Virtuoso concluded its 34th annual Virtuoso Travel Week with an elegant evening of recognition, honouring individuals and entities that have gone above and beyond in the travel industry over the past year.
20,000 Virtuoso professional travel advisors from 50 countries served as Best of the Best award voters. Editors of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine, lent insights to narrow the field of nominees for which the advisors voted. Winners will be showcased in the September/October issue of the magazine.
This award recognises an iconic hotel that epitomises excellence in luxury hospitality and acts as a beacon for positive change in its community, particularly in developing markets.
Winner: Gleneagles, Scotland
For nearly a century, this historic resort has served as one of Scotland’s top sporting estates, offering outdoor pursuits like golf, fishing, falconry and more – plus Michelin-starred cuisine, an award-winning spa and a robust social calendar. The iconic property is also dedicated to making a difference in its community through partnerships with organizations like Social Bite and Anchor House.
Best New or Reimagined Hotel
This award recognises a hotel that is either newly opened (within the last two years) or has re-opened after an extensive renovation resulting in a new hotel experience.
Winner: Cheval Blanc Paris
Set within the 19th-century La Samaritaine department-store complex, Cheval Blanc Paris is LVMH’s first five-star accommodation in the City of Lights. The Art Deco gem is the crowning glory of the complex (16 years in the making), with 72 rooms and suites with views of Pont Neuf, a Dior spa and the largest swimming pool in Paris.
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Hotelier of the Year
This award recognizes an experienced hotel manager who demonstrates unparalleled leadership and vision, an unrelenting passion for the industry, an engaged commitment to our network of Virtuoso travel advisors and an astute appreciation for detail.
Winner: Valentina de Santis, Grand Hotel Tremezzo and Passalacqua, Lake Como
Best Innovative Guest Experience by a Hotel
The award recognises a hotel that goes above and beyond to create the best guest experience for the Virtuoso guest by providing an innovative Virtuoso added value amenity.
Winner: One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
This treehouse-style boutique lodge is the closest hotel to Volcanoes National Park, home to over 340 mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and 300 bird species. Besides gorilla trekking and up-close nature encounters, the hotel also features a sustainable restaurant serving ingredients grown on-site, stilted lodge accommodations, a spa set amid the jungle, and activities like E-bike tours.
The award recognises an on-site partner who creates outstanding custom experiences.
Winner: Southern Crossings, Australia and New Zealand
For over 35 years, the expert travel specialists at Southern Crossings have been designing personalized, bespoke itineraries to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. With unmatched on-the-ground knowledge and a commitment to five-star service, the company works with a broad spectrum of discerning travelers, from honeymooners to multi-generational families.
Best Tour Partner
The award recognises a tour operator or wholesaler partner with the most compelling vacation options and itineraries, whether FIT or escorted.
Winner: Abercombie & Kent
Since 1962, Abercrombie & Kent has been a pioneer in the world of luxury adventure travel. With a globe-spanning network, the company offers adventures in more than 100 countries on all seven continents. Trips combine singular service, authentic local expertise and insider access, promising the best trip ever, every time.
Best Tourism Board
The award recognises a tourism board Partner that epitomizes excellence and is highly engaged with the Virtuoso advisor membership.
Winner: Los Cabos Tourism Board
The Los Cabos Tourism Board is dedicated to promoting the best of Los Cabos, located at the tip of the 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula. With luxury resorts, world-class culinary and spa offerings, championship golf courses and state-of-the-art convention facilities the area draws tourists and business travelers alike. The office provides visitors with information on the destination and its many facets, while promoting the region’s tourism both nationally and internationally.
Best Specialty, Insurance or Airline
The award recognises a partner providing exemplary service focused on insurance, auto rental, private jet and other service partners.
Winner: Allianz Partners
A global leader in travel protection, working in partnership with over 40 airlines and 100,000 travel agencies, Allianz Partners consistently raises industry standards for partners and their customers. Digital solutions are designed with a customer focus, making it possible to request geo-localized assistance in real-time.
Most Engaged Agency
Winner: Q Cruise + Travel – Chicago, Illinois
Winner: Geoffrey Ravoire, Huffman Travel – Chicago, Illinois
The award recognises a partner who has a strong commitment to sustainable practices
Winner: Sébastien Bazin – CEO, Accor
Ruby of Siam
The prestigious “Ruby of Siam,” an honor with long standing tradition within Virtuoso since 1987. It is bestowed upon an agency owner or manager who upholds the highest professional standards, serves as a leader in their industry, and embodies the spirit of the Virtuoso network through their dedication and engagement.
Winner: Amanda Klimak, Largay Travel – Waterbury, Connecticut