AHEAD Europe is judged by an independent panel of experts, comprising leading hospitality architects, designers, owners, operators, developers and industry commentators
The judging process for AHEAD Europe has been carefully developed to ensure a rigorous, robust and balanced procedure is followed to select the final winners in each category.
Stuart manages the London development office for American hotel developer and operator the Sydell Group and was responsible for delivering the Ned in partnership with Soho House & Co. The Ned won 4 AHEAD awards in 2017 including the top accolade of best hotel. Sydell are currently developing the first NoMad hotel outside of the USA in Covent Garden and are actively looking for further opportunities and collaborations in London and Europe.
For nearly 25 years Stuart has held hospitality design and development management positions including for Hilton and Champneys as well as working on high quality residential and a holiday residence resort for a private estate in Suffolk.
Stuart’s broad experience of hospitality design and development allows him to examine not only the aesthetics of the design of hotel spaces but also to consider how a design works for operational function and efficiency and most importantly for the comfort and enjoyment of the hotel’s guests.
Joining the judging panel for 2019 Stuart is excited to be seeing, experiencing and debating the merits of each of the entries this year.
Alba Biedermann joined Design Hotels™ to manage the curation and qualitative growth of the member portfolio in EMEA.
She believes in visionaries with an imaginative spirit who dare to seek the unexpected and create original experiences for the traveler of tomorrow. Her multidisciplinary background and intuitive sense for aesthetics, culture and branding in the digital and physical space, let her shape the collection of Design Hotels™ members – and contribute to the strategic development and further evolution of the brand.
Previously, she has spent six years successfully contributing to developing a digital lifestyle agency in London and Germany where she worked with prestigious clients like Net-a-Porter, Alexander McQueen and Made.com.
As an Alumni of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Biedermann has a solid understanding of the hospitality industry. Her curiosity for the lifestyle sector and appreciation for sophisticated design led to a Masters in Fashion & Luxury Brand Management at Istituto Marangoni in London as well as Interior Design courses at Central Saint Martin.
Linda Boronkay was Design Director for Soho House responsible for UK, Europe & Asia regions. She was the winner of Britain's Best Emerging Interior Design Award while still at university and since then she has worked for some of the world's top design firms such as Tom Dixon, Martin Brudnizki, global studio Woods Bagot and Tara Bernerd & Partners.
She benefits from a distinctive and varied professional background that comes from working for some of the world’s leading hospitality companies such as Soho House & Co., Caprice Holdings, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Capital, The Morgans Hotel Group, The Howard Hughes Co., Virgin Hotels, Nobu and also from having created custom residences for high-profile private clients in 4 continents over 10 countries.
Geraldine Dohogne is a concept designer by passion, whose love for creating unique spaces has grown over the years. Involved in every phase of a new hotel project, she is in charge of conceptualizing, creating environments and bringing them to life.
Geraldine believes in the power of beautiful interiors to transform daily life. Her interiors are designed to be intimate. It is all about instinct and emotions. For this, she always aims to understand the history of the location, spending time in the country and meeting locals. Respectful of the culture and traditions of the area, the designs of her spaces are the result of intense sourcing (magnificent local materials, antique furniture, crafts and natural fabrics).
She prides herself on her attention to detail, her obsession with quality and her love for the designs of local craftspeople. The search for timeless minimalism and apparent simplicity are central to her work, as is the love of tactile and raw materials.
Fascinated by the soul of buildings from an early age, Nathan’s lifelong love of architecture, art, travel and adventure has inspired an approach to design that develops meaning through layering and a belief that thoughtfully crafted spaces help us to engage and connect with our environment. Nathan believes in quiet luxury with its sustainable and ageless quality, authentic values and power of discovery which stimulate, comfort and delight, and he is exacting in his pursuit of this in all his work.
Dennis is a Director at Richmond International, passionate about all things design, ensuring integrity, honesty and inherent design flair in all his projects. Prior to joining Richmond International, Dennis founded and led Dennis Irvine Studio delivering worldwide luxury projects ranging from wellness SPA’s, private residences, super yachts to restaurants and hotels for prestigious operators both renowned and independent. Clients have included Marriott Luxury Collection, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, The Dorchester Collection and Waldorf Astoria Hotels.
Dennis previously worked for several renowned London design studios and worked on prestigious and unique projects to hone his design skills, spearheading international projects from concept to completion.
Through global travel and engaging in multiple luxury commissions, Dennis has gained a wealth of design experience. Exposure to various cultures and collaborations has enriched his design aesthetic. His innate ability to respect and refine the client’s vision informs the studios ethos and principles.
Dennis has previously won an AHEAD Europe award and was listed in House and Garden’s ‘Leading 100 Interior Designers’ and Country & Townhouse ‘Finest 50 Interior Designers’. He often speaks at major industry events and his work is regularly published in Sleeper, Forbes, AD, Robb Report, Hospitality Design & House & Garden.
Our studio Chzon was founded by Dorothee Meilichzon in Paris, 10 years ago.
Graduated in industrial design, Dorothee is committed to building concepts and writing new stories for each project. The studio is very attached to the historical context of the building, the shape of the space, details, anecdotes, that every new site is offering. Thereby every project is unique and situated in its context.
Linked to industrial design, and to the global experience of customers, Dorothee and her team draw every aspects of the interior design: the furniture, frescos, lamps, patterns and have those made by her precious artisans. She also lead the choice of dinnerware, staff clothing, graphic design of logos and menus.
The studio has worked on over 50 projects: bars, hotels, restaurants in Paris, London, New York, Venice, Cannes, Monaco, Menorca and Ibiza.
Elodie brings to Accor over 18 years of hospitality experience with her demonstrated background in interior design and architecture, with a passion for luxury and lifestyle. Since she joined Accor Luxe team, she oversees all design and project development with over 15 brands, shaping international luxury, lifestyle, and full service hotels for a wide range of owners and developers.
Most recently as Area Director Design, Construction & Technical Services with the Radisson Hotel Group in Paris she was responsible for the whole repositioning of existing properties and technical pipeline in Western Europe. Graduated from Camondo Design School, Paris, she started her international career as Interior Design Director in Prague. Back in Paris, she led complex hospitality projects with design Studio Francois Champsaur, further with Elliott Barnes Interiors, with a constant search for excellence. Through close collaboration with luxury hospitality brands, she has helped to deliver signature projects in the Western Europe and North West Africa region.
With a 360° approach on design, guest experience, sustainability, Elodie was rewarded for creative campaigns joining design journey and brand positioning.
Her vision is constantly seeking to deliver outstanding tailor made experiences and genuine emotion to the Guest.
Ana has been involved in the development of hospitality projects for more than 15 years on projects within Europe and Africa.
At Marriott International, Ana leads the team that oversees the new developments and design work in Marriot's properties in Southern Europe.
Her focus is on upper and upper upscale properties with a range of brands that includes Courtyard and millennial brand Moxy, core brands Marriott and Sheraton, to the personality-driven Autograph Collection.
As an Interior Design Director for Marriott over the last five years, Ana has had the opportunity to develop spaces that can give travellers at every level the unique experiences they didn’t even know they wanted.
Ana has a passion for traveling and, together with her work, has given me a true appreciation for the importance of cultural authenticity and thoughtful and innovative design.
Stefan Rier graduated in interior design from Centro Studi "AndreaPalladio", Verona, Italy, and in architecture from the Technical University Ferrara, Italy. He first worked as an architect and project leader with Arch.Demetz, then moved to Bergamo to work with Prof. Massimiliano Mandarini and finally in Milan with Matteo Thun. He received his professional qualification as an interior designer and architect from the Universita di Genova. Stefan has been focusing on a series of projects from sustainable housing to hotels, extending to interiors, landscaping and bespoke furniture design. He is now a member of the Architectural Chamber of Bozen/Bolzano.
Iain is a founding member of David Collins Studio. Over the course of three decades, he has helped to steer The Studio from its original incarnation – a staff of two, David and Iain, working from David’s living room – to a 60-strong globally-recognised brand and a leader in the design and delivery of architectural and interior design projects.
From the outset, Iain played a key role in establishing the foundations of The Studio. He brought commercial rigour to the mix, complementing David’s creative ideas and vision, while acting as the guardian of the David Collins Studio brand and helping to develop the three core strands of the business: hotels & restaurants, retail, and residential.
Under Iain’s stewardship, David Collins Studio has steadily expanded its scope and scale: from designing a single retail space, to overseeing the delivery of the Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo worldwide store roll-outs; from creating a destination restaurant like Pierre Koffmann’s La Tante Claire, to realising a 253-bedroom hotel in Seoul.
Throughout, Iain has never lost sight of The Studio’s guiding principles: creativity, craft, collaboration, and a near-obsessive attention to detail –
“I have always been passionate about protecting our Studio, playing a part in both its commercial and creative aspects,” he says. “Maintaining the Studio’s financial independence has enabled us to be strategic in our choices. We have always striven to take on creatively rewarding projects with clients who share our vision.”
Outside work, Iain’s great love is fashion, and his profound understanding of beautifully made objects has given him an innate understanding of the world of luxury –
“We’re in the business of delivering a feeling. We have always understood the importance of providing a series of touchpoints for people who move in the world of luxury. You might buy a handbag in Alexander McQueen, drink a cocktail at The Wolseley and then spend the night at The Apartment at The Connaught. As the David Collins Studio brand has evolved, we have created our own unique ecosystem within the world of luxury.”
For Iain, one of the most rewarding and compelling aspects of his work is being able to support exceptional artisans -
“We love working with talented people who are as passionate about creating beautiful things as we are. Now, as we look towards developing product ranges, this is even more relevant. It’s a very exciting time for David Collins Studio.”
Chris Webb leads Hilton’s Architecture and Design team across multiple offices, overseeing and guiding design projects across Hilton’s Europe, Middle East & Africa region. He has been designing and shaping international luxury, lifestyle, and full service hotels for a wide range of owners, developers, hospitality companies, celebrities and brands for over 20 years. Directing the design of all Hilton branded hotels in the region, he lead the design of the first Waldorf Astoria, as well as most recently the category defining Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre, Hilton’s first lifestyle hotel.
With nearly two decades of experience in executing hotel developments for several hotel chains in Europe, my passion for dining & nightlife was the prime unique selling point in recent years anchored to hotel brands in the upper lifestyle/luxury sector.
Having joined Benihana Q4 2019 (part of Minor International), I oversee the growth and operations for a group now in it’s 56th year of operations globally responsible for outside the US, Caribbean & South America.
To date, Benihana holdings has 19 locations across 12 countries with a solid growth trajectory of additional restaurants to openings in the next few years in Europe, Canada, Middle East & Asia.
The judges for AHEAD Europe are acknowledged industry leaders, who represent a wide spectrum of the disciplines involved in delivering new hotel projects across the region.
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 June 2019 – May 2020 are eligible for entry to AHEAD Europe 2020.
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.
Submissions for AHEAD Europe cost £250 (+ VAT) each.
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)
The brand Lasvit, founded in 2007 by Leon Jakimič, sheds new light on Bohemian glass and takes it into the next millennium. Lasvit combines the authenticity of glass craft with innovative technologies and creative craftsmanship. In a few short years, Lasvit has established itself as the authority delivering bespoke lighting sculptures and art installations made from hand-blown glass.
Collaborations with renowned designers and artists produce also unique glass collections. Nendo, Ross Lovegrove, Daniel Libeskind, Maarten Baas, Czech legends René Roubíček and Bořek Šípek are among those who choose Lasvit in order to embody their unconventional artistic vision, endow it with the precision and mastery of our glassmakers, and produce impressive creative oeuvre. This is a manifesto of Lasvit’s uncompromising mission: To transform glass into breathtaking light and design experiences.Visit site
TOPHOTELPROJECTS is the heart of a global community of suppliers and decision-makers which initiates and supports the communication relating to building, design, furnishing, and operation of hotels.
We are a German research firm covering global hotel constructions, that over a decade branched out into hospitality events, media, and hotel design.
No other company comes close in supporting the hotel industry by efficiently combining different business areas into one integrated solution.
Ever since the hotel industry veteran Rolf W. Schmidt founded the company in 2009, our core activity is building the world’s most comprehensive directory of:
We took the complex, ever-evolving global hospitality industry and introduced it to our German sense of efficiency and sheer hard work.
Our research team of some 25 experienced professionals spends 1,800 hours a month researching hotel projects around the world.
Our database has been 10 years in the making, during which we gathered information on over 24,000 hotel projects and 120,000 related companies. Currently, our database has information on more than 6,500 ongoing hotel projects worldwide – important details included.
TOPHOTELPROJECTS today represents an exhaustive, ever-growing network of professionals from all major sectors of the hospitality industry: owners, developers, investors, brands, operators, architects, designers, and suppliers.
In 2019, TOPHOTELPROJECTS and Sleeper Media signed a strategic partnership with mutual co-investment. This partnership combines digital expertise and in-depth data of TOPHOTELPROJECTS with Sleeper Media’s leading hospitality offerings. It is all about synergy and a win for all sectors of the industry.Visit site
KALDEWEI – your worldwide partner for iconic bathroom solutions shaped from superior steel enamel. KALDEWEI’s extensive range of bathtubs, shower surfaces, and washbasins are ideally suited to the demands of the hospitality industry delivering an increased level of health and wellbeing awareness for your hotel. The smooth, non-porous glass surface not only gives you security against germs and dirt but is also the material of the future. KALDEWEI steel enamel is made of 100% natural materials and is 100% recyclable, so it’s good for your guests and the planet too.
To learn more visit KALDEWEI.comVisit site
Founded in 1892 in Switzerland, LAUFEN has become one of the world's leading companies for sanitary ceramics. Today LAUFEN Bathrooms provided integrated bathroom concepts with high-quality products, ranging from sanitary ceramics to bathtubs and shower trays, furniture, faucets, and accessories.Visit site
Designing and manufacturing everything in bathrooms.
Roca began life as a family business manufacturing cast iron radiators at a factory in Gavà, near Barcelona in 1917. Over the years, the portfolio gradually expanded and by 1929, Roca entered the bathroom environment for the first time. With an attentive focus on social changes, Roca has since been pioneering when tackling issues surrounding sustainability, design, and technology, and remains at the forefront of these innovations today. Today, Roca reaches over 170 countries, supplied by 76 production plants with more than 20,000 employees worldwide. After one hundred years, Roca is still proud to call itself a family business.Visit site
Villeroy & Boch, formed in 1748, is a leading ceramics manufacturer steeped in European culture and history, and one of the biggest international premium brands in the areas of bathrooms and wellness.
Villeroy & Boch offers the finest and most innovative bathroom products and furnishing concepts for both private customers and property developers. The company is a pioneer in the realm of ceramic product design and innovation. Villeroy & Boch beautiful, high-quality products are hallmarks of French design flair and German engineering efficiency.Visit site
Interdecor Design, with over 20 years of experience, we are proud to be considered the leading 5-star international interiors contractor within Europe.
Garnering an undisputed reputation amongst clients for our manufacturing capability and skilled team, we offer products, with a commitment to style, quality and value, ensuring absolute client satisfaction.
Professionalism is ensured throughout all stages, with Interdecor assuming control of the project from initial site surveys to completion, providing value engineering advice, sample finishes, prototype rooms, achieving strict budget requirements, and meeting tough delivery schedules and completion dates for all our clients. Interdecor has undertaken complex projects often requiring hand finishing, inlay, and intricate carving. Our team uses the latest computer technology and has access to constant training programs. Considering our expertise, dedicated management team, and project managers, we can confidently guarantee all our clients will be completely satisfied with our performance across all project stages. Our primary objective is to provide interior designers, contractors, major international hotel operators, and private clients with the highest quality bespoke furniture, upholstery, architectural millwork, and complete interiors for bedrooms and public areas.Visit site
Close to you
As a global manufacturer of sanitary products and installation systems, “close to you” is our promise. We have been operating as an independent, family-run business in close proximity to people and the markets for over 30 years. Curiosity about our customers’ world leads us to develop well-thought-out products and services and will continue to drive our innovative approach forwards in the future. Innovation, design, and high-quality standards are our main drivers. Our system solutions combine permanently safe functions with a timeless design. This combination is representative of the driving force behind our company – making good products even better.
In front of and behind the wall. TECE’s areas of competence encompass outstanding sanitary design elements such as toilet flush plates including cisterns, prefabricated wall modules, a toilet with shower function, and elegant shower channels or shower profiles.
We support your international project activities by consulting you, providing the configuration of water supply systems, and preparing the accurate technical design of prefabricated wall modules. We assist you with the fulfillment of all relevant local regulations and environmental certification. You can rely on a fast, responsive, and reliable service.
Around 1’500 employees globally manufacture and serve clients – TECE products are available in more than 50 countries.Visit site
BECK was founded in 1994 to deliver world-leading interior fit-outs for the luxury, lifestyle, and museum sectors. We’re still privately owned and committed to producing world-class craftsmanship, whether on-site or in our bespoke in-house joinery facility.
We collaborate with architects and designers from our UK headquarters in Surrey, just outside central London, but our work takes us all over the world wherever clients demand outstanding interiors with unparalleled attention to detail.Visit site