• 10:14 AM, 29 May, 2019

General Manager of the Year Award winner William Haandrikman 

Stephane de Montgros, Stelliers and and Benoit Thebaut Co-Founders 


(May 29, 2019, Singapore) What many people like about the Stelliers Awards is that they don’t just recognize the top people in a hotel but also give awards to the Unsung Hero (this year most were gardeners) and the House Keeping Hoteliers. Co-Founders Stephane de Montgros and Benoit Thebaut emphasized that one of the purposes of the Stelliers is to inspire the younger generation to get into the hospitality industry.  There is a also a strong emphasis on sustainability and specifically eliminating the use of plastics in hotels. 

“Most people don’t talk about the back of the house,” Benoit points out. “The stories of the winners can inspire the youth of Asia to join us in this industry. When they hear the stories about the opportunities they get, to travel, to meet people, to learn new languages, and the skill set the can acquire, then they want to become a part of what is a growing industry. We like it when young people win the awards and tell the millennials that they can become a GM by the time they are 40. They want satisfaction, they want to be rewarded, now, they don’t want to wait 20 years to achieve something.” 

Clarice Tan with Capella Singapore Team (photo courtesy Stelliers)

Now in its 6th year the Hotelier Awards has been renamed the Stelliers because “we felt ‘Hotelier’ was too generic. We wanted to brand it more, like the Oscars and the Emmys,” explained Stephane at a media conference before the Awards began. Since the award’s inception they have expanded to include more countries and regions and the Co-Founders are eyeing North America for their next move, on their way to having the awards presented world-wide.

Stelliers has now named the winning hoteliers of the year from Asia and South Asia. The annual Awards ceremony held its sixth edition at a lavish gala at Marina Bay Sands on May 28, 2019. From about 300 – 400 applications through a written application process and phone interviews with the panel of five judges five finalists were selected in 18 categories. The evening celebration brought together over 300 hoteliers, industry professionals, their friends and families from around the region, as they commemorated the announcement of the 2019 Asia & South Asia Hoteliers of the Year.

In 2019, Stelliers welcomed applications from over 100 properties across 19 countries. The two-round judging process was based on a combination of facts presented in the applications, interviews, and testimonials, which ensured that the winners in each category were truly deserving.

The celebration successfully recognised the professional excellence of outstanding hoteliers across two competitions under Asia and South Asia. To shine the spotlight on as many hoteliers as possible, earlier this year Stelliers proudly announced its expansion into India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, opening up the opportunity to a greater number of hotelier heroes. Awards were presented for each competition throughout the evening, resulting in a total of 34 hotelier winners being honoured with a ‘Stellier Award’. 

The panel of renowned professionals who judged the applications, each hold a significant amount of industry-specific expertise and knowledge. This high-ranking jury includes Julia Monk, Senior Principal & Director of Hospitality Design, HOK, Christine Gamarra, Senior Operations Lead for LRA by Deloitte, Jenny Soo, Regional Director & Head of Workplace Experience Corporate Solutions Asia Pacific at JLL – Jones Lang LaSalle, Christophe Laurent Values Ambassador at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and Guy Heywood, Former Chief Operating Officer Asia of Two Roads Hospitality Regional Office. 

The excellent Blackberries provided the musical entertainment.

Stephane de Montgros, opened the evening’s festivities with an inspiring speech, “Since we started, our mission has not changed, which was to give appreciation to the most hard-working and talented hoteliers out there. These hoteliers are here tonight, around you, our 2019 finalists! You are not only the leadership of the industry today, but most importantly, you are the leadership of tomorrow!”

Markus Engel from Urban Resort Concepts was presented with a Stellier Award after he was honoured as the “Corporate Hotelier of the Year” 2019 for APAC. Taking home the highly anticipated “General Manager of the Year” Award for South Asia was Nitesh Gandhi  (pictured left / centre below) of JW Marriott New Dehli Aerocity and for Asia, the General Manager of the Year Award went to William Haandrikman (pictured at top and below right) of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.


For the second consecutive year, Singapore is the host country for this stellar event. Marina Bay Sands welcomed guests for a glamorous evening of recognition and honour. From the cocktail reception through to the exquisite fine dining menu created by Executive Chef, Shaun Candon, paired with wines by Australian Vintage Limited, every element of the event was perfectly executed. Partners supporting the platform this year included RH Contract, Lavazza Group, SanPellegrino S.p.A., GHC Asia, EventBank, Winnow, EHL, Champagne Collet, Labbrand, and Singapore Tourism Board. 

Stelliers pride themselves on providing true recognition to the most talented and hardworking professionals that breathe life into a hotel, whilst also inspiring the younger generation to join this ever-growing industry.

The Awards will continue to draw attention to these exceptional professionals in years to come, giving them the recognition and praise that they deserve. Hoteliers from around Asia are kindly invited to participate in next year’s exciting Awards. There is no entry fee for this award. 

Visit for information on application openings for 2020.


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