The Experientialist Awards 20/21 Winners

The Experientialist Awards 20/21:
The winners

A lot has happened for OutThere and luxury travel in the year the Earth stood still. As many of you will know as you took part in the voting, we launched our inaugural Experientialist Awards in 2020, despite the downturn in global travel. We wanted to recognise and applaud the luxury brands and people from across our big and beautiful world that have delivered truly OutThere initiatives, ingenious activities and community-first approaches. Then, for the added feel-good factor, we also wanted to recognise the very best in OutThere experiences. We are extremely proud to announce the Experientialist Awards 20/21 winners.

The response for our first ever Experientialist Awards 20/21 has been overwhelming: hundreds of worthy nominees from all corners of the world took part.

We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners below, but to also be able to tell their extraordinary stories in our brand new edition of OutThere on sale now, The Experientialist Issue. Our hearts are warmed by the tales of deep dedication for putting people firmly ahead of profits; of boundary-pushing pioneers who are redefining what it means to be global citizens; of celebrated living and the very best in culture, sophistication and hedonism.

We’re thrilled to be able to give back as well, raising £5,000 in entry donations, to go to the winners of the Experientialist Awards 20/21 “Most OutThere initiative in community, conservation and sustainability,” below. All the initiatives shortlisted were so very worthy, and it was a very close call.

We inch slowly and surely towards holidaying and getting out into the world again, but while our progress may be slower than we had hoped, we’re full of optimism for what’s to come and confident that as an industry we are moving forward positively in so many ways, and soon, skyward. We just know that you’ll see from their stories, just how far we have all come in a year, although most of us didn’t physically go anywhere at all.

The following four categories award the luxury and experiential travel brands that have demonstrated unparalleled excellence during the COVID pandemic.

Most OutThere travel brand

Winner: Belmond

Belmond has always been a good-time brand that exists to connect its guests to taste-leading experience makers. But this past year it was heartwarming to see the brand up its high-brow entertainment to nourish our wanderlust and keep the dream of travel alive.

Finalists:

Carrier luxury travel logo

Carrier

Cookson Adventures logo

Cookson Adventures

Out Adventures logo

Out Adventures

Quinta do Lago logo

Quinta do Lago

Six Senses Logo

Six Senses

Most OutThere campaign

Winner: Six Senses – At home with Six Senses

At home with Six Senses

From meditation experts in beatific Bhutan to gut-health nutritionists in fairytale Fiji, wellbeing leaders Six Senses remained dedicated to feeding their loyal fans with inspiring ways to live life to the fullest from home and to approach the lockdown mindfully.

Finalists:

Accor live limitless

Reignite your love for travel – ACCOR

JNTO Hope Lights the way

Beyond the clouds, there is always light – JNTO

The Langham Hotels In The Pink

#InThePink – The Langham Hotels & Resorts

NIZUC from home

NIZUC at home – NIZUC Resort & Spa

Tahite Tourisme Reconnect

Reconnect with the world – Tahiti Tourisme

Most OutThere champion

Winner: Robert Sharp, Out Adventures

Putting the needs and concerns of travellers and the LGBTQ+ community first – particularly during the pandemic – has always been at the forefront of what Canadian group tour leaders Out Adventures – owned by Robert Sharp – is all about.

Finalists:

Calum Franklin and Nokz Majozi Rosewood London

Calum Franklin & Nokx Majozi – Rosewood London

Georgie Davidson Boschendal

Georgie Davidson – Boschendal

John Roberts Anantara

John Roberts – Anantara

Malik Fernando Resplendent Ceylon

Malik Fernando – Resplendent Ceylon

Roque Sevilla Metropolitan Touring

Roque Sevilla – Metropolitan Touring

Most OutThere initiative in community, conservation and sustainability

Joint winners: Bill Bensley & The Shinta Mani Foundation and Ride4Rangers

Shinta Mani Foundation Bill Bensley finalist of Experientialist Awards
Bill Bensley and the Shinta Mani Foundation
Ride4Rangers

When it comes to protecting wildlife and the communities around it, Bill Bensley’s Shinta Mani Foundation and Ben Morison’s Ride4Rangers have both gone the extra mile, by increasing the intensity of their work, or finding new ways to fund their projects.

The Shinta Mani Foundation and Ride4Rangers will share the £5,000 collected from entry donations to further fund their projects.

Finalists:

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy

ACCOR All Heartist Fund

ACCOR – All Heartist Fund

Six Senses finalist of Experientialist Awards

Six Senses – Give Rice

Sol y Luna Foundation

Sol y Luna Foundation

The following six categories for the Experientialist Awards 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

Winner: Cookson Adventures

Setting a new bar in hyper-personalised, super-luxury adventure travel, Cookson Adventures are enticing curious and worldly travellers to head out and explore the planet once again in a distinctive, fine-tuned and moreover, safe way.

Finalists:

62 NORD

62°NORD

Another World Adventures

Another World Adventures

Ecoventura Galapagos

Ecoventura

Shinta Mani Wild

Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild

Uncruise Adventures

Uncruise Adventures

The Culturalist award

Winner: The Siam x Smiling Albino

The Siam Smiling Albino

We got quite literally under the skin of Thai culture in Bangkok, Thailand’s ‘City of Angels’ with The Siam. The sophisticated luxury hotel that has developed a true sense of place has caught the eye of OutThere travellers, especially when paired with out-of-the-box cultural immersion courtesy of Smiling Albino.

Finalists:

Fotografiska NYC

Fotografiska New York

Kristiana Lech

Kristiania Lech

Out Adventures India

Out Adventures

Schloss Elmau

Schloss Elmau

Uncruise Adventures

Uncruise Adventures

The Escapist award

Joint winners: Chablé Hotels and SHA Wellness Retreat

Chable Hotels
Chablé Hotels
SHA Wellness
SHA Wellness Retreat

After the year that was, it seems that escapism and wellness have firmly cemented their intrinsic bond and are high on the list of priorities for OutThere travellers. Chablé Hotels on Mexico’s East Coast and SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain take this hotly contested category.

Highly commended: COMO Hotels

COMO Hotels

COMO Hotels’ proactive approach to wellness and holistic wellbeing didn’t go unnoticed by OutThere travellers and it came so close to topping the list, that we had just recognise it with a commendation.

Finalists:

57 Nord

57 Nord

Kudadoo Maldives

Kudadoo

Sao Lourenco do Barrocal

São Lourenço do Barrocal

The Hedonist award

Winner: Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

The beachside city of Tel Aviv has a long-held reputation for hedonism, a favourite of OutThere travellers who adore its full-of-life residents. We can’t wait for the time to come when we will be able to celebrate the city’s forward-looking exuberance once again.

Finalists:

Badrutts Palace

Badrutt’s Palace

Eden Roc St Barths

Eden Rock St Barths

Iconic Luxury Hotels

Iconic Luxury Hotels

Nautilus Maldives

The Nautilus Maldives

SO Hua Hin

SO/ Hua Hin

The Insider award

Joint winners: Ayu in the Wild and Carrier

Ayu in the Wild
Ayu in the Wild
Carrier Luxury Travel
Carrier

With the OutThere traveller always looking to adventure just that little bit slower, more intelligently and better, to discover the inside track on what’s happening in a destination, who better than to turn to than this category’s joint winners, Sri Lankan slow-travel experts Ayu in the Wild and luxury tour operator, Carrier.

Finalists:

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 Ultra-luxury

Abercrombie & Kent

Another World Adventures

Another World Adventures

Gleneagles

Gleneagles

Tuscany Now & More

Tuscany Now & More

The Sophisticate award

Winner: Abercrombie & Kent Ultra-Lux Collection

Abercrombie & Kent

Abercrombie & Kent‘s highly sophisticated ultra-luxury trips and top-notch itineraries – the “money can’t buy” experiences – are all about reconnection, with people and nature, linked to giving back to communities. They’re centred around elite experiences that challenge the norm, broaden horizons and offer ultimate levels of luxury.

Finalists:

Arijuju

Arijiju

Monaco

Monaco

Oetker Collection

Oetker Collection

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn

The Siam Bangkok

The Siam

Photography courtesy of The Experientialist Awards 20/21