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Excel at Word Travel awards - Posted on Nov 30, 2013

In a star-studded affair this evening at the magnificent La Cigale Hotel in Doha Qatar, the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa and Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve accepted the venerated and esteemed honour of being named by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel and World’s Leading Private Game Reserve.

In this, its 20th Anniversary, the World Travel Awards’ Grand Final Ceremony completes the World Grand Tour which has seen awards presented across five continents culminating to the Grand Finale last night in Doha, Qatar. This Grand Final saw well over 1200 nominees in 148 categories competing for an award.

Accepting the awards, Managing Director, George Cohen, was humbled at the honour; with this being the 13th year the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa has been named the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel. “I’m truly at a loss for words at this remarkable achievement for both Saxon and Shambala and look forward to sharing the news of these tremendous accolades with my teams at both properties, as they are the ones whose continued passion and commitment for what they do has brought us to this juncture.”

He added that in a world where luxury has become a crucial requirement to the distinguished traveller, it’s important that luxury hotels maintain a certain mystique that invites their guests to continually return, no matter what the cost is. “While luxury is providing something truly unique and exclusive, it is also becoming more about the experience. Today, luxury hotels strive for ultra-luxury, and to do this, service and staff are fundamental. The concept of luxury includes being exclusive, sophisticated, and indulging your guests in signature experiences and it is crucial that the design and service follow these concepts.”

Later that evening, he spoke of a commitment to training and an inherent focus on motivating and empowering one’s employees, crediting his teams at both Saxon and Shambala for the awards. “Our employees are dedicated to our guests and this is apparent in their personalised and attentive service which has earned them these highly respected awards. Our teams at both properties share a common objective to provide our esteemed guests with the finest service daily,” he began.

“At the Saxon and Shambala, maintaining this level of service is done through understanding guests’ expectations, setting service standards to meet these expectations, training the staff to follow these service standards, guiding the guests’ experiences, and identifying and closing service gaps. Managing expectations helps ensure that guests experience the best service and they leave with lifelong memories.”

About the World Travel Awards

The World Travel Awards™ is the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought after awards programme in the global travel and tourism industry. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, the awards are acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, celebrating those companies, organisations and brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence in product and service.

World Travel Awards™ is voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide, and this accolade recognises the commitment to excellence which your organisation has demonstrated in the last twelve months. World Travel Awards, “the Oscars of the Travel Industry", was established in 1993 and the premier global travel awards concept hassince developed into the most prestigious and comprehensive awards programme in travel, tourism and hospitality and is now recognised worldwide as the hallmark of industry excellence.

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