The shortlist has been revealed and public voting is now open for the 9th annual Independent Hotel Show Awards, which celebrate the highly skilled professionals working in the UK independent and boutique hotel sector. The results of the awards will be announced on 4 October on the Independent Hotel Show’s Innovation Stage, at an event which will also celebrate the winners of the Good Hotel Guide’s César Award.
Across two days of judging, a panel of industry experts whittled down the nominees in two key categories: Independent Hotelier and GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders.
The Independent Hotelier award recognises an excellent independent hotelier or hotelier partnership with a reputation for pushing boundaries and creating exceptional guest experiences.
Since the Awards launched in 2012, the independent hoteliers recognised in this category have continued to drive change and innovation in the sector.
Brenda Collin, EVP Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts and judge for the Independent Hotel Show Awards, said: “The caliber of entries this year was exceptionally high and therefore difficult choices had to be made.
“Congratulations should be offered to all the nominees who, without exception, had given back in some way to society in addition to their day jobs. Our industry is so well served by exceptional people and these awards showcase the great leaders who will inspire future nominees.”
The shortlisted hoteliers for the Independent Hotelier award are:
Joanne Taylor- Stagg FIH, MI, General Manager, The Athenaeum Hotel and Residences
Charlie Luxton and Dan Brod, Co-Owners, The Talbot Inn, The Beckford Arms and The Lord Poulett Arms
Laurence Beere FIH, MI, Co-Owner, The Queensberry Hotel
Henrik Muehle, General Manager, Flemings Mayfair
James Thomson OBE, Owner, The Witchery and Prestonfield
Ross Grieve FIH, MI, Managing Director, Seaham Hall & Luxury Lodges
The shortlisted nominees for GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders, are:
Penn Chai, Room Division Manager, Castle Hotel Windsor
Kostadin Dimitrov, Front of House Manager, Hotel Brooklyn MCR
Juris Dubrovskis, Executive Housekeeper, The Athenaeum Hotel and Residences
Rachel Henley, Hotel Manager, The Fife Arms
Nathan Parkin, Operations Manager, Lakeside Hotel and Spa
Anna Sirba, Operations Manager, Salcombe Harbour Hotel
Commenting on the GM of the Future award entries, The Master Innholders Chairman David Morgan-Hewitt FIH MI, commented: “We received a large number of excellent applications, each showing great talent and passion for the hotel industry, which made it very difficult to select a shortlist of just six candidates. Each of those chosen displayed an exceptional level of involvement in the industry and the qualities of a good leader, and I would like to congratulate them on their well-deserved success.”
Elena Attanasio, Independent Hotel Show Event Director, added: “After a tough 18 months for the hotel industry we’re thrilled to be announcing the shortlist for the Independent Hotel Show Awards.
“Our shortlisted Independent Hoteliers have shown incredible strength and leadership in the face of adversity and our GM of the Future nominees should be celebrated for their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment over the past year. Now more than ever it's important to recognise the exceptional hospitality professionals that make up the UK’s boutique and independent hotel sector.
“We can’t wait to announce the winners of the Independent Hotel Show Awards at the event on 4 October and to see the hotel community all together, in person, once more.”
For the Independent Hotelier award, the judges' picks will be combined with a public industry vote to decide the ultimate winners. The judges were as follows:
Brenda Collin, Executive Vice President, Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Charlotte Evans, Group Publishing Director, Condé Nast Johansens
Christian Graf, General Manager, Middle Eight
David Noble, Director of Hospitality and Leisure, James Hallam
Fiona Duncan, Travel Writer, Sunday Telegraph
Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Editor, Condé Nast Traveller
Peter Hancock FIH, MI, Chief Executive, Pride of Britain Hotels
Richard Fraiman, Chief Executive, The Good Hotel Guide
Simon Numphud FIH, Managing Director, AA Media
Sue Williams FIH, MI, General Manager, Whatley Manor Hotel
Susan d'Arcy, Hotels, Luxury Travel and Wellness Editor, The Times and The Sunday Times
Zoe Monk, Editor, Boutique Hotelier
The judging panel for GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders, was as follows:
David Morgan-Hewitt FIH, MI, Chairman, The Master Innholders and Managing Director, The Goring
Tamsyn Mann, Regional People Manager, Cirrus Inns and 2019 ‘One to Watch’ highly commended GM of the Future
Elena Attanasio, Event Director, Independent Hotel Show
Sal Gowili FIH MI, GM of The Ritz London
Dr Hilary Cooke FIH MI, Director, Merlin Consultancy
Robin Hutson FIH, MI, CEO, Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group
Wallace Vincent FIH, Executive Secretary, The Master Innholders
Find out more about each of the shortlisted individuals and cast your vote at independenthotelshow.co.uk/awards.
The Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam, takes place on 4-5 October 2021 at Olympia London. Register for your complimentary pass at independenthotelshow.co.uk.