22 August 2018
VIRTUOSO® HONOURS THE DONOVAN BAR AT THE 12TH ANNUAL BEST OF THE BEST HOTEL AWARDS
August 2018 Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® announced the winners of its highly anticipated 2018 Best of the Best Awards at its 30th annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference, where the Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel, London was honored as the Virtuoso Best Bar. Only 10 properties and hoteliers in total and, of those, only one in London were recognized out of an impressive network portfolio of more than 1,300 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in over 100 countries. Stuart Johnson, new Managing Director of Brown’s Hotel, was presented with the award for Virtuoso Best Bar on Wednesday 15th August before 1,700 top luxury hospitality executives and world’s-finest travel advisors at the Hotels & Resorts Dinner at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Residing in one of London’s most iconic hotels, the Donovan Bar has long been known as one of the most intimate and sophisticated drinking dens in the city playing host to gatherings of the most glamorous faces of Mayfair. In April this year the Donovan Bar relaunched following extensive redesign by Inge Moore of Muza Lab and Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Brown’s Hotel. The space has doubled in size to hold up to 100 guests and takes inspiration from the bar’s namesake and close friend of the Forte family, the iconic British photographer Terence Donovan, with over 50 of his photographs lining the walls and a luxurious colour palette of British racing green, white and grey to reflect photographic tones and touches of gold throughout.
Even the menu pays homage to the renowned photographer of the swinging ‘60s with legendary mixologist Salvatore Calabrese having taken up residency and created a list of 16 original cocktail creations divided into four sections: bright and refreshing High Exposure; dark and mellow Low Exposure; strong and bold High Contrast; and soft and delicate Low Contrast. Miriam Geiser of KK Travels Worldwide, a Virtuoso Agency, aptly describes the Donovan Bar as a "Great mix of contemporary and traditional English with fantastic drinks and great service."
Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is renowned as the industry’s longest-running and most prestigious hotel program. Founded in 1992 with only 20 hotels, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts encompasses more five-star properties than any other program, with quality and diversity serving as the hallmarks of the program.
“Every year we are tasked with selecting the very best representatives in luxury hospitality,” said Albert Herrera, Senior Vice President, Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso, “and these 10 Best of the Best winners emerged as leaders from amongst a global collection of properties famed for their excellence. These hotels have raised the calibre of the entire network, and we thank Brown’s Hotel and its newly launched Donovan Bar for providing such a shining exampleas the Virtuoso Best Barwinner. We celebrate their contributions to increasing the already considerable prestige of Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts.”
Virtuoso’s 1,000-plus travel agency members and their 17,500 professional travel advisors voted to select the winners in each category, from best family program to sustainable tourism leadership. Editors of VIRTUOSO LIFE, the network’s multi-award-winning magazine, contributed their expert insights to name the initial nominees on which the advisors voted.
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Rocco Forte Hotels
Misty Ewing Belles
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About Rocco Forte Hotels
Established by Sir Rocco Forte and sister, Olga Polizzi in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels is a collection of 11 individual hotels and resorts. All of the hotels are landmarks, both old and new, occupying magnificent buildings in exceptional locations. Led by a family who has been in hospitality for four generations, the hotels are united by their distinctive approach to service ensuring guests experience the best of the cities and surrounding areas.
Rocco Forte Hotels comprises: Hotel de Russie, Rome; Hotel Savoy, Florence; Verdura Resort, Sicily; The Balmoral, Edinburgh; Brown’s Hotel, London; The Charles Hotel, Munich; Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt; Hotel de Rome, Berlin; Hotel Amigo, Brussels; Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg; Assila Hotel, Jeddah. Future openings: Rome in 2018, Shanghai in 2019
Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 17,500 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $23.7 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry.