The Royal Hotel, Picton, Ontario, Canada, 2023 Hotel Upscale Finalist, Photo by Doublespace

This award is exclusively for interior designers. Although we recognize the contributions of all members of the design team in creating award-winning hospitality spaces, the Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design is given only to the interior design firm(s) that worked on the project. If the project is selected as a finalist, we will recognize the names of the other firms, such as additional interior designers and architects, in the copy provided that the interior design firm submitting the lists them on the entry form. Boutique Design is not responsible for any omission of firm info that is not included on the official entry form.


All entries must provide a complete supplier list, detailed client information, and photo release form if selected as a finalist. Submission must list all interior design firms who had a role in the project.


Please make sure the photography is relevant to the specific category. When submitting for a guestroom category, for example, do not include public spaces, suites, function spaces, etc. Only the full hotel categories should include photos of the entire hotel, both interiors and exteriors. NOTE: Guestroom entry (single room) and Suite (room containing a sleeping area and a separate living area) must include a photograph of the bathroom; and Hotel Luxury, Upscale, Midscale, and Budget/Select Service categories must include photographs of the exterior, public spaces including the reception, lobby/gathering spaces, and food and beverage outlets (if applicable) as well as the guestrooms, suites, and guest bathrooms. Shots of spas, function spaces and specialty areas such as nightclubs and outdoor function spaces are also highly encouraged.


Please make sure the entry fits the category. The judges reserve the right to change categories for a submission; the submitter will be notified in those cases. Our FAQs outline the definitions for each hotel sector or restaurant type, from budget/select service to luxury and casual to fine dining, respectively. When submitting the same property in multiple categories, please ensure that all submissions are within the same sector—as in all are midscale or all are upscale categories.


The project description, optional floorplan, and photographs are reviewed anonymously by the judges. NO images with watermarks, logos, or trademark will be accepted.

Do not include the name of the design firm in the file names. Please only include the project name (i.e.: Hotel California.jpg), location and/or the description of the document being uploaded (i.e.: Hotel California Angeles_Description.doc).

All hospitality newbuilds, renovations, and conversions completed from JULY 1, 2023 to JULY 26, 2024 are eligible for the 2024 competition. Each entry must be submitted using this official online entry form with the following:

  1. Completed official online entry form and the $225 entry fee. You may submit a project in more than one category. However, a separate, completed entry form and entry fee are required for each submission. Fees are non-refundable and must accompany each project. Projects submitted in a previous year are ineligible.
  2. A minimum 300-word Word document with a description of the project including the property’s official and complete name, its location (city and country), opening date for newbuilds; date of completion for renovations and conversions; room count for hotels or total covers for restaurants and a brief summary of the principal features, i.e. design intent, challenges, resources and budget (if available), and which aspects of the project demonstrate excellence and thought leadership in the concept and execution.
  3. Optional floorplan of the property. File must be formatted as a tiff, jpeg, or PDF. Max file size is 10MB.
  4. List of all firms involved in the design/installation of the project including but not limited to: the project owner or developer (client); operator; the architect of record; landscape designer/architect; purchasing agent; other interior design firms; including official and complete firm names and locations (city and country) for each and specifying which area of the project each firm designed. If multiple design firms participated in the project, ALL must be listed to ensure that the submission is eligible.
  5. Contact person for the interior design firm, including email and direct phone number.
  6. Minimum of eight (8) high resolution, 300 dpi color photos of the interiors (without people), with the project name and category included in the file name. Images that are not properly identified may not be considered. Each image should also have the name of the space—i.e., Hotel California Lobby. MAX FILE SIZE: 20MB for each image.
  7. Only images formatted as jpegs or tiffs (300 dpi or higher resolution) will be considered. You will not be able to submit any other types of photo files. Finalists will be required to submit a completed source list, detailed owner information, photo release, and design team listing within two weeks of notification in September 2024.



  1. Prepare your 300 to 450-word project description (detailed requirements above) and have it ready in a .docx/Microsoft Word format for upload during the application process.
  2. Have your project shots (minimum of 8 required) ready to upload. You will also have the opportunity to include (2) additional shots – each file size 20MB max.
  3. Prepare floorplan of the property if you wish to include one. File must be formatted as a tiff, jpeg, or PDF. Max file size is 10MB.
  4. Be prepared with contact information from other interior design firm(s), architecture firm(s), purchasing firm(s) and client(s).


*If you are selected as a 2024 finalist, the Gold Key team will follow up with additional information in mid-September required for inclusion in Boutique Design magazine’s editorial coverage of the 2024 Gold Key Awards in its Winter 2024/25 issue.


The entries will be judged according to the following criteria.

Concept (The overall design narrative)

  • Execution (The expertise with which the design vision is brought to life)
  • Innovation (What is new or interesting about this work)
  • Overall Wow factor (Why this is best in class)


The judges shall first examine all the entries submitted by the participants online and assign a score for each of the criteria listed above on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). Finalists will be named by the judges based on the cumulative results of the online judging results and an in-person judging session. The 3-5 highest cumulative scoring entries in each category (depending on volume of entries) shall be named finalists, with the top-scoring entry or entries named as winner(s) in each category.


There are no monetary prizes. Selected winners and finalists will be honored at the Gold Key Awards gala on November 11, 2024 in New York in conjunction with BDNY, and featured in the Winter 2024/25 issue of Boutique Design magazine.


Liability for breach of third-party rights

Any infringement of third-party rights, including patent, trademark, copyright or other right is the exclusive responsibility of the Awards entrant. By submitting an entry, you (a) represent and warrant that you own the exclusive rights and/or have obtained all necessary third-party consents to submit all content, including any images, photography, logos or multimedia, for consideration, (b) grant Sponsor and its designees, licensees or affiliates a fully paid, worldwide license to use, distribute, display, reproduce, publish, republish and create derivative works of the entry in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to, print or digital publication in Boutique Design magazine and (c) agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Sponsor and its partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any and all third-party claims arising from the entry and use of any such images submitted in connection with the competition.


Want to learn about event sponsorship opportunities, how to enter the competition this spring, or attending the 2024 celebration in New York this fall? Our team is happy to help!