VIDEO: AHEAD judges speak to Dezeen

The AHEAD Americas judging panel has spoken to Dezeen about factors they were looking for in the winning projects.

The inaugural ceremony on 28 June at Herzog & De Meuron’s Perez Art Museum Miami saw projects including the Faena Miami Beach complex and 11 Howard take home multiple awards, following a judging process chaired by Larry Traxler, SVP Global Design, Hilton Worldwide.

Recognising the best in hotel design and experience throughout the region, the platform celebrated projects including Coachman Hotel, Arlo Hotel SoHo, Chablé Resort, Hotel Criol and South Congress Hotel, amongst others, across 16 categories.

Matoula Karagiannis, Vice President of Design at Sydell Group, notes that Faena Hotel Miami Beach in particular captured the judges attention by channeling the glamorous art deco history of Miami.

“The Hotel Faena harkens back to a time when all those hotels were built in the 1920s on Miami Beach,” she says in the movie, which Dezeen filmed at the Nomad Hotel in New York, where the judging took place. “There was a certain sense of theatre and glamour. People went to Miami to stay in those hotels and the Hotel Faena has captured that.”

Aliya Khan, Vice President of Global Design Strategies at Marriott International, meanwhile, expresses her admiration of 11 Howard, which took home four awards for Hotel Renovation and Restoration; Lobby and Public Spaces; Restaurant; and Suite.

“That is a hotel that is going to age really well,” she explains. “There’s a timeless component to that palette. The guest rooms are incredibly tasteful. It’s not going to date and I think there is tremendous value to that.”

The next AHEAD programme, AHEAD MEA, will take place on 15 November 2017 at W Al Habtoor City Dubai.

The full list of AHEAD Americas winners can be found here