Anne Golden, left above (shown with Anna Nash, Aman, and Jean-Luc Naret) deserved a special award last night. As RVP Pan Pacific and GM of PAN PACIFIC LONDON, she hosted over 400 for the first ULTRA awards in three years.
Unlike some awards which are not transparent, we know why actual winners are given Ultras. Voting last night was by the 21 million Discovery loyalty members of the 40 brands that are part of Global Hotel Alliance GHA,. Both Chris Hartley, GHA President and CEO, and Nick Perry,Chairman Ultra Travel, spoke as openers. Awards were then handed out, some to great fanfare.
In order of presentation, Parkroyal Collection Singapore won most sustainable hotel. David Kempinski Tel Aviv was deemed best new hotel. Sugar Beach Viceroy on St Lucia was best resort. The Corinthia London – coincidentally opening its new David Collins-designed 1920s-style Velvet Bar this very day – got best city hotel, worldwide. For best hotel Middle East/Africa, voters veered away from Dubai to opt for Royal Livingstone by Anantara at Victoria Falls. The Capella group picked up two honours: Patina Maldives was best hotel in the Indian Ocean, and Capella Singapore gained the ultimate trophy, the best hotel in the world. Listen to the Capella ‘coach’, below.
The evening was spectacular. Other main sponsors were Explora Journeys, part of MSC, and Nyetimber English sparkling (Pan Pacific’s cocktail-diner stand-up food was yummy). Earlier, a serious Forum included a somewhat depressing economical outlook from The Economist‘s Daniel Franklin which did, admittedly, close on an opportunistic note – people with money want to travel as basically they do not know what might happen tomorrow. The finale chat with Emirates’ Chairman Sir Tim Clark showed how much we lap up every word of a stylish raconteur.