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Historic Hotels of Europe (HHE) is inviting past guests and discerning travellers to vote in its fifth annual awards, honouring excellence among almost 500 historic hotels in 18 European countries.
The awards honour the staff and managers of hotels that shine in 10 wide-ranging categories, designed to reflect the breadth of the HHE membership. Each member hotel is unique and each is wrapped inextricably into the history of their location - and of Europe beyond. That’s why the organisation selected ten separate categories for the judging.
“This is our way of saying thank you to the incredible teams that continue to go above and beyond to consistently create wonderfully unforgettable experiences for all our guests,” said Historic Hotels of Europe chairman Barbara Avdis.
“You only have to glance at our previous award winners - from castles to convents, lighthouses to former tobacco stores - to see that the benchmark is impressively high.”
Some of the world’s most illustrious hotels are members of the not-for-profit umbrella company, so competition is fierce for the coveted awards. Previous winners include Aigialos Hotel, in Santorini, Greece. The 16 renovated neoclassical houses that make up the hotel were originally the homes of the island’s noble captain families. Named best historic hotel with a story to tell, the Aigialos charms visitors with its cobbled walkways, overlooking deep blue seas and the island’s volcano.
Last year’s winner of the most romantic hotel was Vadstena Convent Hotel, in Sweden. The property has a remarkable history: originally a royal palace, in the 1300s it was the scene of lavish parties thrown by King Magnus Eriksson and his wife Blanche. But the place underwent an abrupt change of fortune when it was transformed into a monastery and convent so austere that log fires, even in a Swedish winter, were strictly forbidden. Vadstena has even been a nursing home for wounded soldiers during wartime - but today it’s a luxury hotel packed with historic charm.
A special voting page has been set up at www.historichotelsofeurope.com/award.html explaining more about the awards and listing all 10 categories [detailed below]. Guests can vote in as many sections as they wish.
Barbara added: “Castles, palaces, villas, monasteries and convents - each of our hotels is handpicked for its historical significance and commitment to excellence in hospitality. We know from the feedback we receive from our guests that the teams’ efforts mean our hotels continue to create unique memories for the people who stay in them - the awards is our opportunity to celebrate that.
“As custodians of the heritage of these historic buildings, it’s important to us that these long histories continue to be told - and added to - in the modern age.”
The deadline for voting is 31 August 2016. The award winners 2017 will be announced at a gala dinner in Santorini, Greece, on Sunday 23 October 2016.
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The awards categories:
1. Historic Hotel Castle Award
A stunning schloss, a captivating chateau or an aristocratic stronghold. Which made you feel like royalty?
2. Historic Hotel Countryside Award
From rolling hills to lush forests, mountain idylls to rural hideaways. Which hotel sums up pastoral excellence?
3. Historic Hotel Spa Award
An indulgent spa treatment should spirit you away from everyday life, cocooning you in luxury. Which is the best?
4. Historic Hotel Wedding Experience
From ceremony to party, which property started off your married life on a high?
5. Most Romantic Historic Hotel
Tales of romance through the ages swirl around our properties. But which played an unforgettable part of your own love story?
6. Historic Hotel Host of the Year
It’s the thoughtful touches that turn great service into historic service. Help us to reward our members’ hosts with the mosts.
7. Historic Hotel Gourmet Award
Food and drink, ambience and location, service and care all combine to create that unique magic that’s an unforgettable meal. Tell us about yours.
8. City Historic Hotel Award
Urban retreats don’t mean personality-free. Which hotel is your oasis in the heart of the city?
9. Historic Hotel New Member Award
They may be new to us but which hotel is already inspiring you with their high standards?
10. Historic Hotel with “A Story to Tell”
Myth and legend, love stories and power struggles, plotting and gossip: our properties have heard them all. Which enchanted you the most?
Notes to Editors:
To find out more, visit www.historichotelsofeurope.com or call the media centre on 0039 0322 7214.
HHE is a not for profit umbrella group, bringing together 13 member organisations across 18 countries, representing almost 500 hotels.
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