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Winners of the Independent Hotel Show 2019 Awards Announced

The winners of the Independent Hotel Show Awards – Independent Hotelier, Hotel Innovation, GM of the Future, created in partnership with Master Innholders, and the Outstanding Contribution: Judges Choice Award – were announced at the Independent Hotel Show, Olympia London.

An esteemed judging panel of top hoteliers and hospitality experts, as well as a public vote within the industry, determined the winners from three shortlists of strong contenders.

The Independent Hotelier Award recognises an excellent hotelier with a reputation for pushing boundaries and creating exceptional guest experiences. The winner is someone committed to the development of their team, the success of the establishment and the industry at large.

Winner – Paula Ellis, Group General Manager of Twr y Felin, Penrhiw Priory and Roch Castle.

On winning, Paula Ellis said:

“It’s such a privilege to win, because to be one of only three female GMs in Wales and the only Welsh finalist makes it such an honour. My entire career’s aim has been to inspire young females to break through the glass ceiling and demonstrate that anything is possible. I want to inspire other females to manage hotels. It has been the most amazing part of my career. Hospitality is an amazing industry to be in.”

The Hotel Innovation Award showcases an independently spirited hotel that has made a significant impact on the industry through dynamic approaches to reshape the guest experience.

Winner – Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa

Sue Williams, general manager of Whatley Manor said:

“It’s lovely that the effort we put in is picked up and noticed by the industry. It is an especially great award for the team in the first year of our sustainability journey.”

Whatley Manor – Hotel Innovation Award

GM of the Future Award, created in partnership with the Master Innholders, recognises rising stars in the hotel industry, their ‘extra mile’ attitude and commitment to becoming a future leader to inspire others.

Winner – Samantha Rieu, Hotel Operations Manager at DUKES LONDON

Commenting on her award, Samantha Rieu said:

“I’m delighted to be recognised as this year’s GM of the Future and to be shortlisted alongside incredible rising stars in the industry is an honour.

“At DUKES LONDON we work hard to remain connected with our heritage, offer first-class development opportunities for the entire team and provide an enjoyable workplace. This award is testament to the incredible team working with me at the hotel to achieve our goals.”

Outstanding Contribution: Judges’ Choice Award, celebrating a brilliant career in this exciting industry.

Winner – Robin Hutson, Founder and Chief Executive, Lime Wood Group and Home Grown Hotels.

Following his award, Robin Hutson said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award. Of course it’s a big team effort so really I’m accepting it on behalf of everyone.”

Meet the judges

  • Adam Raphael, Editor, Good Hotel Guide
  • Charlotte Evans, Group Publishing Director, Condé Nast Johansens
  • David Noble, Director of Hospitality & Leisure, James Hallam Insurance Brokers,
  • Fiona Duncan, The Telegraph & Sunday Telegraph
  • Will Ashworth, Managing Director, Watergate Bay
  • Laura Sharpe, General Manager, Ham Yard Hotel
  • Janet Harmer, Associate Editor, The Caterer
  • Peter Hancock, Chief Executive, Pride of Britain Hotels
  • Adam Rowledge, Managing Director, Rowledge Associates
  • Zoe Monk, Editor, Boutique Hotelier