AHEAD Asia 2020 Winners Announced


AHEAD, the Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design, has revealed its winners for its Asia edition via webcast on the AHEAD website (www.aheadawards.com). The online presentation was held in association with Global Founder Sponsor GROHE.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts stole the show, scooping an impressive five awards for its Rosewood Hong Kong and Rosewood Bangkok properties, while Studio Bensley took home two prizes for winning projects Capella Sanya and Hôtel de le Coupole, and Grand Hyatt Xi’an was crowned the winner in the Guestrooms and Lobby & Public Spaces categories.

The webcast will be followed by a celebratory event on Monday 7 September at Andaz Singapore, at which the Outstanding Contribution Award and AHEAD Asia Hotel of the Year winners will be announced. All sponsors, nominees, winners and judges are invited to this event, for which all tickets held for the original ceremony will be valid.

Awards Director Matt Turner commented: “We were sadly unable to host our award ceremony as originally planned at Andaz Singapore due to the coronavirus, but of course the health and safety of our guests is paramount. We remain committed to celebrating the best in hospitality experience and design, so took the opportunity to try something new and host our first ever awards webcast. We look forward to hosting a follow-up event for our AHEAD community in Asia in September.”

AHEAD Asia celebrates the most ambitious, innovative and bold hotels across the region. See the full list of winners here:

Bar, Club or Lounge

Lennon’s at Rosewood Bangkok, Thailand

Perched on the 30th floor of Rosewood Bangkok, this AvroKO-designed speakeasy bar come record shop boasts a 6,000-strong vinyl collection, while guests are also invited to bring their own LPs to be played by the resident DJ. Our judges praised Lennon’s for its “rich details, great acoustics and well-handled space planning”.


Event Spaces

Grand Ballroom and Junior Ballroom at Rosewood Hong Kong, China

Rosewood Hong Kong has taken a new approach with its event spaces, comprising two floors of sun-soaked spaces that look out onto the harbour and an elegant ballroom with a dramatic Skyfold partition. Tonychi Studio impressed our judges here with its planning, detailing, design and experience, which together deliver these great interconnecting spaces.



Grand Hyatt Xi’an, China

The rich, multi-cultural history of the Silk Road was the chosen inspiration when it came to Grand Hyatt Xi’an’s design concept. LTW Designworks used a palette of sandy brown millwork, textured grey upholstery, earth-toned marble, and ochre shaded carpeting to give the guestrooms a ‘warm and inviting feeling’.


Hotel Conversion

Sunyata Hotel Meili, China

Sunyata Hotel Meili is one of 23 households in the ancient, untouched village of Wunongding. Thoughtfully restored by Zhao Yang Architects and designer Ke Xie, this former hostel-turned-hotel practices the philosophy of ‘wabi-sabi’ through the aged texture of natural materials, salvaged wood, earthy colours, and a restrained aesthetic that treasures “emptiness”.


Hotel Newbuild

Rosewood Hong Kong, China

Eight years in the making, Rosewood Hong Kong stands tall at the heart of Victoria Dockside district. The project pays homage to the Cheng family legacy, who established the iconic New World Centre site in the 1980’s, on which the hotel stands today. The judges described the property as “a truly landmark property that is possibly the most comprehensive expression of the Rosewood brand”.


Hotel Renovation & Restoration

Raffles Singapore

The Singaporean icon reopened its doors after a three-year intensive refurbishment led by an impressive line-up of global architecture and design practices. Its restored spaces reflect an era of grace, conviviality and civility, while an injection of new technology has further enhanced the guest experience.


Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces

Capella Sanya, China

Capella Sanya’s landscaping puts a modern spin on traditional Chinese gardens. Water features heavily throughout the hotel and, according to Chinese fengshui, is a symbol wealth and abundance. Judges were impressed by the “good balance of softscape and hardscape, with the water complimenting and enhancing the hotel’s architecture”.


Lobby & Public Spaces

Grand Hyatt Xi’an, China

Grand Hyatt Xi’an symbolises a journey and yearning for new beginnings. The double-height lobby encompasses patterned timber walls that form wing-like motifs, alluding to the notion of flight, while a feature wall composed of curvilinear rows of interconnected vertical white slats gives off the effect of movement. The panel applauded the “interesting play of scales and strong use of dramatic elements juxtaposed with intimate spaces”.


Lodges, Cabins & Tented Camps

The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley, North Otago, New Zealand

The Lindis is a five-bedroom luxury lodge that, despite its bold geometric steel grid shell, blends effortlessly into its surroundings by using natural rock, timber and a neutral colour palette throughout the interiors. The judges also commended the lodges’ sustainability efforts in adopting off-grid solutions for energy and water.



Six Senses Bhutan

Six Senses Bhutan connects five of the country’s western and central valleys, with each lodge – Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gangtey and Bumthang – varying in style from valley to valley, showcasing the diversity and special character of every location.



Nan Bei at Rosewood Bangkok, Thailand

Inspired by the Chinese legend of the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd, AvroKo created a luxurious, contemporary dining experience that features a seven-metre-high light installation with a moongate screen, blue lacquered ceilings and 800 custom hand-folded brass metal mesh ‘magpipes’. The judges were impressed by the level of intricate details and dramatic Art Deco aesthetic.


Spa & Wellness

Hôtel de la Coupole, Vietnam

Hôtel de la Coupole tells a story of the marriage between Indochine style and French haute-couture. For the spa, Bensley embellished the walls and ceilings with classic cornicing and patterned wallpaper created from local embroidery motifs, while the pool is lined by enormous green marble columns and features decadent pink chandeliers. The entire project was described as a “showstopper” by judges.



Grand Harbour Corner Suite at Rosewood Hong Kong, China

The Grand Harbour Corner Suite provides guests with panoramic harbour views from every vantage point, offering a sense of retreat and supreme comfort from the bustling city below. The judges described the design as “rich-residential with the addition of thoughtful accessories.”



The Oracle

Designed by hotelier and founder of Blue Karma Secrets, Alexa Genoyer, The Oracle is a custom-built 35-metre phinisi style yacht that sails the Indonesian seas. The judges admired Blue Karma’s commitment to sustainable and conscious travelling, as well as the use of locally sourced wood and traditional Indonesian boatbuilding methods.


Visual Identity

Moss Hotel, Hobart, Australia

Studio Ongarato was tasked with creating an overarching narrative that would complement the hotel’s rich site heritage. Drawing inspiration from the layering of old and new, the brand imagery was sourced from the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, before being combined with rich green textures to create unique layered compositions. According to the judges, the hotel’s visual identity is “elegant, refined and seductive”.


New Concept

Hanare, Tokyo, Japan

Hotel Hanare sees the function of a traditional hotel disassembled and spread across a city. The concept brings a new definition to the term ‘hospitality experience’ by integrating guests into the local community and its culture through standalone lodgings, separate check-in and local cafés.