The Bespoke Access Awards was launched in April 2016 to address the global need for improvement in hotel design and enhancement of the guest experience for disabled guests. This is a matter close to the heart of award founder Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, who has personally experienced disability and more than his fair share of ‘functional’ hotel rooms. The Bespoke Access Awards was founded to inject ideas, creativity and inspiration into access, whilst also hoping to change some hearts and minds along the way.
Access has never been more topical and it is initiatives such as the Bespoke Access Awards that are challenging the status quo and encouraging the hotel industry worldwide to sit up, take notice and provide both their able and disabled guests with a better hotel experience.
Entries have been submitted within three categories – architecture, product and service – with a judging panel including Baroness and Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thomson, Architect Alan Stanton (OBE), Robin Sheppard and Rory Coonan (RIBA honorary fellow and Director of Architecture at the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1992-1997).
The winner will receive the £20,000 Celia Thomas prize with a further £10,000 awarded to runners up at this ceremony, which coincides with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.