Creating a definitive, trusted and discerningly judged list of the world’s very best hotels for the very first time, The World’s 50 Best Hotels will announce its debut ranking in September this year. But while the world will have to wait until 19 September to uncover the full list, the first of its special awards has been announced, and the winner is one of the most popular and luxurious country retreats in the world.
The winner of the inaugural Art of Hospitality Award has been announced as Gleneagles Hotel in Perth, Scotland, a luxury hotel, spa and golf resort set in the picturesque Scottish countryside. The estate claims the first of two special category awards to be announced in the run-up to the awards, which will take place on 19 September in London’s Guildhall. The award was voted for by 580 voters in The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy, who were asked to name the property where they have received the single-best hospitality experience within the two-year voting period. The Art of Hospitality Award celebrates a hotel’s outstanding service and attention to detail, rewarding a property and its entire staff for unparalleled professional standards. This includes how the entire team interacts with guests, from reception and housekeeping to food and beverage teams.
Opened in 1924 with a grand opening ball, Gleneagles has quickly become one of the UK’s go-to destinations for countryside charm. Set beneath the charming Ochil Hills in the heart of Perthshire, the 850-acre estate is a playground for country pursuits, epitomising the natural beauty Scotland is known for. The property has 232 sumptuous, old-world bedrooms and suites, 11 restaurants and bars – including an afternoon tea lounge and the only two Michelin star restaurant in Scotland – a children’s adventure space, beauty lodge and wellness centre and spa. Guests can enjoy typical country activities, from falconry and clay pigeon shooting to fly fishing and horseriding, and the estate’s gold course if highly regarded – playing host to the Ryder Cup in 2014. In 2015, the property was acquired by Ennismore, the playful hotel group behind brands like The Hoxton, SLS, Mondrian and 25hours, with the group undertaking a four-year renovation programme.
The World’s 50 Best Hotels is the latest high-profile launch from the team behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Bars, set to definitely rank the very best hotels and resorts across the world and act as a sounding board for standards in the global hotel industry.
‘Gleneagles has been a mainstay on the hotel scene since its original iteration in 1924 and continues to prove itself as an example of what it means to be truly hospitable,’ said Tim Brooke-Webb, managing director for The World’s 50 Best Hotels, on the announcement.
‘We are leading with the Art of Hospitality as our first special award announced ahead of the inaugural awards ceremony, as we believe that it is the staff who bring one-of-a-kind experiences and hotels to life. In a world that is fascinated by the new, we are especially pleased to be celebrating the people behind this historic hotel – led emphatically by Conor O’Leary.’
‘It’s an incredible honour to be the first recipient of the Art of Hospitality Award, part of the inaugural The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023,’ added O’Leary, managing director of Gleneagles. ‘It’s all down to the incredible people that make up the team at Gleneagles, without them, this wouldn’t be possible, and this award is a celebration of their hard work and commitment to making each and every guest’s stay a truly unique and memorable experience. Gleneagles is unlike anywhere else in the world and we strive to offer service which is also second to none, so to receive this recognition is very special.”
The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy is made up of hundreds of voters from across the world, including top travel journalists and editors, hoteliers, agents, consultants and seasoned luxury travellers. Nine academy chairs, one for each dedicated global region, select the panel of voters, ensuring voting is carried out confidentially and with the utmost care and discretion.