It may seem like a crazy time for us to have launched The Experientialist Awards by OutThere at the height of the Covid pandemic, considering that we’ve been pretty much grounded for most of the year. However, we felt that there is so much amazing work being done by the travel industry to #KeepYourMindTravelling and whatnot, that we just had to do it. Plus, it aligns with our mission to champion feel-good factor and optimism, so we created the Experientialist Awards to recognise and champion creativity, innovation, resilience and stewardship in the luxury travel industry during this time.
The response has been phenomenal. We’re absolutely thrilled to have received hundreds of entries from travel brands all over the world. In addition, we have also raised £5,000 in entry donations, to go to a fabulous cause – the winner of the Most OutThere initiative in community, conservation and sustainability category – and are so thankful to all those who have donated, considering the challenging time we find ourselves in.
A huge congratulations to all the entrants that made to the finals of our Experientialist Awards. Our judges deliberated long and hard as to which out-of-this-world travel providers would make it to the finals. We’re proud to showcase the shortlist below and hopefully, it’ll inspire some truly OutThere travels for when the time comes for us to get back into the world again.
The first four categories award the luxury and experiential travel brands that have demonstrated unparalleled excellence during the COVID pandemic.
Most OutThere travel brand
The six most revolutionary, mindful and forward-looking travel brands that have demonstrated unrivalled innovation, creativity and excellence across all aspects of their operations over the months that COVID temporarily paused travel.
Quinta do Lago
Most OutThere campaign
These six stunning campaigns were developed by truly inspirational brands over the COVID months, brimmed with optimism and have kept the enduring spirit of experiential travel alive.
Reignite your love for travel – ACCOR
At home with Six Senses – Six Senses
Beyond the clouds, there is always light – JNTO
#InThePink – The Langham Hotels & Resorts
NIZUC at home – NIZUC Resort & Spa
Reconnect with the world – Tahiti Tourisme
Most OutThere champion
These six selfless individuals and heroes have shown amazing leadership and driven fantastic initiatives in these unprecedented times – both internal and external – to ensure that their brands not just weather the COVID storm, but also do good for their teams and the communities they operate in.
Calum Franklin & Nokx Majozi – Rosewood London
Georgie Davidson – Boschendal
John Roberts – Anantara
Malik Fernando – Resplendent Ceylon
Robert Sharp – Out Adventures
Roque Sevilla – Metropolitan Touring
Most OutThere initiative in community, conservation and sustainability
It has been heartwarming to see so many brands continue to champion and garner support for their projects in community, conservation and sustainability, despite having to pause their operations and not receive funding from guest revenue, but these six are particularly deserving for the hard work they have done over the time travel came to a pause.
*The winner of this category will receive the £5,000 collected from entry donations to help fund their project.
Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy
ACCOR – All Heartist Fund
Bill Bensley x Shinta Mani Foundation
Ride 4 Rangers
Six Senses – Give Rice
Sol y Luna Foundation
The following six categories are unrelated to COVID, but celebrate the luxury travel brands, that like us, are rooted in diversity, discovery and discernment at any time and linked to the six OutThere traveller profiles.
The Adventurer award
The six most adventurous brands from a long list of worthy entries, these travel providers have a real sense of discovery, one that gets their customers out into the great outdoors and pushes their boundaries.
Another World Adventures
Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild
The Culturalist award
These six shortlisted brands have and celebrate “culture” at their very heart, not just limited to the Arts, but also the local community and destination that they’re in.
Fotografiska New York
The Siam x Smiling Albino
The Escapist award
These six escapist journeys celebrate ‘getting away from it all’, wellbeing and peace of mind, all worthy finalists from an absolutely mammoth list of entries each vying to make the Experientialist Awards shortlist.
São Lourenço do Barrocal
The Hedonist award
We loved judging this “just because” category, and have shortlisted six of the most simply indulgent, mindblowing properties and experiences rooted in fun and celebration.
Eden Rock St Barths
Iconic Luxury Hotels
The Nautilus Maldives
SO/ Hua Hin
The Insider award
These six brands are all centred around ‘being in the know’ – they’re otherwise hard to access journeys, but made available because of the brand’s innovation, creativity and connections.
Abercrombie & Kent
Another World Adventures
Ayu in the Wild
Tuscany Now & More
The Sophisticate award
The most hotly contested category of these whole awards, the judges pondered, debated and reconsidered many times over as to which of the luxurious, taste-making, out-of-this-world properties, journeys and experiences they would shortlist. These are their final six.