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UMNGAZI SPA SHINES AT THE WORLD’S BRILLIANT HOSPITALITY HAUTE GRANDEUR AWARDS GALA CEREMONY

27 October 2017 epitomized acclamation and celebration as Haute Grandeur Global Hotel and Spa AwardsTM recognized the world’s finest hospitality experiences during a glamorous Awards ceremony at the spectacular Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, Thailand.

The Umngazi team were not only humbled, but honored, and a the same time excited to receive two awards at the recent Haute Grandeur Global and Spa Awards.  Umngazi spa won the best hideway spa in Africa and best destination spa in South Africa.

The Haute Grandeur awards is synonymous with status, luxury and acclaim. This year, the prestigious Awards event was even more distinguished, proving yet again why it is considered one of the most anticipated occasions on the hotel and spa industry calendar. “Our annual Awards Gala provides a platform for dignitaries to network and celebrate their outstanding achievements,” said Founder and Managing Director of Haute Grandeur, Marinique de Wet.

Splendor and sophistication set the tone for the evening, as owners and general managers of top global hotel and spa groups joined influencers, industry leaders and the media in celebration of the best. More than 105 companies were represented at the black-tie event, and 522 Awards issued in total.

Among the VIP guests were key speakers, including the President of the Thai Hotels Association, Ms. Supawan Tanomkieatipume. “The growth of the Thai Tourism Industry has expanded rather rapidly,” said Tanomkieatipume. “Thailand is a country with high potential and capability in this business. The Royal Thai Government has a policy to magnify tourism, and it is therefore a great pleasure to be selected as the host destination for this year’s distinguished Haute Grandeur Awards Gala.”

Haute Grandeur is recognized as the world’s leading Awards initiative, acknowledging the finest hospitality experiences across 7 continents and more than 60 countries. Each year, the world’s premium luxury hotel and spa brands compete for the ultimate accolade in overall excellence and greatest contribution to the industry. Brilliance is recognized by means of a rigorous rating process, based on a unique concept exclusive to Haute Grandeur. By relying on quality feedback from guests rather than a quantity of votes by the general public or judges, fairness, transparency and unbiased results are guaranteed.

“A Haute Grandeur Award is a guaranteed golden stamp of excellence, and powerful in its ability to amplify marketing, guest perception and revenue,” said De Wet. “Participating establishments emphasize the value and importance of continuously striving for excellence, and set the standard in the industry. Haute Grandeur promises to raise the bar by awarding only the most exceptional hotels and spas, thereby inspiring establishments to reach even greater heights.”

Excellence was at the heart of the event, with De Wet delivering an inspiring speech about the vision, commitment and purpose of the Awards. “Excellence is the drive to exceed all expectations, when it is least expected,” said De Wet. “Haute Grandeur Awards celebrate values of leadership, hard work, dedication, ambition and success. The nominees are shining examples of what it means to be superlative.”

Adding to the allure of the event was charismatic celebrity MC, Able Wanamakok, who led the evening’s proceedings in style. The dynamic Hong Kong born, US-raised star is a national television host, news anchor for NBT, Thailand, and international presenter for Fashion One Television Network.

Haute Grandeur chooses a leading destination to host the prestigious Awards Gala Ceremony every year. “Selection of the perfect host property is key to the succcess of the Awards,“ said De Wet. “Thai hospitality is world-renowned and we were delighted to bring the world’s most esteemed global hotel and spa Awards to Thailand. Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, the south-east Asian flagship of Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, was chosen as the ideal host venue because of its unwavering dedication to raising the standards of service excellence in a highly competitive industry.” The 32-storey state-of-the-art hotel is situated in a vibrant cosmopolitan district of Bangkok, fusing French elegance with Thai culture to offer discerning guests a magnificent experience.

“It was a great honor for us to win the bid to host this prestigious Awards event,” said General Manager of Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, Oliver Schnatz. “This trusted Awards system reflects our commitment to excellence and recognizes the talent and ambassadors who work with unwavering dedication.”

“To win a Haute Grandeur Award takes will and determination,” said De Wet. “An establishment must excel on all levels. Therefore, the winners truly attained the ultimate in excellence; recognized with the highest accolade a hotel or spa can receive.” Among the victors were top global luxury hotel and spa brands – One&Only Resorts, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Banyan Tree Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Sofitel Luxury Hotels, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Ritz Carlton Luxury Hotels, Park Inn Hotels, ESPA Spas and Raffles Resorts, among others.

Umngazi would like to congratulate the overall winner, Rosewood Beijing. “Rosewood Beijing is deserving of this coveted Award in every way. It is an exquisite establishment, renowned for its passion and commitment to impeccable service,” said De Wet. “This was evident from the high customer rating score the property received during the 2017 Awards rating season.” Rosewood Beijing reflects the history, art and vibrancy of Beijing, seamlessly blending culture, architecture and tradition with contemporary style. The property is situated within one of the world’s most fascinating destinations, and is intimately connected to its natural surroundings, inviting guests to embark on a personal, authentic journey of discovery.

Another highpoint was Haute Grandeur’s announcement of the launch of a restaurant Awards division in 2018. “Our aim is to identify and applaud overall excellence in restaurants, measured against stringent Haute Grandeur standards,” said De Wet. “This is an opportunity for restaurants to compete, excel and be recognized for exceptional achievement.”

Accolades and triumphs were not the only highlights on the evening. Other delights included live entertainment, with a riveting performance by Kool Gong & The Band – a modern pop music cover band from Thailand, featuring award winning lead singer, Susana Tatniyom.

After the formalities, winners enjoyed their moment of fame “red-carpet style”. Among the media covering the event were Bespoke International, Destination Thailand News, Global Travel Media, Exquisite Media, Travel Daily Media, Gaya Travel Magazine, Hotelier Maldives, Maldives Insider, Travelindex, Luxurious Magazine and People Publishing Media Group.

Haute Grandeur collaborated with global event partners like Etihad Airways, and Uber, which offered Haute Grandeur members free rides throughout Thailand in celebration of the Awards. Contributors comprised of Spice Up Thailand, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts, Thai Hotel Association, Thailand Incentive & Convention Association, DHL, Voya and La Prairie.

Association with Haute Grandeur ensures participating hotels and spas are perceived as elite – recognized as game-changers who are setting the benchmark in the industry.

The 2018 Haute Grandeur Global Hotel and Spa Awards Ceremony will be held in Dubai.

For more information or to become a member, visit www.hautegrandeur.com

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