LAS VEGAS, Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso®, proudly announced this year's winners of the prestigious "Best of the Best" hotel awards last night at its 2012 'Virtuoso Travel Week' conference, taking place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas from August 12–17. The awards drew a record crowd of 1,450 people, including some of the biggest names in hospitality as well as the travel agency community. On hand to reveal the recipients during the Hotels & Resorts Dinner were Virtuoso Chairman and CEO, Matthew D. Upchurch; Virtuoso President and COO Kristi Jones; as well as Virtuoso Vice President of Hotels, Destinations & Tours, Albert Herrera. In addition to being feted for the evening, "Best of the Best" award winners will be featured in the September/October 2012 issue of VIRTUOSO LIFE magazine (www.virtuosolife.com), reaching 200,000 upscale, world travelers.
This year marks a significant achievement for Virtuoso, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its renowned Hotels & Resorts Program, now comprised of 975 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in 90 countries. The first of its kind, this program was created to further serve the needs of Virtuoso's member agencies and their clientele, now ranking as the most prestigious and longest-running hotel program in the industry.
"This year celebrates a truly exceptional milestone for Virtuoso's Hotels & Resorts Program," said Herrera. "As the network has continued to progress and grow to accommodate the changing needs of the affluent traveler, our Hotel Program has continued to evolve over the past 20 years to better serve our membership and adapt to consumer demand. What started as a means of supporting our cruise products has turned into the industry's most respected and most experiential hotel program. More than half the hotels in our portfolio consist of 100 rooms or less, ensuring a more intimate feel for travelers, and we have the most robust amenity program in the industry, offering Virtuoso guests up to $450 in value per each stay."
Herrera continued, "With a portfolio this varied and impressive, it creates a highly competitive landscape. Those recognized with a 'Best of the Best' award by our talented and well-versed travel advisors represent the finest hotels and professionals within this esteemed group and truly define the highest level of luxury hospitality."
Award categories and recipients follow:
Best Achievement in Design: Park Hyatt Sydney, Australia
Best Culinary Experience: Sur Mesure at Mandarin Oriental, Paris, France
Best Bar: £10 at Montage Beverly Hills, California
Best Family Program: Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico
Best Spa: Spa My Blend by Clarins, Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, France
Most Innovative Guest Experience: Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Most Socially Responsible: Lefay Resort and SPA Lago di Garda, Gargnano, Italy
One to Watch: Amanruya, Bodrum, Turkey
Hotelier of the Year: Danilo Zucchetti, Villa d'Este, Cernobbio, Italy
Hotel of the Year: The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Dorchester Collection, California
Virtuoso Travel Week brings together more than 1,800 travel advisors from Virtuoso's elite travel agency members in 20 countries, as well as executives from the network's more than 1,250 preferred travel providers – hotels/resorts/spas, private islands, villas, cruise lines & private yacht companies, tour operators, airlines and private jet companies, tourism boards and many specialty operators. Approximately 4,000 of the most prominent players in luxury travel attend.