The time has come to reveal the winners for this edition of our Experientialist® Awards… our not-for-profit, philanthropic awards programme that recognises and applauds 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 23/24 winners.
We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners below, and to also be able to tell their extraordinary stories in our brand new edition of OutThere, The Experientialist® Awards Issue. Our hearts are warmed by the tales of deep dedication to 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’ve raised a whopping £10,000 in entry donations, to go to the winners of the Experientialist® Awards 23/24 “Most OutThere initiative in community, conservation and sustainability.” All the initiatives shortlisted were so very worthy, and it was a very close call. Congratulations to all those who won and also all those shortlisted.
Most OutThere travel brand
Winner: South Australia
South Australia has always placed their tourism emphasis on its fascinating people and spellbinding nature, celebrating an unwavering multicultural spirit (and respect for their Indigenous Peoples) that pushes the frontiers of experiential travel. They are truly grounded in an essence of diversity, discovery and discernment, not to mention responsible and sustainable travel.
Highly commended: Scott Dunn
Journeys With Purpose
Most OutThere initiative in inclusive travel
When it comes to diversity, Belmond goes the extra mile… often literally, on their Travel with Pride train journeys on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train and British Pullman, A Belmond Train. They have spearheaded initiatives that showcase a true culture of inclusion in all that they do, particularly in delivering products and ideas aimed at diverse communities, while simultaneously raising money for marginalised people.
Highly commended: Visit California
Discover Puerto Rico
Most OutThere champion
Joint-winner: Fred Dixon, New York City Tourism & Conventions
Fred is at the helm of one of our favourite OutThere destinations, New York City. As the CEO of the world’s biggest city destination marketing organisation, he has driven creativity and inclusivity by leading from the front. He is a dynamic and innovative tourism professional and exemplifies the NYC trope of “if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.”
Joint-winner: Kurt Macher, Shangri-la
Kurt Macher is a firm believer in heartfelt, genuine hospitality for all. He is creative, (sometimes eccentric) and is someone who has thrown out the rule book on how Shangri-la – you’ll see it at the Shangri-la London and Shangri-la Paris – should go about doing things. Moreover, he is a real champion for inclusivity, ensuring that his team and guests always feel welcome, respected and valued.
Anjali & Jaisal Singh, SUJAN
Christina Guggenberger, Stockholm LGBT
Karolin and Nick Troubetzkoy – Jade Mountain
Patrick Woodhead, White Desert
Most OutThere initiative in community, conservation and sustainability
Winner: Borana Lodge – All for Conservation / Borana Conservancy
Borana Lodge has pioneered a new, integrated model of responsible tourism that mitigates impact and powers uplifting local social programmes, which in turn feeds into its surrounding environment. It addresses giving back with rigorous ambition, channelling nearly a quarter of what it generates from tourism into community and conservation efforts.
Borana Lodge has been awarded £7,500 collected from entry donations; and True Travel £2,500… to further fund their projects.
Highly commended: True Travel– True Travel Foundation
Abercrombie & Kent – A&K Philanthropy
The Datai Langkawi – The Datai Pledge
Red Carnation Hotels – TreadRight Foundation / Make Travel Matter
Virgin Limited Edition, Mahali Mzuri – Inua Jamli
The following six categories for the Experientialist Awards celebrate the luxury travel brands, that like us, are rooted in diversity, discovery and discernment, linked to the six OutThere traveller profiles.
The Adventurer award
Winner: Miavana by Time + Tide
Miavana by Time + Tideis the way to escape the ordinary. A journey there to its castaway island just off the coast of Madagascar takes OutThere travellers to a part of the world that is lesser visited… and thrills them with adventure, culture, exploration, nature and unadulterated luxury.
The Pavilions Mongolia and Himalayas
The Culturalist award
Winner: Villa Ardore
Villa Ardore‘s owners only began to explore Tuscany a decade ago, but in this time, they have become a really important part of the community; creating a personalised, luxurious and cultural experience, ensuring that their guests will feel just as bewitched as the owners did when they first invested in this stunning property.
Hotel De L’Europe Amsterdam
The Escapist award
There is so much we can say about FORESTIS but nothing can ever come close to experiencing this place for yourself. It transcends all our basic notions of escapism, extending into unique human narratives, rituals and deeply immersive experiences rooted in nature.
Il San Corrado di Noto
The Hedonist award
Winner: West Hollywood
The city of West Hollywood in Los Angeles has long been a beacon for hedonism and eclectic lifestyles. It is one of the Most OutThere places in the world to stay, slay, play and party.
Copacabana Palace, A Belmond hotel
The Slate, Phuket
The Insider award
Winner: cazenove + loyd
cazenove + loyd is a responsible tour operator that is all about insider access and opening the wonders of the world up to travellers, alongside pioneering travel with impact. They’ve done so for decades. With cazenove + loyd, the world seems truly unlocked.
Abercrombie & Kent
The Sophisticate award
Winner: One&Only Reethi Rah
One&Only Reethi Rah is considered to be one of the very best resorts in its class, if not the best. Besides being impeccably swanky, there’s a real spirit of generosity about our winner, along with a zeal to truly understand and personalise the stay for each guest, not to mention delivering pure, unadulterated luxury.
Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River
J.K. Place Capri
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