Dezeen promotion: a cylindrical cultural centre designed by OMA, an old Mexican residence renovated with huge slatted wooden walls, and a boutique “micro hotel” with tiny rooms are among the winners of this year’s Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design Americas.
The AHEAD Americas 2017 awards recognises hotel and hospitality projects across the Americas, completed between September 2015 and December 2016. Entrants were judged by a panel including hoteliers, architects, interior designers and industry commentators.
The Faena Miami Beach development was this year’s big winner. The complex’s Faena Hotel received both the Americas Hotel of the Year and Best Resort hotel awards, and was described by the judges as a “fantastical playground”.
The Tierra Santa Healing House at the hotel also took the prize for Spa & Wellness.
The Faena Hotel forms part of the regeneration of the Mid-Beach site spearheaded by Argentinian hotelier and property developer Alan Faena, who received this year’s Outstanding Contribution award.
Meanwhile, the Faena Forum art and performance centre across the street topped the Event Spaces category.
The cylindrical building, which international firm OMA based on the iconic Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright, was commended for its “drama and personality”.
The hotel’s interior by Danish studio Space Copenhagen won the prize for Lobby & Public Spaces, while its Terrace Suite and the Le Coucou restaurant, which was designed by local studio Roman & Williams, also collected prizes.
New York hotel Arlo SoHo, described as “the first micro hotel in the United States with four-star design”, was awarded for its guest bedrooms – some of which have bunkbeds.
The Arlo brand behind the hotel, which aims to attract “urban explorers”, also won the award for New Concept.
Judges gave the Top Urban Hotel – Conversion prize to Hotel Criol in Mexico’s Santiago de Querétaro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Designed by Mexican studio Miguel Concha Architecture, the project included the restoration of a historic colonial facade, and the addition of huge slatted wooden walls and plenty of endemic vegetation behind.
Impressed by its approach to context and location and the “thoughtful spaces” that make up the visitor journey, the panel also highly commended the project.
Also in Mexico, The Chablé Resort by Mexican architects Jorge Borja and Paulina Morán was awarded for Landscape and Outdoor Spaces.
The hotel in Yucatan blends historic Mayan architecture with contemporary features and boasts a spa set beside a cenote – a sunken water-filled limestone pit.
Other winners included the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas – a three-storey brick and terracotta boutique hotel by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture.
Brooklyn-based Studio Tack received prizes for the bar at the Coachman Hotel in California’s South Lake Tahoe and its visual identity for The Brentwood Hotel in New York.
The winners were announced at a ceremony at Herzog & de Meuron’s Perez Art Museum in Miami on 28 June 2017.
The Americas edition is one of AHEAD’s eight regional award ceremonies celebrating the best new hotels around the world. Winners from Asia were announced earlier this year, while other divisions include the Middle East & Africa, and Europe.
These heats will culminate in a Global Biennale in 2019, which will see the regional winners compete head-to-head to decide a worldwide winner in each category.
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