Category Criteria

The 2024 Luxury Travel Gold List Awards feature a total of 26 distinguished categories, including several new and revised ones, to reflect the dynamic landscape of luxury travel. Explore the entry criteria for each category below. 

 

Hotels & Resorts

New Hotel or Resort Design

This award celebrates superior interior design and architecture in a newly built or refurbished hotel or resort worldwide, which opened or reopened between January 1st, 2023, and March 31st, 2024. This award spotlights innovation and creativity, acknowledging establishments that stand out in the luxury travel industry through their design and architectural excellence.

Entry Criteria:

  • A brief summary of your hotel or resort (up to 80 words).
  • Detailed information on the design and architectural features that set your property apart, including how it connects guests to its location. Highlight any sustainable and environmental initiatives in the design and construction, up to 400 words.
  • Additional details that demonstrate why your property is a leading example in this category, up to 200 words.

 

Luxury Hotels (51+ rooms)

This award recognises an established hotel or resort anywhere in the world with more than 50 rooms that offers guests a superior luxury experience during their stay, including elements such as food and beverage, spa services, personalised customer service, room comfort and aesthetics, as well as hotel facilities and amenities.  

Entry Criteria:

  • A brief summary of your hotel or resort (up to 80 words).
  • Detail about the elements that make your property a standout and why, including the location, guest experiences, facilities, design elements, sustainability initiatives and food/beverage highlights (max. 400 words).
  • Anyother details we should know about your property and why it’s an exemplar in this category. (max. 200 words).

 

Luxury Hotel Brand

This award recognises an outstanding luxury hotel or resort brand, known for offering exceptional accommodations in more than one country. This award considers brands with properties in any location, as long as it is located in more than one market, without restrictions on the number or size of the hotels/resorts within the brand’s portfolio.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise summary of your hotel or resort brand (up to 80 words).
  • An outline highlighting what makes your brand exceptional, including the diversity of locations, unique guest experiences, cultural immersion, design and aesthetics, sustainability efforts, culinary achievements, and community contributions (limited to 500 words).
  • Additional insights showcasing why your brand exemplifies leadership in this category (max. 200 words).

 

Boutique Hotel, Resort or Lodge (1-25 rooms)

This award celebrates small-scale luxury accommodations anywhere in the world with 1-25 rooms that offer an exceptional guest experience. This category evaluates the property’s unique location, the diversity and quality of guest experiences, onsite facilities, distinctive design, commitment to sustainability, and exceptional food and beverage services.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise overview of the boutique property, highlighting its uniqueness (up to 80 words).
  • An explanation detailing the property’s standout features, including its location, guest experiences, facilities, design elements, sustainability initiatives, and culinary highlights. Highlight how your property offers an unparalleled luxury experience in a small-scale setting (up to 400 words).
  • Any additional information that underscores the property’s role as a leading example within its category (up to 200 words).

 

Boutique Hotel, Resort or Lodge (26-50 rooms)

Recognises medium-sized luxury accommodations anywhere in the world with 26-50 rooms that offer an exceptional guest experience. This category evaluates the property’s prime location, range of exclusive experiences, superior onsite amenities, innovative design features, sustainability practices, and culinary excellence.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise overview of your property (max. 80 words).
  • Detail what sets your property apart, focusing on unique aspects such as location, guest experiences, design, sustainability efforts, facilities and food/beverage offerings. Highlight how your property offers an unparalleled luxury experience in a small-scale setting (max. 400 words).
  • Any additional information that underscores the property’s role as a leading example within its category (up to 200 words).

 

Luxury Hotel or Resort – Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific

This new category celebrates the top hotel or resort in Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific, without size limitations. The winning property offers a superior guest experience thanks to its design, room comfort, sustainable practices, service quality including personalisation, off-site and on-site immersive experiences and culinary offerings.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of your hotel or resort (max. 80 words).
  • Details that make your property a standout, including location, guest experiences, facilities, design elements, sustainability initiatives and food/beverage highlights (max. 400 words).
  • Any other details about your property that demonstrate why it’s an exemplar in this category (max. 200 words).

 

Sustainable Luxury Resort 

This award recognises a resort located anywhere in the world that truly adopts the highest standards of sustainability throughout: including its approach to design, cultural sustainability, eco-tourism experiences and the preservation and protection of the lands that it occupies. Innovative and unique sustainable practices are also looked favourably upon.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of your sustainable resort (max. 80 words).
  • Details describing what makes your resort a true, standout example of sustainability in the industry. You may wish to refer to any recognised certifications (either achieved or in the process) and how you address the four key pillars set up by the Global Sustainability Tourism Council: (A) Sustainable management, (B) Socioeconomic impacts, (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts (max. 400 words).
  • Any other details about your property that demonstrate why it’s an exemplar for this category (max. 200 words).

 

Destinations & Experiences

Gourmet Luxury Tourism Experience – Australia & New Zealand

This category is open to all accommodation operators in any region within Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific that offer an exeptional culinary experience. The winning hotel, resort or lodge’s exceptional food and/or wine experience/s significantly enhance guests’ luxury travel experience through unique, high-quality food and wine offerings.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of the unique culinary experience offered (max 80 words).                                                                                           
  • Illustrate how the experience demonstrates innovation, quality, and authenticity. Outline how the experience connects guests with local culture and cuisine, integrates sustainable practices and stands as a prime example of gourmet luxury tourism in the region (max 400 words). 
  • Any other details about your property and why it’s an exemplar for this category (max. 200 words).

 

Regenerative Tourism Experience

This category rewards an experience that actively contributes to the regeneration of ecosystems, wildlife or communities, while ensuring travellers can partake in activities that leave the destination better than how they found it. The winning experience yields immensely positive social, economic or environmental impacts, serving as a stalwart of regenerative luxury tourism.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise summary of your regenerative tourism experience (up to 80 words).
  • A detailed description of the experience, aligning with UN regenerative tourism principles, that demonstrates its positive impact environmentally, socially and economically, including the effects on local wildlife, communities and ecosystems. 
  • Highlight how the experience is compelling, unique, safe and educational for luxury travellers, and fosters a connection with the land, communities and wildlife (up to 400 words).
  • Any other insights into why this experience stands as a leading example in the regenerative tourism category (up to 200 words). 

 

Wellness Retreat or Resort

This category celebrates the evolution of wellness within luxury travel globally, acknowledging retreats and resorts that offer a superior wellness program or programs. This award recognises a luxury wellness accommodation that provides an outstanding wellness experience designed to enrich guests’ overall health, while demonstrating unique treatments and programming targeting physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise summary of your wellness resort or retreat (80 words max). 
  • A detailed description of the programs and treatments offered that promote comprehensive well-being, including mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects. 
  • Outline any relevant certifications and the expertise of practitioners involved in carrying out or designing these programs, ensuring the highest standards of safety and holistic care for guests (500 words). 
  • Any other unique features that position your offering as a leading example in the wellness category (200 words max).

 

Luxury Family Experience

This category recognises an exceptional luxury offering tailored to families and multi-generational travellers. It celebrates experiences designed to engage all ages and that foster meaningful family bonding through a variety of activities across categories such as culinary, nature, wildlife and regenerative experiences.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise summary of the experience, emphasising its family-friendly appeal (up to 80 words). 
  • A detailed description of the aspects that make the experience particularly appealing to families, including location, interactive opportunities suitable for all ages, inclusivity, immersive and educational components and any facilities or sustainability initiatives that attract multi-generational travellers (up to 500 words). 
  • Any other unique qualities that exemplify why the experience is a leading contender in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Indigenous Experience

The Indigenous Experience category honours tourism operators around the world that offer authentic and responsible Indigenous tourism experiences. This award recognises those who facilitate deep connections between travellers and Indigenous cultures worldwide, and that foster a greater appreciation of diverse ancient cultures and supporting local Indigenous communities. Through immersive experiences, guests gain insight into the rich traditions, knowledge and heritage of Indigenous peoples from every corner of the globe, contributing positively to the preservation and celebration of these cultures.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise summary of the experience offered (up to 80 words).
  • A detailed explanation of the experience’s unique aspects, including how the experience showcases Indigenous culture through location, guest interactions, sustainability efforts; and highlights the facilities, design or culinary offerings connected to the Indigenous heritage (up to 400 words).
  • Any additional information underscoring the experience’s role as a leading example of authentic and responsible Indigenous tourism (up to 200 words).

 

Luxury Hotel Restaurant or Bar 

This category recognises outstanding hotel bars and restaurants that elevate the guest experience beyond simply providing a place to dine or drink. These establishments will exemplify the essence of luxury travel, offering exceptional service, innovative cuisine or cocktails, and a truly memorable ambience.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise summary of the restaurant or bar. Winners must impress across innovation, service, and ambience.
  • A detailed summary outlining the dining drinks persona, unique menus with local ingredients and signature creations that are presented beautifully. Service should be attentive and knowledgeable, and swiftness should be ensured with a high staff-to-guest ratio.T he atmosphere should be stylish and luxurious, reflecting the hotel’s aesthetic, with thoughtful design details. (up to 400 words)
  • This award honours venues that elevate the guest experience beyond sustenance, creating truly unforgettable moments that embody luxury travel. Any additional information underscoring the experience’s role as a leading example of authentic and responsible Indigenous tourism (up to 200 words).

 

 

Cruise

Luxury Expedition Cruise Brand

This category celebrates an outstanding luxury cruise brand offering premium expedition voyages anywhere in the world, with no restrictions on ship size or guest capacity. This award recognises brands that excel in delivering exceptional adventure luxury experiences to explorers across the globe.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of your brand (up to 80 words).
  • An outline of what sets your brand apart, including onboard facilities, shore excursions, expedition capabilities, responsible immersion in destinations, sustainability efforts and your approach to minimising impact on the regions visited (up to 400 words).
  • Any additional information that demonstrates why your brand is a leading example in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Luxury Ocean Cruise Brand (Under 300 Guests)

The Luxury Travel Gold List sets sail for unparalleled intimacy with the Best Ocean Cruise Line (Up to 300 Guests) award. This category spotlights lines redefining personalised service at sea.

Imagine an exclusive haven with exceptional staff catering to your every need. Explore diverse excursions, then unwind in luxurious cabins with stunning views. Elegant public spaces invite relaxation and socialising. 

Foodies will be delighted by gourmet dining and a variety of other options. Sustainability practices ensure your journey respects the oceans. 

This award honours lines that curate exceptional experiences for a select few. Here, luxury meets personalised service, creating cherished memories for discerning travellers.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief overview of the cruise brand, emphasising its luxury aspects (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on what sets the cruising experience apart, focusing on onboard facilities, design and aesthetics, unique on-board experiences, destination immersion in shore experiences, sustainability practices and how the brand minimises environmental impact (up to 400 words).
  • Additional insights that highlight why the brand is a leading example in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Luxury Ocean Cruise Brand (301-750 Guests)

This award recognises mid-sized cruise lines that provide an intimate and luxurious experience.

The category is a testament to the lines’ unwavering commitment to sustainability through eco-friendly practices, ensuring that your voyage is both luxurious and responsible.

This award honours mid-sized cruise lines that elevate the seafaring experience. Here, luxury meets personalised service, creating unforgettable voyages for discerning travellers.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief overview of the cruise brand, emphasising its luxury aspects (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on what sets the cruising experience apart, focusing on onboard facilities, design and aesthetics, unique on-board experiences, destination immersion in shore experiences, sustainability practices and how the brand minimises environmental impact (up to 400 words).
  • Additional insights that highlight why the brand is a leading example in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Luxury Ocean Cruise Brand (Over 750 guests)

The Luxury Travel Gold List sets sail for expansive adventures with the Best Ocean Cruise Line (Over 750 Guests) award. This category recognises lines that excel on grand vessels.

Imagine a vibrant world at sea, offering diverse excursions and onboard activities. A high staff-to-guest ratio ensures attentive service. Relax in luxurious cabins and explore stylish public spaces.

Foodies will find a culinary adventure with gourmet dining and casual options. Sustainability efforts are a plus.

This award honours large cruise lines that elevate the experience. Expect exceptional service, luxurious amenities, and a world of possibilities for the discerning traveller.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief overview of the cruise brand, emphasising its luxury aspects (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on what sets the cruising experience apart, focusing on onboard facilities, design and aesthetics, unique on-board experiences, destination immersion in shore experiences, sustainability practices and how the brand minimises environmental impact (up to 400 words).
  • Additional insights that highlight why the brand is a leading example in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Luxury River Cruise Brand 

This category celebrates the best in river cruising, spotlighting brands that excel in delivering exceptional experiences along the world’s most scenic waterways. This award acknowledges companies offering exquisite accommodations, gourmet dining and personalised service, ensuring a memorable, luxurious voyage. Emphasising sustainability, cultural immersion and access to unique destinations, this category honours brands that go above and beyond in crafting unforgettable journeys for their guests.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of your river cruise brand (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on what sets the brand apart, focusing on aspects such as onboard luxury, cultural experiences, destination immersion and environmental stewardship (up to 400 words).
  • Any additional insights that highlight the brand’s distinction and excellence within the luxury river cruising sector (up to 200 words).

 

Tour Operators & Travel Agencies

Luxury Travel Advisor (Individual) – Australia

Open to all travel agents/advisors in Australia, this category celebrates the expertise and dedication of individuals in the luxury travel industry. This award recognises a travel advisor’s exceptional service, knowledge and commitment to creating bespoke travel experiences. Entrants are evaluated based on their experience, specialised expertise, commitment to professional development, industry relationships and their ability to exceed client expectations. This accolade highlights those who not only have a deep understanding of luxury travel but who also make a significant impact on their clients’ travel experiences through personalised attention and exceptional planning.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief biography of the entrant, including their experience and any specialities (max. 80 words).
  • Detail on the elements that make the candidate worthy of this recognition. Consider such things as the candidate’s experience, commitment to ongoing training and development, industry relationships/memberships, and how they go above and beyond for their clients and any areas of specialised luxury travel that may be their particular niche (max. 400 words).
  • Any other details we should know about that make the candidate an exemplar in this category (max. 200 words).

 

Boutique Luxury Travel Agency – Leisure

Open to all full-service travel agencies, this category celebrates distinguished boutique luxury leisure travel agencies with fewer than 50 travel advisors/agents representing their brand nationally. This award honours agencies that may specialise in a particular travel style or destination, showcasing exemplary customer service, deep knowledge and expertise in their niche segment.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of your agency, noting the founding year and specialties (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on why your agency deserves this award, focusing on longevity in the market, commitment to staff training and development, industry affiliations, exceptional client service and specialisation in luxury travel niches. Demonstrate how your agency incorporates sustainability into its operations and messaging to clients (up to 400 words).
  • Any additional factors that highlight your agency as a leading example in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Medium / Large Scale Luxury Travel Agency – Leisure

Open to all full-service travel agencies, this category recognises those with 51+ travel advisors nationally, and celebrates agencies that have demonstrated exceptional customer service and delivery. This category is open to agencies with multiple locations or affiliates, whether independent or part of a larger group or consortium, that demonstrate a commitment to providing outstanding luxury travel experiences.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of your agency, noting the founding year and specialties (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on why your agency deserves this award, focusing on longevity in the market, commitment to staff training and development, industry affiliations, exceptional client service and specialisation in luxury travel niches. Demonstrate how your agency incorporates sustainability into its operations and messaging to clients (up to 400 words).
  • Any additional factors that highlight your agency as a leading example in this category (up to 200 words).

 

Boutique Luxury Tour Operator

This category is for exceptional boutique luxury tour operators specialising in unique destinations or styles of travel, catering to small groups of no more than 16 guests. This recognition highlights those who deliver outstanding, personalised travel experiences directly to consumers, with at least 60 per cent of their business coming from direct consumer interactions rather than through trade channels. This focus ensures a deep understanding and fulfilment of travellers’ desires for exclusive and immersive journeys.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief overview of the company, its founding year and specialties (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on what sets the company apart, including market presence, tour style, unique selling points for luxury travellers, commitment to staff training, industry affiliations, exceptional guest service, specialisation in luxury travel and responsible operation practices (up to 400 words).
  • Additional insights that highlight the company as a leading example in luxury boutique touring, focusing on direct consumer business (up to 200 words).

 

Medium / Large Scale Luxury Tour Operator

This category celebrates an established tour operator specialising in luxury travel, that handles a significant volume of direct consumer business (at least 60 per cent). This award acknowledges companies that have excelled in creating distinctive, high-end travel experiences and showcase a strong market presence, innovative tour styles, and a commitment to excellence in guest service, staff development and responsible tourism practices.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A concise profile of the company, noting its founding date and any specialties (up to 80 words).
  • Detail on what sets the company apart, including longevity in the market, tour styles, unique offerings for luxury travellers, commitment to staff training and development, industry affiliations and exceptional customer service, focus areas within luxury travel, and responsible practices in visited regions (up to 400 words). Entrants must demonstrate how they stand out in the luxury travel market, catering directly to consumers’ needs and preferences.
  • Additional information on why the company is a leading example in this category, especially highlighting direct consumer transactions (up to 200 words).

 

General

Outstanding Contribution to Luxury Travel in Australia

The Luxury Travel Gold List Achievement Award celebrates a career of excellence in luxury travel in Australia across any category. This prestigious accolade honours an individual’s outstanding dedication and contribution to the luxury travel industry, highlighting their role in advancing industry standards and best practices.

Entry Criteria: 

  • The recipient of this award is based on nominations from the jury, who creates a finalist shortlist. The jury and Luxury Travel editorial team will then vote on the short-listed nominees. The nominee with the highest individual votes based on their significant contributions to the luxury travel sector, their career longevity, and the impactful nature of their work within travel and tourism will be presented with the award. This award is not open to entries but rather recognises lifetime achievements in elevating luxury travel standards and practices from within the travel industry.

 

Emerging Brand to Watch

The Emerging Brand to Watch category celebrates exciting brands in the luxury travel market that have been operating in Australia for less than five years. This award recognises those making significant progress in establishing a contemporary luxury travel brand, with a strong emphasis on responsible and sustainable tourism practices.

Entry Criteria: 

  • A brief summary of the brand (max. 80 words).
  • Detail on the elements that make this brand stand out and one that is gaining traction, for all the right reasons, in the luxury travel space. Consider how this brand has found a niche for itself, carved out a space and has managed to gain market share in their particular category. Consider how the brand is committed to modern luxury travel in terms of sustainability and ethical/responsible tourism (up to 400 words).
  • Any other details we should know about that make the brand an exemplar in this category (max. 200 words).
  • This award is not open to previous winners of the Emerging Brand to Watch award but previous finalists may enter.

 

Editor’s Choice

This award is chosen by the Editor and senior executive team of Luxury Travel for an outstanding brand or company that we believe is deserving of recognition. This award is not open to entries or nomination and may be across any category, eg: cruise, airline, accommodation, tours etc.   

Entry Criteria: 

N/A