Our Awards Panelists vote to decide the World’s Best winners each year.
They are experts in all things boutique, luxury and beyond.
We’re proud to say that they are as distinctly different as our hotels.
Writing for Spear's magazine and contributing to their new Travel Guide, Christabel Milbanke is a journalist who believes a return to the traditional tricks of the trade may combat the trend of modern mediocrity prevalent within online and print journalism.
Graduating in American Literature, from Kent and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Christabel interned at United Nations based on her belief in the power of poetry to enlighten society.
A born traveler with an innate love of culture and eye for aesthetics, Christabel has a unique perspective on the true meaning of luxury.
Hotel judge and Awards Presenter
Holding a degree in Hospitality & Event management as well as a degree in Mathematics and Economics, Nathan joined Boutique Hotel Awards while he was still a student. He is now a Business Developer, growing the Nominations Jury and discovering exciting new boutique hotels around the world. He also works on partnerships for the award ceremony. Nathan has traveled widely in South America and aims to grow a newly-kindled interest in Asia.
Brian is a member of the prestigious American Express Travel Hall of Fame. Recognized by Fortune as one of travel’s most influential executives, he had built his own company into an industry leader before selling it to American Express. As an executive vice-president, he developed Amex’s Travel and Corporate Card divisions into industry behemoths. Since retiring from Amex, he has headed several travel-related companies.
Chairman, JDB Fine Hotels & Resorts
With a background in communications and marketing, Paolo is a luxury holiday rental entrepreneur and a private villa expert with more than 12 years’ experience. He was the CEO of a company dedicated to promoting luxury villas and luxury travel experiences to some of the most important agents worldwide, including Amex, Knight Frank, Christies Real Estate and John Taylor International.
In 2012 he founded My Private Villas: an exclusive collection of only the highest quality luxury holiday villas. This is an exclusive portfolio of villas, chalets and private islands available to rent directly from their owners in the most iconic destinations worldwide.
CEO and Founder - My Private Villas
After a Master in Law at the Bocconi University in Milan Fiamma joined the luxury hospitality industry with particular interest in the food and beverage. As Producer of the Awards she oversights and coordinates the event, from its initial concept to the event has ended.
She is a world discoverer and has a passion for Africa.
Sara is a very able, proven executive with a sound basis of experience in a the broad spectrum of management disciplines having worked as a Director of a market leading restaurant group as well as in consultancy, accountancy and publishing. Her core strengths lie in communication, innovation, creative thinking, implementation, business development & delivery of business solutions. Over the last decade, Sara has led the merger of her own accountancy firm with a lead London practice before working with Gordon Ramsay Holdings as a Director responsible for the set-up, implementation and development of their digital arm. Over the last three years, Sara has worked closely with both EP Magazine – a leading hospitality business journal – as well as number of entrepreneurial businesses seeking support to grow. Over the last ten years, she has worked with some of the biggest names in hospitality as well a range of young entrepreneurs – and regardless of who she is working with, you will meet the same person – genuine, authentic, passionate and committed.
Nathan is a freelance journalist based in the UK. He has written extensively for the Financial Times in London, and Art Basel Magazine in Miami, Florida. Nathan has covered topics including the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan and the state of the property market in New York City for the House and Home section of FT Weekend. Before becoming a freelance journalist, Nathan travelled widely, spending time teaching English in Hong Kong and Guangdong, China.
Freelance journalist - Financial Times
Having written for The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, City AM, Quintessentially Insider, The Financial Times, GQ and Brides magazine, Cally now edits Belgravia magazine, and has regularly written about luxury travel for Mayfair Times.
A graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge, Cally initially trained in corporate law before making the switch to journalism six years ago.
Editor, Belgravia Times. Writer, Mayfair Times
Hilary Lancaster has over 20 years of design expertise, after graduating in Sydney in 1992 and starting her career in Singapore. In the UK as Head of Design for Dexter Moren she designed hotels for IHG in Dubai, then established Fusion Interiors Group (FIG) in 2007 working with the 5 Star Somerset Ascott brand in Shanghai. She continues to work with Ascott on boutique lobbies and guestroom concepts for their Citadines Prestige brand in France, and Barcelona. Hilary and her team have also designed a 5 Star private jet lounge in the UK and a luxury spa resort in Qatar. With offices in Jeddah, Doha and Sydney Hilary is expanding hospitality projects globally as well as launching her own range of hotel furniture and carpets.
Founder - Fusion Interiors Group
Richard has been Worldwide Deputy Chairman Of Saatchi & Saatchi since 2007, where he works with Saatchi & Saatchi's people and clients to use their creativity to create and capture value for their businesses. He was appointed an Executive Fellow at London Business School in 2007 and made an Adjunct Associate Professor in 2011. He teaches MBAs, Executive MBAs and Executives on the School's Open Enrolment and Custom Programmes courses. Richard is also chairman of Planting Promise, a sustainable educational enterprise in Sierra Leone; a trustee of the Business Bridge Initiative which provides business education to those around the world otherwise unable to afford it; and Trustee of the British Heart Foundation where he chairs its £50 million Mending Broken Hearts Appeal. As a global traveller he has strong views about hotels and hospitality, and brings significant industry experience to the Boutique Hotel Awards Panel.
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