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The best design work in 18 categories and Designer of the Year Fox Brown Creative were recognized at the Nov. 9 gala that capped off Boutique Design New York (BDNY) and HX: The Hotel Experience

CINCINNATI, OH, November 23, 2015 – Winners of the 35th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design were unveiled at a gala on Nov. 9 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. The event was held in conjunction with Boutique Design New York (BDNY) and HX: The Hotel Experience (formerly IHMRS), co-located at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The gala also honored Fox Browne Creative as Designer of the Year. The firm’s owners, designer Chris Browne and hotelier Debra Fox, accepted the award on behalf of the Johannesburg-based firm.

The 2015 Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design winners are:

Best Eco Conscious or Socially Conscious Hotel
• Fox Browne Creative, Johannesburg, Michaelis Boyd Associates, London, and Nicholas Plewman Architects, Johannesburg; Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Best Lobby Midscale/Budget/Focused Service
• EoA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.; Amara Cay Resort, Islamorada, Fla.

Best Lobby Upscale
• CCD / Cheng Chung Design (HK) Ltd., Hong Kong; The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square, China
• Studio GAIA, New York; W Bogota, Colombia

Best Lobby Luxury
• Meyer Davis Studio, New York; 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach, Fla.

Best Guest Room Midscale/Budget/Focused Service
• +tongtong, Toronto; Drake Devonshire Inn, Wellington, Ont., Canada

Best Guest Room Upscale
• NICOLEHOLLIS, San Francisco; Palladian Hotel, Seattle

Best Guest Room Luxury
• HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates, Singapore; NUO Hotel Beijing

Best Suite (co-winners)
• Wimberly Interiors, New York; Bentley Suite at The St. Regis Istanbul
• Studio GAIA, New York; Presidential Suite at W Bogota, Colombia

Best Nightclub/Lounge
• Studio Munge, Toronto; Prohibition, Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Best New Hotel Brand or Soft Brand Concept
• 1 Hotels, New York

Best Resort
• BAMO, San Francisco; Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Best Restaurant Casual Dining
• Stonehill & Taylor Architects, New York; The NoMad Bar, New York

Best Restaurant Fine Dining
• Gabellini Sheppard Associates, New York; The Rainbow Room, New York

Judges’ So Cool
• Fox Browne Creative, Johannesburg, Michaelis Boyd Associates, London, and Nicholas Plewman Architects, Johannesburg; Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Best Hotel Budget/Focused Service
• DesignAgency, Toronto; Generator London

Best Hotel Midscale
• +tongtong, Toronto; Drake Devonshire Inn, Wellington, Ont., Canada

Best Hotel Upscale
• Roman and Williams, New York, and Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Chicago; Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Best Hotel Luxury
• Gilles & Boissier, Paris; Baccarat New York


Sponsored by Boutique Design, the awards recognize the most influential and innovative design work in the hospitality industry. To be eligible, new construction, conversion or renovation work must have been completed from April 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015. Winners and finalists were determined by a renowned panel of judges from the hospitality design, operations, development and investment sectors.

Judges for the 35th annual Gold Key Awards included: Stacey Greene, vice president, design and construction, Chesapeake Lodging Trust; Kemper Hyers, senior vice president, design, Starwood Capital Group/SH Hotels; Ted Jacobs, vice president of global design, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Helen Jorgensen, vice president, design and procurement, Host Hotels & Resorts; Raul Leal, ceo, Virgin Hotels; John McMullen, senior vice president of construction, Highgate Hotels; Christine Shanahan, managing director of design, HVS Design; and Erik Warner, co-founder, Eagle Point Hotel Partners.

Prior to the awards ceremony, NEWH, the professional network of the hospitality industry, presented its 11th annual ICON of Industry award to Fabric Innovations’ Deborah Herman during the gala. Katelyn Koch, an interior design major at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) Atlanta campus and recipient of the $7,500 NEWH ICON of Industry scholarship, was also honored during the event.

The 36th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design will begin accepting submissions in May 2016, for hospitality projects that are completed or renovated from April 1, 2015 to May 1, 2016. Complete submission guidelines, eligibility requirements and an official entry form will be available at bdny.com and thehotelexperience.us.

About HMG

HMG is a privately held media company serving the global hospitality industry and specializing in trade fairs, conferences and event management and development. Events in the HMG portfolio include: BDNY; BDwest; management of HX: The Hotel Experience (formerly IHMRS); Boutique Design Forums; Boutique 18; and sponsorship of the annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design.

Contact: Rachel Miller

rachel.miller@stmediagroup.com / (513)263-9333

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