AHEAD Asia is adjudicated by an independent panel of experts, comprising leading hospitality architects, designers, owners, operators, developers and industry commentators.
The judging process for AHEAD Asia has been carefully developed to ensure a rigorous, robust and balanced procedure is followed to select the final winners in each category.
The judges for AHEAD Asia are acknowledged industry leaders, who represent a wide spectrum of the disciplines involved in delivering new hotel projects across the region.
Dutch designer Joris Angevaare is renowned for the typical minimalist design aesthetic associated with Dutch Design.
Graduating as Bachelor of Interior Architecture from the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam, Angevaare has nearly 2 decades of experience in creating pragmatic solutions that bend rules and challenge dogmas. His background in business economics helps him to drill down to the core essence of the assignment or client's DNA to spark the creative concept.
Headquartered in Singapore, Angevaare attends to projects that span the globe, exploring diversity in cultures, philosophies and aesthetic juxtapositions to produce new ideas, concepts and inspirations.
Troy oversees hotels, hospitality, culture and lifestyle development across the portfolio at Hong Kong-listed and Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group, whose footprint spans the US, Europe and Asia through stakes in other luxury developers/operators such as Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts and Monaco’s Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM), among other major projects in China and Japan.
Troy’s 27 years in hospitality have been spent with the likes of Peninsula, Fairmont and Four Seasons before embarking on a long stint opening both branded and organically-created luxury and lifestyle hotels that have been recognised on Conde Nast Traveller’s Hot List to the Michelin Guide, and even awarded the coveted Forbes 5 Star rating. His resume includes helming the first member of the Design Hotels collection in Hong Kong; before then moving into operating, asset managing, creating and developing luxury and lifestyle hotels within the world’s largest casino and integrated resorts.
A graduate of Swiss Hotel Association and Le Cordon Bleu colleges, he also has a Masters Degree from Oxford Brookes University Business School, and has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.
He has appeared in National Geographic specials on opening of The World’s Largest Casino, written for the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC), and is on the advisory board of the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF).
Billie Khoo is currently the Senior Design & Project Director for Hilton Technical Services, Southeast Asia Pacific and India, a region that spans North Asia, Southeast Asia, Australasia, Pacific Islands and the Indian subcontinent.
Educated in Singapore and a trained and qualified architect with Masters in Architecture, Billie has worked with established regional and international hospitality design firms such as SCDA, Maps Design Studio and Wilson Associates during her career of 18 years. She has wide-ranging experience in both masterplanning, architectural and interior design aspects of hospitality creation.
Since joining Hilton in 2012, she has worked with the Technical Services team to deliver successful openings across all brands and has been intimately involved in key flagship hotels in gateway cities such as Hilton Saigon, Conrad Bengaluru, Conrad Osaka and WA Bangkok.
She is also responsible for design overview of all brands for both pipeline projects and capital expenditure projects in the mentioned regions. The brands include luxury, lifestyle, full-service and focus service for both managed and franchise properties. Billie’s role is to ensure that the hotels and resorts fulfill both brand standards and design narratives. This also includes a constant review of applicable brand standards for the regions.
At the same time, her portfolio includes being the design director for key Hilton luxury and lifestyle pipeline projects such as Conrad Kuala Lumpur, Canopy Kuala Lumpur, and Waldorf Astoria Maldives.
Being in a region of high growth in the travel industry, Billie assists development in the technical review of new opportunities in the constant drive to grow the number of new hotels and rooms with an operator that has one of the largest pipelines in the world.
Dharmali Kusumadi is the Senior Vice President, Projects and Business Development of Banyan Tree Group. He is responsible for the design and technical advisory services, projects and business development functions within the Group. As the principal architect and chief designer, he also heads the architectural design arm of the group based in Singapore Corporate office and oversees the regional design offices in Bangkok, Shanghai and Mexico.
Being with the group for more than two decades, Dharmali has helped to create numerous iconic award-winning architectural and interior designs, which are the hallmarks of Banyan Tree and Angsana hotels and resorts. He was personally involved with the different hotel projects in Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Maldives, China, Mexico, Morocco, Seychelles and other countries for the four hotel brands namely Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia and Dhawa. Key milestone projects include Asia’s first integrated destination resort - Laguna Phuket in Thailand, Laguna Bintan in Indonesia and Laguna Lang Co in Central Vietnam under the Banyan Tree Group.
Chris Lee is the founder and Creative Director of Asylum, one of the most respected creative companies in Asia. Since its inception in 1999, the creative company has focused on cross disciplinary projects that include interactive design, product development, environmental and interior design, packaging, branding and graphic design. Featured in numerous magazines from around the world, Asylum is defined as an unconventional maverick in the creative world.
Chris’ work in the creative industry is recognised with more than 100 international awards. He is the recipient for the Designer of the year and Design of the year in Singapore’s President Design Award. He has served as a juror for many of the top International creative awards such as D&AD, Red Dot and Perspective awards. His recent Project The Warehouse Hotel won Hotel of the year (Asia) at the AHEAD awards and FRAME awards.
Chris is also a founding member and President of The Design Society, a non-profit organisation that aims to promote visual culture through exhibitions, workshops and education.
As the Head of Design & Technical Services at Next Story Group, Sun Mi translates the group’s vision of transforming urban spaces into thriving communities. She is responsible for conceptualizing, developing and building these spaces so that they provide the right environment for communities to flourish.
Next Story Group has a portfolio of 40 hotels and resorts, and three Kafnu properties which have the best elements of a boutique hotel, shared work space and a social club. It plans to have 50 Kafnu properties across Asia Pacific. Prior to Next Story Group, Sun Mi was part of Langham Hospitality Group managing their new development projects.
One of Hong Kong’s foremost creative designers, Ed Ng is one-half of multi-disciplinary international design studio AB Concept alongside co-founder Terence Ngan.
Born and raised with both Asian and Western influences in Hong Kong, Ed’s childhood experiences have heavily shaped his design principles and aesthetic, enabling him to understand different cultures and fuse them together in his design approach.
Through his work with AB Concept, Ed has spent the last two decades creating innovative spaces for the most prestigious clients in luxury hospitality, wellness and F&B, including the Four Seasons, Rosewood, Mandarin Oriental, and Ritz Carlton.
Jinou brings more than 20 years of experience in leading global brands. He started his career in the hospitality industry working for Intercontinental Hotels in the US HQ growing through the ranks of real estate finance and market planning before moving to Singapore as APAC Regional Director of Distribution Marketing and then onto Hilton as Area Director of Revenue Management & Distribution, M.E. & APAC.
His entrepreneurial zeal took him to a brief stint in Thailand to develop his own boutique mixed-use development after which he rejoined the corporate world with 'the happiest place on earth' - Disneyland Hong Kong as Head of Business Insight and Improvement. Currently, Jinou is APAC leader of Design Hotels which represents and markets curated selection of 300+ architecturally and culturally awe-inspiring hotels with focus on original and aspirational hospitality experiences.
Jinou was born in Seoul, Korea and has Master's of Management in Hospitality from Cornell Hotel School, Ithaca, New York. He is likely to be spotted curbside running marathon or enjoying reckless skiing.
Designer, traveller, and writer, Paul Matthew Wiste is one of Asia's foremost luxury hospitality design experts.
Paul currently leads a boutique Hospitality Design Consultancy providing bespoke solutions to discerning private owners and operators. He has previously worked for IHG as Head of Design and Engineering SEA+K and the Jumeirah Group as Vice President Development Design Asia Pacific. He was first professionally employed in the Asia Pacific region in 1996; and had his introduction to hotel design on Ian Schrager's Sanderson Hotel in London in 1998.
Paul has presented keynote speeches and. participated in panel discussions at various Hospitality and Architecture conferences within the Asia Pacific region. He is active in researching and publishing future trends and theory in design, drawing upon the professional experience he has accumulated across the globe. A true citizen of the world, his passion for design and the built environment is constantly being applied to the Asia Pacific portfolio of projects he leads.
As a partner of LTW Designworks, Su Seam is the lead design principal based in the Singapore office. She is primarily responsible for creating the unique vision and interior concept of each project to ensure that it meets the client’s brief, budget and schedule, and the operator’s brand requirements. Su Seam has tremendous experience in luxury hospitality design throughout the region, and works very closely with her teams in each phase of the project from initial concept through final installation on site.
Prior to joining LTW in 1994, Su Seam worked with renowned interior design firms in the US where she handled numerous notable projects before being recruited by Hirsch Bedner Associates in Singapore. At H.L.Lim & Associates, Su Seam oversaw a number of the firm’s landmark design projects across Asia and steered the company’s growth. She was named Partner in 2001.
The application of design and architecture to deliver great guest experiences are at the heart of AHEAD.
The criteria for success are based not only on creative excellence, but also on commercial viability.
As well as projects that are aesthetically impressive, the judges will be looking for evidence that winning designs have also met the needs of client and customers alike.
The judges will be looking for submissions showing rigorous and appropriate design, demonstrating a sensible use of budget to contribute to the guest experience as well as the 'theatre' of hotel life while satisfying the client brief.
Submitted material should demonstrate clearly why the project is thought to be worth an award in its chosen category and how the design sets the project at an award winning level.
Click here to see our AHEAD Checklist, which guides you through the entry process.
Hotel projects completed between September 2017 – August 2018 are eligible for entry to AHEAD Asia 2019.
A hotel is defined as a commercial building, or combination of buildings, primarily dedicated to the provision of lodging / accommodation. Please note privately owned accommodations exclusively rented out for lodging via peer-to-peer sites such as Airbnb are not eligible for AHEAD.
AHEAD is unique in its celebration of the key collaborators in hotel projects: the developer / investor; operator; architect and interior designer.
Anyone can enter an award, but we recommend that the designers / architects responsible for the hotel compile the entry.
Hotel owners, operators, developers, investors, PRs and other representatives are encouraged to co-ordinate entries for the hotels they represent with the relevant designers/architects.
Further guidance on specific criteria for individual categories is given here and during the entry process.
Entry costs for AHEAD Asia are £250 per entry.
Photography should clearly show the design and / or architecture of the area of the property relevant to the category in which it is entered
If entering more than one category please submit different photographs that reflect the category you are entering.
Before and after photos, CGIs and renderings, floor plans and / or CAD drawings can be included as supporting material where relevant.
Please do not submit CGIs / renderings in place of actual photography
Please try and avoid use of advertising or marketing photographs e.g. posed models, elaborate table settings etc.
Please ensure that you have the appropriate copyright clearances for all photography submitted (see terms and conditions)