In the corporate competition, Minor Hotels won a coveted accolade in the Sustainable Development category for its ‘Nature-Based Hotels Long-Term Conservation’ initiative. The project is aimed at preserving the ecosystems where the group’s properties operate, and includes 47 separate projects at 58 hotels and resorts globally that directly protect a total of at least 10 critically endangered, 27 endangered and 30 vulnerable species.

Under the local competition, which recognises the achievements of individual hotels and their teams, the Iconic Employee Award honouring the most exceptional and charismatic employee of the year went to Edward Minyoyi, Guest Relations Officer at Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara. Regaling his insider local knowledge and personal tales, ‘Edward the Storyteller’ plunges guests into the colours, customs and majesty of Zambia through the age-old art of storytelling, helped along by his formidable talent for languages.

Additionally, the three finalists were INEO restaurant at Anantara Palazzo Naiadi Rome Hotel in the Best F&BE Experience category, a recognition of Chef Heros De Agostinis’s creative interpretation of metissage; the Biodiversity Corridor at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Sri Lanka, which has restored more than 25,000 sqm of native habitat for protected species, earning a place as finalist in the Best Sustainable Action category; and Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel was runner-up on the night in the audience-voted Transformation/Creation of the Year category for the impeccably executed conversion of a 13th-century Capuchin convent.

“I am honoured to be here in Paris today to receive the awards on behalf of my team members who worked hard to deliver exceptional experiences to our guests, while also being responsible and respectful of the environment and the communities where we operate,” said Dillip Rajakarier, Group CEO of Minor International and CEO of Minor Hotels, who was also President of this year’s Hospitality Awards ceremony. “I would also like to thank the Hospitality Awards jury, our partners and our guests for their support and trust in Minor Hotels, and for inspiring us to go further and do better.”