November 3, 2023
Who will be their worthy successor in 2023? The answer will be given on 9 November. But in the meantime, let's take a look back at the winners who have shaped a new face of hospitality.
We could go back to the inception of the Hospitality Awards in 2000 and list all the concepts that have been honoured in the more than twenty years of their existence. They include Groupe Germain's Alt Hôtel in Quebec, a forerunner of limited service, the Pod Hotel in New York, which popularised the shared-services mini-room, CitizenM, which has won two awards in a row for inventing a new conviviality, and Zoku, which provides accommodation for new tribes.
Over the last ten editions alone, the 'harvest' is rich, once again mixing rather upmarket concepts such as the launch of So by Sofitel in Bangkok and its design inspired by the 5 essential elements of life: earth, metal, water, wood for the rooms and fire for the public, dynamic and social spaces (Winner 2013)... and formulas more adapted to young guests.
The Student Hotel in Amsterdam (Winner 2014) invented hybridity: a boutique hotel meets a student dormitory, a fusion of very comfortable accommodation for long-term students with short-term facilities for the social globetrotter who wants to take part in livening up the communal areas.
It was followed the following year by the Slo Living Hostel in Lyon, also representative of the new generation of youth hostels, combining the conviviality and economy of the hostels of yesteryear with the design and central location of boutique hotels and the personalised services of guest rooms.
In the same year, the Steigenberger Group's Jaz in the City (Finalist 2015) established Amsterdam as a hotbed of new hotel concepts. Elegant and masculine, Jaz in the City appeals to today's curious global traveller, redrawing the landscapes of the world's busiest cities and business centres, with its industrial design and ever-present music.
CityHub, an urban hotel for digital natives (Winner 2016) was also born in Amsterdam. It is a synthesis of Japanese capsule hotels, sleeping car couchettes and city-centre cafés. Social life is shared right down to the smallest details, and digital technology is omnipresent, even when it comes to touring the city. It connects customers via an online chat platform with a personal host.
The 2010s were a good year for young people's concepts, with Generator Hostels, pioneers of new youth hostels, coming in very close as finalists.
The following year, it was also the combination of technology and space management for demanding customers that was rewarded with the Yotel - Yotelair concept (winner in 2017) for a new-generation airport hotel experience. All-comfort cabins, worthy of First Class seats, where every square centimetre of space is used in a practical and even emotional way.
Back to a new vision of luxury, associated with nature, with the 2018 winner Arctic TreeHouse Hotel: a new way to discover the Arctic Circle and the beauty of the Northern Lights in the warm atmosphere of tree-top suites, an exclusive combination of local tradition, Lapp heritage and modern Scandinavian design. The hotel is located in the middle of the forest, next to SantaPark, Santa's cave.
In a quirk of fate for the jury, the very economical hotel sector was highlighted that same year with two innovative concepts: Eklo, which aims to offer comfortable accommodation for less than 25 euros; and Flying Nest, the mobile hospitality revolution dreamed up by Accor, which uses modularity and temporary accommodation space, designed by Ora Ito.
Mobility and flexibility are also at the heart of the 2019 edition. Winner Yust is a mix of flexible accommodation, unique events, food, drink and quality services with a base of art and culture. A new hybrid of a different kind, Yust lets you rent a bed for a night or make a loft your own for a month or a year. The hotel service frees you from daily chores and invites you to bond with the other residents. Born in Antwerp, it once again reveals the imagination of the Northerners.
The Covid interlude brings such a need for reunion, nature and shared conviviality that it is quite natural for Maisons de Campagne from the Les Hôtels (Très) Particuliers group to win the 2021 Trophy. It will be joined as finalists by the Chouchou Hôtel from the Elegancia group, also known for the originality of its atmospheres, and the Stay Kooook from the SV Hotels group.
Now it's time to mix technology, entertainment and hospitality with the latest winner, Le Grand Magic Hotel. A unique immersive experience, close to Disneyland Paris, inviting guests to plunge into a fascinating world between reality and imagination.
There are many candidates, and it will be up to you to decide who will take over in the public vote. Join us on 9 November at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand for a taste of hotel innovation.
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