The Xara Palace runner-up at the 2012 Boutique Hotel Awards

The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, Mdina scooped the runner-up award for “Best Dining Boutique Hotel in the World” and asserted Mdina’s credentials as one of the world’s culinary capitals.

7 November 2012, 12:00am
Maya Olesen, Miss World Denmark (left) presenting The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Director Nicola Paris with runner-up for “Best Dining Boutique Hotel in the World” at The 2012 Boutique Hotel Awards held at the Hempel Hotel in London
Maya Olesen, Miss World Denmark (left) presenting The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Director Nicola Paris with runner-up for “Best Dining Boutique Hotel in the World” at The 2012 Boutique Hotel Awards held at the Hempel Hotel in London
The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux was recognised for having delivered unique excellence at a glittering ceremony held at the Hempel Hotel in London.

The Awards brought together boutique hoteliers, press, and industry insiders from all over the world - Argentina, Colombia, China, Fiji, Greece, Holland, Italy, Indonesia, Malta, Sweden, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, and the UK - to attend the event. The Boutique Hotel Awards aim to showcase the world's most prestigious boutique establishments.

Guest presenters included Stephen Albert, Vice President of WAGT the world's leading design consultant for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, acclaimed chef Chantelle Nicholson, and Maya Olesen, Miss World Denmark. The organisers said that in an ever-shrinking world of globalised brands and international hotel chains, a truly individual experience is a rare find. The Boutique Hotel Awards champion hotels that possess a unique character whilst still providing world-class services and facilities. "We looked for hotels that allow guests to connect with their location, people and culture," said Edward Gabbai, the director of Boutique Hotel Awards. "We looked for partnerships with innovative architects and designers that produce properties of architectural merit. We looked for renowned restaurants that provide exclusivity. And above all, we looked for the undeniably unique."

"This year," he continued, "the awards considered nominations from 300 of the world's finest small hotels. The judges, led by deputy chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi, Richard Hytner, included architects, former hotel managers, culinary experts and journalists who drew upon their own considerable expertise, and our unique scoring system, to pick the winners. A Boutique Hotel Award winner's service will be intuitive, their environment intimate and the experience priceless," he explained.

The winners are selected for delivering to their guests in every possible way, demonstrating unsurpassed excellence. A key criteria is "to be capable of transporting their guests into a novel world through the history of the location, its culture and its own stylistic flair." Owned and run by the Zammit Tabona family The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, following extensive renovations, operates at the highest international standards having recently been named one of the top 10 castle hotels in the world by Fox News. The hotel maintains an authentic historical ambience unrivalled among Maltese hotels. Its 17 individually designed suites are decorated with original paintings by Maltese and international artists, as well as antique tapestries and furnishings. Friendly and efficient staff seek to exceed guest expectations, guaranteeing The Xara Palace's status as one of the Mediterranean's most exclusive boutique hotels.

Executive Chef Kevin Bonello and his award-winning brigade of chefs together with Paul Attard and his Service Team serve up a range of amazing modern Mediterranean-fusion dishes in the hotel's de Mondion Restaurant, which also offers spectacular panoramic views of the island from its bastion terraces.

The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Director, Nicola Paris, who received the award said, "This is really exciting! We wish to thank our guests for their continuous support and feedback, which keeps us striving to deliver excellent service and standards. I am grateful to all the team at The Xara Palace for their commitment to ensure that we continue to excel in what we do and to offer world-class service with a warm Maltese smile." "The Boutique Hotel Awards recognise this unique excellence," she added.