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One & Only Mandarina named Hotel of the Year at AHEAD Americas 2021


Dezeen promotion: The prestigious Hotel of The Year title at AHEAD Americas 2021 has been awarded to One & Only Mandarina, a luxury resort in Mexico that straddles a sandy beach and dense jungle.


This year’s edition of the AHEAD Americas awards celebrates exceptional hospitality projects that have launched, opened, or reopened across the continent between November 2019 and February 2021.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the winners were announced via a virtual ceremony that took place on 12 November on AHEAD’s website.

AHEAD Americas 2021 winners
Dense jungle serves as the backdrop to Mexico’s One & Only Mandarina hotel

One & Only Mandarina was the most triumphant project, winning the Resort Hotel and Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces categories, as well as the much-sought-after Hotel of the Year award.

Hidden amongst the densely forested cliffsides of Mexico’s Sierra del Vallejo mountain range, the hotel is made up of a series of lavish villas and treehouse-style suites that look out onto the golden sands of the Riviera Nayarit coastline.

AHEAD Americas 2021 winners
The spa at Paradero Todos Santos hotel focuses on ancient Mexican healing treatments

Each of its rooms is decked out with locally-sourced natural materials and comes with a secluded terrace that’s surrounded by lush greenery.

AHEAD judges were blown away by its location, and commented that arriving at the hotel “feels like you’ve been transported to another place where you can be rejuvenated”.

Bedrooms of Circulo Mexicano hotel in Mexico City by Ambrosi Etchegaray
Círculo Mexicano was praised for its minimal Shaker-style rooms

Mexico is home to other winning projects such as the Paradero Todos Santos hotel, which came in first place in the Spa and Wellness category for its offering of ancient Mexican healing treatments and water-based therapies.

The Guestrooms and Visual Identity awards were also given to Círculo Mexicano, whose 25 minimalist rooms were praised by the judging panel for showing “elegance and simplicity” whilst still being warm and inviting.

The Maker Hotel in Hudson, New York won the Lobby and Public Spaces award for its “beautifully curated” array of artworks and ornaments made by local craftspeople.

AHEAD Americas 2021 winners
Camp Sarika by Amangiri in the Utah desert offers a luxury outdoorsy experience

Other winners include Camp Sarika by Amangiri, which scooped the Lodges, Cabins and Tented Camps award.

Situated amid the craggy, rust-coloured cliffs of the Utah desert, the site has 10 guest pavilions – each with their own pool – which AHEAD judges described as providing “pure camp luxury”.

AHEAD Americas 2021 winners
Lyle hotel is set within an art deco building that was formerly apartments

Coming top of the Hotel Conversion category was Lyle, which occupies an art deco apartment block in Washington DC, while the Hotel New Build award went to The GoodTime Hotel in Miami, which came out of a collaboration between esteemed musician Pharrell Williams and entrepreneur David Grutman.

To see the full list of winners from AHEAD Americas 2021 and learn more about the awards scheme, visit the AHEAD website.


Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for AHEAD Awards as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.



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