AHEAD Global 2020 Accolade Announcements


Celebrating the best new hotels, resorts and lodges around the world, the winners of AHEAD (Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design) Global have been revealed as part of a live digital ceremony.

Regional winners from 2019-2020 competed head-to-head in eight brand new categories, with a prestigious panel of judges reviewing a total of 48 projects before casting their decisive votes.

Spanning the length and breadth of the globe, from the sprawling plains of the Namibian wilderness to the awe-inspiring natural wonders of Iceland, the diverse list of winners recognised ambitious and expertly executed projects like a hotel built directly into an 800-year-old lava flow; a 10-hut Owambo-style lodge set within 7,500 hectares of wildlife-rich savannah; and the culmination of an architectural and ecological feat in China’s Jiangxi province.

See the full list of winners below.

“The Beachfront Beauty Award”
sponsored by Janus et Cie

And the winner is...

Asbury Ocean Club, Asbury Park, USA

Having competed with a strong shortlist of properties, Asbury Ocean Club in New Jersey was crowned winner of The Beachfront Beauty Award. Judges praised the “courageous execution” of designer Anda Andrei, highlighting the resort’s role in revitalising the surrounding community, and praised it for “bringing new thinking to the category.”

2nd place: Belmond Cap Juluca / 3rd place: Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos

AHEAD Global 2020 - Asbury Ocean Club - The Beachfront Beauty Award
“The Creative Conversion Award”
sponsored by Roca

And the winner is...

Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Greece

Sitting on an unspoilt stretch of coastline in the western Peloponnese, Dexamenes Seaside Hotel is the renovation of a derelict, industrial building once part of an abandoned wine factory that had been left untouched since the 1920s. K-Studio breathed new life into its walls, complementing the brutality of the existing structures and transforming their austere functionality into a place of calm and comfort.

2nd place: Escondido Oaxaca / 3rd place: The Shinola Hotel

AHEAD Global 2020 - Dexamenes Seaside Hotel - Creative Conversion Award
“The Gamechanger Award”
Sponsored by TopHotelProjects

And the winner is...

Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Sri Lanka

Surrounded by dryland forests and a coastline overlooking the Indian Ocean, Wild Coast Tented Lodge comprises cocoon-shaped tents that resemble the boulders scattered around the area, whilst buildings made from bamboo blend into the locale’s distinct rock formations. Nomadic Resorts was praised for creating a truly intimate experience, heightened through proximity to the surrounding wildlife.

2nd place: Birch / 3rd place: Eaton HK

AHEAD Global 2020 - Wild Coast Tented Lodge - The Gamechanger Award
Sponsored by Villeroy & Boch

And the winner is...

Amanyangyun, Shanghai

“Great story, great heritage and sensitively created” were the words our judges used to commend this project. Transformed with the utmost compassion by Kerry Hill Architects, Amanyangyun sees a series of ancestral buildings converted in a majestic 21st-century hotel, where contemporary touches such as monochrome surfaces and clean lines create a composed tension between the old and the new.

2nd place: Gorgeous George / 3rd place: Raffles Singapore

AHEAD Global 2020 - Amanyangyun - The Regeneration Award
“The Rural Retreat Award”
Sponsored by RH Contract

And the winner is...

Omaanda, Namibia

Set within the Zannier Reserve by N/a’ankusê near Windhoek, Omaanda brings together ten individual round huts – crafted from refined, natural materials such as wood and pigmented mud – that offer 180-degree vistas of the surrounding savannah. Judges applauded Zannier Hotels for creating “a sanctuary for barefoot luxury; a space curated with artwork and plants in pertinence to the ecosystem.”

2nd place: Palazzo Daniele, Italy / 3rd place: The Lindis, New Zealand

AHEAD Global 2020 - Omaanda - The Rural Retreat Award
“The Sanctuary Award”
Sponsored by Kaldewei

And the winner is...

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Built directly into an 800-year-old lava flow in the heart of the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark, the Retreat at Blue Lagoon encompasses a subterranean spa, geothermal lagoon, a traditional Icelandic restaurant, and a 62-suite luxury hotel encircled by mineral-rich waters. The Retreat’s architecture and design harmonise with its volcanic surroundings, erasing the boundary between man and nature.

2nd place: Six Senses Bhutan / 3rd place: Euphoria Retreat, Greece

AHEAD Global 2020 - The Retreat at The Blue Lagoon - The Sanctuary Award
“The Social Scene Award”
Sponsored by Lasvit

And the winner is...

The Standard, London

Praised for their “great intervention” of an existing building, what was once seen as an eye-sore into “a modern, relevant and distinctive” hotel, Archer Humphryes Architects and Shawn Hausman Design have created a space that celebrates historical architecture while keeping The Standard’s distinctly modern design – think plush brown leather sofas, bold colours and an abundance of mood lighting.

2nd place: Santa Monica Proper Hotel / Joint 3rd place: Moxy Chelsea and The NoMad Hotel Las Vegas

AHEAD Global 2020 - The Standard, London - The Social Scene Award
“The Urban Award”
Sponsored by Laufen

And the winner is...

Rosewood Bangkok

Rosewood Bangkok’s 30-storey form is inspired by the ‘wai’ – a Thai gesture of hands pressed together in greeting – while its interiors channel the brand’s ‘A Sense of Place’ philosophy through a design scheme by Celia Chu Design & Associates and AvroKo, which honours rich Thai culture while celebrating the creativity and contemporary ethos of the capital.

2nd place: Lindley Lindenberg / 3rd place: Rosewood Hong Kong

AHEAD Global 2020 - Rosewood Bangkok - The Urban Award
“The People’s Choice Award”

And the winner is...

Santa Monica Proper Hotel, USA

Introducing a looser kind of luxury to Santa Monica, Kelly Wearstler’s carefully considered, densely layered but never overpowering design scheme places the California lifestyle centrestage, raising the bar for luxury hotel design with a pared-back sensibility that creates an immersive guest experience. Judges said that they “could spend all day there”, and you, the people, agreed.

AHEAD Global 2020 - Santa Monica Proper Hotel - Social Scene Award
“The Ultimate Accolade Award”

And the winner is...

Dexamenes Seaside Hotel, Greece

Taking home the highly coveted AHEAD Global Ultimate Accolade, Dexamenes Seaside Hotel was described by the judges as “the height of unpretentious luxury” and preserves the raw beauty of an abandoned wine factory while creating a place of calm, comfort and relaxation. A true balance of old and new, where an industrial palette is used in a contemporary and elegant manner.

2nd place: Amanyangyun / 3rd place: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon / 4th place: Wild Coast Tented Lodge

AHEAD Global 2020 - Dexamenes Seaside Hotel - Creative Conversion Award and Ultimate Accolade Winner