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Kiwi Collection Hotel Awards 2021

Kiwi Collection Hotel Awards 2021

2021 Kiwi Collection Hotel Awards

 

 

 

 

To say 2020 didn’t turn out as expected is the understatement of the year, and yet, drawing on our resiliency, we found a way through. As the world changed, travel changed. We dreamt, reminisced and explored close to home. Our longing for wilder, remoter destinations grew. While plans shifted, there was no less wonder in the world, and that especially extends to the 12 winners of our Kiwi Collection Hotel Awards. As we continue navigating these uncertain times, these stars in our constellation of handpicked hotels and resorts shine the brightest. The stories they tell and unparalleled experiences they provide fill us with hope for the future. Cheers to our best of 2021.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

WOW PICK OF THE YEAR

Secret Bay

Portsmouth, Dominica

Kiwi Collection WOW Pick of the Year: Secret Bay

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The secret’s out, way out, on a remote corner of Dominica, perched atop a promontory and enveloped by rainforest. Conceptualized by award-winning Venezuelan architect Fruto Vivas, Secret Bay is all open air—eat, sleep, spa and Savasana as warm Caribbean breezes roll in. Punctuated by privacy, each of the 10 residential-style villas come with their own plunge pool and host to make every whim a reality, like, say, a picnic on their namesake private beach only reachable by sea. Experiences are personalized at this Relais & Chateaux property, with no set menus, not even at the restaurant. All of it in the service of reconnection—to oneself and the nature that surrounds.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST NEW HOTEL

Riggs Washington DC

Washington, D.C., United States

Best New Hotel: Riggs Washington DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though not the first bank-turned-hotel, Riggs Washington DC stakes claim to most iconic. Standing at the corner of 9th and F Street in Penn Quarter since 1891, its Richardson Romanesque-style building was dubbed “The Bank of Presidents” for the more than 20 U.S. Presidents, including Lincoln, Eisenhower and Nixon, who submitted their paychecks here. Current clientele can bank on the majesty of original coffered ceilings alongside modern mixed prints and unabashed color—most notably in the four suites named for lesser known First Ladies. As for the old underground vault, it’s now rich with high-concept cocktails borrowed from the brilliant mind of bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST FAMILY HOTEL

Rancho Santana

Tola, Nicaragua

Best Family Hotel: Rancho Santana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encompassing over 2,700 acres along Nicaragua’s idyllic Emerald Coast, Rancho Santana is a world of its own. On beach days, families have five separate stretches of sand to frolic on. All things kid-related are considered, including complimentary guided hikes, wildlife spotting, farm tours and fireside s’mores. There’s even an accredited international school spanning pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 for those settling in to stay awhile. When a day of surf lessons, horseback riding or exploring the sea turtle sanctuary wraps up, the kitted-out homes and villas provide everyone a room of one’s own.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOST ROMANTIC HOTEL

Capella Ubud

Bali, Indonesia

Most Romantic Hotel: Capella Ubud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just the sort of wild place to inspire a Tarzan and Jane-type love story, Capella Ubud swung into our hearts and stayed there. Rising from the Balinese rainforest, looking onto the Keliki Valley and Wos River, its 22 tents and singular two-bedroom lodge are extravagantly dressed, as though borrowed from the sketchbooks of early explorers, and each with its own private saltwater pool reaching out into the green. Designed by Bill Bensley, they all came to be without removing a single tree from the property. Attentiveness is at every turn, from the duffel of camp essentials on arrival to wellness treatments tailored to each guest’s state of being.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST SUSTAINABLE LUXURY

1 Hotels

Global

Best Sustainable Luxury: 1 Hotels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bursting onto the scene in 2015, 1 Hotels put sustainability at the fore. The brand deeply understood that being nature-inspired needed to be all-encompassing. Beyond visually bringing the outdoors in with biophilic design—reclaimed woods, living walls, ample natural light—there’s the details that, when multiplied by many locations, make a big difference. In the rooms, find hangers made wholly of post-consumer recycled materials, reclaimed chalkboards instead of notepaper and filtered water systems to replace plastic bottles. That scales up to harnessing rainwater, wind and every energy efficiency available. To amplify impact, they also partner with numerous organizations, including The Natural Resources Defence Council and Environmental Entrepreneurs.

VIEW WINNER'S HOTELS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Canaves Oia Epitome

Santorini, Greece

Best Boutique Hotel: Canaves Oia Epitome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anchored on one of the world’s most beloved isles yet discreetly tucked away from the crowds, Canaves Oia Epitome is aptly named: it beautifully epitomizes its place. Embedded in rock above the fishing village of Ammoudi on Santorini, it combines the white-washed walls and black volcanic stone that typify Cycladic architecture in the earthiest way. Along with the all-important private pool, every one of its 24 luxury villas provide a prime seat for the electric orange sunsets that dip into the Aegean. So too does the floating deck that does dinner and a view, with Elements Restaurant plating as picturesque as Mother Nature’s nightly offering.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST HOTEL POOL

Villa Franca

Positano, Italy

Best Hotel Pool: Villa Franca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up a narrow winding road, perched above Positano’s pebbled beaches that swell with bodies every summer, sits Villa Franca, a private home reborn as 44 crisp white guestrooms with breezy balconies. The jewel in its crown is blue and J-shaped—a rooftop pool that astounds the senses. The sun shines on it from all angles. In every direction, Amalfi Coast blues and hillsides studded with colorful buildings. The soft sound of lapping waves from the Gulf of Salerno drifts up from below. Lemon-scented air too, along with the aroma of whatever comes from the poolside Li Galli Grill to satiate post-plunge cravings.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST BEACH HOTEL

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Boracay Island, Philippines

Best Beach Hotel: Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Visayan Sea seduction starts as soon as one steps onto the private speedboat that jets each new arrival to the secluded bay where Shangri-La Boracay peeks out from the trees. The world-famous White Beach is a short drive away, but the resort has two of its own, just as white and sandy but completely private. The Beach Villa has Banyugan Beach for a front yard, but nearly every accommodation serves up ocean views. Thalassophiles can get their fill of watersports, from a leisurely kayak to advanced diver training. Any activity kinks get worked out at CHI, The Spa, and then the experience comes full circle with a seafood dinner at Sirena perched atop a cliff overlooking the rollicking waves.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST GOURMET GETAWAY

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire, England

Best Gourmet Getaway: Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To eat, drink and be merry is a most worthy endeavor, one we especially relied on to carry us through 2020. Of those special places that truly make an art of it, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire rose to the top. Created by celebrated, self-taught chef Raymond Blanc OBE, the hotel-restaurant has held two Michelin stars since it opened in 1984, and harvests ingredients—orchard fruits, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms—from the fertile grounds that surround. While it’s perfectly fine to just dine, those eager to learn can attend the onsite cookery and gardening schools. One can mull over enrolling while wine tasting in the cellar.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST WELLNESS RETREAT

Chenot Palace Weggis

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

 Best Wellness Retreat: Chenot Palace Weggis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Twain said of the location, on Lake Lucerne beneath the soaring Swiss Alps, “This is the charmingest place we have ever lived in for repose and restfulness.” The new Chenot Palace Weggis builds on that R ‘n’ R with its holistic Chenot Method® for rebalancing the body’s physiology. Supported by a sweeping 54,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical spa, the flagship wellness retreat’s 7-night programs are personalized to guide guests back into optimal health, drawing from both traditional Chinese healing and the latest advances in Western medicine. Nutrition, fitness, aesthetics—they’re all considered, including the comforts of a serene and spacious suite where one can check off yet another health protocol: a good night’s sleep.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST FAR-FLUNG ESCAPE

Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

Tozeur, Tunisia

Best Far-Flung Escape: Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it isn’t a galaxy far, far away, this corner of Tunisia has doubled as one. Star Wars scenes on the planet of Tatooine were filmed near where Anantara Tozeur now rises from the Sahara. The remote luxury resort of 93 rooms and villas brokers the charms of both the world’s largest hot desert and Berber style. Out in the wide open, there’s camel rides across the dunes at sunset or 4x4 excursions to abandoned villages in the Atlas Mountains. Days wind down with hammam rituals at the Anantara Spa and kicking back at the cushion-strewn Arabian Nights, their very own souk with food stalls and artisan crafts. Having a tent taken deeper into the desert for private dining under the stars is yet another of many out-of-this-world experiences.  

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEST ADVENTURE GETAWAY

Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Wild

Prey Praseth Village, Cambodia

Best Adventure Getaway: Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story of Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild starts with conservation. Cambodian hotelier Sokoun Chanpreda and American architect Bill Bensley purchased an 865-acre wildlife corridor bordering Cardamom National Forest to protect it from logging, mining and poaching. Then came the idea for 15 decked-out tents perched along the river and a plethora of adventures to match. A designated Adventure Butler (yes, Adventure Butler) makes all the arrangements and comes along for every ride—be it ziplining across the Tmor Rung, mountain biking the Kirirom Reservoir, foraging the forest for dinner ingredients or tagging along on an anti-poaching patrol. They don’t call it “Wild” for nothing.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To say 2020 didn’t turn out as expected is the understatement of the year, and yet, drawing on our resiliency, we found a way through. As the world changed, travel changed. We dreamt, reminisced and explored close to home. Our longing for wilder, remoter destinations grew. While plans shifted, there was no less wonder in the world, and that especially extends to the 12 winners of our Kiwi Collection Hotel Awards. As we continue navigating these uncertain times, these stars in our constellation of handpicked hotels and resorts shine the brightest. The stories they tell and unparalleled experiences they provide fill us with hope for the future. Cheers to our best of 2021.

 

WOW PICK OF THE YEAR

Secret Bay

Portsmouth, Dominica

Kiwi Collection WOW Pick of the Year: Secret Bay

 

The secret’s out, way out, on a remote corner of Dominica, perched atop a promontory and enveloped by rainforest. Conceptualized by award-winning Venezuelan architect Fruto Vivas, Secret Bay is all open air—eat, sleep, spa and Savasana as warm Caribbean breezes roll in. Punctuated by privacy, each of the 10 residential-style villas come with their own plunge pool and host to make every whim a reality, like, say, a picnic on their namesake private beach only reachable by sea. Experiences are personalized at this Relais & Chateaux property, with no set menus, not even at the restaurant. All of it in the service of reconnection—to oneself and the nature that surrounds.

VIEW WINNER

 

 

BEST NEW HOTEL

Riggs Washington DC

Washington, D.C., United States

Best New Hotel: Riggs Washington DC

 

Though not the first bank-turned-hotel, Riggs Washington DC stakes claim to most iconic. Standing at the corner of 9th and F Street in Penn Quarter since 1891, its Richardson Romanesque-style building was dubbed “The Bank of Presidents” for the more than 20 U.S. Presidents, including Lincoln, Eisenhower and Nixon, who submitted their paychecks here. Current clientele can bank on the majesty of original coffered ceilings alongside modern mixed prints and unabashed color—most notably in the four suites named for lesser known First Ladies. As for the old underground vault, it’s now rich with high-concept cocktails borrowed from the brilliant mind of bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana.

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST FAMILY HOTEL

Rancho Santana

Tola, Nicaragua

Best Family Hotel: Rancho Santana

 

Encompassing over 2,700 acres along Nicaragua’s idyllic Emerald Coast, Rancho Santana is a world of its own. On beach days, families have five separate stretches of sand to frolic on. All things kid-related are considered, including complimentary guided hikes, wildlife spotting, farm tours and fireside s’mores. There’s even an accredited international school spanning pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 for those settling in to stay awhile. When a day of surf lessons, horseback riding or exploring the sea turtle sanctuary wraps up, the kitted-out homes and villas provide everyone a room of one’s own.

VIEW WINNER

 

MOST ROMANTIC HOTEL

Capella Ubud

Bali, Indonesia

Most Romantic Hotel: Capella Ubud

 

Just the sort of wild place to inspire a Tarzan and Jane-type love story, Capella Ubud swung into our hearts and stayed there. Rising from the Balinese rainforest, looking onto the Keliki Valley and Wos River, its 22 tents and singular two-bedroom lodge are extravagantly dressed, as though borrowed from the sketchbooks of early explorers, and each with its own private saltwater pool reaching out into the green. Designed by Bill Bensley, they all came to be without removing a single tree from the property. Attentiveness is at every turn, from the duffel of camp essentials on arrival to wellness treatments tailored to each guest’s state of being.

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST SUSTAINABLE LUXURY

1 Hotels

Global

Best Sustainable Luxury: 1 Hotels

 

Bursting onto the scene in 2015, 1 Hotels put sustainability at the fore. The brand deeply understood that being nature-inspired needed to be all-encompassing. Beyond visually bringing the outdoors in with biophilic design—reclaimed woods, living walls, ample natural light—there’s the details that, when multiplied by many locations, make a big difference. In the rooms, find hangers made wholly of post-consumer recycled materials, reclaimed chalkboards instead of notepaper and filtered water systems to replace plastic bottles. That scales up to harnessing rainwater, wind and every energy efficiency available. To amplify impact, they also partner with numerous organizations, including The Natural Resources Defence Council and Environmental Entrepreneurs.

VIEW WINNER'S HOTELS

 

BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Canaves Oia Epitome

Santorini, Greece

Best Boutique Hotel: Canaves Oia Epitome

 

Anchored on one of the world’s most beloved isles yet discreetly tucked away from the crowds, Canaves Oia Epitome is aptly named: it beautifully epitomizes its place. Embedded in rock above the fishing village of Ammoudi on Santorini, it combines the white-washed walls and black volcanic stone that typify Cycladic architecture in the earthiest way. Along with the all-important private pool, every one of its 24 luxury villas provide a prime seat for the electric orange sunsets that dip into the Aegean. So too does the floating deck that does dinner and a view, with Elements Restaurant plating as picturesque as Mother Nature’s nightly offering.

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST HOTEL POOL

Villa Franca

Positano, Italy

Best Hotel Pool: Villa Franca

 

Up a narrow winding road, perched above Positano’s pebbled beaches that swell with bodies every summer, sits Villa Franca, a private home reborn as 44 crisp white guestrooms with breezy balconies. The jewel in its crown is blue and J-shaped—a rooftop pool that astounds the senses. The sun shines on it from all angles. In every direction, Amalfi Coast blues and hillsides studded with colorful buildings. The soft sound of lapping waves from the Gulf of Salerno drifts up from below. Lemon-scented air too, along with the aroma of whatever comes from the poolside Li Galli Grill to satiate post-plunge cravings.

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST BEACH HOTEL

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Boracay Island, Philippines

Best Beach Hotel: Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

 

The Visayan Sea seduction starts as soon as one steps onto the private speedboat that jets each new arrival to the secluded bay where Shangri-La Boracay peeks out from the trees. The world-famous White Beach is a short drive away, but the resort has two of its own, just as white and sandy but completely private. The Beach Villa has Banyugan Beach for a front yard, but nearly every accommodation serves up ocean views. Thalassophiles can get their fill of watersports, from a leisurely kayak to advanced diver training. Any activity kinks get worked out at CHI, The Spa, and then the experience comes full circle with a seafood dinner at Sirena perched atop a cliff overlooking the rollicking waves.

VIEW WINNER


BEST GOURMET GETAWAY

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire, England

Best Gourmet Getaway: Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons

 

To eat, drink and be merry is a most worthy endeavor, one we especially relied on to carry us through 2020. Of those special places that truly make an art of it, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire rose to the top. Created by celebrated, self-taught chef Raymond Blanc OBE, the hotel-restaurant has held two Michelin stars since it opened in 1984, and harvests ingredients—orchard fruits, vegetables, herbs and mushrooms—from the fertile grounds that surround. While it’s perfectly fine to just dine, those eager to learn can attend the onsite cookery and gardening schools. One can mull over enrolling while wine tasting in the cellar.

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST WELLNESS RETREAT

Chenot Palace Weggis

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

 Best Wellness Retreat: Chenot Palace Weggis

 

Mark Twain said of the location, on Lake Lucerne beneath the soaring Swiss Alps, “This is the charmingest place we have ever lived in for repose and restfulness.” The new Chenot Palace Weggis builds on that R ‘n’ R with its holistic Chenot Method® for rebalancing the body’s physiology. Supported by a sweeping 54,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical spa, the flagship wellness retreat’s 7-night programs are personalized to guide guests back into optimal health, drawing from both traditional Chinese healing and the latest advances in Western medicine. Nutrition, fitness, aesthetics—they’re all considered, including the comforts of a serene and spacious suite where one can check off yet another health protocol: a good night’s sleep.

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST FAR-FLUNG ESCAPE

Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

Tozeur, Tunisia

Best Far-Flung Escape: Anantara Sahara Tozeur Resort & Villas

 

While it isn’t a galaxy far, far away, this corner of Tunisia has doubled as one. Star Wars scenes on the planet of Tatooine were filmed near where Anantara Tozeur now rises from the Sahara. The remote luxury resort of 93 rooms and villas brokers the charms of both the world’s largest hot desert and Berber style. Out in the wide open, there’s camel rides across the dunes at sunset or 4x4 excursions to abandoned villages in the Atlas Mountains. Days wind down with hammam rituals at the Anantara Spa and kicking back at the cushion-strewn Arabian Nights, their very own souk with food stalls and artisan crafts. Having a tent taken deeper into the desert for private dining under the stars is yet another of many out-of-this-world experiences.  

VIEW WINNER

 

BEST ADVENTURE GETAWAY

Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Wild

Prey Praseth Village, Cambodia

Best Adventure Getaway: Bensley Collection - Shinta Mani Wild

 

The story of Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild starts with conservation. Cambodian hotelier Sokoun Chanpreda and American architect Bill Bensley purchased an 865-acre wildlife corridor bordering Cardamom National Forest to protect it from logging, mining and poaching. Then came the idea for 15 decked-out tents perched along the river and a plethora of adventures to match. A designated Adventure Butler (yes, Adventure Butler) makes all the arrangements and comes along for every ride—be it ziplining across the Tmor Rung, mountain biking the Kirirom Reservoir, foraging the forest for dinner ingredients or tagging along on an anti-poaching patrol. They don’t call it “Wild” for nothing.

VIEW WINNER

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