AYANA’s General Manager Charles de Foucault received the prestigious award on behalf of the property, at the star-studded Asia Grand Final last night. The regional award automatically qualified AYANA’s for the ultimate accolade, the World’s Leading Luxury Resort, at the World Grand Final the following night.
Tagged ‘the Oscars of the travel industry’ by the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global tourism and travel industry. This year’s Grand Final was attended by more than 500 people from 37 countries, including some of the biggest names in the global tourism industry.
“This is a great honor, to be recognized as Asia’s best luxury resort, especially when you look at the stiff competition around us in today’s luxury market,” said Charles de Foucault after taking the stage to receive the award. “There is no shortage of beautifully designed or luxuriously-appointed resorts, and the opening of the Rock Bar has put AYANA on the map for every visitor to Bali. But we aim to go beyond the ‘hardware’ of our facilities, to welcome our guests with a unique experience firmly grounded in the warm hospitality, dedicated yet discreet service, and friendliness of our ‘software’, our people.”
The coveted award comes just months after AYANA’s owners initiated the property’s rebranding to an independent hotel managed by US-based West Paces Hotel Group. It also follows several other awards bestowed on the property in recent months. Among others, AYANA was the only hotel in Bali – and Indonesia – to make the list of Asia’s Top 15 Resorts in the Travel + Leisure 2009 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey, was ranked Bali’s #1 resort by leading Japanese travel magazine AB-Road, and was voted Asia’s #3 Spa Resort by SmartTravelAsia readers.
Enhancements at the property since the rebranding include the opening of the Rock Bar perched on natural rocks directly over the ocean, the renovation of Padi restaurant into an ‘Asian Spice’ concept, the renovation of AYANA Ballroom, and the appointment of William Gumport as Chef de Cuisine at Dava restaurant.
While AYANA retained the vast majority of its 950 staff following the rebranding, it appointed a new senior management team from West Paces, which was founded by legendary hotelier Horst Schulze. Charles de Foucault is a veteran hotelier with more than 30 years’ experience, including 17 years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Most recently, he opened the Leela Kempinski in New Delhi, India before serving as General Manager of the Leela Palace Kempinski in Bangalore.