudly describes how far the hotel has come in the 11 years since they embarked on this huge undertaking. “When we first started renovating La Villa Hotel it was a run-down winery, which had not been lived in for more 20 years. We fell in love with the building’s 400 year old character and authenticity and wanted to highlight its original features and heritage as much as possible. For us, the brief was very simple- to make La Villa modern enough for comfortable 21st century living whilst retaining its 17th century charm. “From our first visit to Piedmont, we immediately understood it’s attraction - the unspoiled nature of the scenery, lack of organised tourism and the richness of the area’s food and wine culture. We imagined that the guests who would appreciate La Villa would be people like ourselves: independent travellers with over-busy lives who need an environment which lets them wind down as soon as they walk through the door and gives them enough space to breathe and just be themselves. “To do this, our aim is for guests to feel like they’ve gone on holiday to spend time with their friends in their country home. So, from the moment of check-in where guests are received at the bar, they are offered a glass of locally produced prosecco and given time to take in their surroundings before being taken to their room. We always try as soon as we can to find out why our guests are visiting, so that we can tailor our service and advice to suit them. Often, it’s a special birthday or romantic getaway, but given Piedmont’s geography and unique gourmet culture, it could just as often be advice on the best cycling trails, what restaurant to visit, how to fit in as
many of the wineries as possible, or in the autumn, ensuring guests have an opportunity to buy or go truffle hunting for the region’s famous white truffle. Piedmont is not as well-known or as well written about as other regions of Italy, so good knowledge of the area and a strong network of local suppliers is key to helping our guests get the most from their stay. Some guests are very independent and want to explore on their own, so we use our knowledge and contacts to create tailor-made itineraries. For others, we arrange more organised itineraries. “Whichever way you choose to explore the area, it is impossible being here not to become passionate about it. The food and wine is world class: despite being a tranquil getaway we are a hotspot for Michelin starred restaurants (there are 7 within 40 minutes drive of the hotel), and rock-star wineries. And the scenery with its winding roads, hilltop vineyards and villages and views of the Alps is simply breath-taking. In helping our guests feel at home with us, we see it as our role to showcase Piedmont and what it has to offer. This means that we focus exclusively on local produce and suppliers. Our restaurant serves many of the typical local dishes and our chef is always in demand to host cooking classes on how to make the local pasta and risottos. To compliment our food, we have also built up, over the past 10 years, an extensive wine collection housed in the original cellars under the hotel. Today, there are more than 5000 bottles of Piedmont wine, including some rare Barolos and Barbarescos. Nicola continues: “We don’t want La Villa to be seen by our guests as just a place to rest their heads for the night. We want it to be a place that brings a smile to their face, a place they carry with them when they leave and want to come back to”.
The team at La Villa is, in Nicola’s view, a key part of their success. “We have a small team who have been with us a long time, and we feel like proud parents watching individuals grow in experience, stature and confidence. Really, we are more like a big family. Chris and I are very hands-on as owners, and we all support each other to ensure that guests always receive the very best service. For us, our guests come first, always. The atmosphere we cultivate among the team is the same as that we show to our guests - very relaxed, informal and friendly, which is also why our staff wear a low-key uniform of a simple t-shirt with our logo on it. We have established ourselves as a holiday escape rather than a corporate hotel, so we avoid things that could be associated with ‘work life’. However, being relaxed yet professional can be a difficult balancing act for the team, including us, and over the years we seen how the team’s natural friendliness and willingness to please has been enhanced by a better understanding of what our guests need to feel looked after ‘in good hands’. The number of returning visitors that make their way back to La Villa every year is a barometer of hotel’s success in its quest for excellence, but, as Nicola emphasises, La Villa does not believe in resting on its laurels, and is always searching for ways to iimprove. “We know our customers very well - what they like and what is important to them. We listen to what they sayand sometimes what they don’t say- and feed that into our plans. Standing still in ever changing world is not an option if you want to remain at the top of your game. It is all the little touches that make the difference, and these make the hotel a great place to visit time and again.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 23
Best Luxury Wellbeing Spa - Uzès Bienvenu à La Villa Romaine in South of France
Best Luxury Wellbeing Spa - Uzès Rediscover the well-being of ancient times with our unique spa, situated in a historic setting surrounded by breath-taking natural and Provençal attractions.
La Villa Romaine and Day SPA in Uzès, South of France
La Villa Romaine offers a warm welcome in an exclusive setting, organising wellness-stays for 2 to 16 people in a private atmosphere within a Roman layout, which involves light and open spaces, joining sunny terraces and green garden areas. The entire villa is marked by roman architecture, such as carved stones, water fountains, mosaics, wall reliefs and a sunny atrium of light. All of these combined create our very special Roman atmosphere, which culminates on our Roman terrace, where you can have a tea next to its aromatic herbs garden with water spring and elevated garden view.
health, beauty of nature and therein-related “real” well-being.
Since the modern word “spa” originates from the Latin expression “sanitas per aquam” (health by water), the element of water is omnipresent in our house. We have water fountains on private terraces, wall fountains, underground water flow, ZEN Japanese garden and of course we also have a swimming pool, steam bath and jacuzzi. Even our big open kitchen with cooking isle and house bar is turquoise coloured and evokes the impression of an aquarium.
We are on the traces of the Roman aqueduct, which leads from our Medieval city of Uzès to the famous Pont Du Gard and to imperator Augustus’ capital “nemausus”, nowadays called Nimes. A walking path leading through pure nature passes directly in front of our house following these still visible traces of historical vestiges.
We are situated in the sunny south of France, within the ancient roman imperium and dispose of a big garden and pool. We wish to awaken people’s awareness for
A stay in the “Roman Villa” with its private spa always includes the opportunity to unwind, whether it be yoga sessions, using our sauna or steam bath, or enjoying an organic vegetarian food, based on Ayurveda cooking, which is served in our beautiful garden bistro. Massages and wellness treatments are optional (wrappings, peelings, masks, etc.) and can be given in a beautiful indoor massage-room or in our bamboo garden or on private terraces in a Roman or Oriental layout.
Our region is a famous holiday destination, which is rich in history, traditions and delicious food. In fact, the Pont du Gard and its river banks of Gardon have been classified by UNESCO world heritage. Furthermore, the city of Uzès has preserved its authentic medieval character and become an insider tip amongst France connoisseurs, who search for authentic French rural life style in a natural and rich cultural layout. Since we are deeply grounded on Roman heritage, we naturally apply ancient values and wellness procedures. As such, we only work with local organic products, such as clay, sea salt, Mediterranean pine nut -, olive -, and grape seat oil, grenadine extract. Additionally, we also use locally produced, precious donkey milk or even snail slime products from the nearby Cevennes mountain region. We thus use ingredients from the ages of time! Our actual brand for cream and soap products is Emma Noel. However, beauty and wellness treatments are optional and can be booked on our guests´ request during their relaxing stay, which lasts usually for a minimum of four hours. Our capacity is up to 16 people and we basically welcome small groups for a private moment, which can be couples, friends or family. Upon request, we also
24 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Company: SPA privé Uzès Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.spa-prive-uzes.com Address: Chemin de la lavande 30700 Uzès (30 km north-east of Avignon (Provence)) Telephone: + 33 (0) 466 033 170
organise weekend stays or wellness escapes, lasting from Yoga retreats to Ayurveda cures and cooking classes or detox programs with hiking or biking options and individual coaching. We therefore work with international professionals, who offer their competences such as sport coach, nutrition and massage specialists, yoga teachers, etc. for small groups with minimum four participants (or individually - on request). Since our team speaks three languages, we are pleased to offer personalised wellness stays to people from all around the world. Moreover, we have become specialised in holding private events, such as bridal showers, birthday parties or romantic occasions. Fine sceneries and rituals have been developed to offer a charming present and ultimate care for the honored person, such as the future bride or the beloved-one, during a shared moment in pure harmony. The Roman and Oriental bath, Sauna house, Japanese garden or Roman terrace become thus a private universe for an exclusive experience of rest and harmony. We are convinced, that deep relaxation and sustainable physical as well as mental regeneration may only occur, when different conditions are fulfilled. As such, we ensure human kindness and a friendly welcome, where we encourage sharing and caring attitudes of all participants, combined with mutual respect, esteem for nature and awareness about our own responsibility for environment and physical health. We therefore motivate our guests to participate in conscious actions towards their own health and well-being, which involves doing some sports, eating healthy food, practicing mindfulness and simply breathing fresh air (nonsmoking) and capturing real sun light. Massages and treatments may be an extra, but no obligation. We thus offer time and techniques to generate calm, peace and harmony within a protected area. The nature around and the energy within (based on Feng Shui principals) are our strongest Allies! Sharing this intimate moment with friends, in a private atmosphere, or amongst family members or within a small and friendly group, generates a strong and joyful exchange between people in place. Human kindness becomes thus the engine of all our actions and ambitions.
Best Luxury Coastal Hotel 2016 – Zante & LUX Treatment Award: Mabely Relaxing Treatment Sessions
Company: - MABELY GRAND HOTEL Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.mabely.com Address: Kampi, Zakynthos, Ionian Islands, Greece Phone: 0030 26950 41302
Best Luxury Coastal Hotel 2016 – Zante & LUX Treatment Award: Mabely Relaxing Treatment Sessions Built in 2008, The Mabely Grand Hotel a five-star hotel complex combines the architectural significance of the classical with the charm of the new and modern. Located on the island of Zakynthos, a Greek island near the Ionian Sea, the hotels management tell us all about their business. The Mabely Grand Hotel is located in a unique cape setting in Kampi, just fifteen minutes away from the magical ‘Shipwreck’ Beach, which is categorized among the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. The island of Zakynthos, called by the Venetians “the Flower of the East” is rich in wildlife and flora.
coexist and not intervene with its untouched, natural beauty. It is located literally on the edge of the cliff, facing the bay of Schiza and the magic blue of the Ionian Sea, from a height of 300 metres, offering a spectacular view to visitors, who are gathered to admire the breath-taking sunset and spectacular setting.
At the Mabely Grand Hotel, you can expect to enjoy a unique experience of recreation and relaxation, an “away from it all” experience and appreciate a perfect holiday destination. It is built on a 60-acre plot on Cape Kampi, on the outskirts of the central town of Zakynthos, within a beautiful lush environment in the northwest part of the island. Beautiful natural scenery, olive groves and vineyards surround Kampi, a traditional mountain village. Peaceful and relatively untouched, it is preserving the authentic traditional Greek way of life, with sweet old stone houses and narrow streets. This is a charming place to stroll around, with bougainvillea flowing over the walls. The very small amount of sixty locals, inhabitants of Kampi village, who are engaged in agriculture and farming, welcome tourists with open arms and offer them the hospitality which Greece is famous for. The village has many interesting examples of life from the Mycenean times, such as the Mycenean cemetery, with its sculptured tombs. Although dominated by the mountain, Kampi is easy to spot even kilometres away due to the large cement Cross, which is a monument to commemorate the lives lost in the Greek civil conflicts of 1940 and Second World War.
Mabely Grand Hotel combines elegant interiors with modern amenities in a remote and private setting. The distinctive pillars of the lobby area and classical furnishings of the hotel are combined to create a luxurious and comfortable ambience. With two large public swimming pools and fourteen private pools, the hotel comprises very comfortable spaces, lounge areas, such as the main buffet restaurant, a café and cocktail-bar ‘Bar Noire’ and an ‘A la Carte’ Restaurant with exceptional cuisine which receives the most exceptional reviews. The hotel also offers a library, indoor games, outdoor tennis courts, bridge room, health & wellness centre, congress and meeting facilities, agricultural shop, as well as a small private chapel of St. Ypomoni, ideal for weddings which makes the hotel the perfect choice for recreation and relaxation for those who love sun.
The region of Kampi itself is of great environmental importance and our establishment was built respecting the natural eco-system, animals and wildlife in order to
Our guests appreciate the stylish interior design of the hotel, along with its cosmopolitan atmosphere. A beautiful lobby area with elegant furniture, fine fabrics and all the detailing which makes comfort the main objective without compromising style - this gives our guests a taste for what the hotel has to offer. We have designed our hotel in a contemporary fashion and have placed our own fine touches of modernism in every corner, while providing state-of-the-art facilities and first-rate services to our guests.
The one hundred and eight luxurious rooms as well as our spacious suites are superbly tailored with every modern convenience, with private balconies or verandas and breath-taking sea views. All rooms offer a beguiling combination of unique architectural styling and decoration. Accommodation meets the highest standards of luxury and relaxation. Thirty-two of the rooms are situated in the main building and the others in the annex buildings, where most of the suites are located. Enjoy peaceful and relaxing days around the pools and facilities of the Mabely Grand for an ideal rejuvenating holiday before returning to a stressful everyday life routine. We are honoured to have received the Best Luxury Coastal Hotel Award of the year as we thrive to provide the highest standards of services as well as creating life long memories for our guests, who are a privilege to our establishment and have showed their preference for our hotel, continuously for the past eight years. This is a reward of our hard work and efficient business, considering that we are located in a very demanding destination, Greece. The most valuable protagonists of our high standards of service, is not only the management team, but also our personnel who have been attentive and proficient for almost seven consecutive years and are considered to be a family of our own. Mabely Grand Hotel’s biggest achievement is that a family-owned hotel is providing a family atmosphere to its guests, as this was our primary perception, to make our guests feel like they are “home away from home”.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 25
lux Company: Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Centre Name: Scott Cowger and Vincent Hannan Email: stay@MapleBB.com Web Address: MapleBB.com Address: 11 Inn Road, Hallowell ME 04347 Telephone: 207-622-2708 in United States
Best Country Inn 2016 - Augusta & LUX Excellence in Sustainability - Augusta The Maple Hill Farm Inn is a truly unique property combining the best aspects of a quiet county farm location along with the latest amenities that a visitor to a luxury hotel has come to expect. We spoke to them to find out more about their establishment, and how they provide an extraordinary getaway for their guests. Based in a truly beautiful setting, we are located on 150 serene acres of rolling fields and woods, yet just four miles to Interstate-95 and less than five miles to Maine’s State Capital building in Augusta. We have just eight guest rooms and provide very personalised service to our guests, as the owners Scott Cowger and Vince Hannan are the ones to check in all the guests and answer their questions. Furthermore, there is also a full-service meeting and events facility at the inn that can seat up to 200 (or more) for private social or business events. Full custom catering is provided in-house (Vince is the head chef) and full bar service is available (Scott is the bar manager), and over 200 events are held at the Inn every year. Providing the very best service is our top priority, and we make ourselves available to the guests at any time (with in-house phone extensions to reach us late at night), but we are not intrusive or questioning of any of our guests. We listen to their needs and respond accordingly, including any special requests they might have. Some guests like to talk and visit, and some guests prefer their privacy and space to themselves. With this in mind, we don’t force any sort of socialisation, and we also respect the guests’ privacy. We want our guests to have a memorable experience, which is why we do some particularly memorable things for our guests. For instance, we have the guest’s first name(s) on their room doors to add a personal touch. That way, they don’t have to remember the room number, as their name is on the 26 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
door! We also implement an excruciating attention to detail that tries to anticipate the guest’s desires, and we often hear from them that we have thought of their every need. As well as the high quality service, the building itself also provides a truly unique experience. The core of the inn is a renovated 1906 Victorian gambrelroofed farmhouse, and subsequent renovations and additions have been carefully made to maintain the original lines and details of the historic structure. The inn and adjacent carriage house event space have been thoroughly updated to modern standards, and guest room accommodations provide the full amenities that today’s traveller prefers. The large addition of the Gathering Place event centre, commercial kitchen, and large laundry was carefully made to the rear of the Inn so as not to detract from the historic façade and comfortable front yard with large maple trees. As a result of the unique setting and services, guests at the inn are incredibly diverse, both geographically as well as in terms of their interests and needs. We are open all year-round, and while many of our winter guests come from right here in New England, we have guests from all around the world throughout the rest of the year. We have guests that are traveling for fun and recreation – tourists – and some may just be passing through the Augusta area, but many use our central location as a way to visit the many faces that Maine has to offer. We are conveniently located so a one-hour drive will get you to the rocky coast, long sandy beaches, bucolic lakes, or the wonderful mountainous regions (and all the hiking that comes along with that!). We have many business travellers that are seeking a quiet and relaxing alternative to the area hotels. They appreciate our attention to detail, with all private baths, full bar service, anytime coffee/tea/homebaked goodies, quality high-speed Wi-Fi, wake-up calls, and a full breakfast in the morning. Some guests that are traveling for work may be attending one of the many events that are held here at the inn as well. On top of all this, we also have guests that are visiting family, coming to weddings or memorial services, and celebrating special romantic occasions like honeymoons or anniversaries.
Although there are many aspects of our hotel that we are immensely proud of, the overall theme of our hotel boils down to two things: being “green” and being on a farm. Maple Hill Farm is very proud of being a leader in the field of environmental sustainability. The inn, based on the personal beliefs of the owners, feels that every individual or business needs to make a conscious commitment to minimising their carbon footprint, which allows us to limit the impact of climate change. Moreover, significant investments in renewable energy and efficiency have been made in the last 13 years. These investments include a 10 kilowatt wind turbine in 2003, a 15 kilowatt solar electric system and large solar hot water system in 2006 and the entire facility was converted to high-quality LED lighting in 2012. Among our distinctions in this area include being awarded “Best Green B&B” by Yankee magazine in 2011, and the highest Platinum Level Certification in TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders programme in 2013. From our experience, our guests have a very strong appreciation for all that we have done to be green and sustainable. In fact, many select us as a place to stay precisely because of our commitment to these goals. However, guest comfort and convenience has not been sacrificed with all of these changes and systems are in place to seamlessly provide traditional fuels and power when the renewable energy systems can’t keep up with peak demand. Our concern is always the comfort and enjoyment for our guests. The guest’s experience is only enhanced by enjoying the comfort and amenities during their stay, knowing that they have selected an establishment that is much more sustainable than many, and not worrying about overindulging! Maple Hill Farm was also just that – a farm – for a very long time, before being converted to an inn and conference centre. As you first enter the driveway (the Inn Road in Hallowell, Maine) and come up the road lined by sugar maple trees, you pass a large red barn that has also been meticulously maintained. The innkeepers Scott and Vince have brought back farm life to the barn and adjoining pastures, and there are eight llamas (six of which were born at the farm!) that are the innkeepers’ pets, and a number
of happy chickens who produce the freshest eggs for the Inn’s breakfasts each morning. Our guests very much enjoy interacting with the llamas, whether feeding them some grass over the fence, or getting to see them up close and personal with one of our inside barn tours that are offered each morning. We also offer guests a chance to collect farm fresh eggs – often still warm – from our chickens during the barn tour. But importantly, the farm atmosphere only adds to our guest’s stay, and does not detract. The residence for our animals, the barn, is located quite a distance from the inn, and there are no odours since the llamas and chickens are well cared for and the barn is kept very clean. We don’t have any roosters, so there isn’t any early morning crowing to wake the guests up (and the barn is far enough away that you wouldn’t hear it anyway!). The nicest part of having farm animals is watching the llamas graze or frolic in the pasture, and they are visible from five of the guest rooms as well as the living room and both front porches of the Inn. Although our hotel is very traditional in terms of its farmyard heritage, we are also very much in touch with the latest technological needs of our guests. For these services, we offer complimentary high-speed commercial Wi-Fi throughout the property (including relaxing in the Adirondack chairs in the front yard, on the porches, and even in the hot tub!). We also worked with AT&T, to install hidden antennas throughout the inn as part of a “macrocell” project to bring quality cellular service. Guest rooms are fully equipped with flat-screen LCD/LED televisions with HD channels, DVD players, and a clock-radio complete with nature sounds and a CD player (as well as an MP3 connection plug). Each guest room has several strategically placed multi-outlet power strips for the convenience of plugging in guests’ “devices” without the need to hunt around for available outlets.
Best Country Inn 2016 - Augusta & LUX Excellence in Sustainability - Augusta
And complementary to the in-house technology is the ability for the guest to do an online booking in real time on our web site. Smaller properties need to be able to accommodate the guest’s need to do a booking on their own time – sometimes 3:00 in the morning – or you stand to lose their business. We also have our full room availability on AirBnB, Expedia, Booking.com, and many other sites. But don’t let the quiet farm ambiance fool you. Maple Hill Farm is loaded with amenities to give you a spa-like experience. Many guest rooms have HUGE private double whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces, and private decks, along with luxurious robes for relaxing. All guests have access to a dry sauna and a secluded outdoor hot tub with an open view to the surrounding woods. A selection of herbal and flavored teas are always available along with organic coffee and decaf in our guest kitchen area, or enjoy a beverage from our full bar service. So enjoy a relaxing farm atmosphere at an intimate country inn, but with comfortable spa features and personal attention to detail. We believe that the unique blend of traditional and contemporary service is what has made our establishment such an outstanding success. We are confident that we will continue to build upon our services in the future. We are on a path of continuous improvement in terms of our environmental sustainability. We have a fully electric Tesla car and two additional Tesla charging stations later this summer (to supplement our two existing public charging stations) and we are starting to look at battery storage for some of our peak power demands along with an expansion of our solar electric array as part of our plan to become fully self-sufficient over the next decade.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 27
Best Country House – Portugal & LUX Award for Best Relaxation Concept - Health through Water
Company: Monte do Giestal – Casas de Campo & Spa Prose Email: geral@ montedogiestal.com Phone: +351 269 902 068 Web Address: www.montedogiestal.com Address: Monte do Giestal Casas de Campo & SPA, BRIC 801 – Cova do Gato
Best Country House – Portugal & LUX Award for Best Relaxation Concept - Health through Water
Monte do Giestal – Casas de Campo & Spa Prose The ‘Monte do Giestal – Casas de Campo & Spa’ is a well-established tourism hotspot in lush rural space in Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region. Everything is prepared and made with the principal concern in mind being about the wellbeing of the customer. Priding themselves on a main goal of making guests feel as if they were at home, the Monte do Giestal immerses visitors in the rugged terrain with comfortable homely accommodation. With a property comprising ten thematically-decorated cottages, each outfitted with air-conditioning and enough home facilities to make a self-catered getaway possible, the Monte do Giestal is appropriately suited to honeymooning couples, or to holidaymakers hoping to make a break from the busier tourist areas further north, especially around Lisbon. The Giestal Estate itself extends across 71 hectares and is completely surrounded by oaks, offering clients an effective cut-off switch, where they can while away the hours channel-surfing, basking in the sauna or reading on the balcony in the soft evening sun. At the heart of the estate, nestled between the houses, is a spacious pool for those balmier Iberian days. While such an idyllic spot seems to be untouchable, it has seen subtle improvements and enhancements over the years, thanks to an emphasis on customer satisfaction. “For us,” explains Guida Silva, “the opinion of our customers is very important, and so all their suggestions are taken into account. We have been successfully growing year after year, by listening to our customers’ suggestions and then implementing them to enhance the hotel.” Being so focussed on customer satisfaction, for some, might bear the risk of deviating from what makes a rural Portuguese holiday retreat so quaintly attractive, but Guida is well-prepared for this and demonstrates how well she can adjust to the circumstances. “We must be aware of the market and their changes, but we always try to go in our way and show what is most characteristic of the Alentejo region.” Indeed, the locale has a lot to offer any prospective visitor to the Monte Do Giestal, especially those 28 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
discerning visitors looking to spend a while in isolation. In the municipality of Santiago do Cacém and the parish of Abela, influence from the outside world is practically non-existent. This has allowed the people of the region to forge their own path, continuing as they have done for generations in traditional crafts – most notably, cork production is a regional symbol here. Venture out into the rolling countryside, and the fragments of a varied history are lurking behind the bougainvillea. Palaeolithic carvings show that humans have lived in this part of the world since society first started; Roman structures still hold some of the mysticism of Antiquity; Visigothic churches, in their austere gloom, paint a picture of the important role of faith in the history of this land. Beyond the sights, the smells and taste of the region are in abundance. Owing to the region’s colloquial name as the ‘bread-basket’ of Portugal, gastronomic tourists to the Awill find pork and wild game, balanced with breads, cheeses and world-famous wines find their roots here, and while the locals almost take them for granted, their availability makes for a delightful tourist experience. The Monte do Giestal stands to benefit hugely from a new influx of tourism into this docile region at the literal corner of Europe, and Guida also demonstrates how the Giestal is preparing to take advantage of new-fangled digital marketing as a means of expanding their clientele. “Soon we will have available a mobile App to show not only the Monte do Giestal, but also our natural and cultural heritage, the activities and cuisine of the Alentejo region, so that the customers may enjoy an unforgettable stay.”
The spa, too, is in keeping with this relaxed touch, being conceived to complement the accommodation and a good meal, or even as an opportunity to relax after all the energy spent on outdoor activities. With its Vichy showers, Turkish bath and Ofurö whirlpool tub, no expense has been spared in granting customers the height of luxury. Rather than going against the rustic charm of the surroundings, it lends itself to the relaxed atmosphere of the Alentejo. These subtle enhancements to the way that Guida is able to interact with her client base, coupled with a noted increased appeal in the rural charms of Portugal, give ample cause for optimism in the future of the Monte do Giestal. “We will grow step by step, in a sustainable way, and we will watch the Alentejo growing up, too.” About the prospect for future tourism to the area, Guida places great faith in the natural attractions of the region to continue drawing in customers. “There are many people who knows the Alentejo, but there are so many more who have not yet had this opportunity. “All of this has to be well-thought out and planned, but we hope that in a few years we will be in a position to increase the number of houses. That way we will be able to receive more guests, and share with everyone what the best of the Alentejo has to offer.” As a message to these prospective future visitors, Guida has a simple message: “For those who would like to know the Alentejo region, the “Monte do Giestal” is the right place to visit. We will wait for you and ‘let the countryside look after you’; this is our slogan – let us prove it to you.”
Best B&B Accommodation 2016 - York
Company: No.21 York Name: Simon Boyle & Andrea Schipper Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.no21york.co.uk Address: 21 St. Mary’s, York, North Yorkshire YO30 7DD, United Kingdom Telephone: + 44 (0)1904 629494
Best B&B Accommodation 2016 - York
No.21 York No. 21 York is a boutique bed and breakfast in York. Nestled in a quiet road, the hotel is a stone’s throw away from the from the hustle bustle of the vibrant city centre. “Our clientele are mainly both local and international couples here on a getaway who are wanting to explore the amazing city which we now call home,” explains Simon Boyle, who runs No. 21 York with his wife, Andrea. “We are very fortunate to be situated in a destination city which attracts a lot of tourism to the area. York itself has a lot to offer but add to that the surrounding areas of the Moors, Dales, Wolds and Coastline, and you will see that York is an ideal base to explore what is commonly referred to as God’s Own County.” Built circa 1890, No. 21 York is a Victorian Terrace that has a history of offering accommodation and breakfast to guests since 1966, when Mrs. J.P. Morcome opened her home to travellers to the city as Morcome Guest House. This tradition of offering homely hospitality is something that Simon and Andrea are keen to continue. “Our ethos is one of inviting guests into our home whilst providing an informal, personalised experience and still maintaining the old traditions of hospitality and customer service,” says Simon and he continues to explain just how No. 21 York strives to distinguish itself from the competition. “We are fiercely proud of the fact that everything possible is sourced locally,” he enthuses. “All of our food produce is from local farm shops, butchers, delis, dairies and jam makers. From the flour in our bread being from a local flour mill, to our tea and coffee being from Taylor’s of Harrogate (a name synonymous with Yorkshire) we try to use local wherever we can. “Right from the outset of starting our B&B we wanted to ensure that everything we did was locally
sourced from the artisans we used to help us with the refurbishment - right down to the beds and furnishings, which were made here in Yorkshire. “From the guests’ perspective, they really appreciate the little touches like the fresh milk in their rooms, local amenities and a wonderful fresh cooked breakfast that is all local produce. Guests will often comment that ours is the best breakfast they have eaten in any establishment.” Simon and Andrea firmly believe that the personal touch is the key to success when it comes to running a guest house, and helps to make No. 21 York a little more unique than its counterparts. “I believe that guests are looking more and more for the personalised service that a B&B or Boutique Hotel can offer them as opposed to your run-of-themill corporate-branded property – although there is still a place for these. Our feedback from our guests is that the individual welcome, recognition, personalised service and the time to talk and invest in them is really important. “As the owner of the business I make sure that I am on hand to meet & greet all of our guests, having their arrival time helps us to understand who is coming and when so we are able to greet them by name and know any particular requirements they might have,” Simon says. “We find that this also helps to create a great impression. The greeting is friendly & personalised and we offer suggestions of what to see and where to visit.” It’s not all about the little touches, however, and Simon is quick to give recognition to the team of dedicated staff that help run the hotel and make No. 21 York a success. “Our team have been working alongside us for 18 months now and we make sure that they feel a part of what we do through training and inclusion
in whatever is going on. We work alongside them and will never ask them to do perform a task we are not willing or able to do ourselves. Awards and recognition are regularly celebrated by all which helps to foster a great working environment, but we also want them to be individuals with their own personality and input into the running of the B&B.” In the ever-evolving hospitality industry, it’s important to keep up-to-date and Simon tells us how he employs technology to ensure No. 21 York remains prevalent. “From the outset we have tried to keep pace with the changes in technology, from designing our website to be compatible with computers and mobile devices, to installing direct booking buttons on the website. We have also concentrated our efforts on social media to promote not only the property but also York and the surrounding areas too. “With regards to in-house technology, we offer a secure, free wifi service & have Smart TVs in all the rooms so that guests can access their emails, Amazon or Netflix accounts directly.” Over the following three years Simon and Andrea have plans to further improve their property and ensure that delighted guests continue to return time after time. “We are planning a phased refurbishment of the property which will see a reduction to seven bedrooms,” explains Simon. “This will offer more space to our guests and see the inclusion of a small seating area in each room; an upgrade to all of our shower rooms; inclusion of baths into some of our rooms; replacement of all of the sash windows and a refurb of our car park. “We will continue to strive to delight our guests whenever we can.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 29
Best Eco-Friendly Luxury Accommodation & LUX location award: Best Beachfront Hotel - Australia
The Observatory Hotel, Port Macquarie Email: info@observatory. net.au www.observatory.net.au Address: 40 William Street, Port Macquarie 2444, New South Wales, Australia Telephone: +61 2 6586 8000
Best Eco-Friendly Luxury Accommodation & LUX location award: Best Beachfront Hotel - Australia
The Observatory Hotel Two aspects define the uniqueness and appeal of The Observatory Hotel, on Australia’s sunblessed eastern coastline: the distinction of being formally acknowledged in 2016 as the country’s leading green hotel and its unparalleled location at the head of a string of eight golden sandy beaches washed by the Pacific Ocean. We profile this stunning property and showcase the beauty and wonder guests experience at a fantastic destination. The Observatory Hotel, 400km to the north of Sydney, is known as “Port Macquarie’s best address” for good reason: this modern, architecturally distinct hotel is poised over manicured parklands edging the city’s most popular beach, where waves tumble ceaselessly onshore, lulling guests into a sense of peace and harmony, and perfect seaside relaxation. Just a few steps from the hotel’s front doors guests can plunge into rolling surf, cruise the crests on longboards, paddle in sheltered shallows, explore rock pools or merely indulge in sunbathing, reading or feasting under Breton-striped umbrellas at the beachside fresh food kiosk. Early birds can join in morning surfside yoga sessions. Nearby, energetic youngsters are free to ride skateboards in a frenzied, action-packed purpose-built arena. Across the way, families spread out luncheon fare on tables next to gas-fired barbecues dotted around the park’s lawns. Still more strike out on a coastal odyssey on grassy hilltops along the beaches, on mountain bikes, with picnic backpacks and iPod navigators supplied by The Observatory. Seasonally, many will marvel at the sight of whales breaching the ocean surface: Port Macquarie’s coastline is visited twice a year by migrating pods including a rare albino whale, and delighted tourists on cliffside vantage points report witnessing mother whales giving birth to young. A number of whale-watching boat operators also offer sightseeing tours out to sea. 30 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Closer to home, without the need to even wander, The Observatory itself offers all the essentials holidaymakers desire in a boutique resort, 91 guest rooms, including one, two and three bedroom apartments and two penthouses. The apartments and penthouses come with the opportunity, if preferred, to self-cater in fully-equipped open plan kitchens looking through picture-window bi-fold doors to the surf. Also on site are the region’s most popular coffee house and casual cafe, and Scampi’s seafood restaurant, a local icon. Port Macquarie enjoys an equable climate year-round but on rare cooler days the hotel’s indoor heated swimming pool and cascading waterfall, bubbling spa and Finnish sauna beckon. In its serene garden setting the pool complex looks through full-height glass to the adjacent open-air but sheltered barbecue and dining tables and protected lawn area, perfect for children to explore and play. Every need is catered for, and additional diversions include soothing organic treatments and massages offered in the on-site day spa; shopping for quality fashion, jewellery, homewares and gift discoveries in a charming ground-level nook; in-room fitness equipment on request; WiFi options, as well as family bicycle outings to a close-by koala reserve. If this vast array is not enough, the hotel’s self-serve travel bureau offers complementary brochures describing some 150 other local attractions and helpful advice
from front-of-house staff. These attractions include fishing, river cruising, water skiing, boating, dolphin sightseeing, golf, history walks, strawberry farm and vineyard tours, scenic flights, paddle-boarding and more. Observatory guests have the satisfaction of knowing their holiday is entirely impact-free on the environment: the hotel is the current holder of Australia’s premier award for sustainability, its reputation earned over more than a decade since its opening through a multi-faceted avant-garde Green Future program. Ultimately, the Observatory was one of Australia’s first officially-endorsed 100% carbon neutral hotel and remains one of just three Deluxe hotels nationwide so credited, and it is easy to see why. Among its many innovations, more than 200 solar panels atop its roof provide the entire energy for thousands of guests annually. Moreover, the hotel reaches out with its environmental message, leading by example with comprehensive recycling and waste minimisation practices and supporting native tree-planting and bush regeneration initiatives in the community. Additionally, it is also Australia’s most awarded Deluxe hotel for excellence of guest service and satisfaction. A warm welcome awaits visitors from around the world.
Best Country House Hotel 2016 - North Yorkshire & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue 2016 - North Yorkshire
The Pheasant Hotel
Company: The Pheasant Hotel Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.thepheasanthotel.com Address: Harome, Near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5JG Telephone: 01439 771241
Best Country House Hotel 2016 - North Yorkshire & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue 2016 - North Yorkshire
The Pheasant Hotel is a beautiful country hotel, located in Harome, near Helmsley in North Yorkshire. Run by the Binks family until 2009, current owners Jacquie Pern and Peter Neville are proud to own a hotel that has been awarded Three AA Red Stars, Two AA Rosettes and 2 Michelin red knives and forks. We spoke to Jacquie to find out more about this exceptional hotel.
Originally converted from what was the 18th century blacksmith’s shop, village shop and barns, the Pheasant aims to offer the perfect room for everyone. “Peter and I live and breathe our business, and this enables us to provide a personal, bespoke service to our guests. We are constantly updating and refurbishing our rooms, and some of our recent works have included a complete refurbishment of the lounge and of two of the bedrooms, and brand new chairs for the dining room, handmade for us by Peter Silk of Helmsley. “We have 16 rooms on offer at our establishment; two romantic hideaways, two family ‘little homes from home’ which are dog friendly, and 12 spacious rooms in the main building. Some of these rooms overlook the courtyard, others the duck pond, but the best room in the house is undoubtedly The Pheasant Suite. Spread over two floors, this spacious and comfortable suite is perfect for two people or for a family stay, with the ground floor living area boasting its own kitchen facilities, alongside other amenities. “I personally oversee the furnishing of all of our rooms, making sure they are stylish and comfortable. We boast a small but perfectly formed indoor heated swimming pool and a large terrace, ideal for al fresco lunches or afternoon tea.” The Pheasant is home to the award winning restaurant
of Peter Neville, Head Chef and Director. Peter has a reputation for offering the best in local seasonal dishes, with a wonderful lightness of touch resulting in fantastic flavour and taste combinations. Jacquie continues: “Our restaurant is housed in our luxurious dining room and also stretches to our stylish conservatory. We also provide room service for our customers at no extra cost, so that they are at liberty to decide where they enjoy their evening meal. Our sommelier Michael Wolanski makes sure that only the finest wines are on offer for our guests, and that the perfect wine will always be available to accompany any meal that Peter creates. “We are fortunate to have a base of faithful guests who return year on year, with 65-70% of visitors making a return trip to the hotel. Our enviable 1:4 staff to customer ratio means that guests are given a truly personal and unique service. “We typically welcome all manner of guests, from couples and families, to shooting parties and those who just want to get away from it all. We offer several packages for guests, including a Gourmet Break, a Pamper Break and a Seasonal Break. “Our pool facilities are showcased perfectly in our Pamper Break and spa treatments can be provided in our guests’ rooms by an external therapist. Our Pamper Break also includes a private candle-lit swim, a delight for any guest.
“We have been honoured by the recognition we have received since we took over and have been listed in the Good Food Guide 2016. We have also been awarded with; TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016, Good Shoot Hotel Guide Highly Recommended 2015, Yorkshire Life Small but Special Hotel 2014, and Yorkshire Life Restaurant of the Year 2011.” Jacquie is also proud that the Pheasant is now rated so highly as a premier wedding venue. “We are now known as one of North Yorkshire’s finest wedding venues. We hold our own license for civil marriage or civil partnership ceremonies, offering a bespoke package to every couple, and can cater for anything between 12 and 80 guests. Each wedding is co-ordinated by myself and personalised to the couple’s requirements and we offer exclusive use of the hotel, thus providing a home from home atmosphere for every wedding. “Our guests love our relaxed atmosphere, stylish interiors, lovely staff, fabulous food and fine wines. We strive to offer our residents and non-residents an all-round relaxed and wonderful experience. We might be a small hotel but we are definitely special, packing a punch in our quiet corner of rural North Yorkshire with the moors, shooting estates, market towns and coast on the doorstep. Our friendly and experienced team, led by Peter and myself , work hard to ensure that every guest visiting the Pheasant leaves with a smile on their face and is already planning their next visit”.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 31
Best Luxury Hotel 2016 – Turk and Caicos
Best Luxury Hotel 2016 – Turk and Caicos
Point Grace Hotel Point Grace is a boutique hotel and spa resort located on Grace Bay beach on Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is a place where the eclectic and exceptional find enlightening refuge from the world. Inspired by classic, turn of the 20th Century British Colonial architecture, Point Grace is an extraordinary Caribbean retreat, located at the Point of the pristine award winning twelve-mile beach of Grace Bay, Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Named after the hotel’s singular location at the point of Grace Bay, Point Grace is a highly unique boutique hotel with 28 luxurious one, two, three and four bedroom suites and penthouses. It is here, in a setting seemingly untouched by time, that each suite has been designed to include every luxury, leaving you free to encounter your own personal state of grace. Point Grace’s origin begins over a century before ground was broken on the site that Point Grace now stands. In 1892, a woman named Grace Hutchings sailed to Providenciales (formerly known as Blue Hills) from Grand Turk with her new husband to honeymoon in the hills of the Bight, overlooking the breath-taking turquoise sea. Soon after Grace and her new husband departed, the locals named the twelve-mile beach along the north shore in her honour. Over a century later, Point Grace was inspired and designed to do justice to Lady Grace. Today, that joyous spirit – unsullied, innocent, yet ablaze with natural splendour, resonates throughout the golden enclave of Point Grace. Here, in this serene setting ideal for relaxation, regeneration and reflection – you might even hear the whispered echo of Grace’s laughter still lingering in the soothing tropical breeze. Point Grace majestically adorns the “Point” of Grace Bay, part of the Princess Alexandra National Park on the pristine northern shore of the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This 32 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
extraordinary setting provides ultimate exclusivity, privacy and serenity on what has been described by many as the best beach in the world. Providenciales is one of the forty-nine islands that comprise the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands. This caring island community of about thirtythree thousand friendly locals and internationals is located halfway between Florida and Puerto Rico, and only a ninety minute, non-stop jet flight from Miami. Gentle trade winds assure a nearly perfect year round climate. Magnificent coral reefs and waters earn praise for providing some of the best SCUBA, snorkelling, boating and fishing experiences in the world, while marine parks, conch farms, and wildlife reserves thrive in harmony with nature. On land, championship golf, galleries and boutiques, gaming and dining provide a unique quality of experiences. The Thalasso Spa at Point Grace Resort on Providenciales is a full-service European-style Thalassotherapy spa. We have combined our knowledge of famous Thalgo Spas of France and have created a relaxing Caribbean ocean front environment for your enjoyment. Thalassotherapy uses the properties of sea water as well as applications of sea mud and select seaweed by our breath-taking views of Princess Alexandra National Marine Park in Grace Bay. During treatments, specialists trained in these European techniques apply selected products of the highest quality. These treatments contribute to naturally restore vital energy. Fresh sea breezes and a marvellous view of the ocean are part of the Thalasso beauty elements. Point Grace’s spa is located in three, white-washed
buildings set apart at the east of the property and just back from the beach dune. The treatment rooms are designed to allow doors and windows to be open to the ocean view and sea air while guests are being pampered, yet privacy is maintained. Each highceilinged suite is thoroughly outfitted with massage table, marble sinks and an open-roofed shower. Everyone within the business is aware of our firm’s aims. This is done through training programmes, one-on-one conversations of encouragement and by having our motto on the staff reader board, near the time clock and all back of the house areas, where it is always visible to the staff. Our focus has been and continues to be on providing our guests with a place for relaxation and reflection; a place where you can come away from everything and find yourself again or reconnect with that special someone and loved ones. This only enhances our guests’ experience as that is the kind of atmosphere they are looking for. Our guests are greeted by our Guest Services Manager and/or a Guest Services agent who gives them a brief tour of the property, indulges them with a welcome drink of their choice and then escorts them to the suite where they are checked-in. By having a clean and welcoming environment and carrying out our check-in process, guests receive an initial, memorable first impression. The boutique style of the resort with its classic colonial architecture, the Grand Turk style native stone work, exterior gingerbread cottage details and the elegant interiors. Our spa treatment rooms allow the enjoyment of the sound of the ocean’s waves as well as the fresh sea air whilst having your treatment. These factors are what sets us apart from other hotel and spas in the area.
Best Luxury Family Resort 2016 - Routt County
Establishment: The Porches Website: http://www. vacation-steamboat.com/ vacation-homes/
Best Luxury Family Resort 2016 - Routt County
The Porches The Porches of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, are a collection of traditional, old-world style cabins nestled within the natural splendour of a historic mountain town. Emilie Crider paints a stunning picture of this glorious elevated paradise. Imagine the perfect vacation home, a place to gather friends and family where the staff is warm and welcoming, a place with a real sense of community, a place like no other in a mountain town. Welcome to The Porches of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where we strive to exceed expectations and give our guests an unforgettable vacation. A quaint town tucked in the Yampa Valley, Steamboat is home to ranchers and cowboys, ski enthusiasts and more than its fair share of Winter Olympians. During the winter months Steamboat becomes a magical winter wonderland boasting hundreds of inches of fresh powder. The thrill of skiing and snowboarding our legendary ski runs brings crowds from around the world. Off the slopes snow fanatics enjoy snowshoeing, dog sledding, snow tubing, snowmobiling, and a relaxing soak in the famous Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Once a predominantly winter destination Steamboat has transformed into the ultimate summer haven. Miles of hiking and biking trails, free summer concerts, tubing the Yampa River, farmer’s markets, and quirky festivals provide plenty of entertainment for the whole family.
Here at The Porches, our 16 acre neighborhood is nestled at the base of the Steamboat ski resort and is the ideal location for your next getaway. The sprawling landscape of wild flowers and native grasses in the summer and twinkle lit spruce trees and cascading snow banks in the winter bring our neighborhood to life. Take a stroll through our property and experience truly genuine mountain charm and friendliness with each person you pass along the way.
A signature element of The Porches is our 6,000 square foot amenities building, the Barn, at the heart of our property. Head over to the Barn to relax in the hot tubs, take a dip in the heated pool, make s’mores around the fire pit, or work out in the state-of-the-art gym. During peak times throughout the year we throw amazing cookie and cupcake decorating parties and ice cream socials that bring together incredible food, refreshing beer and wine, and the entire Porches community.
Our four and five-bedroom luxury homes are 3,000-5,000 square feet and sleep between 10 and 14 people. Private bathrooms for each bedroom, large gourmet kitchens, multiple fireplaces, and bunkrooms for the kids make these homes the perfect place to gather all your friends and family under one roof. No detail was overlooked in the building and design of our homes and each home upholds the standards of quality, elegance, and luxury that have become synonymous with The Porches. The luxurious furnishings create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere that feel like a true home away from home.
Overall, the beauty of The Porches neighborhood and our homes speak for themselves but what truly makes us stand out is our dedication to excellent service. Our in-house concierge takes care of any need our guests may have from lift tickets, to restaurant reservations, hiking recommendations, pre-arrival grocery shopping and more. The entire staff has a passion for Steamboat and sharing their experiences with our guests. We are a team that goes above and beyond to make each guests’ stay unforgettable. Not only is our staff a team but we are also a family and we welcome and encourage each and every guest to be a part of our family. It’s this inclusiveness and genuine feeling of belonging that brings people back year after year. When you visit The Porches you never have to feel like you are not at home.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 33
LUX Beauty Salon of the Year 2016 - Crystal Palace
Company: Revitalize Beauty Salon Email: revitalize.mel@ hotmail.co.uk Website: www.revitalize-beauty.com Address: 14 Church Road Crystal Palace, London SE19 2ET
LUX Beauty Salon of the Year 2016 - Crystal Palace
Revitalize Beauty Salon Revitalize Beauty Salon is a unique establishment which has served the Crystal Palace area for seven years, offering the perfect atmosphere for clients to relax and indulge in a vast selection of beauty treatments. Based in the heart of Crystal Palace, Revitalize gives clients the chance to enjoy a wide pool of luxury beauty and spa treatments in a warm, relaxed environment. Founded in September 2009 by Mel hume, the salon has gone from strength to strength. The treatments on offer include facials, eye lash extensions, massages, spray tanning, waxing and threading, manicures, pedicures and more. Mel tells us about her experience in the industry and what has made her salon a success. “I have been part of the Industry for 13 years. Before Revitalize, I had previously been working in another salon so had a small clientele base to open up with. I do my job with a lot of passion. To me the beauty industry is everything.” The majority of her clients are based in the local area, with about 90% of my clientele all come from word of mouth. The client experience is the most important aspect to the beauty salon. Mel explains how she makes every client feel relaxed and welcome in her premises. “Firstly, I always smile! I do it because I want to help others and make them feel better, my job is a lot like psychology too. Revitalize is a little bit of a getaway for people to come to and relax. We make every single thing about the experience about the client. Clients say that they are love coming here and it’s a relaxing environment. They find us very professional, but also friendly so they get the best of both worlds. When I’m with a client, we just make it all about them.” Revitalize has ensured all staff members are aware of the company’s standards and aims, which goes 34 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
a long way to maintain success and a healthy client base, as Mel describes. “I’m very, very particular in who I employ. For a small salon, my standards are very high. So one of my staff has been with me for five years, and another has only been with us for a few months. But, both, were trained by me and both work very well. My staff are very popular with clients.” With any business, Revitalize has had to adapt to changes in the industry. Mel has witnessed an increase in popularity for treatments, especially with men. Also, the latest technology in the industry has helped to enhance the client experience and made Revitalize stand apart from other salons in the area. “The industry has changed so much health wise. I would probably say there are a lot more male clients. People are taking more care of themselves, a lot more than they were a few years ago. You’ve got a lot more people eating better, going to the gym more, so they’re looking after their skin and hair better. “Every year, I get a new type of technology in – sometimes twice a year depending on what is needed. I do a lot of research to see what a lot of other beauty salons in the area don’t have. If I think the technology is going to do well in the area, and the people need and want it, then I look into which one is best to invest in. We’ve invested in IPL laser removal and the caci facial, which is a non-surgical facelift. The caci facial is my biggest ongoing treatment; the industry for non-surgical facelifts is massive at the moment. That’s what sets my salon apart from a lot of others.
Revitalize hope to grow their existing business over the next year which will give clients more opportunities for treatments. “We are having a refurbishment done in October which will create extra rooms. I’ve taken on extra staff and there’s not enough space so we need to cater for extra clients. I see the business progressing from there. I’m hoping within a year; we can move into premises which are a lot bigger if it comes available. “Financially, I could open other outlets but I love my job so much and I do it with passion, I wouldn’t be able to give clients the best experience if I have too many premises. I’m happy putting my energy into one salon. I work sometimes ridiculous hours but I do it because I love it.” It seems the atmosphere which Mel has created and the strong relationship with her clients has been a key aspect to the success of Revitalize. “A lot of people say that they don’t need some treatments doing this week but they come to the salon just to see us sometimes, which is nice. We are very friendly. I always give home care advise to my clients as much as possible, as everyone isn’t always aware on how important some routines can be. It has a lot to do with our personalities as well. which I think makes the client want to come back. I feel so honoured to be nominated.”
Best Luxury B&B 2016 – Harrogate
Company: Roseberry Cottage Bed & Breakfast Email: info@ roseberrycottage.co.uk Web Address: www.roseberrycottage.co.uk Address: Bishop Thornton, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3JP Phone: 01423 772 926
Best Luxury B&B 2016 – Harrogate
Roseberry Cottage Bed & Breakfast At Roseberry Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Sara Jaffar considers herself fortunate to be so well placed. Located in the middle of the countryside, the picturesque Spa town of Harrogate is just 15 minutes drive away, and the Yorkshire Dales are on the doorstep. The Bed & Breakfast is situated in English countryside comprising a wild flower meadow and young orchard, a main house, and a converted barn. Inside this refurbished barn are two beautifully decorated bedrooms, each with a modern en-suite bathroom, and a delightful communal kitchen area, where breakfast is served. Fast approaching its one-year anniversary, Sara’s business venture has attracted a steady mix of clients. “We get quite a lot of younger couples, who have not started a family yet, and are looking for somewhere romantic and peaceful in order to escape from work and city living for the weekend,” she mentions. “We also get a number of visitors who tend to come for slightly longer breaks to enjoy the wide range of amenities and facilities that are close by, such as National Trust Fountains Abbey and RHS Harlow Carr, as well as the nearby cities of York and Leeds, and of course the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.” To Sara, success as the head of a burgeoning B&B establishment has rested upon her ability to deliver what the customer wants, time after time. To her, hosting a high end B&B “is really a question of listening to people, and being aware of their circumstances in coming here, as well as having high standards and an eye for detail.” “Some people will want to talk and have long interesting chats; others might be more used to hotel environments, which do not have that same sense of personality; some guests might just wish to keep to themselves, which is fine as they have their own privacy, in the comfort of the refurbished barn. “I will always ask our guests if they have any allergies before they book a room with us. There might also be guests that have decided to forego bread or dairy products, which makes it my responsibility, as their host, to ensure that they are provided with options that suit their needs. That way, they are not missing out on the things that we provide for other guests without those restrictions.
“Ultimately, it’s a question of tuning in to what our guests want; the overall experience is the same for everybody, in that we will go to the same lengths for all of our customers to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible. By listening to the needs of our guests, we are more able to facilitate those needs.”
The B&B industry, Sara remarks, has certainly seen a surge in higher expectations for luxurious accommodation. “People are much more welltravelled these days; having been abroad and spent a lot of time staying in increasingly well equipped surroundings.
“With the sort of luxuries that we have come to expect whenever we travel, the little touches that we provide are part of what we take pride in. We provide our guests with luxury toiletries, fluffy dressing gowns, towels and slippers, and other high-quality products. The bread, biscuits and preserves are all home made, sausages and bacon from an excellent local butcher and the eggs from a neighbouring farm. The guest’s kitchen has a proper tea pot and nespresso coffee machine, with good quality teabags and coffee should our guests want any. Our guests deserve the best treatment, so we work hard to ensure that nothing falls below their expectations. We choose to focus on giving our guests as many luxuries and comforts as we can in a smaller, more personal environment than a hotel.
“We want to attract people who perhaps don’t think of going to a B&B, remembering them as they were 20 or more years ago when you would be in a bedroom in somebody else’s house, perhaps with a shared bathroom, and eating in their kitchen or dining room. That is not something that most modern guests are looking for, opting instead to have their own privacy.
“The converted barn’s surroundings have been refurbished to compliment this – we have a young orchard and wild flower meadow outside, on the way up to our vegetable garden and fruit cages. At this time of year, we’re often out picking soft fruit for jam making and our guest’s breakfasts. Come autumn, there will be ripe apples and pears in the orchard, which I will use to make compotes to serve at breakfast. We also grow our own potatoes and salads for guest’s barbecues, which can be ordered in advance and served on their terrace, if people choose not to go to one of the many excellent local pubs or restaurants for dinner. “
On top of this, the industry has changed tremendously in the last decade alone, with the growth of the Internet allowing prospective guests to go online and examine a property in great detail. That alone has had a tremendous impact on the way that smaller businesses like ours can reach wider audiences.” Sara, though, admits to the complexities that this brings. “The single biggest challenge that I have faced is social media, and trying to get my head around it!” Undaunted by this, Sara’s enterprise has made a firm stamp on the local industry, benefitting from people looking for a more modern, luxurious retreat, away from Harrogate’s hotels. “Moving forward we are keen to preserve our high standards of quality and maintain our excellent standards of service in order to exceed the expectations of our customers. We look forward to a bright and prosperous future.” LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 35
Best Luxury Hotel & Spa 2016 – Lancashire
Company: Stanley House Hotel & Spa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 01254 769200 Web Address: www.stanleyhouse.co.uk Address: Stanley House Mellor, Lancashire, BB2 7NP
Best Luxury Hotel & Spa 2016 – Lancashire
Stanley House Hotel & Spa In the heart of Lancashire, set amid the rolling fields of the Ribble Valley, an 17th-Century manor house sticks out like a solitary rose in a grass garden. Contained within its walls is a pleasantly-outfitted hotel and spa that boasts 30 fully-appointed rooms, a menu offering some of the best local produce, and a sumptuous spa. Having only recently appointed a new manager to head up its luxury spa, Stanley House is well placed to build upon its hard-won reputation for excellence, which began with the hotel’s opening in 2005. Sarah Wellfair joins a team of dedicated individuals, bringing her own international experience in delivering luxury therapy and beauty regimes to deliver the star-quality treatment usually reserved for the rich and famous. Discussing the appointment, the general manager at Stanley House, Phillip Wharton said, “Sarah’s unfaltering dedication to ensuring guests have a seamless experience means she is well placed to head up our spa. This will ensure Stanley House retains its place as one of the UK’s top spa destinations. She’s a welcome addition to the Stanley House family.” Indeed, this former manager of the House of Elemis in Mayfair is due to discover the prestige and widespread acclaim that has been piled upon this Country Lodge in recent years. For some, Stanley House is a stylish country retreat, based around a historic Grade II Listed manor house, recently restored to glory, but with enough mod-cons to draw in a steady stream of clientele. These delicate balances of old and new make it ideal as a wedding venue as well as a focal point for a weekend break. For others, Stanley House represents the perfect destination for a spa break. Five spacious rooms offer private experiences that exemplify a diverse range of treatments; a Finnish sauna with panoramic views of the valley contrasts with a hyper-modern open chamber complete with full-length windows and a shallow pool. Promising to deliver a spa like no other to their customers, the staff are unreservedly, unapologetically, keen on pandering to their clientele, though they would not describe it simply as such. With their team of specialists, including 36 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Pilate-teachers, masseurs and trained facialists, the dedication to their craft is a deeply knowledgeable, almost scientific service. The spa’s signature NATURA BISSÉ diamond facial is perhaps the best example of the care given to this science. The spa itself has been open since 2012, and yet it has flourished to become a centrepiece. It has even received national recognition, with a team of undercover spa spies rewarding Stanley House for providing an experience that is “ideal for serious spa goes who want a spa that is practically perfect in every way.” Beyond the aromatic confines of the spa views, of the Lancashire countryside are one of the most endearing features of Stanley House. Even if one never set foot in the spa, for whatever reason, the atmosphere alone is enough to energise even the weariest of souls. Accrediting this view is the new spa manager herself, saying, ‘I’m well-travelled, so I have seen a lot of the world, but the views at Stanley House really are breath-taking. I’m used to busy city life but I’m loving life in the country; it’s a great environment to live and work in.” This achievement is something that cannot be overstated. Nestled away down a secluded road somewhere between Preston and Blackburn, guests can choose to strike out north, past Longridge, into the depths of the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A short drive west will connect to the well-travelled thoroughfare that is the M6, and a short journey north will give way to views of the tumbling Lake District. Closer to home, meanwhile, the hotel’s own delights should definitely not be overlooked. This 54-acre stretch of Ribble Valley countryside features two buildings, across which the 30 spectacular rooms are spread, along with a smattering of other pleasant distractions.
Within the main manor house, the 12 largest rooms feature unique, individually designed bathrooms, all with commanding views, whilst the rooms themselves are designed to evoke to past glory of the Mellor family. One room embodies a deep-seated fascination with the Orient, with its detailed lacquered furniture complimented by deep red hues, while another displays the delights of English comfort with a fourposter bed. The reception area alone embodies this historic charm, warmed by the beautiful Inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove. In the Woodlands Rooms, meanwhile, more evocative styles emerge in 18 newer rooms. These 36-square metre spaces boast technological comforts including a media hub, complimentary Wi-Fi, large flat-screen televisions and laptop charging facility. It is these more modern features that allow Stanley House the privilege of hosting exclusive corporate events, across six purpose-built meeting rooms. The imposing backdrop of an 17th-Century manor house are the perfect opportunity for a photoshoot session or product launch. For delegates seeking quick access to other parts of the country, Stanley House’s ideal location easily facilitates transport; its quaint charms will always be waiting to suck clients back into the embrace at the end of a busy day. Likewise, the discerning food connoisseur will find mouth-watering delights in the two stylish restaurants at Stanley House. Mr Fred’s offers classic British food in bite-sized offerings, complimenting a gastro pub-inspired décor, complete with full-length glass windows and a sun terrace. Grill on the Hill, meanwhile, is a rare find in Lancashire; every item on the extensive menu speaks of deep-seated passion, and is presented in smart yet perspicaciously casual surroundings; wide windows offer views of the wellkept lawns, extending way over to the Fylde Coast.
Best Luxury Self-Catering Accommodation 2016 - County Tipperary
Establishment: Stone Cottage Address: Mc Namara’s Cottages, Killoscully, Newport, Co. Tipperary, Ireland Phone: 067 25282, Int + 353 67 25282 Ann Mobile: 00353 861565119 Email:email@example.com Website: http://www.mcnamarascottages.com
Best Luxury Self-Catering Accommodation 2016 - County Tipperary McNamara’s Cottages comprise of three beautiful 4-star self-catering cottages which make the ideal rustic getaway for anyone eager to escape into the stunning Irish countryside. We invited Owners Ann and Todd McNamara to provide us with an absorbing overview of the cottages and the experiences that they offer to visitors. Here at McNamara’s Cottages, our self-catering establishments are Irish Tourism Board approved and have a 4-star rating with full wheelchair access. They are situated on our 150-acre family farm, in a rural area of outstanding natural beauty, with each of the accommodations commanding panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The spacious cottages are set in a scenic area near Newport, County Tipperary and boast a high standard of comfort for all especially people with limited mobility. They are conveniently located close to all amenities and just less an hour’s drive from the Shannon Airport. This is an ideal base for touring the region and enjoying active holidays such as boating, fishing and other water sports are available nearby at Lough Derg. There are scenic walks and drives, as well as Horse Riding, Pony Trekking, Golf, Fishing, and Cycling Bikes are available for our guests.
The Stone House is a beautifully restored selfcatering Farmhouse, offering maximum security, privacy and tranquillity. Originally built in 1830, this house provides a comfortable 4-star Irish Tourist Board approved accommodation adjacent to the family home on the 150-acre farm, in a scenic rural area commanding panoramic views of the surrounding countryside/counties. The house sleeps up to six people and has four bedrooms, one of which is an en-suite, as well as two shower rooms. There is also a cot available. The modern kitchen includes microwave, dishwasher, and washing machine. In the living room there is an open-fire, T.V. and DVD. Our Ciamaltha View also boasts a well-equipped modern kitchen includes microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, and sleeps up to eight
people. Finally, Arra View is a beautifully modern 4-star holiday accommodation set on its own grounds overlooking Slieve Ciamaltha, which is locally known as Keepers Hill. This spacious, self-contained luxury house is tastefully decorated and boasts timber floors throughout. The cottage is wheelchair friendly and approved by the Irish National Rehabilitation Board and has been awarded a 4-star rating by the Irish Tourism Board. Ultimately, McNamara’s Cottages is the perfect destination for any type of break, whether you are looking to relax and recharge, experience some culture or have an action packed holiday enjoying the various leisure activities we have in the vicinity.
This farm has been the home of the McNamara’s for six generations and we have worked very hard on keeping the values of Traditional Farming alive and at the same time promoting rural tourism. Visitors can experience the daily workings on this functioning working farm by participating in activities such as hand-milking cows, feeding and caring for animals such as calves, lambs, hens, ducks, and the gathering of eggs etc. There is an organic vegetable garden on the farm which visitors can take the opportunity to sample some of the produce in season. Alongside the sites which are on our doorstep, there are also innumerate heritage sites such as Nenagh Castle and the Nenagh Heritage Centre, the Rock of Cashel, Bunratty Castle and the Cliffs of Moher. The cities of Galway, Cork and Dublin are all less than 2 hour’s drive. Experience a relaxing short walk to the local Village for an evening of Irish Music in Ryan’s Bar. There is also a wide choice of excellent restaurants nearby for those who wish to be wined and dined. Guests frequently comment on the comfort the cottages offer as well as the natural beauty of the surroundings. Each of our three cottages have all of the modern conveniences and are designed with guests’ comfort in mind.
View from the Cottages
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 37
Best Multi-Service Fitness Studio - Minneapolis
Company: Studio TimeOut Name: JeanneMarie Schmit, Pharm.D Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address:www.studiotimeout.com Address: 6001 Lyndale Ave S Telephone: 612 866 0832
Best Multi-Service Fitness Studio - Minneapolis Studio Time Out is a group fitness & health centre based in Minneapolis, US which offers exercise & Pilates classes. Founder JeanneMarie Schmit explains how she has combined her knowledge in nutrition and exercise with business expertise to give a valuable service to South Minneapolis residents. Studio Time Out was established in 1999 by JeanneMarie Schmit. She is an expert in nutrition, exercise and Pilates, as well as being a UCSF educated Pharm.D with 15 years of practice. Her studio offers group fitness classes, private Pilates lessons and nutrition coaching and education groups. Although its main clientele are women over the age of 40, the studio provides an inclusive environment for anyone regardless of their ability, race, gender or age. JeanneMarie explains how the studio creates a personal and welcoming experience for clients, as well as the significance Pilates has played in the success of the business. “Here at Studio Time Out, we offer our clients a stress relieving, personal and welcoming experience. Upon arrival for their first class or appointment, the new client is cheerfully greeted by name from our front desk staff and welcomed to the studio. They are personally introduced to their Pilates trainer or exercise class instructor. Our group class instructors help the new client get situated and introduce them to other class participants so they immediately feel comfortable and part of the group. There is a great emphasis on our studio environment, including a high tech ventilation system to keep our air clean and avoid toxic cleaning chemicals, using essential oils in our front desk area and playing soothing music. “We take Pilates seriously and only provide high level instruction. We focus on the Pilates principles and work closely with our clients to help them learn and benefit from Pilates on a deep level. It pays off as our Pilates clients benefit from dramatically improved posture, decreased or eliminated pain, increased selfconfidence and greater focus and concentration.” As well as caring for clients, Studio Time Out prides itself on lending support to staff who play a crucial role in the company as JeanneMarie explains. “Our staff have the opportunity to make a living in fitness and nutrition. We support their learning and train them to be successful, to work as a team and support their fellow staff members. Our company is built on 10 specific core values, a purpose and a mission. Our staff are hired on ability, but more importantly on how well they match our company
38 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
core values. Our core values are part of how we do business day to day, and when we are all on the same team working together, we can accomplish a lot.” Operating in an ever competitive market, Jeanne Marie talks us through what makes Studio Time Out unique in the health industry as well as the vital part they have had in the lives of female clients. “We specialize in working with women who do not like exercise and consider themselves out of shape and help them to feel successful and happy about themselves. We understand what it feels like to feel unmotivated as well as the changes a woman goes through as she ages. “Our nutrition consultations and classes deliver results and can be maintained for the rest of your life. We take the approach of educating and empowering clients to make their own decisions once they know the facts on how their body works, and what they are doing to get in the way of good health. Our clients change their eating and lifestyle habits permanently. Members with health issues such as diabetes, depression and anxiety see dramatic improvements in their lifestyles. In a short time, we have women who now love exercise and get more enjoyment out of food.” JeanneMarie talks us through how clients’ expectations have changed since the studios inception and what the company has done to make changes in order to achieve these requirements. “When I started in 1999, anyone expected to lose weight if they simply cut out some food and exercised a bit more. However, to help my clients get results and better health, I have had to incorporate up to date nutrition advice, including education on GMOs, toxins, pesticides, stress and harmful recommendations of eating low fat and low calorie diets that do not work. Once a client makes some changes they will get results.” Technology has been an essential part in enhancing the client experience at Studio Time Out as JeanneMarie explains.
“Working in the digital age we need to stay ahead of emerging trends and developments. As such we use a phone app and text messaging for confirming appointments and scheduling classes which saves time and is convenient for clients. We use high tech detoxification systems such as the infrared sauna, ion cleanse and detox cocktail. In addition, we choose the highest quality supplements made with the most effective nutrients such as methylated folate and B12. The centre only works with medical grade supplements which are third party tested to ensure the accuracy of ingredients and that there is no contamination.” Outlining her future plans, JeanneMarie explains how Studio Time Out will continue to thrive in a competitive industry. “Looking forward, we are planning to branch out of the Minneapolis area and offer our successful nutrition programs online via webinar and video. We are also considering offering one-week nutrition intensives for people not living in the area. They would come to a “nutrition and health retreat” for five to seven days and leave with all the tools for a new, healthy lifestyle.”
Company: That Amazing Place Email: email@example.com Phone: 07955 940 532 Web Address: www.thatamazingplace.co.uk Address: Hubbards Hall Drive, Off Churchgate Street, Old Harlow, Essex, CM17 0NH
Best Countryside Retreat 2016 - Essex & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue - Essex
Best Countryside Retreat 2016 - Essex & LUX Recommended Wedding Venue - Essex
That Amazing Place
For six centuries, this was the site of a monastery known as Hubbards Hall, and over time settled into a quiet existence, a hidden gem in the Essex countryside occupied as a residential property. Two years ago, however, this Grade-2 Listed building underwent a renaissance. Its current owners, together with Angie Roberts, the venue’s in-house wedding organiser, now operate this elegant venue as an award-winning boutique B&B establishment. That Amazing Place has already established a firm reputation for its relaxed atmosphere, seeping quality and luxury from the very stonework.
among the 392 hotel properties in Essex alone, That Amazing Place was placed sixth, based on exceptional customer comments and responses. For such a young company, these accomplishments cannot, and should not, be overlooked. While a major challenge for new boutique hotels can be getting their name into the wider market and establishing a firm client base, That Amazing Place has accomplished what other venues might take years longer to achieve. This, Angie claims, is solely down to the focus on one-on-one service, and a determination to not fit in with established trends in the wider market.
While weekdays see a flurry of business clients staying in the hotel’s 12 rooms, the hotel prides itself on predominantly catering to wedding parties. Following the well-established trend for an all-inclusive, selfcontained holistic wedding experience, That Amazing Place allows its rooms and facilities to become monopolised, made exclusive for the clients and their guests over the course of their nuptials. This, Angie, states, is an important facet of their business model; she expands on her own role in bringing a unique and devoted wedding service to clients. “Our wedding service is an intensely intimate experience, owing to the personal service we provide. Currently, I am the sole party involved in interacting with the clients. From the moment they walk through the door to have a look around in their search for a venue, right through to the wedding night, the couple will only have to deal with one person, myself. “Our central aim is to build up a good rapport with clients, thereby making their experience of our venue as good as it can be. This extends not only to our wedding parties, but also to our weekday business guests, as well as those coming to us in search of a break. Given the lack of any additional full-time staff beyond myself and the owners, the professionalism and friendliness that we extend to our clients is of the utmost importance to the
way that we do business.” The elaborate décor on display at That Amazing Place somewhat belies the simplicity of the organisation behind the enterprise. With such plush furnishings and lavish contemporary interiors, one would be conned into imagining that a large staff would be required to keep the rooms as immaculate as they are. In fact, as Angie explains, there are no full-time staff besides her and the owners. “The owners of the property take care of the B&B side of things, and I am solely responsible for handling the weddings. For the day itself, of course, we will take on people to fulfil crucial roles such as manning the bar, serving the food, providing music, et cetera, but for the rest of the time, we keep things very intimate. Our clients really appreciate the expertise that comes with having just a single person involved in that drawn-out process.” Indeed, That Amazing Place has achieved a lot within a relatively short space of time. Being recently awarded with a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor is cause enough for celebration, but in addition, the hotel has also recently been awarded the Stellar Stays Award in conjunction with HotelsCombined; this equates to being placed among the top three per cent of hotels not only across the UK, but across the world. Additionally,
“While a lot of other such wedding venues embrace the ‘wedding factory’ approach, where their clients can leaf through a file and select everything that they want, that comes with an additional level of bother and stress that they could do without. In my role, I am solely responsible for helping our clients to organise their weddings – I will be there on the day to make sure that everything runs smoothly, just as we had planned it, so that the happy couple can be relaxed and content.” The hotel takes further pride in its customer service through its boutique beauty salon, appropriately named That Amazing Salon. Run by Fay, it is situated in the heart of the old monastery complex, and affords its guests, men and women alike, with a range of tailored treatments, from manicures and pedicures to hot stone massages. A subtle flair of modern healthcare technology comes with the range of Dermologica skin treatments, including ‘face mapping’ skin analysis and biosurface peels to slough away dull epidermal layers and accelerate cell renewal without inflammation. As such, these packages are perfectly suited for weddings, hence the salon’s range of bridal packages. Such care and attention to the needs of their customers might well underpin how That Amazing Place seems to placed its finger on the pulse of its clientele. Newer additions to the hotel, like the ornate outdoor ceremony structure, are expected to open even more opportunities for clients. “Other than that,” Angie concludes, “we want to maintain that very friendly atmosphere and professional, intimate service that we have thus far been able to maintain since opening.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 39
Best Luxury Rental Property - St. Lucia
Best Luxury Rental Property - St. Lucia
Company: Villa C’est la Vie Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (1758) 722 1616 Web Address: www.villacestlavie.com Address: Trouya Pointe, Saint Lucia, West Indies
Villa C’est la Vie has been in operation for six years, and consists of five suites spread over three separate, spacious sections. Boasting a charming dining area and sunroom, together with an upstairs Gallery, the main villa, cottage and apartment are set within an acre of landscaped gardens from which a pathway leads to a calm, secluded cove. C’est la Vie is a home away from home for visitors to the island of Saint Lucia, perched on the edge of civilisation, five minutes’ walk from Windjammer Landing Hotel and ten minutes’ drive from Rodney Bay Village.
The food, too, combines international flair and fresh island flavours, and is presented to a standard that wouldn’t be out of place at a five-star European hotel. A full, complimentary breakfast is served every morning; a poolside grill is on offer throughout the day, and dinner is available on request.
“We simply try to be aware of these trends, and to offer our Guests what they are looking for. When possible, we contact them before their arrival to try and help them to plan their vacation. We remain competitive by offering the best possible product and Guest experience.”
“We prefer that our Guests do not cater for themselves, rather that they totally relax, with the benefit of the privacy and tranquillity offered by the Caribbean climes.” Butler services are available from 6:00 am to midnight, and with a fully-stocked bar and wine cellar.
“We do not claim to be unique, but we always aspire to be the best. We provide a level of service that is not available in any other villa in Saint Lucia, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. Additionally, our Staff to Guest ratio is higher than most Hotels, enabling us to provide personal attention which is unlikely to be available elsewhere.”
The journey from Hewanorra Airport to the Villa C’est la Vie is not one that clients have to make by themselves. “Usually, they will be met by our concierge and accompanied along the 90-minute drive to C’est la Vie. On arrival, they are greeted by the butler and some of the staff and given an introduction to the property”
It is hard to imagine that much can compete with this idyllic setup. That said, Michael and Maria Thom do acknowledge that the wider market is changing around them, especially in the advent of new technology and social media outlets. “The self-catering villa sector will be competing with the likes of Airbnb,” they say. “But then, since we are firmly positioned in the luxury market, we will be less affected.”
Once they are settled in, guests will find the structure and layout of the accommodation and the lush gardens in which they are set, to be designed to allow them peace and privacy when needed. With its walls coloured in a soft blue, and sloping roofs culminating in precious wooden facades, Villa C’est la Vie was created from a fusion of traditional Caribbean style and Eastern influence. The 700-square foot apartment has its own kitchen, bathroom and living room, while the cottage, a dramatic 1,400 square feet in size, is dubbed the ‘honeymoon suite’; situated across two floors in a separate building, this palatial space also has its own kitchen and living room, while offering honeymooners, as well as couples celebrating anniversaries or vow renewals, a blissful retreat.
40 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Ultimately, according to Michael and Maria Thom, the mantra of C’est la Vie is the freedom to “live your vacation on a whim. Each day can be prepared for our Guests or they can rise when they wish and do as they please. Our objective is for our Guests to be able to relax and be pampered to whatever extent they wish.”
“Since we are not on the beach and cannot change the fabric of the Villa, we have to maximise the Service aspect and the experience. As long as we continue to innovate and watch out for worldwide trends that might affect us, we should be able to adapt to change.” This aligns well with an ever-increasing drive towards luxury and extreme comfort in spectacular villas and locations. There are, of course other factors at play that the tourism industry in Saint Lucia cannot directly influence – currency fluctuations, health and political issues, and the changing taste of the clientele. To the owners of C’est la Vie, however, these potential hurdles are just something to be overcome by constant attention to their Guest’s requirements.
Technological advances have also helped the Thoms. “We try to stay up to date with Guests’ expectations for entertainment and technology but, although we have not received any comments suggesting that we are lacking in that area, we are constantly striving to be up to date. We have full Wi-Fi coverage and we keep an extensive database covering every aspect of each Guests stay and their preferences. “Fortunately, people visit us to enjoy the climate and the ambience.” The added bonus of mod-cons is, if anything, a side show compared to the rustic mysticism of this isolated patch of land, perched at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. “C’est la Vie is constantly evolving and looking at new ways to enhance the guest’s experience.”
Company: Taronga Western Plains Zoo Email: email@example.com Web: www.zoofari.com.au Address: Obley Rd, Dubbo NSW Australia 2830 Phone: +61 2 6881 1400
Best Contemporary Zoofari Retreat – Australia & Best Experience Accommodation - New South Wales
Best Contemporary Zoofari Retreat – Australia & Best Experience Accommodation - New South Wales
Zoofari Lodge Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, New South Wales, was established in 1977 as the first open range zoo in Australia, spread across 300 hectares of bushland and home to over 500 animals. It is also the only Zoo in Australia to have three unique overnight accommodation experiences; since the 1990s, customers have been clamouring to make a break for Dubbo for their unique ‘zoofari’ experience.
Speaking of the achievements of this concept, Director Matthew Fuller offered a glimpse into the range of accommodations on offer. “Following a $7.5million investment over two years the zoo now hosts three unique and innovative overnight accommodation options - Zoofari Lodge is catered towards luxury safari; the Savannah Cabins are selfcontained accommodation; Billabong Camp offers a truly Australian bush camping experience. These experiences are now the flagship offerings at the zoo and intrinsic to the zoo’s overall proposition as a major regional tourism destination. “By day, visitors can drive, ride, walk, or safari cart around a six-kilometre circuit, amongst rare and endangered animals.” Mr Fuller expanded upon the Zoofari Lodge accommodation, describing it as “the zoo’s premier overnight experience offering an African style safari. It’s an intimate retreat comprising stunning Guest House, luxurious accommodation, African inspired cuisine and guided Zoo tours. “The unique accommodation consists of 15 lodges available in two styles. Animal View lodges are perched on the edge of a vast savannah area where giraffe and antelope roam. Bushland View lodges are nestled in nearby native forest. The Guest House includes a fully licensed dining room and bar, lounge area, library and outdoor swimming pool. “The experience is made possible thanks to Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s strong focus on conservation; its vision is to connect people with wildlife, making the overnight accommodation an extension of that same goal. Information about the animals, their plight in the wild and what people can do to help is imparted to all Zoofari Lodge guests.” One delicate matter to consider in the consumer experience arises in the matter of technology. “The
Zoofari Lodge experience does not rely heavily on technology,” Mr Fuller states. “It is about taking time out to immerse yourself in nature and the wilds of the zoo. There are no televisions in the lodges or Guest House, instead intimate guided tours and the opportunity to relax and take in the surrounds are the forefront of the experience. Free Wi-Fi is offered in the Guest House, and guest surveys are collected via iPad.” These enhancements aside, the Lodge appears to strip away the more ostentatious remarks of modern society. The lodges are located near the illustrious Guest House, where guests can relax at the bar with a quiet drink, whilst indulging in culinary delights, enjoying a coffee in the lounge area, or even taking a dip in the saltwater swimming pool. A lot of this has to do with how guests’ expectations have changed since the inception of Zoofari Lodge. “With the increased appetite for high quality immersive experiences has come increased awareness of and expectations for those experiences. When the new lodges opened, we received and responded to feedback that our guests wanted to spend as much time as possible in the lodges in order to fully appreciate the view. We’ve listened to this feedback and changed the program accordingly, and we will continue to monitor and respond to guest feedback, reinvesting in our product along the way, to ensure that it continues to deliver an exceptional experience and exceeds the high expectations of our well-travelled audience.” This ongoing development speaks volumes of Matthew Fuller’s commitment to Zoofari’s continual development; looking into the future, he expresses great enthusiasm. Picking up on modern trends, he singles out the growing demand for luxury and “glamping” overnight experiences from travellers, both domestically and internationally. “Visitors are looking for truly unique experiences and the challenge for us is to continue to meet and exceed guest expectations so that they go away with an amazing memory from their stay, inspired by their
connections with wildlife and compelled to act for the wild. “Whilst this may be a popular choice for visitors today, Taronga Western Plains Zoo has long been forging its own path in this sector having established Zoofari Lodge in the 1990s, offering a unique in-zoo experience before the industry started to expand. Now there are glamping experiences all over the country from the coast to the outback, including many other zoos nationally and internationally. “The accommodation experiences led by Zoofari Lodge are also key components of the zoo’s business model transformation, ensuring the future financial sustainability of the zoo and its contribution to a wide array of conservation and community programs. “We are very excited for the future of Zoofari Lodge and overnight experiences generally at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. We feel Zoofari Lodge is a unique way to connect people with wildlife and provide us with the opportunity to engage people with our conservation endeavours. We hope to continue to build on the success that we have achieved to date for this truly unique overnight experience.” These plans for Zoofari are directly tied into the growth plans for Taronga Western Plains Zoo. “The zoo is always looking for ways to continue to evolve and develop, and will now undertake a comprehensive Visitor Experience Plan, which will see new and exciting wildlife exhibits along with key upgrades and redevelopments across the site, providing unique ways for visitors to directly connect with wildlife. “The new plan will see a number of significant projects take place at the Zoo over the coming years, with $49.7 million being invested to improve the visitor experience and set Taronga Western Plains Zoo aside from any other Zoo in Australia.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 41
The Alpine Club - Boutique Mountain Chalets The Alpine Club - Best Boutique Mountain Chalets 2016 – St Martin de Belleville Company: The Alpine Club – Boutique Mountain Chalets Name: Helena Raemers – Company owner and manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.thealpineclub.co.uk Address: The Alpine Club, Villarabout, St Martin de Belleville, 3 Valleys, France 73440 Telephone: +33 (0)77 88 45 710
Best Boutique Mountain Chalets 2016 - St Martin de Belleville
Owner and Manager of The Alpine Club, Helen Raemers speaks to LUX as she and her husband restored and built some of the most luxurious chalets in the Alps from the ground up. The Alpine Club is a collection of luxury, idyllic boutique chalets situated in the charming Savoyard village of St Martin de Belleville in the Three Valleys, France. Helen says, “Each offers attentive service, casual elegance and exceptional food and wine. All whilst being tucked away in an authentic mountain village that is the perfect destination for a truly special ski holiday”. The chalets are the perfect home away from home from busy and hectic lives. The mountain setting is great for friends and family to get away, re-connect and relax. Helen adds, “Each of our chalets is unique though they all share our uncompromising standards of quality; every bedroom is en-suite with a bath and overhead shower, Hypnos beds, comfy sofas and living rooms with panoramic mountain views”. Each chalet even has its own fine dining chef, host/housekeeper and chauffeur. Helen and her husband Chris, a qualified UK and French architect, own The Alpine Club. She explains, “Our story began in 2004, when we started providing luxury winter holidays in St Martin de Belleville. We now own three of the most beautiful chalets in resort, which we have restored and built ourselves. “We have purposely kept the business small and privately owned so that we can be genuinely hands-on to ensure our guests have an unforgettable holiday”. She also reflects, “We fell in love with St Martin de Belleville as soon as we saw it. We live here all year round so we are part of the local community. It is this connection which enables us to create the very best experience for our guests. We personally know the very best ski instructors, mountain restaurants, and après-ski venues. We also know where to snowshoe walk amongst the ancient forests, amongst other local knowledge such as the best slopes for fresh powder and where to buy artisan honey and cheese. Staying at The Alpine Club is an unforgettable experience. Helen says this is because “We have a magical mix of ingredients – our passion for The Alpine Club; our hand picked, professional team who genuinely care our guests have an exceptional holiday; 3 of the most charming chalets in the alps; St Martin de Belleville, which has an authenticity so often absent in purpose built or larger resorts; and of course the exceptional access to the whole of the 3 valleys with skiing from the beginning of December to the end of April. The food was put to the test last winter when 2 Michelin star chef Marcus Wareing stayed at Chalet Abode and gave a glowing review. And this isn’t the only award The Alpine Club has under its belt. They have also been selected as one of the best-value luxury in the Alps by The Telegraph and by the Condé Nast Traveller for one of the best Ski Chalets in the Alps. They are also nominee for Best New Ski Chalet in the 2016 World Ski Awards.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 43
Best Luxury Holistic Retreat 2016 - Germany
Company: Ayurveda Parkschlösschen Name: Carina Preuss Email: info@ parkschloesschen.de Web Address: www.ayurvedaparkschloesschen.de/en/ Address: Wildbadstrase 201, Traben-Trarbach, 56841 Telephone: 0049 6541 7050
Best Luxury Holistic Retreat 2016 - Germany
Ayurveda Parkschlösschen Founded in 1993, the Ayurveda Parkschlösschen is the only owner-run luxury 5-star hotel in Europe to put the Ayurvedic philosophy into practice, holistically and exclusively. Specialising in Panchakarma and situated only 20 minutes away from Frankfurt’s Hahn airport, this holistic paradise has a lot to offer any guest seeking a break focused on their wellbeing. Every aspect of the Parkschlösschen has been designed in-keeping with recognised Ayurvedic principles, right down to the architecture and the building materials used. Situated in a large parkland area, covering 4.5 hectares, and with plenty of exotic trees, they offer a unique retreat for body, mind and soul.
quiet rooms, and is a strictly Ayruvedic therapy area. There are areas that are exclusively for men and women, in keeping with Ayurvedic traditions, and they also boast an indoor thermal swimming pool, two saunas, one steam bath, a fitness studio, a cosmetic studio, and two areas dedicated to yoga and physical exercise.
The Ayurveda Parkschlösschen is furnished with 58 comfortable rooms, all of course designed in accordance with Ayurvedic principles, of which they boast 15 junior suites, 30 double rooms, 13 single rooms; some of which are equipped with a balcony or veranda.
A vast array of programmes are on offer at the Ayurveda Parkschlösschen, aimed at deep detox, prevention and regeneration, and each fine-tuned to an individual’s personal constitution: including Panchakarma Cure, which is a detox on all levels, anti-stress program, liver detox, Yoga and Ayurveda week as well as short breaks or one trial day.
Fine Ayurveda Cuisine is the passion of the hotel. The restaurant is strictly vegetarian, and the creative, refined and varied dishes will rouse any appetite for healthy Ayurvedic nutrition. They encourage abstinence from beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol due to their effect on the Ayurveda cures. The spa area is divided into 13 treatment rooms and 11 44 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Their authentic Ayurvedic treatments include 7 synchronous massages, carried out four-handed, and more than 10 others like for example an oil bath on your belly or heart or warm oil being poured over your forehead, which all have a different effects on body and mind. The Ayurveda experts give daily lectures, and there is also the opportunity for
guests to take part in a weekly cooking workshop which takes place in the Parkschlösschen’s own training kitchen. A yoga session takes place twice daily, which includes Pranayama and meditation, and there is the option for guests to have a personal yoga session. Arranged walks and fascia training also take place on a weekly basis, and there is no shortage of entertainment in the surrounding area, where guests will find golf courses, hiking routes, tennis courts and bicycle and inline skating tracks. However, most guests who go to Ayurveda Parkschlösschen prefer to retreat and unwind more than to be active and their detox regimes require a lot of energy, which means that guests love to finally sleep as much as they can, read books, take slow walks through Parkschlösschen’s own parklands or simply sit on a bench in the woods and bathe in the natural tranquility around them. ‘Just Being’ has never been as easy and joyous as it is there.
Most Luxurious Day Spa 2016 - Royal Borough of Greenwich
Most Luxurious Day Spa 2016 - Royal Borough of Greenwich
Ayurveda Pura Ayurveda Pura was founded in 2003 in London by Dr. Deepa Apté and business partners. They share their vision of giving people in the West the wonderful, ancient science of Ayurveda: a healthy body, radiant beauty and a long life! What defines Ayurveda Pura Spa and sets us apart from others is a combination of our philosophical aim of achieving true wellbeing for all and how we deliver this to our clients. We serve our clients sincerely to deliver care of the highest calibre. We hold the belief that true inner health leads to vitality, a state we hope to aid all our clients in obtaining. Therefore, we provide a comprehensive range of beauty treatments, from waxing to facials, as well as a comprehensive range of Ayurvedic treatments designed to achieve wellbeing on a physical and mental level. Signature treatments are based on the holistic science of life known as Ayurveda, developed and refined over 5000 years in India, during a time of enlightenment. Ayurveda Pura Spa puts its clients at the heart of everything it does and seeks to provide a superlative experience for each and every customer: from the personalised booking confirmations by email and SMS, to the warm greeting that they receive from our
reception and therapist staff, to the beautiful treatment rooms and luxurious shower rooms. Everything is carefully designed to achieve maximum wellbeing, comfort and happiness for our clients. To complete the holistic circle of “true balance”, Ayurveda Pura Spa offers yoga classes and has an on-site gourmet vegetarian café, which offers a range of superior quality barista-prepared coffees, herbal teas and foods. This allows clients time and space to delight their taste buds and relax in a wonderful, nurturing atmosphere. To ensure that they meet the highest Western standards of purity and quality, Ayurveda Pura manufactures its own products, including its flagship Holistic Essentials™ range of certified organic luxury spa cosmetics, which are hand made in the UK. Ayurveda Pura Spa delivers authentic Ayurvedic treatments, using the finest quality natural oils and herbs. All products and treatments are tailor-made to suit a client’s specific physical and mental condition. The individualisation is based on assessing
the client’s body constitution, focusing on which of nature’s elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) dominate that particular client, and then choosing products specifically designed to bring balance. In addition, our cosmetics use unique blends of essential oils that penetrate the skin to provide healing and wellbeing at a more fundamental level. An academy is run by Ayurveda Pura which provides the most comprehensive range of accredited training courses in the UK for Ayurvedic wellbeing. Delivered by Dr Deepa Apte and her staff, the Academy attracts students from all over the world, ranging from complete beginners to qualified medical doctors. The pursuit of therapeutic excellence feeds directly into the spa, where personal health consultations are delivered by qualified Ayurvedic practitioners. Many students love their learning experience so much, that they go on to work as therapists at the spa, bringing with them a sense of pride and purpose in their work. LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 45
Company: Beech Hill Hotel Limited T/a Beech Hill Hotel & Spa Name: Fraser Richardson Email: email@example.com Web: www.beechhillhotel.co.uk Address: Newby Bridge Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3LR Telephone: 0844 5027587
Best Luxury Hotel & Spa 2016 - Cumbria
Beech Hill Hotel
Beech Hill Hotel and Spa, situated on the eastern bank of Windermere, is one of the most distinctive four star hotels in the Lake District’s most beautiful location and has recently been awarded the prestigious title of Best Luxury Hotel and Spa 2016 – Cumbria. Fraser Richardson, owner of Beech Hill, tells us a little bit more about the exclusive hotel and its guests. “At the Beech Hill Hotel & Spa, we offer stunning views, superb food and careful consideration for your every comfort to our guests, this combines to define what is Windermere`s most distinctive four star hotel. Here, on the shores of one of the Lake District`s most beautiful locations, guests are free to indulge in the welcoming warmth of our homely and comfortable hotel.” However, it’s not just the fabulous views that make Beech Hill stand out from the crowd. The Spa hotel provides residents with a place to relax, take time out and hand themselves over to the friendly team, for whom customer service is of utmost priority. “We strive to be an individual hotel, offering guests a unique experience,” explains Fraser. “We aim to provide a friendly yet professional service. Our approachable receptionists are always at the front desk waiting to give a first class welcome to the Beech Hill Hotel & Spa and customer service is extremely important to us at the hotel, meaning regular staff training is provided to ensure our excellent standards are met and exceeded at all times.”
46 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Best Luxury Hotel & Spa 2016 - Cumbria
To ensure customer satisfaction at all times, Fraser tells us more about how Beech Hill Hotel and Spa is able to adapt to the constantly evolving needs of its clientele. “Guests’ expectations are continually changing and moving higher, and as hoteliers we have to exceed those expectations to ensure that our guests are satisfied with the accommodation, facilities, services, food and overall experience to ensure they return to us.” To meet these ever-changing expectations, Fraser ensures that the establishment has a significant improvement project approximately every two years. “Over the last six years we have had a major refurbishment of more than half of our rooms. We have replaced our oil burning boilers for a renewable biomass solution, and this year, we replaced our leisure faculties for the Lakeview Spa, which enjoys stunning views over Windermere and is the only one of its kind in the area.” And it’s not over yet! Fraser has further plans to bring the hotel right up-to-date with the digital age! “We have recently extended our WiFi to at least 80% of the hotel,” he states excitedly. “Once we have reached 100% we aim to provide guests with tablet PCs to access a new hotel intranet which will replace all our printed literature, and will allow us to keep the information we provide to clients as current as possible, for an enhanced guest experience.”
Best Country Pub & Boutique Hotel 2016 - Preston
Company: The Cartford Inn Web: www.thecartfordinn.co.uk Phone: 01995 670166
Best Country Pub & Boutique Hotel 2016 - Preston
The Cartford Inn Set in the heart of Lancashire’s picturesque Fylde countryside, The Cartford Inn has become renowned as one of the best dining pubs in the UK. With beautiful boutique accommodation exhibiting the inn’s unique style and attention to detail, it’s a luxury retreat for food lovers. We spoke to owners Patrick and Julie Beaumé to find out more about the inn and how they’ve consistently strived to improve experiences for their guests. The Cartford Inn has quite a history behind it. Originally a 17th century coaching inn, it is located at the historic crossing of the river Wyre, in the village of Little-Eccleston, which would have been the river’s only crossing before a bridge was built further up the river. Although the establishment has been a traditional pub and inn for many years, the second half of the 20th century saw the inn in need of some care and attention, and by the early 2000’s its wider appeal had disappeared. Patrick and Julie saw its potential, however, and realised their dream of owning an outstanding country inn when they purchased it in 2007. They refurbished the inn in a contemporary, rural-chic style and placed a new emphasis on food, drink and service to cater for the growing demand for restaurant experiences in a relaxed pub setting.
Since then, The Cartford Inn has gained standing for its exceptional food and drink. Head chef Chris Bury employs a wide repertoire of techniques to showcase Lancashire’s abundance of great produce. Together with sound cooking skills, they cure, smoke and preserve ingredients on-site to make the menu unique. Dishes take inspiration from the region’s culinary heritage along with influences from other countries (particularly France, where Patrick is from). Guests will also find extensive choice at the bar, including real ales, craft beers, a carefully chosen selection of wines and expertly made cocktails. Each one of the inn’s luxury bedrooms has been individually designed and styled by Julie. They feature hand-painted wallpapers, sumptuous furnishings, and the amenities are of the highest quality. The number of bedrooms was increased to fifteen with the building of a riverside extension
in 2011, so guests now enjoy privileged views of the scenic riverscape and look out across the countryside to the distant Bowland fells. Patrick and Julie have undertaken much work recently to have the inn looking its best and improve experiences for visitors. This has included landscaping the inn’s outside areas and creating a terrace where you can enjoy a meal, sat in the sun, whilst taking in the views, surrounded by plants and flowers. You can also visit the inn’s newly created on-site shop and delicatessen TOTI (Taste of the Inn), where you can find a variety of delicious foods to take home. And they’re continuing to enhance the location. Currently it’s planned to build two accommodation units on stilts at the edge of the property. Situated on particularly picturesque part of the river, these should make for an exciting reason to visit The Cartford Inn in the future. LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 47
Best Luxury Spa Group 2016 & LUX Spa Award
Company: Langham Hospitality Group – Chuan Spa Name: Barry White Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (852) 2186 2388 Web Address: www.chuanspa.com Address: 2701, Great Eagle Centre, 23 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Best Luxury Spa Group 2016 & LUX Spa Award
Langham Hospitality Group – Chuan Spa In Chinese, Chuan means ‘flowing water’. As the source of life, water represents the re-birth and rebalancing of the whole being. This is the philosophy at the heart of Chuan Spa, where customers are offered a journey to wellness through a combination of superior service with experiential and holistic treatments that nurture, heal and restore. These sensual spa experiences make their home in the Langham, on Regent Street in London, as well as in 13 other locations, with more in development. To Barry White, the goal of Chuan Spa is clear and direct. “Our guests’ well-being is our utmost priority. We pride ourselves in our commitment to quality, training and the development of our colleagues. We believe that the success of Chuan Spa comes from our staff; their knowledge, and how they apply this to understanding our guests and making sure they have the best experience at our spa, determines the success of Chuan Spa.” To support this commitment, Chuan Spa developed its own Chuan Academy training institution. The company regards this as its Acropolis, representing a new beginning in the development of spa professionals worldwide. A Chuan Academy can be found within all of Chuan’s spas, giving students the opportunity to learn and gain invaluable experience
48 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
from an actual working spa. The first of its kind within the hotel spa industry, Chuan Academy is dedicated to enabling the success for current and potential spa professionals, and grooming the best spa therapists to work in one of Chuan spas around the world. The Chuan Academy is accredited by the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC).
Chuan Spa has exclusively developed over 20 signature treatments, to ensure authenticity and conceptual integrity. To compliment these services, a comprehensive Chuan-branded retail and professional spa products range was created, which included the five elements massage oils and essentials oils.
The Chuan Spa design is defined by a sense of space, and traditional Chinese medicine. It is also a reflection of the local culture as well as the hotel brand where the spa is located. The ambience from the reception, through to the contemplation lounge, changing rooms and exercise areas, is light in tone at first, before becoming progressively warmer as one delves further into the inner spa and the treatment areas.
Looking forward, Chuan Spa aims to bring their holistic spa approach using traditional Chinese medicine across the globe, to provide more hotel guests with the chance to experience their treatments and reap the health benefits. New spas are expected to open soon in New York, Hong Kong and Jakarta, as well as several locations in China, including Haikou and Hefei.
Best Romantic Hideaway - Gold Coast & LUX Location Award: Best Scenic Accommodation
Company: Clouds on Beechmont Email: info@ cloudsonbeechmont.com.au Web Address: www. cloudsonbeechmont.com.au Address: 1805 Beechmont Rd Beechmont QLD 4211 Australia Phone: 07 5533 3593
Best Romantic Hideaway - Gold Coast & LUX Location Award: Best Scenic Accommodation
Clouds on Beechmont Clouds on Beechmont offers four different styles of accommodation. All are luxurious and fully self-catering. Consequently, our clientele varies, depending on the venue that appeals to them. All our guests are made to feel they are entering a home and not just a rented space. They find a prepared meal, complimentary bottle of wine and well stocked fridge awaiting them, in a home, heated (or cooled in summer) and enhanced by atmospheric music. We, at clouds, are family. Clouds is a family business and as such, employs only family members. The whole family take pride in the achievements and awards the business has accumulated and all members are committed to maintaining the high standards achieved so far.
Our strategy, since inception, has been to appeal to a broad cross-section of tastes. Our four venues offer vastly differing experiences and many guests have chosen to return, time and again, to enjoy an alternative venue and experience. We have seen, recently, a definite trend emerging, in favour of glamping. Our latest venue, clouds safari, reflects this trend and we will be looking to expand this style of accommodation and also develop more – ecofriendly, solar energy based, chalets. Clouds ethos, has always focused heavily on generosity, hospitality and value for money; available in accommodation, that is warm, welcoming, luxurious and beautiful. Guests should not expect anything less and nothing pleases us more than the comments “We felt so at home”.
Clouds is blessed by its location on the fringe of the wonderful Lamington National Park. Views of Mount Warning, the National Park itself and the Numinbah Valley are quite sensational and enhanced daily by Queensland blue skies and at night, by the stars, “Like jewels, on the crown of a queen”. After thirteen years our little resort is acquiring a fair share of awards and we have many memories of happy events and guests, but, it is a recent occurrence that will always stay with me. A family group had arrived, at night, from Hong Kong and as they stepped out of their cars, they were transfixed, motionless; with their heads pointing to the Beechmont sky. It was the stars; they had never seen them before, and to see them in such profusion was something they (and myself as a witness) will never forget.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 49
Spa of the Year 2016 - West Yorkshire & LUX Customer Experience Award 2016 - West Yorkshire
Spa of the Year 2016 - West Yorkshire & LUX Customer Experience Award 2016 - West Yorkshire Company: Dream Spa at Gomersal Park Hotel Spa Director: Debbie Dobson Email: Debbie@gomersalparkhotel.com Phone: 01274 869386 Web Address: www.gomersalparkhotel.com Address: Moor Lane, Gomersal, West Yorkshire, BD19 4LJ
Gomersal Park Hotel is an independently-owned hotel, boasting fabulous luxury spa & leisure facilities welcoming both residential and day spa guests. Upon escaping from the urbanised hustle of Leeds, the rural expanses of West Yorkshire offer the perfect environment to squirrel away in comfortable surroundings.
Of course, the backbone of this complex is the spa. Dream Spa first opened its doors a mere 12 months ago, and has settled comfortably into a rhythm. While no new development plans are currently in sight, there hardly seems to be much need to fiddle with an already well-appointed and luxurious establishment. All of the therapists at Dream Spa are presented to the highest of standards in matching uniforms, and the high standard treatment that they provide has already led them to work closely with local companies, offering mini treatments and therefore reducing stress in the workplace. The seductive privacy of the hotel and spa is made even more tempting by the service. Customers can expect to be folded into a warm embrace upon first setting through the door, as Spa Director, Debbie Dobson, explains. “All of our guests receive a very personal service at Dream Spa from the moment they arrive. A welcome refreshment, personalised locker and full tour of the facility by our spa host is then followed by their spa treatment experience with exotic rituals and protocols. Every one of our guests is prescribed aftercare products in order to continue their skin care regime at home. This along with the initial consultation is an important aspect of the spa experience, as far as Debbie is concerned. “Spa guests want more than just relaxation – they are looking more and more for results driven treatments and products, whether for the face or body, and therefore we recognise the importance of regular updates to our treatment menu. “Dream Spa is always looking ahead, adopting new exciting trends within the spa industry whilst at the same time remaining unique by offering a selection of
50 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
treatments and products appealing to every guest.” Whilst offering luxury ELEMIS treatments, the spa has recently introduced new product houses and treatments to their menu including Germaine de Capuccini, Vita Liberata and Mii cosmetics. When guests are not experiencing deluxe pampering in the spa, they have the run of the place. Each of the 86 luxury bedrooms are outfitted with flat-screen TVs with Freeview channels available, complimentary Wi-Fi, and en-suite bathrooms. The swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium are at the guests’ disposal. The private, courteous use of these features is the cornerstone to the hotel, and the presence of a sophisticated Italian restaurant within the hotel means that guests do not need to leave sight of Gomersal Park.
lux CONTACT Address: #10 Ollenu St. East Legon, Accra, 10 OLLENU Rd, Ghana Phone: +233 30 250 7441 Mobile: +233 28 955 3982 Email: email@example.com
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 51
Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps
Company: Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps Email: booking@ elephanthills.com Web Address: www.elephanthills.com Address: 170 Moo 7 Tambon Klong Sok, Panom District, Suratthani 84250 Thailand Phone: +66 7638 1703
Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps
Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camps Comprising 35 luxurious, tailor-made tents and situated in the southern Khao Sok National Park, Elephant Hills represents the culmination of a dream, and prides itself as Thailand’s premier Luxury Tented Jungle Camp. Combining the camp idea of African National Parks with the Thai tropical forest environment is no enviable task, but Elephant Hills has risen to the challenge. The challenging environment has yielded itself to luxurious comforts, and the owners display their passion by encouraging prospective clients not to worry about monsoon season. “As we are located in the rain forest in Thailand’s wettest area, you may experience tropical downpours any day of the year anyway. So what? It’s warm; go dance in the rain! “Outside school holidays you have better chances for easy availability and an even more intimate experience. Nonetheless we recommend booking in advance.” The Elephant Camp boasts enough mod-cons to ease visitors gently into their surroundings, whilst immersing them in an authentic Thai experience. Exemplifying this are the spacious rooms, in which
52 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
tiled en-suite bathroom floors integrate tiles with stonework and other locally sourced resources. The bedrooms themselves appear to be hewn from the very earth, with a charming irregularity to their shape contrasting with a polished wooden floor. One of the greatest charms of this remote attraction is the variety of tour packages on offer. We have many set tour packages that cater to clients’ various needs, including an Authentic Soft Adventure Toup for small groups, and the Three Day Jungle Safari for families with children under the age of seven. Several of these packages afford visitors the chance to spend one night in the floating Rainforest Camp, where solid roofs give way to superbly-kept luxury tents. Their best-selling tour category, very much the highlight of many a customer’s visit there, is an ethical, international award-winning Elephant Experience.
Ethics indeed lie at the very heart of Elephant Hills. While the outside world might seem to sweep nature to one side, here it is embraced, integrated into the environment. The herb garden is maintained by the home-grown fertilizer, made from leftover food and elephant dung. The vast outdoor pools are framed by the dense jungles of Khao Sok National Park, an opportunity not to be passed up on. The resort has been recognized for their diligent work on maintaining a camp that caters to paying customers whilst maintaining safety and health for the elephants. To compliment these comforts, the company offers joint transfers to anyone wishing to journey onwards through Thailand to popular Phuket Island further south, Khao Lak, and even as far as remote Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. As such, Elephant Hills is a quiet crossroads for any intrepid visitor to Thailand.
Company: Elm Cottage Tumut Name: David & Deborah Sheldon Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.elmcottage.com.au Address: 3/722 Little River Road, Tumut, NSW Australia 2720 Postal Address: P.O. Box 40 Tumut, NSW Australia 2720 Phone: +61 2 69475818
Most Unique Rural Retreat - 2016
Most Unique Rural Retreat - 2016
Elm Cottage Tumut Elm Cottage has been transformed from a barren, overstocked pasture in 2003, into a unique rural retreat. It is a brainchild conceived to meet and even surpass customers’ expectations of an authentic regional Australian experience, where guests can disconnect and leave the hustle and bustle of today’s working environment behind to reconnect with nature and families.
Emphasising the greatest qualities of their slice of New South Wales, David and Deborah Sheldon describe the locale within which they built four self-contained, individually decorated cottages. “Guests can sit back and relax on the balcony, listen to the sounds of the river or enjoy a glass of wine and watch the beautiful sunset, meander along the 2klm’s of river, enjoy a camp fire by the river or BBQ on the balcony, with over 140 varieties of birdlife to interact with. Elm Cottage can also be the perfect base camp to discover Kosciuszko National Park. “At Elm Cottage we believe in unobtrusive customer service – it is our guests’ time, their getaway, their holiday, something we greatly respect.” On arrival, Deborah familiarises the guests with the cottage and property’s facilities and services. Providing 24-hour service on all seven days of the week when required, guests can be allowed to rest in their own manner. This unobtrusive customer service has won Elm Cottage much praise from guests and awards over the years. Deborah sees Elm Cottage as holding a very advantaged position within the wider market, but also admits to some of the challenges that have arisen in the new digital age. “The major change we have witnessed is the booking platforms, social media and digital space. Both owners have attended training and workshops to stay abreast and assess the realities on a weekly basis. Elm Cottage has a reinvestment program that is strictly maintained to ensure the expectations of our guests is met. “When we first opened we quickly realised to succeed in a remote region, a non- recognised destination we had to set our own strategies. We designed our own website, brochure and TV ads, which have given Elm Cottage a broader base of customers and has prevented segment categorisation and a sectionalised demographic.” Elm Cottage provides all the mod-cons that a retreat could be expected to provide, and as far as the future goes, the Sheldons express the greatest optimism, as the scenic rivers and gentle distractions continue to lure clients into their embrace. “The business has continued to grow and in line with our business plan a new cottage is being developed, that will provide a large meeting room to cater for the increase in reunions, wedding, anniversaries, special interest get-togethers, et cetera.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 53
Best Eco-Wellness Destination – Bali
Company: Fivelements Bali Email: contact@ fivelements.org Web Address: www.fivelements.org Address: Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning, Mambal, Bali, Indonesia, 80352 Phone: +62 361 469 260
Best Eco-Wellness Destination – Bali
Fivelements Bali Nestled alongside the Ayung River, Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, is an eco-conscious wellness retreat deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of Bali. Lahra Tatriele, co-founder and Vision Director, is heavily influenced by the Balinese way of life which encourages us to nurture a greater harmony with spirit, the environment and one another. Fivelements was conceived and created as the first of a new genre of wellness destinations, bridging the wisdom of traditional healing cultures with innovative wellness concepts. Priding themselves on bringing an authentic and original approach to their industry, by undertaking what Lahra describes as “collaborative creativity” with her clients. “Our overall aim is to co-create a trusting connection and gently guide our guests through a highly personalised programme, while providing with useful tools for them to return home with,” she explains. “Our core retreat clientele is composed of diverse, forward-thinking, eco-conscious ‘change-makers’, who are actively a part of positive transformation in their lives, their communities and the world around them.
54 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
“We believe our guests return to Fivelements because they feel a deep connection to the site and our staff members during their previous visit, and because they have experienced a real impact from our healing, wellness and cuisine concept and services. Lahra and the staff at Fivelements are well prepared to see this model extend into the future, and the co-founder expresses her hope to support wellness and positive action across a global community. By the end of 2016, their new Hong Kong establishment will facilitate opportunities to provide clients with an escape from their hectic urban lives. In Bali, meanwhile, they aim to expand their facilities by the end of 2017 to include 12 new luxury sleeping suites, as well as a culinary training kitchen.
“Today,” Lahra reflects, “more people are leaning towards eco- living and paying attention to self-care and wellness. We are waking up and realising that the fast-paced, high demand lifestyle no longer serves us well and is not ultimately sustainable. The way we are living collectively has accumulated a destructive impact to the eco-system of the planet. Technology is very important in Lahra’s business, especially when it comes to educating clients about a more sustainable, relaxed lifestyle. Being guided by Balinese philosophy and tradition to facilitate positive change in the world, each of the nine suites on offer features customised lighting, showcasing the seven colours of the chakras, bringing mind, body and spirit in unison with nature. Guests manage their own lightning, as well as the music playing in the room, using tablet computers. The use of low-wattage LED lights has reduced electricity use for lighting by 95 per cent across the facility,
Best Luxury Day Spa 2016 - Lincolnshire
Best Luxury Day Spa 2016 - Lincolnshire Seven years ago, Matt and Emma started out with an idea for a small, family-owned spa. With the ambition of creating a custom built retreat for both visitors near and far, The Grange Spa opened seven years ago, offering standalone day treatments. Since then, the spa has grown to provide a specialised range of indulgent relaxation options; clients will discover a large choice of beautiful treatments to choose from, designed by product houses Thalgo and Germaine de Capuccini.
To Matt, the determination to provide a consistent level of care to clients is never far from his mind. “We constantly go just that little bit further; we get to know our guests and we communicate well in the team. This enables us to take our customer service above and beyond; whether it’s for a special occasion, or just to give a friendly shoulder to cry on for those customers that just have stuff to get off their chest.” Matt acknowledges that his chosen industry bears the weight of responsibility that comes with luxurious, pampering treatment. “Expectations are generally high but we have worked hard to provide a high end product that is professional yet friendly, approachable, functional and homely. Simply put, we do not pretend to be anything we are not, but what we do offer is of the highest quality that we can provide.” Matt comments on the advantages that technology has brought to the running of the spa on a dayto-day basis. “We have a state-of-the-art booking system called ‘Core’ by Premier. It deals with all the logistical nightmare stuff that makes our guests’ day run smoothly.” This software is one that has been tailor-made for use in spas; to Matt, it has proven to be an important tool several areas of the business, incorporating a single database structure with an emphasis on scheduling and a custom management suite.
Through this efficient use of technology, Matt is able to continually energise himself and his team, remaining resolute in the spa’s business objectives. “Our therapists are incredibly conscientious, and know our mission; communication is really important.” Breaking into the spa industry can be a daunting challenge, and yet Matt and his team seem to take these challenges in their stride. He remarks on this by highlighting recent trends that he has seen among his clientele. “At the moment the industry is relatively new in the UK, and yet we have noticed that men’s spa days are on the up. We have created some specific men’s packages, along with exclusive seasonal spa experiences that cannot be found anywhere else, which have proven especially popular.” “Our mission is simply to help people relax and relieve high levels of stress so I would say we follow our own path.” As far as plans for the future goes, Matt opts for the mysterious touch, commenting only, “We have secured planning permission to extend, so who knows?” What form these extensions take, and what new opportunities become available for visitors, remains an enigmatic secret known only to the owners.
Company: The Grange Spa Email: email@example.com Phone: 01778440511 Web Address: www.thegrangespa.co.uk Address: The Grange Spa, Millthorpe Road, Pointon, Sleaford, Lincolnshire NG34 0NF
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 55
Most Romantic Retreat 2016 - Falmouth & LUX Recommended for Spa Treatments - Falmouth
Most Romantic Retreat 2016 - Falmouth & LUX Recommended for Spa Treatments - Falmouth
Company: The Greenbank Hotel Name: Ben Young Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: www.greenbank-hotel.co.uk Address: Harbourside, Falmouth, TR11 2SR Telephone: 01326 312440
The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall is a luxurious 4-star hotel steeped in history, being the town’s oldest hotel, established since the 1640s. We spoke to Ben Young, General Manager at The Greenbank, to find out how they provide only the very finest in Cornish hospitality. Although there are many unique selling points at The Greenbank, it is the things which have always been here that we seek to protect and preserve for future generations of visitors. The hotel boasts stunning views across the harbour and out to sea, along with a unique and romantic sense of history and heritage. Naturally we also take pride in the fact that we are the only hotel in the UK mainland to offer our own directly accessed private pontoons, plus 67 moorings and a listed quay for the use of guests and day visitors. Our 2 AA Rosette restaurant and bar have been completely and lovingly refurbished, re-branded and relaunched recently, to create a vibrant and luxurious ‘water’s edge’ dining experience. We take pride in sourcing all our meat, dairy, vegetables, fish and seafood from the south west corner of England. Only the very best of Cornish produce is used wherever we
can, to present regularly changing breakfast, brunch, bar, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner menus. Our visitors have voted with their feet and we’ve never been busier, so our guests clearly love these changes for the better! As well as the restaurant, we have completed a thorough refurbishment of the hotel in the last year – an ongoing process that focusses on any weak links in our fabric. We’ve enjoyed much success over the last 12 months, and our quirky quayside pub The Working Boat (which was established in 1876 before running into disrepair in the mid-1990s) is once again thriving since it reopened last summer. With an authentic Cornish atmosphere, free pontoon use for our patrons, and fifteen beers and ciders on tap (including our very own ‘Working Boat’ brew) – it’s truly unique selling point for us. Another addition is our spa treatment room – our expert spa therapists pamper guests with feel-good massages and facials, which all feature Spiezia’s Cornish artisan and organic skincare products. Behind all this success is the hard work of all our loyal staff. Our staff retention rates are amongst the very best in the country which I feel demonstrates that the team are happy and motivated – this is a significant key to maintaining happy customers and strong repeat business. Across all areas, each and every member of our staff is empowered to ‘go the extra mile’ for our guests at every touch point. We are consistently living up to our reputation as the only refined waterside hotel locally, with a real sense of discovery for the discerning guest who wants luxury in a captivating setting. Ultimately, we aim to be the best around at providing authentic, genuine and proper Cornish hospitality. We’re transparent and genuine in what we do, and make no claim to be anything we are not, ensuring visitors expectations are met always, and exceeded often. Whoever the guest, we ensure the warmest Cornish welcome, exceptional customer service and sincere, consistent hospitality is provided for each and every time. Hopefully this approach should help to protect the hotel for the next 400 years or more.
56 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 57
Best Traditional Bath Spa - Nicosia
Company: Hamam Omerye Name: Antonis Antoniou Email: dimitris@ hamamomerye.com Web Address: www.hamamomerye.com Address: 8 Tyllirias Square, Nicosia, 1016, Cyprus Phone: 00357 22 460006
Best Traditional Bath Spa - Nicosia
Hamam Omerye Hamam Omerye is a landmark in the city of Nicosia; a monument of the 16th century protected due to its architectural heritage by the European Union and UNESCO. Under the current management, it operates as a spa facility, whilst maintaining the traditional character of a typical Oriental Hamam. First impressions are what matter the most to our guests when they first arrive on our premises, and we strive to make sure these are positive. They are usually impressed by the architecture, and ask lots of questions about the history, alongside questions about what we offer as an establishment. The trained reception staff make sure that guests are comfortable and answer any such questions that they may have. The wellbeing and relaxation of their guests is always at the forefront of the minds of everyone who works at Hamam Omerye. The staff are all consummate professionals who have undertaken relevant training, and are all ambassadors of the company; they make it a place that people talk about and are passionate about making sure guests enjoy the services provided.
58 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
The majority of the establishmentsâ€™ clients come from Cyprus, but they also welcome tourists who visit Nicosia and the historical Hamam Omerye. However, wherever they are from, the guests all have one thing in common; they want to experience the beauty treatments and relaxation on offer at this historic spa. The quality of service, their well trained and attentive staff and the quaint surrounding area make Hamam difficult to forget. Hamam Omerye bases the relationship they have with their guests on fulfilling their needs when they visit the establishment. They make sure they provide a high quality service based on the specific needs of each guest, and take any recommendations from guests very seriously. They use social media for promotional and advertising purposes, so the reviews
of their clients on these platforms is of the utmost importance. Since opening under new management in May 2014, Hamam Omeryeâ€™s philosophy has been embraced, and people have found a unique place for relaxation, right in the heart of the vibrant city of Nicosia. The sheer number of visitors they have received is a testament to their success, and the positive feedback they have had from those who have visited and enjoyed their exceptional service is a wonderful tribute to the history of Haman Omerye.
Call Us: +34 951 12 70 76 Email Us: email@example.com
Sports and Super Car Rental Rent the Lamborghini Huracán across Europe From €1,600 per day! Available in Italy, Germany, Austria, France and Spain
SUV and Prestige Car Rental Rent the Rolls Royce Phantom across Europe From €2,400 per day! Available in Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany
Tel: +34 951 12 70 76
We rent cars from the following marques. See lurentis.com for full list of marques and models.
Lurentis DWC-LLC. Number 2521 Address: DWC Business Center • Dubai Aviation City - Logistics City • Dubai • U.A.E. • P.O. Box 390667
Best B&B Accommodation 2016 - Scottish Borders
Company: The Home Arms Bed and Breakfast Guest House Name: Gary Steenvoorden Email: frontdesk@ thehomearms.com Web Address: www.thehomearms.com Address: High St, Eyemouth, TD14 5EY Telephone: 01890 751316
Best B&B Accommodation 2016 - Scottish Borders
The Home Arms Guest House The Home Arms in Eyemouth is a modern ten bed guest house situated on the sea front in this picturesque fishing town. The Bed and Breakfast has a long history, but was completely renovated in 2012 by owners Gary and Zoe Steenvoorden, and now has all of the facilities of a quality modern hotel, together with the warmth and personality of a family run business. We speak to Gary and Zoe about how they accommodate for the needs of their guests and the plans for the future. Our 10 spacious modern rooms can accommodate up to 24 guests, and we offer a selection of super king, twin and family room options. Our rooms boast panoramic sea views and contain tea and coffee making facilities, a TV and DVD player, a radio and wireless internet. Eyemouth attracts many walkers, golfers, cyclists, overseas travellers and scuba divers, as it is set right next to stunning beaches and breathtakingly picturesque countryside, with Edinburgh only 45 minutes away. A fantastic golf course is also nearby, and we are well prepared to accommodate the extra needs of guests who may be bringing additional equipment during their stay.
60 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
We provide a fully kitted out drying room for the comfort of our guests, allowing them to dry any wet gear and store cycles, golf clubs and scuba equipment. As scuba divers ourselves, we understand how frustrating it can be when you cannot find accommodation that caters to your needs, so we have tried our best to provide amenities our guests will value. We love to hear about what our guests have been doing in the Eyemouth area. We strive to give the hotel a professional feel, whilst also maintaining a warm and relaxed atmosphere; we even credit our young daughter Millie-Jo as one of the owners of The Home Arms!
Within 6 months of opening, we hit the number one spot on TripAdvisor for accommodation in Eyemouth, and have been fortunate to keep our top spot for four years running. We believe this is all down to our focus on customer service and high standards, topped off with a friendly smile and welcome. During the winter months, we are hoping to add a self-catering cottage to our accommodation, along with additional guest rooms, at our new establishment on the harbour. The Home Arms is the ideal base for a well-deserved break, whatever your plans may include.
Most Enchanting Accomodation - New Orleans
Most Enchanting Accomodation - New Orleans
The Maison de Ville is a historic boutique hotel in the beautiful French Quarter in New Orleans. We welcome guests from all over the country and the world to experience the heart of the city in a truly memorable way. The hotel offers a genuinely personal stay in New Orleans, with our friendly and knowledgeable staff welcoming first time and regular visitors with the same levels of warmth and friendly enthusiasm. The hotel’s employees are part of the Maison de Ville family, are well versed in the city’s charms and are an extension of our own philosophy concerning hospitality. We have them treat guests the way we’d like to be treated when we check into a hotel. The hotel industry in New Orleans is understandably competitive, but we believe we stand out both in terms of the quality of our establishment and because of our unique historical setting. The property is one of the oldest buildings in the city and our interior design work shows respects that, with evocative period furniture, original fittings and a pleasing nod to modern technology and amenities. We believe we offer an exclusive sanctuary to visitors looking for a memorable stay in a property that is inescapably New Orleans. We’ve very much forged our own character at the hotel, and we hold ourselves as very distinct from the chain hotels and even our direct competitors, none of whom can offer the same historical links to, for example, Tennessee Williams, who was a resident in one of our wonderful courtyard cottages. The hotel was refurbished with a very clear sense of what the property has meant historically to its visitors. We wanted to attract new people to the Maison de Ville, of course, but at the same time pay testament, for example, to those couples that came for their honeymoons forty years ago. There’s a reassuring familiarity of standards and a sense of place that we’ve retained. The property of course has embraced technology and the amenities that make modern life easier, but these touches have been tastefully and discreetly worked into the new hotel so that guests can enjoy the best of both worlds – the traditional feel that only New Orleans can deliver as well as the comfort and convenience that you would expect of any modern destination. Company name: Hotel Maison de Ville Phone: 001(504) 324.4888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Address: maisondeville.com Address: 727 Rue Toulouse, New Orleans, LA 70130 USA
The future is really about continuing to deliver this high quality experience to guests, and making sure that we always reflect the best that New Orleans has to offer. Changes may happen around us, but we’re here to reflect the stories that took place in our hotel, the wonderful elements of food and music and tradition that make this city what it is, and to honour the very best memories of everyone who has stayed here.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 61
Best Luxury Hotel 2016- Iceland Hotel Rangá is the only 4-star resort in South Iceland and offers luxury accommodation, gourmet food and outstanding views of the volcanic landscape. We invited Hotelier Friðrik Pálsson to talk us through this stunning establishment and how it aims to ensure every guests enjoys a truly memorable stay.
Located about an hour from Reykjavík between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur, Hotel Ranga lies just off the main road right in middle of South Iceland’s panoramic scenery. Friðrik explains how the hotel aims to always provide guests with the very best experience from the moment they arrive. “Hotel Ranga has been voted one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, and guests come from all over the world to visit our establishment, which highlights the success of our quest to provide excellence in everything we do. “This approach starts from the moment guests step through our door. On arrival guests are welcomed by a real 10ft Polar Bear called Hrammur who is located in the lobby. On check-in guests are then taken to our lounge-bar for a complimentary welcome drink, this gives us the opportunity to learn more about their personal expectations and plans for their stay with us. “Overall, at Hotel Ranga our team of dedicated staff treat each and every guest with the utmost care and attention. We get to know our clients and build a relationship with them, that way we can better understand their unique requirements and tailor our services in order to exceed expectations.” The establishment has all the facilities and services of a modern luxury resort, whilst at the same time being situated in an area of exceptional natural beauty. Friðrik expresses his pride in the hotel’s natural surroundings and outlines the facilities that guests can enjoy and how these are specifically designed to provide a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. “Hotel Rangá’s picturesque surroundings will take your breath away – Mount Hekla, the famous volcano, lies to the north the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and a mountain range are to the north-east and the Westman Islands to the south. South Iceland offers something special to the visitor all year round, giving a real taste of Iceland. “The resort has 52 cosy and luxurious rooms including seven themed suites, designed to represent each of the seven continents. The continental suites here are truly one of a kind. Themed after each of the seven continents, they provide guests with the ultimate comfort, luxury, relaxation, and experience that is figuratively a “world apart”. 62 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Best Luxury Hotel 2016- Iceland
Company: Hotel Rangá Email: email@example.com Phone: 00 354 487 5700 Web Address: hotelranga.is Address: Hotel Rangá, Sudurlandsvegur, 851 Hella, Iceland
“Ranging in size from 40-74m² (430-800 ft²), both the junior and master suites are designed and decorated with fine artwork, fixtures and furnishings sourced from the respective continents.”
coastline. The Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Vatnajökull glacier (Europe’s largest glacier) and the world famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon all make a great day trip from Hotel Rangá.
The restaurant at Hotel Rangá is an acclaimed gourmet restaurant in Southern Iceland, overlooking one of Iceland’s finest salmon rivers, East-Rangá River. The restaurant’s motto is the concept of a “Farmers Market” — in effect using predominantly local ingredients of the highest quality and freshness — following seasonal availability. Head Chef Karl Jóhann Unnarsson’s menu is inspired by modern Nordic cuisine.
“Activities around the hotel include fishing, golf, horseriding, super jeep tours, dog-sledding and snowmobiling on glaciers, river-rafting, hiking, bird-watching, visits to art exhibitions, museums and historical places, and much more. There really is something for everyone here and we are looking forward to welcoming new guests in the months and years to come.”
The resort is one of the best places in Iceland – and possibly the world – to witness the aurora. Hotel Rangá specializes in providing aurora forecasts, photography, and wake up calls to ensure that guests get to experience this wonderful natural phenomenon that draws visitors from far and wide. September-April is the best time to catch the aurora. One of the hotel’s latest additions is The Hotel Rangá Astronomical Observatory, which has with its roll-on roll-off roof been specifically created for stargazing. It has the capacity for up to thirty people for sky tours with an expert at night and is equipped with two high quality computerized telescopes, making it the most advanced observatory in Iceland. Ultimately, Hotel Ranga is without a doubt one of the most memorable locations you can experience, offering a wealth of glorious natural beauty and the very highest quality of service. In his final comments, Friðrik provides an absorbing overview of the hotel’s many attractions and emphasises his excitement at the future for his establishment. “Fundamentally, Hotel Rangá is perfectly located for you to discover everything South Iceland has to offer. The world famous volcano Mount Hekla is clearly visible from the entrance to the resort. Close by are the unforgettable highlands – shaped by fire and ice through the ages – unforgettable with their lunar landscape, volcanic black sand deserts, volcanoes and hot springs. “Other attractions nearby include Þórsmörk nature preserve, the Westman Islands, several beautiful waterfalls, Skógar folk museum, and the dramatic
LUX Customer Care Award: Best Medical Centre & Spa 2016
Company: Kurotel Longevity Medical Center and Spa Name: Adriane Kinzel Email: akinzel@ kurotel.com.br Web: www.kurotel.com Address: Rua Nacoes Unidas, 533 – Bavaria Gramado – RS – Brazil 95670-000
LUX Customer Care Award: Best Medical Centre & Spa 2016
Kurotel Longevity Medical Center and Spa Brazil is already known for many things - culture, beautiful sun kissed beaches, glorious landscapes, wonderful food - but did you know it is also a great destination for health and wellness?
Considered by many as the most highly-acclaimed wellness facility, Kurotel Longevity Medical Center and Spa is located in the beautiful natural surroundings of Gramado in southeast Brazil. The multi-award-winning, world class Center was founded in 1982 by the couple Dr Luis Carlos and Neusa Silveira. Inspired by the European Kur tradition which focuses on preventative and rehabilitative medicine, Kurotel offers a scientific approach to wellness through lifestyle changes and balanced health. Combining wellness, longevity and medical services, the 34-year-old facility offers customized treatments, therapies, healing programmes, assessments and pampering sessions that includes everything from stress to sleep problems, smoking addiction, cancer recovery, brain fitness,
healthy longevity, executive health, dentistry, skin complaints and weight control. The medical team is composed by eight different specialities and there is a 3:1 staff to guest ratio. Besides its own bespoke products and pharmacy, Kurotel has also launched the Kur Water Station & Spa focused on water-based treatments. There are 2,000 square meters dedicated to health and wellness therapies including joining pools, bathtub, massage rooms, high tech equipment, consulting rooms, special suites, bistro, among others. With state-of-the-art facilities and a passion for providing health through science, the oldest and most successful medical spa in South America has established a mark of excellence by achieving top
honours in spa and travel awards. Week-long health packages are focused on weight loss, brain’s health, healthy longevity, stress management, pre-surgery, post-cancer, tobacco control and mother-and-baby. All packages include medical assessments, interview with a psychologist, nutritionist, physical educator, dermatologist, physiotherapist, a great selection of treatments as prescribed, customized diet plan, daily meals, guided group exercise and daily walks, therapeutic massages and more. Kurotel is also proud to support the Mente Viva (Live Mind) NGO, a non-political, non-religious and non-profit association created to promote peace culture among children in public schools of Brazil.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 63
LUX Hotel of the Year 2016/ Recommended Wedding Venue - Wirral
Company: Lawton Hotels Ltd Name: Leasowe Castle Hotel and Restaurant Web Address: www.leasowecastle.com Address: Leasowe Castle Hotel, Leasowe Road, Moreton, Wirral CH46 3RF
LUX Hotel of the Year 2016/ Recommended Wedding Venue - Wirral
Lawton Hotels Ltd We find out how the beautiful Leasowe Castle situated in Wirral is the LUX Hotel of the Year and why weddings are never to be forgotten. The castle is a unique 16th century, grade II listed historic hotel, with easy access to Liverpool, Chester and the Cheshire countryside. Leasowe Castle overlooks the stunning Wirral coastline and Leasowe golf course. It is set amongst beautiful and tranquil gardens which offer a peaceful retreat for those staying for business or pleasure. The establishment offers 44 comfortable rooms, each feature free Wi-Fi throughout, which the guests love. Children can stay too as bedrooms are large enough for families and some rooms are even dog friendly. The hotel also has free parking and state of the art conference facilities. The hotel’s flagship restaurant Star Chamber Restaurant is a favourite amongst visitors and locals alike. Everybody is welcome.
64 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
The hotel is very well-known wedding venue in the area and the romantic castle provides the perfect setting for any wedding, celebrations and events, which only adds to the unforgettable experience. The best possible service is provided by the team at Leasowe Castle who have a passion to drive and deliver the best service possible. They are in possession of the latest back of house technology such as iPads for housekeeping, touchscreen tills, through to the Smart TV’s in each room. The warm welcome that each guest receives is evident of how proud the staff are to be part of the team. It is the upmost importance for guests to feel comfortable and at home. Key trends in the industry have been reflected at the hotel in the form of how they are connecting with their customers, both before and after their stays. They engage on different platforms such as social media to connect with guests as much as possible.
The hotel industry is facing an uncertain time due to the decision for the UK to leave the EU. The challenge for the hotel is unknown long-term, as it is uncertain as to how the Brexit decision will impact business. However, the hotel industry is adaptive and whatever the outcome, the hotel will do everything in its power to regain its current strength. However, it is exciting times for Leasowe Castle as they are undergoing a £2.5 million restoration and refurbishment project which will be completed by the end of this summer. This isn’t mentioning their brand-new cocktail and tapas bar, new full service spa, due 2017 and work is about to be undertaken for their new restaurant, which will all go down a treat for guests alike. It is perfect for any need, whether you’re staying to celebrate an occasion, or just simply to relax.
Best Pilates Centre 2016 & LUX Award: Best Location
Best Pilates Centre 2016 & LUX Award: Best Location Company: Line5 Studios Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 604-558-1030 Web Address: www.line5studios.com Address: 1 West Pender St. Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 1R3
Line5 Studios is a boutique style Pilates studio, taking pride in offering undivided, focused attention to their clients. Nestled in the heart of Vancouver in an award-winning 1907 heritage building, the focus from Day One has always been on the individual; Mylene Perrier and her instructors work to guide their clients through a comprehensive customized Pilates program, leading towards fulfilling fitness and wellness goals. “At Line5,” Mylene explains, “we specialize in private instruction and small classes; our sessions are tailored to each client’s specific needs, and are led by Professional instructors through a variety of Pilates methods.” Mylene is acutely aware of the studio’s place in the wider market, acknowledging the vast pool of competition. “Our industry and health-conscious city is filled with an abundance of fitness and wellness professionals constantly introducing a variety of new techniques and exercise trends.” In response to this movement, Line 5 stays true to the intent and effectiveness of Pilates, obtaining results through a personalized approach. To provide high-quality instruction, the classes at the studio are kept small and personal guided by a passionate, knowledgeable staff specializing in a variety of Pilates methods. By understanding the individual needs of each client, Line 5 is able to match them with the Instructor best suited for their personality and fitness goals. This diversity and approach, Mylene believes, makes Line 5 Studios unique in their field. “We follow
our own path and stay true to our vision: to free up possibilities, and to teach our clients to live a more fulfilling life in a strong and healthy body. The calm yet energetic atmosphere is the perfect escape from the hectic downtown life of Vancouver and provides the ideal environment for an extremely personalized experience encompassing body awareness, physical fitness and rehabilitation. “The studio itself feels like a retreat with welcoming energy; as you pass through its’ doors you are warmly greeted by light and spaciousness. Conveniently located at the gates of Chinatown and historic Gastown, this unique, central location is easily accessible from all parts of the city.” Anthony von Mandl, Proprietor of Mission Hill Family Estate, is profuse in his praise for the studio and its classes. “I was introduced to Pilates 5 years ago through my personal trainer, she suggested that the Pilates method would complement my exercise routine nicely and help
with postural imbalances. With my hectic schedule and frequent travels, it is difficult to maintain consistency in my wellness and fitness regime. Working with Mylene and her instructors gives me immense benefits, rejuvenates and realigns my otherwise tired self. The depth and precision of the work combined with tailored individual sessions is truly necessary to cope with my busy lifestyle. I would highly recommend Mylene, her intuitive teaching and vast knowledge makes the experience truly unique.” Ultimately, Line5 aspires to continue nurturing growth, providing an effective, empowering and holistic Pilates approach. In addition, they plan to bring together a group of Vancouver’s finest wellness professionals to offer Pilates focused retreats in beautiful, exotic places. Mylene concludes that it will be very exciting to share her knowledge with a select group in an intimate setting. “Line5 is truly unique, not just because of the location or instructors, but also because of its loyal clientele.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 65
Best Day Spa & Beauty Salon 2016 - West Sussex
Company: Mi Spa Limited Name: Ian and Ann McDonald Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.mi-spa.co.uk Address: 33 Carfax, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1EE Telephone: 01403 250777
Best Day Spa & Beauty Salon 2016 - West Sussex Mi Spa prides itself on being Horsham’s most relaxing, family run day spa and beauty salon. We spoke to Ann McDonald to find out how the firm achieves the revitalising atmosphere that has clients coming back for more.
Mi Spa offers a Beauty Lounge, Skincare Clinic and Wellness Centre, each of which caters to a specific aspect of guests’ wellbeing so that they leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. Ann depicts the strategies the spa undertakes to ensure that guests always have the best possible experience when they visit Mi Spa. “Our aim is to make each visit to Mi Spa a memorable one for all the right reasons. To achieve this, we ensure that our staff are happy in their work and that our environment is conducive to delivering high quality treatments. We maintain very high standards and provide regular staff training to ensure adherence to those standards. Our loyal clients are requested to tell us what we are doing well and where we could improve.” This client focused approach starts from the moment a new client walks through the door, as Ann outlines. “At Mi Spa we pride ourselves on providing a consistent experience whenever they visit us for a treatment. All team members are trained in the client journey when they join and from time to time as we seek to improve even more. Each guest is greeted with a smile by our receptionist who offers them a hot or cold drink.”
66 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Looking ahead, Ann is eager to emphasise her optimism for a bright and prosperous future as the firm aims to share its knowledge and grow, whilst maintaining the high standards which it has come to be renowned for. “The future of Mi Spa will be to continue to provide the best service possible, the best products possible and the best advice as possible. We are keen to share our knowledge through our training academy and this will play a major part in our expansion plans. We want everyone to look, feel and be their best.
“Overall we see a future in providing more treatment courses whereby we combine different supplier treatments and products into an integrated skincare solution. We believe that this will be a large differentiator for us going forward. We will also be launching an innovative offering to our loyal clients which will encourage more regular visits in exchange for higher value treatment and product offerings. All of these developments point towards an exciting future, and we look forward to the opportunities this will provide our salon.”
Best 5* Luxury Accommodation – Queenstown & Most Luxurious Spa Experience - ‘True Luxury’
Best 5* Luxury Accommodation – Queenstown & Most Luxurious Spa Experience - ‘True Luxury’
Company: Millbrook Resort Address: Malaghans Road, Arrowtown, New Zealand Phone: 0800 800 604 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.millbrook.co.nz
With a mountain backdrop, Millbrook Resort is a sprawling, upscale establishment located 3 km from the Lakes District Museum in downtown Arrowtown and 20 km from the Coronet Peak Ski Area. We profile this glorious resort and showcase how natural beauty is combined with quality service to create the perfect experience. A five-star accommodation resort based in Queenstown, New Zealand, Millbrook’s iconic, inspirational and peaceful setting is unrivalled in the Queenstown area. Offering garden or golf course views, the polished rooms come with sitting areas, balconies or patios and flat-screen TVs, as well as minibars and free Wi-Fi. Suites add fireplaces and living rooms, and most have kitchens. Cottages with two, three or four bedrooms are also offered to allow for greater privacy for those looking for a more self- sufficient break.
and rejuvenate in a sumptuous natural environment. With a wide range of treatments on offer, including massages, facials, manicures and much more, the comprehensive range of treatments ensures that whatever their needs, guests will always be able to find a solution that fulfils their needs at Millbrook Resort.
For those seeking gastronomic delights, the resort has four restaurants, including dining in a historic mill house. There are indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, plus a fitness centre, a luxury spa, 27 holes of golf, driving range and event facilities, meaning there really is something for everyone.
The ultimate luxurious experience is the resort’s leading pamper package, True Luxury. Guests can float in an aromatic spa bath surrounded by candles and the sound of soft music as they escape the world. Begin with a sensational full body treatment that includes a scrub and a warming body cocoon that relaxes and stimulates both mind and body, then enjoy a full body aromatherapy massage. As a final finishing touch, guests relax with a fruit and cheese platter before a personalised facial, eye brow tidy, eyelash tint, manicure or pedicure.
Open to all visitors to the Queenstown region, both locals and in-house guests, the resort’s award winning spa is a must visit for anyone looking to unwind
Overall this stunningly appointed, brilliantly managed and fully facilitated resort offers an ideal atmosphere for rejuvenating and relaxing in true comfort and style.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 67
Company: Monte Santo Resort Name: Margarida Almeida Email: email@example.com Web Address: www.montesantoalgarve.com Address: Tourist Village Monte Santo Rua João Paulo II. 8400-556 Lagoa Algarve, Portugal Telephone: +351 282 321 000
The upscale, luxury resort based 1.8km from the beautifully sheltered and sandy bay of Praia de Carvoeiro is the perfect relaxing Algarve getaway. It is the combination of wellbeing where luxury, comfort, tranquillity and leisure all form for the perfect family holiday, or a romantic getaway. The resort, which opened in 2008, is ideally located 45 minutes from Faro Airport and a short distance from the picturesque beaches, intriguing caves that pepper the coast and some of the best golf courses in Europe. Margarida adds, “The Monte Santo Resort is a five-star development specifically designed for those looking to enjoy exclusive holidays. Our guests are families during the school holidays, couples and golfers during the other seasons”. The resort prides itself on the fact that they have a high percentage of guests return year after year. Margarida says this is because, “We know already the preferences of our guests. We always provide the amenities that they are used to having when they stay with us. Examples include but are not limited to; newspapers, VIP treatment upon arrival, late check-out, toys for the children and of course, a warm welcome”. The staff and hotel did not earn their awards without hard work and a sterling service. The staff always greet guests with a friendly welcome and always call them by their names. They also make sure to explain the characteristics of the resort and be available at the guests’ beck and call.
68 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Best 5* Resort – Portugal & Most Dedicated Staff 2016
Best 5* Resort – Portugal & Most Dedicated Staff 2016 General Manager Margarida Almeida explains to LUX how the Monte Santo Resort keeps guests coming back for more.
Margarida describes the team at the resort, “We have a dedicated team of staff that are extremely welltrained in order to focus on the guests’ needs. Our internal program focuses on reaching goals for every department. If the department are achieving their goals, the staff will receive a bonus. This works as a very good motivational tool”. The Monte Santo Resort can boast of ‘record breaking’ hotel bookings, golf rounds, and passenger numbers at Faro Airport last year. This has been seen in line with statistics for Algarve’s hotel industry, which shows that Algarve hotels received 16.6 million bookings in 2015 – a 2.5% increase from the previous year. The resort attracts many tourists from
around the globe; the most to frequent are from the UK and Portugal, followed by Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland. Guests can also enjoy the newly-improved Wi-Fi connection, Smart TV’s in the rooms and even a handy app, which helps guests communicate with the Monte Santo Resort when they have made a reservation. This has furthered the goal to increase communication with their guests. In terms of what the future holds, Margarida explains, “Very soon this year, we will remodel our interior decoration in all of our suites. We will also focus on the UK due to the Brexit situation”.
Best Organic Spa 2016 & LUX Group Excellence Award
Best Organic Spa 2016 & LUX Group Excellence Award Company: Quick Spa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 22 422 422 Web Address: www.quickspa.com.cy Address: Quick Spa, Odos Mnasiadou, Lefkosia, 1065, Cyprus
Quick Spa is a revolutionary hair and spa centre, located in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. Its focus is on treating the body and soul, giving you peace of mind in the quickest possible time. Quick Spa is a brand that offers wellbeing services, who value their customers’ time and a facility available to modern people who have a burning desire to treat themselves with treatments in a quick and affordable manner. These essential treatments aim to make every-day, busy life more relaxing to clients. Throughout the years, Quick Spa has set a new life trend for clients.
The staff at Quick Spa offer a variety of excellent hair, body and face treatments, massage, nails and make-up services. They deeply understand people’s need for wellbeing and relaxation, using the most natural and organic products Quick Spa’s key for success is the excellent and efficient service provided to clients from the employees. All staff are trained on a regular basis, and are also evaluated and assessed by anonymous clients to ensure the highest service. Clients have the opportunity to buy organic products and secure all the benefits following the advice of their expert staff.
effectiveness is improved with the Revi Face lifting massage device, which helps the absorption of water and increases metabolism, whilst relaxing and smoothing the wrinkles.
At Quick Spa, treatments are offered to both men and women and aim to nourish and rehydrate the body. The massage services provide the perfect excuse for clients to escape from the hectic life to relax and boost your energy. Quick Spa puts a lot of effort in designing their spaces to inspire wellbeing and an atmosphere of pure relaxation using all senses. ILCSI organic facial packages contain anti-aging, firming and regenerating results which are suitable for water-deficient skin. Its
In 2010, Quick Spa was the first local brand to have franchised its first salon in Limassol, to be followed by the second one in Larnaca - the two other major cities on the island. All Quick Spas are located in the heart of each of these cities. Soon, the brand will launch its own organic products for the face and body. With these plans, Quick Spa is committed to continuously providing an amazing experience and promises wellbeing whilst valuing clients’ time.
This brand is proud to be a trendsetter. The employees work towards surpassing their customers’ expectations and the management constantly upgrades its salons and services. Online booking is now set into motion for a 24hour customer service and soon they are aiming to launch the QUICK SPA app, which will enhance the customer experience.
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 69
Best Skincare & Spa Treatment Specialist 2016 Company: QMS Medicosmetics Web: www.qmsmedicosmetics.com International Head Office: QMS Medicosmetics London + 44 (0) 20 7730 8060 Founder: Dr. med. Erich Schulte
70 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
lux QMS Medicosmetics are a renowned provider of quality skincare and cosmetic products. We invited Kate Innes to talk us through the company, its history and the products it provides.
QMS Medicosmetics was founded over 20 years ago in Germany by Dr. med. Erich Schulte, a leading surgeon in the fields of trauma and cosmetic surgery. His background gave him an exceptional insight into skin – how it works, how it interacts with the body and the benefits of healthy skin. Kate explains how Dr. Schulte created the brand and infused it with his passion for quality. “Through his desire to revolutionize how we can treat and care for our skin Dr. Schulte combined this expert knowledge with years of pioneering research and a dedication to delivering superior results. His pioneering innovations helped to develop a new style and a new standard in the industry and have created a unique skincare and treatment collection that leads the way in spa and cosmetics excellence. “In the 1970’s Dr. Schulte worked at the Maxillo Facial Department for reconstructive plastic surgery at the Göttingen University Clinic in Germany. His patients were mainly severe accident and burns victims. At the time surgery could lead to the reconstruction of the shape of the face but skin remained scarred and damaged. Through research Dr. Schulte found that collagen was highly significant in wound healing. He knew that if he could find a way to reintroduce collagen into the skin, scar formation would be reduced and skin could be regenerated. So he turned to science and developed a revolutionary technique that conditions natural soluble collagens so that they can be applied topically to boost skin regeneration. This groundbreaking innovation led to the formulation of the Classic Collagen Set and MED Collagen Set and the founding of QMS Medicosmetics. “This performance-focus extends to the QMS Medicosmetics facial and body treatment collection, which is recognised for delivering exceptional skin improving results. Over many years we have perfected the art of advanced skin rejuvenation so that the health, appearance and wellbeing of the skin are improved in equal measure. “This passion for excellence is at the heart of everything we do and is shared with our portfolio of over 600 global partners ranging from day spas and salons to internationally renowned hotels. From Berlin to Bangkok QMS Medicosmetics is proving to be the perfect choice for the luxury hotel sector with partner properties including Amilla and Finolhu in the Maldives, Burj al Arab in Dubai, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Six Senses Spas at The Alpina Gstaad and Puente Romano, GOCO Spas in Ajman Saray and J.W. Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, The Saxon, Cape Grace and Ellerman House in South Africa as well as The Lowry Hotel in Manchester and Giardino hotels in Zurich, St. Moritz and Ascona.” Currently the skincare and spa industry is being dominated by the global desire to ’Age Well’, how to fulfil this ever-increasing demand continues to drive the market. Customers can now choose how to age, the goal to look younger for longer is
Best Skincare & Spa Treatment Specialist 2016
a common one around the world and the skincare sector has responded to this with continually evolving innovations. Kate explains how QMS are working to ensure that it stays ahead of these trends and meets clients’ ever evolving needs. “It is important to embrace the new vision of clients’ perception of beauty and the consumer’s need for wellness. Feeling healthy and feeling good about yourself is not a luxury but a necessity and the current aesthetic industry is driven by these beauty and wellness priorities. The desire for successful healthy ageing has created a synergy between aesthetics and ’ageing well’ skin care that is shaping the future spa and beauty industry, today’s clients want results. “We have seen an increase in the importance of science in developing new techniques, creating new equipment and improving the performance of ingredients. Additionally, scientists have garnered new insights into how skin behaves, why it changes as we age and these findings have led to the advent of a new genre of skincare and spa treatments. These have radically improved how we can treat and care for our skin. Aesthetics in skincare is a revolution not a just a trend. “An area that has become a signature of QMS Medicosmetics is how science can be used to improve the effects of skincare. For a product to deliver the results you want, its ingredients need to be carried deeper and more effectively into your skin. Without enhanced absorption even the highest quality ingredient will sit on the surface layers, skin might temporarily look and feel better but for long term improvements you need those ingredients to actively deliver their benefits to the skin. “With QMS Medicosmetics our formulations demonstrate the most advanced mechanisms to transport skin-improving ingredients to where they need to go to do their valuable work and deliver increased benefits to the skin.” The future looks bright for QMS Medicosmetics, as Kate highlights the firm’s many developments and plans. “Looking ahead, there are a number of developments which will provide our firm with some great opportunities in the future. We have just opened the first UK hotel spa with the QMS Skin Spa at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, this represents a new contemporary concept that brings together an enjoyable and relaxing spa experience with a treatment menu that reflects today’s desire for results. When you look at key concerns such as urban pollution and its impact on the skin, the increase of men and women of all ages seeking expert but non-invasive skin care is why a brand such as QMS Medicosmetics fits well into today’s spa environments, whether they are urban day spas or beachside resorts. We are keen to develop and adapt this concept in the next few years into more markets.”
LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 71
Best Hair & Beauty Spa 2016 - Kirklees
Best Hair & Beauty Spa 2016 - Kirklees
Soul Spa As a company who has been trading for almost 100 years, Soul Spa is one of Birstall’s most original and well established salons. We spoke to Angie Crowther, Director of Soul Spa, to find out how they provide a unique experience for their clients.
Although the business has been running for decades, it was re-launched as a boutique hair and beauty spa in July 2013 after relocating to the pre -18th century period cottage it now stands in. Previously used as a dairy, a bank and a former doctor’s residence, the beautiful cottage is situated right in the very heart of Birstall, standing on the edge of the market place. We were initially called ‘Highlights Hair & Beauty’ and this has always been the forefront of the business for the past 24 years. However, as the business has significantly evolved within the last three years, I feel that now is the right time to rebrand and have taken the decision to rename to ‘Soul Spa’. An integral part of this transition is due to the advanced deep healing treatments offered within the spa, which provide a very unique visit. Holistic therapies and reiki healing have always been a part of the business and these are now playing a much bigger role,
with more and more clients booking these services. These therapies are incredibly useful for help with stress, anxiety and depression amongst other illnesses. We offer an unrivalled range of traditional treatments, natural therapies and holistic facials, and we offer these for both ladies and gentlemen. The spa has become a unique healing spa, which was always the intention – as the business plan changed when my own grandmother became terminally ill shortly prior to the purchase of the cottage. Ultimately, my aim is to ensure that my clients have a memorable experience in a warm and welcoming environment, providing comfort and reassurance to those experiencing illness or stress throughout difficult times. Counselling and stress management techniques are at times called upon. As well as giving aura and chakra readings at the end of treatments. The business follows its very own path of a very spiritual spa, totally unique in its making.
Company: Soul Spa Email: email@example.com Web: www.soulspaholistichealing.co.uk Address: Bank House 2, Chapel Lane, Birstall West Yorkshire WF17 9EJ. Telephone: 01924 473985
72 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
Company: Spa Paws Hotel Address: 251 Carroll Street, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107, USA Web: www.spapawshotel.com Telephone: 001 817-850-9000
Most Luxurious Pet Spa 2016 - Texas
Most Luxurious Pet Spa 2016 - Texas
Located in the heart of Fort Worth, Texas, Spa Paws Hotel is a new concept in pet care, pampering and luxury, owned by Janice Ford Grimes. Janice founded Spa Paws Hotel – a luxury hotel, wellness centre and spa, with pet wellness at the heart of it all. We’re a super-premium hotel and luxury spa exclusively designed for guests with four legs. Here you can count on your pets being treated like royalty. We are reinventing the world of pet care. Whether it’s for a few hours or a few days, your pets’ unique needs and tastes come first. At Spa Paws, we are committed to showering our guests with the highest level of personal service and care. You can think of us as a five-star hotel and spa exclusively designed for guests with four legs. Here your pets are treated like royalty. Their unique preferences, needs and schedules are adhered to from a screened and handpicked staff, 24 hours a day. We are reinventing the world of pet care, providing a wide array of services to help them stay healthy and feel happy. Spa Paws allows for pet memorial services, weddings, parties and photography sessions. We want you to feel secure in leaving your pets with us whether it is for a few hours or a few days. You can have peace of mind knowing your pets are in the lap of luxury. At Spa Paws Hotel your pet’s needs and tastes come first. That is the Spa Paws promise.
Spa Paws services include pet parties for your special pet and all his or her friends. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or birth, our themed packages will make your festivities fun and fabulous at the hotel, or catered in your own home. Also on offer are our lavish weddings for your canine couple. With packages that include catering, flowers, wedding decor, wedding attire and photography, your bride and groom will walk down the aisle in style. We’ve got the best in pet nuptials, paws down. Our Paws Enchantment Spa provides a harmonious and soothing environment to pamper your pet. We focus on services that provide a lavish experience for our guests and peace of mind for you. Treatments include Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Pampering beauty treatments and dog treadmill classes.
The inspiration for Spa Paws Hotel, Dakota, was a silver Chinchilla Persian with gorgeous turquoise eyes. At just four years old, Dakota fell ill with a rare tumour. Devastated, Janice was determined to do whatever possible to give Dakota the best quality of life while continuing to search for treatment. Unfortunately, Dakota passed away ten months later. Although there was no miracle in Dakota’s diagnosis or treatment, Janice was inspired by Dakota’s life. She set out to start a pet-centric hotel and pet wellness centre with a philosophy that embraces Eastern medicine. LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 73
Best Family Resort 2016 - Wisconsin
Company: Wild Eagle Lodge Email: tammy@ wildeaglelodge.com Phone: 715.479.3151 Web Address: http://www. wildeaglelodge.com/ Address: Wild Eagle Lodge Resort, 4443 Chain O’ Lakes Road, Eagle River, WI 54521
Best Family Resort 2016 - Wisconsin Located in the heart of the North Woods, Wild Eagle Lodge is nestled on 20 acres at the forested edge of the famous Eagle River Chain of 28 Lakes – billed as the world’s largest chain of lakes – making it an idyllic retreat. This property has existed here since 2004, with more than enough distractions for any visitor to make it a home away from home. As Curt Bradley explains, “we want to make you feel that you are in a luxurious setting while ‘roughing it’ in the North Woods.” The plethoric space of the lodge complex is populated by condos, outfitted with all the mod-cons a guest could ever require. These one-, two- or three-bedroom lodge homes feature a complete kitchen, gas fireplace in the living area, two full-size bathrooms, high-speed internet, cable television – plus DVD players – and a patio or balcony overlooking the lakes. Built on a spit of land separating Duck and Lynx Lakes, there are opportunities galore for water-borne activities, such as canoeing, fishing and jet-skiing. Back on land, the nearby Eagle River area is home to a great many shops; after a dose of retail therapy, guests may return home sporting unique new clothes, jewellery and charms. Alongside these accommodation options come a vast array of amenities: tennis and basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, a playground area, a beautiful sandy beach, boat piers, and an inside swimming pool for year-round use, including a sauna and massage room. Along the walkways sprawled out along the lakeside, a scattering of fire pits with wonderful rustic furniture are ideal spots for barbeques and ghost stories. With the celebrated snowmobile trail right outside their doorstep, the Lodge also benefits hugely from a continued influx of clients throughout the winter season.
74 LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016
The curious balance between proximity to civilization and frontiersman-like separation that the Wild Eagle Lodge carries gives it unique advantages, making it suitable for a range of functions. Condos up for sale along the two lakes afford families with a regular retreat spot, their own personal eyrie in the North Woods. The lodge’s facilities are also well-suited towards hosting corporate meetings. Most of all, though the beautiful shoreline is almost tailor-made for weddings. “We are able to create a beautiful shoreline ceremony location for a breathtaking wedding memory. We also offer a spacious event lawn to have your festive wedding reception under an elegant rental tent for groups up to 500 people. “
Best Vacation Rental Company - Oregon
Best Vacation Rental Company - Oregon
Three years ago, Wildland Properties started with energy, a vision and a mission to show guests what the Oregon Coast has to offer. Their goal was not to list just any home that came their way, but to offer a carefully selected range of homes that would offer guests a memorable experience. Starting their business with one home, Alder Springs, which Wildland Properties still manages, to having what is currently the largest selection of Vacation Homes in Port Orford, it is apparent that this mother-daughter team is doing it right.
Leading the way in the Vacation Rental Industry on the Southern Oregon Coast, Wildland Properties offers a unique experience with their Vacation Homes.
Each vacation home is unique in its own right, with views of the Pacific Ocean and up to wildland summits. Wildland Properties is unique as it offers guests more than a vacation stay. As the coast has so much to offer outdoor enthusiasts, Wildland Properties ran with the idea of providing kayaks, crab pots, whale watching from a helicopter, charcuterie boards, inhome massages, hiking guides, jet boat trips, - - oh, there’s too much to mention. Want it all? They offer a VIP Outdoor Sports Package which includes 25 nights per year at any of their homes. Wildland Properties was a 2015 Award Winner for LUX Hotel & Spa Awards – “Best For Luxury Homes Holiday – Oregon”, and “2014 Business of the Year” award from the Port Orford and North Curry County Chamber of Commerce. With the addition of volunteer time and sponsorships to local sports, local events and schools, Wildland Properties is making waves in their community. With deep roots in Port Orford, Oregon, this family owned and operated business not only embraces the rich history of the area but promotes current trends such as the new Nationally Recognized Scenic Bikeway, an ocean dive fill station at one of only two dolly docks in the nation, and the upcoming Pacific Gales Golf Course that is touted to be one of the best, top 10 Gold Courses in the world.
Company: Wildland Properties Address: 356 W. 6th. St. (Hwy 101) Port Orford, OR 97465 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (541) 366-2117 Fax: (541) 366-2069
What additionally makes Port Orford, Oregon unique is its ability to offer ocean and lake boats, 2 rivers, famous for trophy Schinook Salmon and Steelhead, the largest diversity of trees in the world and Cape Blanco Lighthouse which sets out into the Pacific further than any other land mass in the contiguous United States. Wildland Properties has embraced the Wild Rivers Scenic Coast with the goal of offering it to travellers. LUX - Hotel & Spa Awards 2016 75