07 March 2019, Singapore: AHEAD, the Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design, has revealed its Asia 2019 winners at the Andaz Hotel, Singapore.

AHEAD Awards founder Matt Turner commented: “We were delighted to celebrate the best new hotels from across the Asia-Pacific region at AHEAD Asia 2019. Our winners offered a reflection of the region’s rich cultural history and dynamic modernity. We were particularly honoured to acknowledge the legacy of architect Kerry Hill who passed away in 2018 with several awards for his final project – Amanyangyun Shanghai.”

The winners are as follows:

Bar, Club or Lounge

Bar Trigona at Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur


Designed by AB Concept, this highly decadent bar embraces its cityscape view whilst demonstrating meticulous attention to interior detail through the use of traditional materials and Malaysian craftwork. Judges said: “This is a really well-executed bar with exceptional attention to detail. A throwback to the Great Gatsby era.”

Event Spaces

InterContinental Perth City Centre


Offering a more relaxed and residential feel than many traditional event areas, EDG’s Design demonstrates an excellent use of space. Four purpose-built boardrooms are bathed in natural light with modest sizing, making this an ideal hub for local businesses – a frequent request in the event space sphere. The outdoor roof terrace offers a serene urban retreat.



Shanghai, China

Kerry Hill Architects has balanced minimalism with luxurious detail at Amanyangyun. Both modern and contemporary, judges gave recognition to its distinct ability to achieve a sense of equilibrium: “A very high-level design, where touch points are sophisticated yet discreet. Minimalism pushed to the extreme.”

Hotel Conversion


Shanghai, China

Kerry Hill Architects has converted these ancestral buildings to a majestic 21st-century hotel with utmost sensitivity. Contemporary touches such as monochrome surfaces and clean lines have been added – always accentuating, never overwhelming. Judges commented: “Great story, great heritage and sensitively created”.

Hotel Newbuild

Rosewood Phnom Penh


Designed by BAR Studio, this hotel exudes gimmick-free Cambodian beauty. Aspects of Khmer architecture meet French colonial heritage, with artisanal Cambodian craft techniques tying the styles together. The brand carries a sense of place philosophy which reflects the history, culture and sensibilities of the destination.

Hotel Renovation & Restoration

Eaton HK

Hong Kong

Inspired by the gritty and retro nostalgia of its neighbourhood, AvroKO Design has delivered an energising home to a myriad of art facilities including a rotating exhibition, photography studio and professional grade cinema.

Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces

Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat


Neri&Hu were tasked with creating a 20-room boutique hotel that incorporates several pre-existing buildings, providing them new functions. Their strategy was to tie the entire project together using beguiling walls and paths, which took inspiration from courtyard house typology of vernacular Chinese architecture. Judges praised its ‘labyrynthine’ quality.

Lobby & Public Spaces

The Middle House

Shanghai, China

The Middle House has achieved a balance between luxury and locality through the use of a seductive entrance tiled in emerald green Chinese ceramics, dominated by a 3,760-piece Venetian chandelier, which gives way to a room of neutral tones accentuated by sleek, bold lines.

Resort Hotel

Wild Coast Tented Lodge

Yala, Sri Lanka

Surrounded by dryland forests and a coastline overlooking the Indian Ocean, Nomadic Resorts has designed a truly intimate experience. Cocoon shaped tents resemble the boulders which are scattered around the area, whilst buildings made of bamboo blend into the distinct rock formations. The guest experience is heightened through proximity to the surrounding wildlife.


Yun House at Four Seasons Hotel

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Yun House tells a captivating story. A Canton master artist who moved to Malaysia to make his mark on the world is the muse for the design, which takes us on a tour of his home. Richly decorated with Chinese furnishings and embellished with Malaysian details, it pays homage to his multicultural background. Judges saw the work of AB Concept as “refreshing for a Chinese restaurant in Asia”.

Spa & Wellness

The Middle House

Shanghai, China

This underground urban spa is a striking diversion from the typical colour palette of wellness areas. Sultry graphite contrasts unconventionally yet tastefully around the illuminated blue water. Judges applauded Piero Lissoni’s “emphasis on light and shadow to create a poetic and serene space”.


Presidential Suite at The Westin Perth

Perth, Australia

This suite carefully reflects both the philosophy of the hotel and the Perth lifestyle – it is relaxed and residential. Natural materials such as timber and beachy stone make for a casual atmosphere, yet BAR Studio have maintained its presidential status. Dignified contrasts of glass chandeliers and contemporary copper pendants provide a composed sense of elegance.



Seto Inland Sea, Japan

Guntû is described as a ‘little hotel floating in the Seto Inland sea’. This endearing description is fitting, with its subtly designed premises catering to just 38 guests at any one time. Yasushi Horibe has designed a beautifully relaxing mobile hospitality experience. Guests can wind down in an understated environment, treading the timber floors barefoot.

Visual Identity


Shanghai, China

Beige, maroon and cool grey set a traditionally Oriental colour palette for this consistent and distinct visual identity. The hotel has produced a charming collection of packaging including shopping bags, takeaway boxes and chopstick bags – each of them featuring an elegant painterly motif in grey and white. Other materials include clean envelopes with inner linings of ancestral Chinese art.

The New Concept of the Year Award

Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat

Yangzhou, China

Making sophisticated adaptive reuse of pre-existing buildings which were settled upon the ancient city of Yangzhou, this innovative retreat has powerfully married tradition with modernisation. Cultural programming, community reconstruction and local craft development are frequently employed with sensitivity.

The Outstanding Contribution Award

Bill Bensley

Bensley’s design approach has been summarised with the Indonesian phrase ‘Lebih gila, lebih biak’ translating to ‘the odder, the better’. His seemingly limitless supply of wildly vivid and fantastical compositions has been built over some 40+ years in the business. Bensley is also credited for his extensive efforts in nature, conservation and sustainability.

The AHEAD Asia Hotel of the Year


Shanghai, China

Amanyangyun takes the concept of cultural immersion and sets an ambitious new standard in the hotel industry, offering experiences such as calligraphy, seal carving and Kunqu Opera performances. Its compelling design, by Kerry Hill Architects, was praised by the judging panel for its “brilliant hard-fought efforts to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of a province”.