Last night the winners of the AHEAD Asia 2018 hotel awards were announced in Singapore, where one of our favourite local properties took out the top prize.
16 March, 2018
Congratulations to the team behind The Warehouse Hotel, which took home four awards at AHEAD Asia 2018 including the night’s grand prize of ‘The AHEAD Asia Hotel of the Year’. The team of I Hotel, The Lo & Behold Group, Zarch Collaboratives and Asylum Creative also won the awards for ‘Guestrooms’, ‘Lobby & Public Spaces’ and ‘Urban Hotel – Conversion’ beating shortlisted properties in China, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Bangladesh in those categories.
The jury praised the way The Warehouse marries the building’s former use and the area’s colourful past with refined design and stunning attention to detail. Also noted was how the guest rooms are flooded with natural light, how trusses and frames create a spatial dialogue that accentuate the building’s character, and how the lobby and bar lounge break the norms of a hotel reception.
The work of other Singaporean studios was also awarded. WOW Architects | Warner Wong Design picked up two awards for St Regis Maldives. Vommuli House Nature Discovery Centre won the ‘Event Spaces’ category. The jury admired the way the space channels an eco-awareness theme, and how that is expressed through modern architecture and design with respect for tradition, local culture and the brand values of St Regis.
At the same property, the three-bedroom 1,500-square-metre John Jacob Aster Estate won the ‘Suite’ category. The jury praised how the suite creates unparalleled space in an ocean setting in line with the resort’s eco-awareness theme, with a muted palette alongside artwork and accessories.
Congratulations also go to Ministry of Design, whose project VUE Hotel Houhai Beijing won the ‘Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces’ category. The hotel comprises a series of disparate quasi-historic buildings from the 1950s, and the jury admired how the design harnesses the negative space between each building, tying the compound into a single holistic experience.
The Shangri-La Hotel Singapore won the ‘Hotel Renovation & Restoration’ category, with the jury praising Japanese Bond Design Studio’s references to the area’s cultural background and the hotel’s garden concept.
The Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong, designed by Rocco Design Architects and Andre Fu of AFSO, won two awards. It picked up the award for ‘Urban Hotel – New Build’ and its restaurant Red Sugar won the ‘Bar, Club or Lounge’ category. The jury was impressed by the hotel’s encapsulation of an urban resort offering an experience of relaxed luxury, and the restaurant’s celebration of the heritage of Hung Hom. Andre Fu also enjoyed the evening’s honour of being the designer of the awards venue – the Andaz Singapore Hotel.
Other winners were Alila Yanshuo (Guilin, China), designed by Vector Architects and Horizontal Space Design, in the ‘Resort Hotel’ category and the ‘Spa & Wellness’ category (for Spa Alila); Brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, designed by Kume Sekkei and Kokaistudios, in the ‘Restaurant’ category; Trunk (Hotel) in Tokyo, designed by Line-Inc with furniture by cult Osaka designer Truck, in the ‘New Concept of the Year’ category; and Jackalope in Australia in the ‘Visual Identity of the Year’ category. This year’s ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ went to Priya Paul of The Park Hotels Group – a pioneer of the boutique hotels movement in India.
In his opening address at the ceremony, the Chair of Judges Guy Heywood (COO of Alila Hotels and Resorts) mentioned how the concept of luxury has changed. It has moved away from deluxe materials firmly toward experience, he said. “The kinds of properties we are judging these days don’t have the marble, the chandeliers, the grand scale, the size. The ones that really stand out are the special properties, bars, spas, event centres (depending on the category) that are really unique and bespoke – that say something about the destination, and the culture of the destination.”
Read more about new directions in luxury hospitality in our round up of last October’s Singapore Indesign panel discussion on the theme.
Images courtesy of AHEAD Asia.
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