Conde Nast Traveller magazine’s annual Gold List of hotels has become the standard to judge the best amongst the best hotels in terms of service, location, food, rooms, leisure facilities and ambience & design. In nine years of its existence the list has refined its methodology and the magazine has developed a team of editors, writers and hotel experts who judge the hotels on different parameters to prepare the premium list. Peter Browne, is the Conde Nast Traveler editor responsible for the Gold List and he elaborated on the factors that go towards making a hotel outstanding.
Hotel design is a factor but practically all the hotels today look smart and handsome. The hotel staff and the service they provide is the true differentiator. The service should not be too formal or too relaxed and the hotelier who gets the balance right catches the true essence of luxury. The annual Readers’ Travel Awards are a good indicator of which hotels will make it to the Gold List. The Carlyle in New York, Claridge’s or the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London have been in existence for a long time but have evolved over time and reinvented themselves to stay ahead of competition.
Technology plays an important role in improving the service in a hotel. The gadgets and gizmos have made their way into hotels in a big way. However the basic idea must be that the technology must make life easier. New destinations and new properties are making their way into the Gold List. China and India are the new hotel hot spots. However, in the final analysis it is the people who work for a hotel set it apart from the rest and make it an outstanding product.