My favorite work day of the year comes in November when HOTELS fetes its annual Hotelier of the World award winners.
To look at the list of past winners is like reviewing a who’s who of the hotel industry, starting in 1986 with the likes of Jim Nassikas from the Stanford Court in San Francisco and the following year with Lord Forte of Trusthouse Forte in London. More recently, we have honored the likes of P.R.S. Oberoi from India, Georg Rafael from Monte Carlo and Tom Hewitt from Interstate Hotels. Names like Wachtveitl and Rusconi, Kerzner and Bickson are on the list. I could go on and on. In fact, now I feel compelled to list all the winners below.
Then there is the worst day of the year, when I have to call those on the ballot who did not win — even when all of them are so deserving. Not surprisingly, just about every nominee has been gracious in defeat, several having appeared on the ballot multiple times before winning the honor.
Each year at our event, the winners speak so eloquently and passionately about their love affair with the hotel business — how it gave them their break and taught them humility and what hard work really means.
When people ask me why I have been covering this business for more than 20 years, I point to this list of winners. They are all so impressive, having worked on multiple continents, speaking multiple languages, so well versed on food and wine and always dressed impeccably. They are true ambassadors, and it is my pleasure to be involved, writing about their great ideas and their passion for the business.
The 2014 ballot now appears in the current issue of HOTELS, and I want to invite all of you to vote for one of the nominees in each category. Click on this link to vote.
We will feature the winners on our November cover, and I can’t wait to once again shake their hands and hand them their awards later that month.
It is my honor to have them accept nomination. Please join me in the process of choosing the winners who will join this amazing list of great hotelkeepers:
PREVIOUS WINNERS: CORPORATE HOTELIER OF THE WORLD
2013: Peter Borer, The Peninsula Hotels, Hong Kong
2012: Tom Hewitt, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Fairfax, Virginia
2011: Kathleen “Katie” Taylor, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Toronto
2010: P.R.S. Oberoi, Oberoi Hotels, Delhi
2009: Sir Rocco Forte, Rocco Forte Collection, London
2008: Simon Cooper, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Bethesda, Maryland
2007: Raymond Bickson, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palace, Mumbai
2006: Giovanni Angelini, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Hong Kong
2005: Steve Bollenbach, Hilton Hotels Corp., Beverly Hills, California
2004: Sol Kerzner, Kerzner International, Miami
2003: John Q. Hammons, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, Springfield, Missouri
2002: Kurt Ritter, Rezidor SAS Hospitality, Brussels
2001: Adrian Zecha, Amanresorts, Singapore
2000: Bernard Lambert, Le Meridien, London
1999: Gabriel Escarrer, Sol Melia, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
1998: Ramon Pajares, The Savoy Group, London
1997: John Sharpe, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Toronto
1996: William R. Tiefel, Marriott Lodging, Washington
1995: Bryan Langton, Holiday Inn Worldwide, Atlanta
1994: Onno Poortier, The Peninsula Group, Hong Kong
1993: Michael Hirst, Hilton International, London
1992: Juergen Bartels, Carlson Hospitality Group, Minneapolis
1991: Horst H. Schulze, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Atlanta
1990: Bernd Chorengel, Hyatt International, Chicago; Darryl Hartley-Leonard, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Chicago
1989: John Kapioltas, ITT Sheraton Corp., Boston
1988: Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons Hotels, Toronto
1987: Robert Burns, Regent International Hotels, Hong Kong
1986: J. Willard Marriott Jr., Marriott Corp., Washington, D.C.
1985: Howard P. James, ITT Sheraton Corp., Boston
1984: Hans Sternik, Inter-Continental Hotels Corp., London
1983: M.S. Oberoi, Oberoi Hotels, Delhi
1982: Lord Forte, Trusthouse Forte Plc, London
1981: Paul Dubrule, Gerard Pelisson, Accor, Paris
PREVIOUS WINNERS: INDEPENDENT HOTELIER OF THE WORLD
2013: Paul Leone, The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida
2012: Georg Rafael, The Rafael Group, Monte Carlo
2011: Geoffrey Gelardi, The Lanesborough, London
2010: Stephen Bartolin Jr., The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2009: Hans Wiedemann, Badrutt’s Palace, St. Moritz, Switzerland
2008: Kurt Wachtveitl, The Oriental, Bangkok
2007: Natale Rusconi, Hotel Cipriani, Venice
2006: Herve Houdre, The Willard InterContinental, Washington, D.C.
2005: Roberto Wirth, Hotel Hassler, Rome
2004: Ali Kasikci, Peninsula Beverly Hills, California
2003: Emanuel Berger, Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken, Switzerland
2002: Stan Bromley, Four Seasons San Francisco
2001: Katherine Klauber Moulton, The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, Longboat Key, Florida
2000: Alberto del Hoyo, Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, California
1999: Patricia Tam, Halekulani, Honolulu
1998: Michael Glennie, The Boca Raton Resort & Club, Florida
1997: Jennie Chua, Raffles Hotel, Singapore
1996: Ricci Obertelli, The Dorchester, London
1995: Richard A. Holtzman, Carefree Resorts, Phoenix
1994: Stephen A. Wynn, Mirage Resorts Inc., Las Vegas
1993: Ted Kleisner, Greenbrier, West Virginia
1992: Carmen Bucher Wirth, Hotel Hassler, Rome
1991: Ted Wright, The Cloister, Sea Island, Georgia
1990: Jack Vaughn, Opryland Hotel, Nashville
1989: Christopher B. Hemmeter, Hemmeter Corp., Honolulu
1988: Ichiro Inumaru, Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
1987: Helge Holgersen, Grand Hotel, Oslo
1986: James A. Nassikas, Stanford Court Hotel, San Francisco