Blog posts

Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards – My Interview with Khalil El-Mouelhy

Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards – My Interview with Khalil El-Mouelhy

INTERVIEWS, LUXURY TRAVEL

I’m thrilled to announce that Carmen’s Luxury Travel is now an official media partner of the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award.  This is considered to be the pinnacle in luxury hospitality and lifestyle awards.  The awards will be hosted at The Trans Resort Bali Hotel on September 19, 2015. Here’s my exclusive interview with the Chairman, President & Founder of the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award, Khalil El-Mouelhy.

 

 

Khalil El-Mouelhy, founder at Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Khalil El-Mouelhy, founder at Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards

 

Tell me about the history of the Seven Stars Luxury Awards and why they’re important to the luxury hospitality industry?

 

Khalil:  Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality awards were started with the aim of providing the hospitality and lifestyle industry with a way to truly differentiate the most exceptional products from the rest. There are so many awards for hospitality and all of them have pretty much the same formula. We wanted to be different. The main difference is our Luxury Panel. The Panel consists of very affluent, extremely well-travelled individuals that are all active either within the lifestyle sector or the hospitality sector. They are the “judges” which select the nominations for the awards and that accept the “self nominations” from properties around the world… or reject them. Our biggest sector is of course the luxury hospitality sector which covers hotels, resorts, airlines, spas etc. However, we also award luxury products such as jewelry, fashion, haute horlogerie, and more. Basically everything related to luxury lifestyle. Also, the amount of winners we can have is capped thanks to our formula: each country in each sector needs a minimum of 3 nominations to be present. If there are 7 nominees or under, there will be only one winner. If there are 8 nominees in a particular sector in a country that means we can award a maximum of 3. This makes us different from the other awards as really, we are NOT a travel award. We are a Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award designed to identify and to separate the exceptional from the very best.

 

Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards

 

Have the awards changed over the last few years? How?

 

Khalil:   The way that we operate has not changed. What has changed is our Luxury Panel. It is consistently getting better and better and of course higher profile as well. We will add only another 6 panel members to the current total. This could take years as we look for specific people to fill certain criteria for particular industries.

 

 

Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards

How are nominees selected? What are the different awards?

 

Khalil:  The nominees are selected by members of the Luxury Panel. Once the nominee is selected, they are placed online under their respective country together with a  minimum of 2 other nominees. Once the voting opens, which is open to both the trade and the public, we inform the nominee via email and provide them with a nomination crest that they can use in order to inform everyone that they have officially been nominated. The other way to become a nominee is by a process of self-nomination.  This means that they would have to fill out the online form with a detailed description and message, website and contact details and send it to us. Once this is sent, it will be subject to approval by the members of the panel.  A minimum of 2 panel members must agree to the nomination for it to be approved. Normally, over half of the panel approves a single nomination if it is deemed of the correct calibre whilst if rejected, it is normally unanimous.

As far as different awards, we don’t work in that manner. Every winner receives the same award which is called SIGNUM VIRTUTIS, the seal of excellence. Therefore, the hotel or resort will receive the seal of excellence for the respective sector and so on.  We do not believe in categories such as “the best family hotel” as we are of the opinion that they are detrimental. The reason being is that, as an example, if someone was travelling with their girlfriend or boyfriend they would specifically avoid a property categorised as a family resort. The resort in question would most probably be able to cater to their every need but because of the label, the business will most likely go elsewhere. We also do not believe in second and third place. This is detrimental to the winner that truly deserves the award. Rewarding one single aspect of a property does not make it a world-class property, it simply states they are excellent at one thing and that is not enough to win a Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award. We believe in awarding all-round excellence according to sectors in order to truly benefit the winners as well as the nominees which were deemed of the correct calibre to compete for this award which is regarded as “The Oscars of Luxury “.

 

Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards

What’s the process for comparing the nominees? Unlike the Oscars where everyone can watch the films from home, do all of your judges travel to visit each of the nominees?

 

Khalil:  It is a mixture of visits and of research. We all travel extensively throughout the year and really study the properties we stay at. However, we cannot visit all the properties. It is a mixture of research regarding the properties, the background of the general manager, reviews on various channels, and general level of customer satisfaction. Of course, the property also has to look the part and have all possible amenities and extras available for the guests.

 

Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards

 

 

Why was Bali picked for this year’s venue? When do you announce the site for 2016?

 

Khalil:  Bali has developed tremendously since 2000. It has seen a massive rise in the development of luxury hotels, as well as 4-star hotels. Numerous international brands have opened up shop in Bali, also due to the positioning of the island. It is the perfect distance from Australasia and Asia. The development of luxury hotels reached such a level that at a certain point they believed that there was a surplus of rooms and that they couldn’t all be filled. However, the appeal of the island continues to rise, and the hotels are doing very well. It represents the ideal destination for our events. They have very high standard resorts with great service and fantastic facilities. They are very competitive as it is after all an island with limited space, and each property implements their own signature of luxury and attempts to outdo the other. It is always interesting for us to see who emerges victorious, and we are very proud to be able to reward these exceptional achievements especially when the competition level is set to such high standards as it is in Bali.

The 2016 event will be announced at the end of the 2015 Gala Ceremony on the 19th of September, however, our plan is to do 2 events next year so we are looking at a double announcement.

 

Image courtesy of The Tran Resort Bali
Image courtesy of The Tran Resort Bali

Do you have a personal favorite among the different awards that you give out?

 

Khalil:  I enjoy seeing every sector awarded because they truly represent the pinnacle in luxury hospitality and lifestyle. While I do of course have my personal favorite properties, I would not mention them because it would not be fair to the other nominees and/or winners. Our Special awards are always exciting. These awards are not voted for, they are selected directly by the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards organization after having meticulously studied them. They do not appear on the website during the voting process. They are placed online the night of the event as winners. At the 2015 Ceremony, we will have some very interesting and high-profile winners in the “Special Award” sector.

 

Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards
Image courtesy of Seven Stars Luxury Hositality and Lifestyle Awards

Voting for the 2015 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards was done online www.sevenstaraward.com and ended on June 15, 2015.   I’m excited to see who wins the awards this year in Bali. 

 

Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards 2015

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

21 Comments

  1. Mel Jones
    September 12, 2015 at 6:53 am
    Reply

    Congratulations on your partnership Carmen! It’s really important to have luxury awards like this as you know when somewhere has been certified you don’t need to do extensive research to make sure there are no negatives as they have been officially approved. Looks like a fun night too! 🙂

    • Carmen
      September 12, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Mel! We all search for the best of the best when it comes to accommodations when we travel. Like many of us do, I certainly spend countless hours looking, Now you know if a hotel has been awarded the SIGNUM VIRTUTIS, the seal of excellence, you can rest assure that it’s worth the stay.

  2. Himanshu
    September 12, 2015 at 7:09 am
    Reply

    A new thing i learnt about today. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

      I think a lot of people aren’t aware of these awards. They are a luxury hospitality and lifestyle award that allows only the very best properties and products to be nominated.

  3. Paula McInerney
    September 12, 2015 at 7:22 am
    Reply

    I will look forward to see who wins also. I always read about Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and see that there are some of the amazing places that we have stayed at in the last few years.

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Hi Paula, That’s great that you are aware of the awards and have had the chance to stay in some of the properties that received them. I’m sure the properties were stunning and the service outstanding.

  4. Helena
    September 12, 2015 at 7:59 am
    Reply

    Congratulations on being an official media partner of the Seven Stars Luxury Hospotality and Lifestyle awards. I hadn’t heard of the awards before but seems nice that they have awards like this. I hope you’ll have a great time at the awards! Bali seems like a great place to have them at.

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Helena, I’m bummed that I’m not able to attend the awards in Bali this year because of family obligations, but I’m definitely going next year.

  5. Mar
    September 12, 2015 at 10:14 am
    Reply

    I never heard of this be for so thanks a lot for sharing! Also it happens in Bali so reason more to know about it

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Mar, The Trans Bali where the awards are being held is an oasis of luxury. Even more reasons for people to want to attend the awards.

  6. Hugo
    September 12, 2015 at 11:38 am
    Reply

    That’s one big award! Good to find out how it works and looking forward to seeing the winners.

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      It’s a high honor for a hotel to receive this award. It informs the guests, and visitors that their property is in an elite and exclusive class above the rest.

  7. chrysoula
    September 13, 2015 at 6:01 am
    Reply

    First of all congratulations! I ahve never heard of these awards so thanks for sharing all the info!

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks Chrissy! I’m thrilled to be part of it and to represent them as a media partner.

  8. Suze - LuxuryColumnist
    September 13, 2015 at 6:56 am
    Reply

    Well done Carmen, I’m delighted to be a media partner for the awards and looking forward to telling you all about my experience of them in Bali. It’s so beautiul here!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      H Suze,

      I can’t wait to hear all about Bali, and see the pictures from the awards. Have a fabulous time!

  9. anna
    September 13, 2015 at 8:49 am
    Reply

    Congratulations on your new partnership! Bali is amazing and they have loads of great accommodations for good value!

    • Carmen
      September 13, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you Anna! I’ve never been to Bali and am very exciting to have the opportunity to go and visit.

  10. Vanessa
    September 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm
    Reply

    Congratulations on this partnership – everything looks so exciting!!

    • Carmen
      September 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Vanessa! Looking forward to see who the winners will be tonight,

  11. Jean | Holy Smithereens
    September 25, 2015 at 4:29 am
    Reply

    Loved this interview, its so interesting to know about the Seven Stars Awards! I do agree in that they did without “best couples” or “Best Family” resort awards as this can be limiting to a resort / hotel and will probably create extra hurdles should a hotel chain want to rebrand.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge