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2019 award winners - celebrating the success of the alliance

Celebrating success is vital in business. Recognising achievements help to motivate colleagues, indicates where we stand against our goals and gives us clarity of where we are amongst the competition. This is particularly important in hotels. 

Hotels are built on metrics, each one with goals of how many rooms need to be booked, what rate they should be booked at and how they need to fare against other brands to be competitive. 

Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) was founded with its own goal: to help small and medium-sized hotel brands to exceed their targets and unlock more opportunities than ever before.

Welcoming in the Awards

Helping brands to hit and exceed targets for their hotels is a vital element of our promise, typically achieved through a collaborative effort. To celebrate this effort, we decided to establish annual member brand awards for performance. In November 2017 at the annual GHA’s CEO Committee meeting in London, we gave away the first Awards to the best performers in several categories.  

The Awards are based on the results of our Brand Measurement Matrix, which was designed by us in 2013. Its goal is to keep the brand performance targets on track, and ensure each member is getting the most out of the alliance. There are six key areas of measurement, which relate to each brand’s participation in the DISCOVERY loyalty programme, sales and marketing activities, regular participation in meetings organised by us and even timely payment of invoices. 

Jennifer Cronin, President of Wharf Hotels, receiving awards for Marco Polo Hotels

Using these criteria, Awards are judged against their particular focus. This year, at the GHA’s annual CEO committee meeting in Hong Kong, we proudly offered Awards in eight categories, naming seven winners, four runners up and one special commendation. 

2019 GHA Awards winners

Overall Performance 2019

Winner - Wharf Hotels

Runner Up - Kempinski Hotels

DISCOVERY Performance 2019

Winner - Wharf Hotels

Runner Up - Outrigger Resorts

Member Recognition 2019

Winner - Wharf Hotels

Runner Up - Kempinski Hotels

Local Experience 2019

Winner - Wharf Hotels

Runner up - Minor Hotels

Cross-Brand Contribution 2019

Winner - The Doyle Collection

Most Improved Brand 2019

Winner - The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts

DISCOVERY Hotel of the Year 2019

Winner - Ko'aKea Hotel & Resort

Special Commendation 2019 (best new member brand performance)

Winner - JA Resorts & Hotels

What makes a winner?

Winner of the Overall Performance Award, DISCOVERY Performance Award, Member Recognition Award and Local Experience Award, Wharf Hotels, is a parent brand to two hotel chains, Marco Polo Hotels and Niccolo Hotels.  

The amazing success of Wharf Hotels at the November 2019 Awards was the result of its outstanding accomplishments over a number of categories in the Measurement Matrix. These included:  


  • 40 per cent growth in room nights between 2018 and 2019

  • 21 per cent growth in room revenue

Cross-Brand Contribution:

  • 77 per cent increase in room nights

  • 73 per cent increase in room revenue

Local Experiences Redemption:

  • 21 per cent increase for Black level

  • 41 per cent increase for Platinum level

Our Most Improved Brand in 2019, The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts, had a meteoric rise to success this year following the re-launch of DISCOVERY to hotel staff and rolling out brand-wide online DISCOVERY training in April 2019. Since then, their overall performance in the Measurement Matrix includes: 

  • increase of 22 base points over the year

  • 137 per cent growth in the number of enrolments

  • growth of 30 base points in DISCOVERY Post-Stay survey scores

For the 2019 Cross-Brand Contribution Award, The Doyle Collection was the clear-cut winner in this category with results including: 

  • 19 per cent increase in Cross-Brand revenue contribution

  • 107 per cent increase in Local Experience redemption usage due to their huge focus on this area

  • improved Measurement Matrix scores from 70.8 to 79.5 in 2019

Martin Smura, CEO of Kempinski, receiving awards for Kempinski Hotels

Awards matter in an alliance

When joining the alliance, member brands become part of a wider team, a community who are each working for their own goals, which by virtue, support the other members of the alliance. 

The Awards are a reminder that through the alliance, we are all peers, and one’s success benefits the other. GHA is a unique place where hotels ally, rather than compete, and in this scenario, everyone wins.

The missing winner of the "Ultratravel Collection Hotel of the Year" Award will be announced at the annual ULTRAs ceremony taking place on 27 January 2020 at the Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai

Congratulations to all of our winners and to every one of our member brands who, through their performance in the alliance, help each other to achieve their goals. 


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