The Vision Style Awards are now in full swing and we’re pleased to introduce our first judge, Sharron Livingstone. She is the Founder and Managing Editor of The Travel Magazine; a travel portal designed to provide information, inspirational and trends on the global travel industry.
Former Travel Editor at the Jewish Chronicle and publisher of a series of Channel Hoppers Guides, Sharron has travelled the globe, describes herself as a ‘world adventurer’ and has successfully transformed her passion for travel into a full-time career. “The Travel Magazine started as a hobby to share some travel tips with friends and family and this grew over the years into a magazine. Bizarrely, it still feels like a hobby. I love all things travel and can talk about it endlessly” Sharron says.
The first in our brand new series of Meet the Judges posts for the Vision Style Awards 2017; we spoke with Sharron to find out about what she’s looking for when it comes to hospitality style…
What made you decide to be a judge this year?
Staying in hotels can be sheer joy. Being able to give acclaim to hoteliers that make it a joy will be a real pleasure.
What do you think will be some key trends across hospitality over the next 12 months?
Design or theme is becoming trendy in setting hotels apart. That’s why you see hotels that use their walls as art galleries or themed in some way. Hotel restaurants are offering specialty experiences or unusual high teas.
The country house hotel is a growing trend. However, though four-poster beds are still much loved, streamlined designs and subtle features are making their way into the arena.
If there is a bar or restaurant then expect to find adventurous signature cocktails on the menu.
Finally, there seems to be a rise in hotels creating their own members’ clubs in order to offer more exclusivity for their high-end customers.
What do you think will set an entry apart from the rest this year?
It’s all about over-delivering on promises and managing expectations with panache. A B&B can be just as exceptional as a five-star hotel. Being able to over-deliver is an art and this is what creates a wonderful experience for guests – whatever their price point.
In a highly competitive market, how do you think the design of a venue influences someone to stay?
It may do. The thing about design is that it is a matter of taste. Art and food will often be compelling reasons.
What do you personally look for when choosing a hospitality venue?
Location is high on the list – if it’s a short city break than a centrally located one would be handy. If I’m looking for some headspace, I’ll look for somewhere located in nature.
Above all, high levels of comfort, amenities and seamless service would be highly appreciated. A sense of ‘it just works’ is adds immeasurably to a great experience.
Do you have the most stylish hospitality venue in Europe? Vision are looking for spas, bars, restaurants, B&Bs, self catering accommodation, holiday lets, serviced apartments and hotels to enter the 2017 Vision Style Awards.
Entry to the Awards is absolutely free of charge and we’ve got a huge 12 categories to choose from. Will you be crowned one of our winners and win a double-page spread in the coveted Style Guide?