Gleneagles wins World’s 50 Best Hotels’ Art of Hospitality award

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Gleneagles has been announced as winner of the Art of Hospitality Award, the first category announced ahead of the September ceremony.

Gleneagles’ win was voted for by a panel of 580 hoteliers, travel journalists, consultants, and seasoned luxury travellers from The World’s 50 Best Hotels Academy, who were asked to name the property in the world where they have received the single-best hospitality experience within the two-year voting period.

This is the first of two special awards to be announced in the weeks leading up to the glittering awards ceremony on 19 September 2023 at London’s historic Guildhall, where the first-ever list of The World’s 50 Best Hotels will be revealed.

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The Art of Hospitality Award celebrates a hotel’s outstanding service and attention to detail. It is designed to reward a property and its entire staff for the professional standards they uphold and the way they interact with guests, from the reception desk to housekeeping and its food and beverage teams. Judges were asked to consider the ambience created in the hotel, the delivery of unique experiential elements and the overall warmth of the hospitality and environment.

Tim Brooke-Webb, Managing Director for The World’s 50 Best Hotels, says: “The Gleneagles Hotel has been a mainstay on the hotel scene since its original iteration in 1924 and continues to prove itself as an example of what it means to be truly hospitable. We are leading with the Art of Hospitality as our first special award announced ahead of the inaugural awards ceremony, as we believe that it is the staff who bring one-of-a-kind experiences and hotels to life. In a world that is fascinated by the new, we are especially pleased to be celebrating the people behind this historic hotel – led emphatically by Conor O’Leary”.

The Gleneagles Hotel first opened in 1924 and, because of the beauty of its location, was described as a ‘Riviera in the Highlands’. After its grand opening ball, which gained media attention calling it the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Gleneagles became one of Scotland’s most famous hotels and sporting estates, set beneath the Ochil Hills, in the heart of Perthshire, about a 50 minute drive from Glasgow.

Conor O’Leary, Managing Director of The Gleneagles Hotel, says: “It’s an incredible honour to be the first recipient of the Art of Hospitality Award, part of the inaugural World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023. It’s all down to the incredible people that make up the team at Gleneagles, without them this wouldn’t be possible, and this award is a celebration of their hard work and commitment to making each and every guest’s stay a truly unique and memorable experience. The Gleneagles Hotel is unlike anywhere else in the world and we strive to offer service which is also second to none, so to receive this recognition is very special”.

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The accolade is a recognition of Gleneagles’ commitment to “the highest standard of service across the entire estate, from leisure and wellness to food and drink”, with the hotel due to mark its centenary next year.

Many team members have stayed for decades, as Guest Relations Manager Iris Marhencke comments, “We have some members of staff that have worked here for 40 years. We get to see generational changes; the guests start to become part of the Gleneagles family and the staff become part of the guest’s family”. Similarly, the spirit of the unique Gleneagles offering is summarised by Director of Food and Beverage, Daniel Greenock, who notes, “Guests have the opportunity to experience the best spa in the country or, in contrast, to hike through the harsh weather in the beautiful Glendevon mountains. I feel privileged to be a part of a hotel and a name so rich in history; we are who we are because of the hard work of the people who have worked here before us for almost 100 years”.

In 2015, Ennismore purchased the hotel and launched a four-year renovation programme, the biggest investment in the hotel’s history. The transformation sees the hotel now boasting 11 different restaurants and bars, including the Century Bar, with over 100 single malt whiskies and opulent 1920s-style American Bar, as well as the only 2 Michelin Star restaurant in Scotland, Andrew Fairlie, children’s adventure spaces, state-of-the-art spa and wellness facilities and 232 beautiful bedrooms and suites. Further elevating the guest experience, Gleneagles has developed a programme of over 50 country pursuits, including everything from falconry and clay pigeon shooting, to fly fishing and horse riding, while the estate’s three golf courses are considered among the best in the world.

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