Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong ‘Hotel of the Year’ Virtuoso’s 2013 Best of the Best Hotel Awards

Virtuoso selected only 10 winners from the network’s renowned Hotels & Resorts Program, a portfolio of 983 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in 100 countries. Virtuoso ranks as the industry’s most prestigious and longest-running hotel program, all of which elevate the network’s status as an industry trailblazer and trusted innovator.

“This year we are pleased to honor some incredible hotels and one exceptional general manager,” says Albert Herrera, senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso. 2013 winners include

Best Spa: Spa Mukul, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa – Tola, Nicaragua

Perched on a hill with unmatched views of the Nicaraguan coast-line, Spa Mukul’s six casitas harness different ancient keeling traditions and therapies. Each casita is home to a different sequence of experiences and evoke a unique and soothing sense of place. Designed by renowned spa consultant Angel Vezina Stewart, the spa includes private steam showers, an outdoor pool, relaxation spaces, and a private garden entry.

Spa Mukul, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa – Nicaragua

Most Innovative Guest Experience:

Banjaar Tola by Taj Safaris – Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India Banjaar Tola, Taj Safaris’ third jungle safari lodge, is a memorable experience for anyone wishing to immerse themselves in nature. The 18 secluded tents are set on a bank above the Ban­jaar River, which acts as a corridor for animals traveling between the park and buffer forest. The sounds of the forest can be heard throughout the jungle, as kingfishers, flycatchers, orioles, and magpie robins come to life at dawn.

Sustainable Tourism Leadership – Hotel:

The Savoy – London, England The 268-room hotel recently underwent renovations that protected cultural heritage, such as eliminating plastic and Styrofoam use, recycling all food waste into renewable energy, and sourcing food and beverages locally and responsi­bly.  There’s even a ‘green butler’ on hand to show guests how to sightsee in London in an environmentally friendly way.

Hotel of the Year: Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

The tallest structure in Hong Kong when it first opened, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong still towers above the competition. Located in the heart of the city overlooking Victoria Harbour, the hotel offers more than just luxurious accommodations and outstanding service in each of the 501 rooms, 10 restaurants, and two-story Chinese medicine spa. The enduring combination of modern luxury and ancient Eastern influ­ences continue to make Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong’s most popular hotel.

The newly renovated Krug Room at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Best Achievement in Design: Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Dorado, Puerto Rico

Best Culinary Experience: La Scene, Prince de Galles, A Luxury Collection Hotel – Paris, France The newly reopened 159-room Prince de Galles houses La Scene, led by executive chef Stephanie Le Quellec.

Best Bar: The Armani/Bamboo Bar, Armani Hotel Milano – Milan, Italy

Best Family Program: The Gleneagles Hotel – Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland

One to Watch: The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort – Abu Dhabi, united Arab Emirates

Hotelier of the Year: Francois Delahaye, Hotel Plaza Athenee, Dorchester Collection – Paris, France

Virtuoso Travel Week which took place this week in Las Vegas brings together nearly 2,000 travel advisors from Virtuoso’s elite travel agency members in 20 countries, as well as executives from the network’s more than 1,700 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 companies. More than 4,100 of the most prominent players in luxury travel attend.