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.
Guy Heywood’s career spans two continents over ten years, and in his role of Chief Operating Officer at the Alila corporate office, he brings a wealth of operational experience along with an innate knowledge of luxury services.
Besides strengthening the operational components of the business, Heywood enforces the brand promise and service delivery to ensure the business performance of each Alila hotel with good asset management practices.
Prior to Alila, Heywood worked with Aman Rsorts in various regional capacities, before joining Australia’s Voyages Hotels and Resorts to manage the brand’s top eight signature properties. His credentials also include a tenure as Head of Operations for Firstlight International in Australia.
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 and lifestyle development across the portfolio at Hong Kong based Galaxy Entertainment Group, whose footprint spans Macau to Monaco and into Las Vegas through stakes in other premium developer/operators such as Wynn Resorts and royally associated Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM), as well as active projects in Japan and the Philippines.
He has 25+ years of international hospitality leadership experience, from a dozen significant hotel pre-openings and a slew of hotel and entertainment development deals, since graduating from Swiss Hotel Association and Le Cordon Bleu colleges. He has a Masters Degree from Oxford Brookes University Business School, and has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality.
His background includes high profile and award-winning openings from small luxury and lifestyle hotels to mega integrated resorts with the likes of Peninsula Hotels; Four Seasons; Fairmont; Las Vegas Sands’s The Venetian® and Paiza; Design Hotels; Starwood; IHG; and Hilton's largest Conrad Hotel; before Asset Management roles overseeing Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, Banyan Tree, and Okura hotels for Galaxy.
At the helm of The Mira Hong Kong, the city's then first member of Design Hotels, his term saw the team at the hotel receive a host of accolades in its opening year from Time Out Magazine's Best New Hotel, to a top billing in Travel+Leisure's online Destination Guide and even a spot on Conde Nast Traveller's Hot List. He went on to open and lead Conrad Macao to over 30 awards in its first 22 months, before it earned a Forbes 5 Star rating.
Recognised for his passionate pioneering of unique operating solutions and service experiences at complex and unconventional properties, culture building and leadership; he has appeared in National Geographic's specials on opening of The World’s Largest Casino in Macau, 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.
Catherine Martin is Editor of Sleeper, the leading magazine for hotel design, development and architecture.
With a degree in journalism and a passion for travel and design, Martin joined Mondiale Publishing in 2007, starting as Editorial Assistant before progressing through the ranks to Editor. In her current role, she manages the day-to-day running of Sleeper and its affiliated website (www.sleepermagazine.com), guiding the editorial content and creative identity. She also finds time to review some of the most exciting hotel developments worldwide and interview those who designed them.
In recent years, Martin has led a major re-brand of Sleeper – the results of which were unveiled in 2014 – and moderated panel discussions at a number of international trade exhibitions and hotel investment conferences. She also supports Sleeper’s portfolio of events including Sleepover and the AHEAD Awards.
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.
A graduate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, with over 25 years experience in luxury hospitality, residential and commercial interior design, Ng founded AB Concept in 1999 with Terence Ngan.
AB Concept combines architectural precision with bespoke craftsmanship to create projects of enduring quality for developers, luxury hotel companies, restaurateurs and individuals. Clients include Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Rosewood Hotels, Mandarin Oriental and W Hotels, as well as select restaurateurs and residence from Hong Kong to Cote d’Azur.
Ng is an active participant in numerous international design forums and, as Vice President of the APHDA at Tsinghua University, a passionate advocate for developing and supporting design talent in China.
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)
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Our portfolio comprises a beautifully presented magazine, an affiliated website and regular email newsletters, as well as industry-leading events including AHEAD, the awards for hospitality experience and design. Sleeper is also the organiser of Sleepover, a networking event for hotel innovators hosted in a different city each year, and has recently launched a sister publication – Supper– focusing on global hotel F&B.
Sleeper is the only media brand to reach all the individuals and disciplines throughout the supply chain involved in the delivery of new hotel projects worldwide. As such, it is the perfect partner for brands looking to target the multi-billion pound hotel sector with design-led products and services.Visit site
GROHE products can be found in iconic hotel developments all over the world. Thanks to unique versatility in design and functionality, innovative technology and endless possible applications, GROHE products are perfectly placed to meet the rigorous demands of the hospitality sector.
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The Definitive Source for Site, Garden, and Casual Furnishings ®
An industry leader in design-driven furnishings for more than 35 years, JANUS et Cie serves hospitality, contract and residential clients with a dedicated focus on outstanding quality, superior craftsmanship and unparalleled service. In the years since the company's founding in 1978, CEO Janice Feldman and her exceptional team have transformed JANUS et Cie from a single showroom in Los Angeles to a comprehensive global design resource with sixteen flagship showrooms throughout North America and in Singapore and Sydney, as well as field offices and select dealers throughout the world.
The company's namesake—the Roman god JANUS, whose two faces look both forward and back—is the foundation of a unified mission rooted in tradition, heritage and craft, yet equally dedicated to innovative materials and progressive engineering. This inspired long-term view is realized through the lens of a unique corporate culture that encourages curiosity, creativity and collaboration in the pursuit of excellence.
JANUS et Cie offers a diverse catalog of over 6,000 pieces—each design remarkably distinguished in concept and form. Acclaimed by the most discriminating designers, architects and juried competitions, this powerful body of work has inspired for decades a demand for beautifully imagined casual furnishings to be used both indoors and out, and has influenced an entire industry in the process.Visit site
As a leading international manufacturer of high-quality shower surfaces, bathtubs and washbasins made of superior steel enamel, Kaldewei is represented in more than 80 countries including 12 subsidiaries in Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Southeast Asia, Spain, the UK and the USA. Project decision-makers and private builders throughout the world appreciate the many advantages offered by superior Kaldewei steel enamel which is used in numerous top-class hotels.Visit site
The Laufen Bathrooms AG is a Swiss company specialising in premium complete bathroom solutions. Established in 1892 in Laufen/Switzerland, it operates internationally manufacturing bathroom ceramics and faucets and distributing bathroom furniture, accessories for the bathroom, bathtubs and shower trays.
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Furthermore the bathroom specialist has solutions and modern materials at its disposal to realise the made-to-measure bathroom. For example to fulfill the exacting requirements of architects, planners and engineers who design high-quality private residences as well as public and semi-public buildings, such as hotels.Visit site
Restoration Hardware Contract has a unique position in the hospitality, commercial and residential sectors. We offer the broadest range of product categories, and our culture of innovation, superior product development capabilities, in-house interior design services, integrated supply chain and significant purchasing scale enables us to offer an unmatched combination of design, quality and value to our business customers.Visit site
Roca is a company engaged in the design, production and commercialisation of products for the bathroom space, as well as ceramic floor and wall tiles for architecture, building and interior design. Its origins date from 1917, when the Roca family started building their first production plant in Gavà (Barcelona). In the centenary of its establishment, the company employs over 22,600 workers and has 78 production plants, with presence in more than 170 markets in five continents.
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