AHEAD Middle East and Africa announces winners of hotel design awards

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AHEAD Middle East and Africa announces 2017 winners of hotel design awards

Dezeen promotion: the winners of this year's AHEAD Awards for the Middle East and Africa include a safari retreat in Botswana and a five-star cliffside resort and spa in Oman.

The awards celebrate various aspects of hospitality design, with entries assessed on aesthetics, guest experience and commercial viability by a panel of judges comprising leading hoteliers, architects and interior designers.

The Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel in Dubai
The Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel in Dubai won awards for Guestrooms and Resort Hotel

Dubai's Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel by Woods Bagot and DSGN won two accolades this year: Guestrooms and Resort Hotel.

The judges described the five-star hotel as "a new generation of beach resort for Dubai", praising the blending of indoor and outdoor spaces as well as the use of sliding screens to create rooms within rooms.

The Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort in Seychelles
The Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort in Seychelles won two awards

Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort in Seychelles designed by Studio RHE was also a double winner, for Landscape and Outdoor Spaces, and Suites.

The island retreat – which features villa suites hidden by surrounding vegetation – won for its "seamless and sustainable" integration into the landscape.

The Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in Botswana was also a winner

The award for Lodges and Tented Camps was granted to the Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in Botswana by DSA Architects International and Muza Lab.

The design team was praised for its consideration of the hotel's location in the Okavango Delta, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Ibis One Central Hotel's Cubano Lito bar in Dubai was an AHEAD award winner

Cubano Lito at Ibis One Central Hotel in Dubai by Bishop Design took the Bar, Club or Lounge award for its mix of textures, furniture and lighting, which offer a modern take on a traditional Havana townhouse.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort's Anantara Spa in Oman
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort's spa was praised for matching the hotel's reputation for the "highest five-star in the Middle East"

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort's Anantara Spa, which is located on a cliffside in Oman, was the winner of the Spa and Wellness category, while Rove Downtown hotel in Dubai by Stride Treglown International won two awards: New Concept of the Year and Events Space.

Rove Downtown hotel in Dubai by Stride Treglown International
Rove Downtown hotel won two awards: New Concept of the Year and Events Space

Rüya at Grosvenor House hotel in Dubai won the award for the Restaurant category. The Conran and Partners-designed venue, which serves Anatolian cuisine, was chosen for its "melding of eastern and western influences in a coherent whole".

Dubai's Grosvenor House hotel Turkish restaurant
Grosvenor House hotel's Turkish restaurant, designed by Conran and Partners, won the Restaurant category

The Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre by Tihany Design took home the AHEAD MEA Hotel of the Year award, as well as winning in the Urban Hotel category, for bringing a "genuinely new sense of intimate luxury" to the Dubai hotel industry.

The Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre
The Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre was awarded AHEAD MEA Hotel of the Year

Other winners included: Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort in Beirut, which scooped the award for Hotel Renovation and Restoration; Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa in Dubai, winner of the Lobby and Public Spaces award; and Room Mate Emir hotel in Istanbul, which was victorious in the Visual Identity of the Year category.

Room Mate Emir hotel in Istanbul
Room Mate Emir hotel in Istanbul won in the Visual Identity of the Year category

The event is the third of eight regional award ceremonies taking place around the world in 2017 and 2018, celebrating the best new hotels in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and 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.