2023 Judging

As part of AHEAD Global 2023, judges from all four regions will join forces for a weekend at Horwood House in Oxfordshire, where they will determine this year's worldwide winners.

The panel will decide the Top 10 best-of-the-best from this year's entries, before selecting the winner of the Ultimate Accolade, announced on 7th December.

Adriana Marianella

Chief Development Officer - CultureWorks

Adriana is the Chief Development Officer for CultureWorks, the parent company for NeueHouse and Fotografiska where she oversees the brands’ global expansion and design development in new markets throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Adriana was previously VP of Brand Development & Experiential for Standard International, having commenced her 11-year tenure with the company as Chief of Staff to André Balazs. She is also a Board Director for Altos Planos, the parent company behind renown B-Corp sustainable tequila, Mijenta, and Tres Tribus mezcal.

Philanthropically, Adriana is a longstanding UNICEF NextGen board member, specifically dedicated to addressing clean water initiatives through leadership of the UNICEF Tap Project, and is a founding board member of Chefs for Impact. Academically, Adriana holds a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University, and she is a visiting guest lecturer at SciencesPo in Paris and at Parsons in New York.

Adrian Battisby

LW Design

Andrew Moore

President (MENA) - HBA

Audra Tuskes

VP Global Design Strategies – Marriott International

A design professional focused on hospitality & lifestyle development, Audra is responsible for reimagining the physical environment for NeueHouse. With locations in New York & Los Angeles, NeueHouse will continue to expand across North America. Audra has been the Vice President of Design & Creative Director for The Lightstone Group, overseeing design & brand experience for their lifestyle projects.

Audra concurrently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Hospitality Design Magazine. With 20+ years of experience in the field, Audra's past positions include Vice President of Design for Commune Hotels, Director of Design for Starwood Hotels & Associate Design Professor at Pratt Institute. Audra holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.

Christine McGinnis

Design Director – WAVE design consultants

Christine McGinnis is a Design Director with over twenty three years of global design experience, specialising in hospitality design. Prior to joining WAVE, Christine has held multiple leadership roles within the industry and most recently was the Vice President of Property Development - Asia TSA & Design for Standard International where she was responsible for the design strategy and overall technical excellence of Standard International’s projects within the Asia Pacific region.

Prior to joining Standard International, she was an Associate Vice President at WATG leading projects such as: Aloft Seminyak, Four Seasons Hanoi F&B Strategy and Interiors, Belmond Eastern & Oriental Presidential Suites & Spa, Marriott Kolkata, Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay, and Swissotel Xiangtan.

While Managing Director of AvroKO, Christine founded the Bangkok office and was responsible for the development, strategic and overall performance of AvroKO projects within the Asia Pacific region.

Prior to joining AvroKO, she was with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. where she began as a member of the Westin design team, translating new brand positioning around “Renewal” into memorable design expressions and global guidelines. Christine progressed to guide the design efforts in the launch of Starwood’s first eco-friendly brand Element Hotels.

She shaped the creative direction for both Aloft and Element Hotels. Rounding out her tenure at Starwood, she returned to the Global Brand Design group providing direction for luxury brands St. Regis and The Luxury Collection.

Christopher Webb

Vice President - Architecture, Design and Construction, Hilton Worldwide

Dieter Schoellnberger

SVP, Design & Construction - CTF Development

Firas Alsahin

Co-Founder & Design Director - 4SPACE

Firas Alsahin is the Co-Founder and Design Director of 4SPACE; a dynamic, multi-talented, multi-award-winning design studio delivering high-end architectural and interior design services across the Middle East. Recognised as one of the finest interior design companies in the region, the company prides itself on blending light and space with delicate, well-considered features to create memorable and unique aesthetics.

Firas adeptly leads the design divisions at 4SPACE and takes it beyond imaginable boundaries. His extraordinary international experience encourages the team to explore different shapes and forms to create unique spaces that incorporate feasibility, efficiency, and originality. He keenly maintains a hands-on approach that allows him to meticulously manage every phase of the design process, including 3D modelling, design development and site supervision.

As Co-Founder of 4SPACE, Firas has never stopped achieving his goals. His passion for design resonates throughout his projects, particularly in the food and beverage, retail and hospitality sectors. By providing motivation and dedication, Firas has managed 4SPACE to withstand any challenges that come its way and perfect a work-life balance. His design finesse embraces futuristic, minimalist, functional and sustainable design. Firas is well regarded in the industry and has an active voice on various discussion platforms in the Middle East; he is tech-savvy, impressively creative and a respected global industry influencer. His innovative thought processes and supportive approach inspires his team to create distinctive designs using the highest quality materials.

Federico Toresi

Senior Director Interior Design, Luxury Brands - AccorHotels

Gray Davis

Gray Davis is co-founder of Meyer Davis, an award-winning interior design studio that has been globally-recognized for its work in hospitality, commercial, and luxury residential design. With offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Dubai, Meyer Davis’ public projects boast a welcoming, residential quality, and the studio’s residential projects offer a generous warmth and comfort that only seasoned hospitality designers could fashion. It is this harmonious marriage of seemingly disparate elements – public and private, old and new, uptown and downtown – that is quintessentially Meyer Davis. The studio has completed projects worldwide for unrivaled luxury brands such as 1Hotel, Crown Hotels, Four Seasons and Auberge Resorts, in addition to restaurants and retail projects for the likes of Jean Georges, and Oscar de la Renta, and private residences for luminaries like Jenna Lyons and Jorge Perez. Meyer Davis was honored in 2018 with induction into the Hospitality Design Platinum Circle, and has been recognized by AHEAD Awards for its work on Mauna Lani in Hawaii. Gray and co-founder Will Meyer debuted their eponymous product company – William Gray – in 2020.

Gary Dollens

Gary Dollens was appointed Global Head Design/Product and Brand Development for Hyatt’s Global Operations Center in October 2014. He is responsible for the direction and execution of Hyatt’s global design, overseeing Design Service offices in Chicago, Zurich, Dubai and Hong Kong. Most recently, Dollens served as Senior Vice President of Product and Brand Development focusing on Global Product Strategy. He has also held the role of Global Head - Franchise and Select Brands which included responsibility for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, as well as Franchise and Owners Relations. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of North America Operations, with oversight of Corporate Operations (Rooms, Food & Beverage, Engineering, and Spa), as well as Architecture & Design. Dollens began his career with Hyatt in Oak Brook, IL. In 1988, after holding a variety of management positionsat Hyatt properties including Dearborn, Columbus, Lake Tahoe, Memphis, San Francisco, and Waikiki,

Dollens was appointed hotel manager of Hyatt Regency Atlanta. In 1989, he was named General Manager of Hyatt Regency St.Louis, and later served in the same role at Grand Hyatt New York and Hyatt Regency Washington Capitol Hill. Following histenure as Vice President and Managing Director for Grand Hyatt

New York, Dollens joined Hyatt’s corporate office in Chicago as Vice President North America Operations in 2004. Dollens attended Western Illinois University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts Studies.

Hemanshu 'HP' Parwani

CEO - Olson Kundig

Iain Ainsworth

Founder - The Aficionados

London-based Iain Ainsworth is the founder and creator of The Aficionados - a highly sought travel reference for those who seek fabulous hotels that fuse effortless luxe, sound design and authenticity.

The Aficionados feature some 90+ European hotels, private-hire design houses and creatively inspired guesthouses alongside a rafter of more than 100 makers, producing an emporium of online travel culture and lifestyle. The company also publishes four style-led magazines: Blueprint Beauts, Farmhouse Fabulous, Casa Gorgeous and Neu Heritage.

Before setting up his company, Iain spent four years on a non-stop travel hike as Executive Vice President at Design Hotels AG, whereby his passion for architecture and hotel interiors flourished. Previously he enjoyed the high life at the French Taittinger group as regional Marketing & Sales Director - Concorde Hotels & Resorts for Hotel de Crillon Paris and the Martinez Cannes. Iain also lived in Berlin for ten years, moving there just after the Berlin wall fell. He worked for several years in publishing before returning to the hotel world and Kempinski Hotels as Director of Sales & Marketing, including the pre-opening of Hotel Adlon Berlin.

Iain is an enthusiastic entrepreneur with some 26 years of hotel marketing & brand experience, a keen lover of local hero concept hotels that are crafted, ooze personality, have a soul and were simply cast just for their neighbourhood.

Jese Medina-Suarez

Creative Director & Principal, EMEA - Campbell House

Jese has developed an expertise on hospitality and F&B design, but his experience stretches across multiple sectors such as aviation, residential, retail and workplace projects. During the last 15 years, Jese has been based in the cities of London, Paris, Milan, Singapore & Melbourne where he has worked on projects in all 5 the inhabited continents, and has explored the ever blurrier boundaries between the hospitality world and other design sectors.

He has worked for a number of high-profile clients and brands such as Four Seasons, St Regis, Conrad, Jumeirah, British Airways and Hakkasan to mention a few. He has worldwide experience across all aspects of interior projects, from concept design through to final construction; however, his distinctive approach hinges on his expertise on the meaning of ‘brand’ in architecture and interiors, bringing forefront brand strategy and powerful storytelling to the very core of the design process in multiple projects.

Jonathan Ashmore

Jonny Sin

Board Director - ReardonSmith Architects

Jonny Sin is a Board Director of ReardonSmith Architects and has extensive experience in the delivery of luxury hotel developments. He joined RSA in 2011, and his leadership qualities, collaborative instinct and committed work ethic have ensured his swift promotion to board director.

Jonny is highly skilled in taking both new-build and refurbishment projects all the way from early inception to completion and his experience in the hospitality sector ranges from Grade II Listed heritage projects to high-rise developments. One of his projects, The Beaumont in Mayfair, London was awarded “Best Hotel in the World” upon its opening in 2014. During this project, Jonny worked closely with noted British artist Sir Antony Gormley bringing together art and architecture in a unique way. Most recently, he has acted as Hotel Operational Planning Consultant for Zaha Hadid Architects and is currently undertaking a similar role on an exciting new hotel development in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Jonny is also leading the architectural and design team on one of London’s most prestigious hotel schemes; the renovation of The Dorchester, the first phase of which is due to complete in Q4 2022.

ReardonSmith Architects was founded in 1988 to provide a specialised architectural service dedicated to the hotel and hospitality industry in all its forms and is today an award-winning global leader in international hotel and resort design. The RIBA and CIAT Chartered Practice has an unrivalled track record in the restoration of luxury hotels in London and major European cities, an enviable reputation for the design of new destinations in Europe and the widest experience of hotel architecture across the entire spectrum of new-build and existing estates. The company’s achievement stems from a profound understanding of hotels – as an asset, an operation and as a guest experience.

Karen Hay

Founder & Creative Director - IN-dulge

With 25 years of solid design experience in the design industry, covering UK, Asia and the Middle East, Karen was formerly the co-founder and Director of Stickman Tribe Ltd, a Dubai and Hong Kong based design firm. In 2016 she established her own design clan IN-dulge in Hong Kong, with a cutting edge focus on luxury Interiors for Hospitality, working with many of the world’s leading hospitality and leisure hotels and resorts.

Harnessing her Scottish heritage, international experience, entrepreneurial spark and keen sense of sustainability, combined with a few years working in a reparatory theatre designing, building and painting sets. Today, she remains hands on and her theatrical story-telling flair certainly shines through her projects.

Recognised for her successful, and award winning projects Karen is regularly invited as a guest speaker at industry conferences throughout Asia, including talks to several of the hotels’ operation teams on F&B trends and strategies.

Kristina Zanic

Founder - Kristina Zanic Design

Lisa Pasternack

Senior Director, Interior Designer - Four Seasons

As Senior Director, Design + Innovation, Lisa provides design oversight for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts across all new builds and capital projects and is responsible for guiding and supporting the Global Design + Innovation teams based in Toronto, Dubai, and Singapore. In conjunction with Four Seasons internal teams and project consultants, Lisa works with the team to establish the appropriate design language for each project, focused on conveying the Four Seasons commitment to quality and luxury. With a keen eye for design and details, Lisa is also constantly on the lookout for new and emerging design talents who can help bring these projects to life.

Over Lisa’s 24 years with Four Seasons, she has led the design and construction of several properties, gaining valuable insight into the world of new builds and renovations, and has been instrumental in keeping the Design Standards current for over a decade. Lisa managed the design and construction of the Four Seasons R&D Studio based in Toronto, is involved in several new initiatives both within the Design + Innovation department and company-wide and has advanced improvements to our Fitness Facilities. Her knowledge of luxury hospitality and her attention to detail are valuable assets in her drive towards product excellence.

Mark Eacott

Global VP, Design (Ennismore) - Accor

Mark joined Ennismore in 2018 from Los Angeles as part of the Accor acquisition of the SBE Lifestyle Brands. Bringing with it his in-depth knowledge of the SLS, Mondrian, HYDE, and Delano legacy brands, Mark was part of a small team based out of Singapore, instrumental in the growth of Ennismore in Asia-Pacific.

Now under a global role from Dubai, Mark co-leads the Ennismore Global Design Team with Charlie North. Working as a ‘hand-to-glove’ link between the Ennismore brands and regional design teams, Mark is responsible for high-level design direction along with defining the design and product strategy for Ennismore brands, ensuring they remain future-proofed and true to their unique brand DNA and purpose.

Prior to Ennismore, Mark spent more than 19 years working in London, New York and Shanghai, training under renowned architects, designers, and hospitality groups such as Soho House, OMA, Richard Rogers, Softroom, HBA and Philippe Starck’s YOO.

Markus Schreyer

Vice President, The Americas - Design Hotels

Markus Schreyer is part of the senior leadership team at Design Hotels, a handpicked collection of over 300 design-driven luxury hotels across the globe. As Vice President, The Americas, he is responsible for developing the collection’s hotel portfolio, the business support of all member hotels, media and other potential partners, as well as expanding and building brand awareness and reach in North and South America.

Schreyer holds over 15 years of experience in global hospitality, including seven with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where he held several senior roles in Sales & Marketing. Before joining Design Hotels he was the Starwood’s Regional Director of Marketing, East & Central Europe, responsible for brand, digital, Loyalty and partnership marketing. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a PHD in Innovation Management, and is a regular contributor to industry and innovation publications.

Piya Thamchariyawat

Senior Creative Director / Principal - EDG

Rob Steul

Creative Director - Edwardian Hotels

Rob has practiced architecture for over 30 years working around the world on hotel, resort and branded residential design projects.

Having just completed The Londoner for Edwardian Hotels in London’s Leicester Square, Rob led the design from inception through planning permission and detail design while collaborating with Woods Bagot Architects, interior designers Yabu Pushelberg, and Arup engineers. This follows several London hotels where he was lead designer: Four Seasons at 10 Trinity Square, Firmdale's Ham Yard Hotel, Eccleston Square Hotel and various properties for Edwardian Hotels including the group's May Fair Hotel and newly refurbished Edwardian Manchester hotel.

His design approach – understand the brief and what the client goals are, then begin with the spatial design and the way people move through and interact with the space.

Rob continues to work with Edwardian Hotels, where he is Creative Director, as well as being a founding partner in Steul+Thompson Architects.

Ria Vogiatzi

Co-Founder, Elastic Architects and Interiors

Ria Vogiatzi was born in Athens, Greece and completed her studies in the Architecture school of the National Technical University of Athens.

The sculptural approach of her design, deconstruction of fluid forms, was the inspiration for the name of the architectural studio, ELASTIC Architects, founded in 2005 together with Architect Alexandros Xenos, which is now an international architectural brand with a global portfolio that includes mainly hotel and mixed-use resort projects, with a clientele of Aman Resorts, Janu by Aman, One & Only Resorts, Marriott, Accor, Nammos Restaurants & Hotels, Nobu, Hyatt, The Edition, Brown Hotels, Banyan Tree Resorts etc.

Fortune magazine recognised her as a Trailblazer for her avant-garde design, she was awarded the World Woman Leader of Advanced Architecture by the Who is Who International Awards, and has been announced as Ambassador of Advanced Architecture.

Her projects have received multiple awards in America, Europe and England, and she has given important speeches on architecture, both in Greece and abroad.

Rune Askevold

President, Management Board - PURO Hotels

Rune Askevold is the Co-Founder and CEO of PURO Hotels. The group opened their first hotel in 2011 and currently have 7 hotels in prime locations in the major cities of Poland. Work has begun on a new hotel in Budapest which is set to open in 2024, heralding a wider European expansion programme. A further two new hotels in Warsaw are also expected to open in 2024.

With a strong passion for craftsmanship and design, Rune is deeply involved in the creative direction of PURO and leads the creative team. Working closely with the finest international interior design studios has led to the creation of unique and refined experiences of contemporary luxury. The commissioning of local artists and designers results in an authentic and crafted ambiance in tune with the neighbourhood of each hotel.

Rune is Norwegian and PURO Hotels has a strong sense of the Scandinavian spirit of ‘hygge’ in the way the hotels are run, their strong sense of local connection and their creative path.

PURO Hotels have been frequently shortlisted in Sleeper magazine’s AHEAD Awards, winning at AHEAD Europe in 2019.

Sameer Grover

Technical Services Lead (Rove Hotels) - Emaar Hospitality Group

Sam Hall

Director, Interior Design (Europe) - InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

With a career spanning over 25 years, Sam is an experienced interior designer with a passion for the hospitality industry and has established herself as a prominent figure in the field. Sam joined the InterContinental Hotel Group at the beginning of the year and brings a wealth of expertise and creativity to craft remarkable hotel interiors.

Throughout her career, Sam has collaborated with various hotel owners and operators, contributing to the transformation of numerous properties. Notably, she spent a decade at G.A Design, one of the industry’s foremost international hospitality design consultancies. During this time, she honed her skills and played a pivotal role in delivering exceptional design solutions for prestigious hotels worldwide.

With an impressive portfolio of successful projects and a commitment to excellence, Sam continues to shape the world of hospitality design, creating unforgettable spaces that leave a lasting impression on guests and clients alike.

Stephen Luk

Regional Vice President Design Services - Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Mr Stephen Luk is the Regional Vice President of Design Services for Hyatt’s ASPAC region. He is also specifically supporting the ever expanding Hyatt development in the Greater China portfolio and heading up the Design Services team in Shanghai China. He and his team steer the design and brand concept, hotel planning and development, and hotel opening across all Hyatt brands in the region. The goal is to ensure that, through a collaborative and inclusive process, realize brand focused, creative, and economic design solutions that enhance preference for our guests, our owner developers, and our colleagues and associates.

Stephen has been focusing on Greater China and Asia’s hospitality design development since 2011. He has also spent 13 years practicing in both hospitality Architecture and Interior Design in New York City. He obtained his Master degree from Columbia University in NYC and Bachelor degree from University of Melbourne.

Tatiana Sheveleva

Co-Founder & Partner - Chapi Chapo Design

Born and raised in Kazakhstan, Tatiana Sheveleva is Co-Founder and Partner of Chapi Chapo Design, one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design firms, along with her partners Boris Mathias and Loris Ognibene. After leaving her homeland to pursue education in the United States, Tatiana followed her ambitions to Canada where she immigrated in 2003.

Throughout her distinguished career as an international designer she has lead large-scale projects with the world’s most renowned five-star luxury hotel companies including Four Seasons, St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Aman, Park Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Baccarat and more. A creator of experiences, Sheveleva believes that every new project is an invitation to embark on an immersive journey through storytelling. Her work tells evocative stories honouring the culture of each location and the people who call it home. Crediting inspiration from her heritage, Tatiana invokes a uniquely luxurious, crafty, and sharp approach. Her work transcends expectations and challenges convention resulting in timeless spaces that leave a lasting impression.

Most recently she designed The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City (Opened October 2021) and two upcoming St. Regis Resorts in Riviera Maya, Mexico and Cap Cana, Dominican Republic (Opening in 2023 and 2024).

Tatoum Athanassiou

Director Interior Design - Marriott International

Ms. Tatoum Athanassiou joined Marriott International in 2014 and serves as Director of Interior Design for Global Design Middle East Africa. With 20+ years of experience in the hospitality and leisure industry, Tatoum has an extensive wealth of knowledge on the requirements and standards of international hotel design and operations. Her exposure to various cultures has been manifested through an international career spanning across Europe, America, Middle East and Africa, where she has worked on a variety of hospitality, mixed-use, and luxury residential projects.

In her current capacity at Marriott International, Tatoum oversees interior design decisions throughout Middle East and Africa for new-build projects and renovations across all brands, utilizing strong leadership and negotiation abilities that enable her to manage projects successfully from inception to completion. She employs a resourceful and proactive approach to design problem-solving, and ultimately understands the importance of retaining a positive rapport among key stakeholders such as GM’s, project designers, and owners, ensuring her strong passion for forward-thinking design and keen eye for detail is executed, which ultimately results in a unique guest experience for each project.

Toni Black

Director, Interior Design - Blacksheep

Toni Black is an interior designer with experience heading large scale project in the middle east, Africa and Europe for over 18+ years. She began her design carer as a lighting design consultant working on iconic buildings and redevelopment projects for award winning practices then moving into interior design.

Toni's previous projects range from bespoke private residencies and palaces, shopping centres including hospitality developments of circa 150million GDV, and large airports developments.

Toni has a great understanding of space enabling her to create and re-invent exquisite balanced interiors. She has worked with clients such as; Marriott Courtyard, Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection, Fairmont, Sheraton, The Ritz Carlton, Le Meridian, Hilton, Park Inn, Burberry, Dubai & Jeddah International Airport.