Danny Pecorelli, managing director of Exclusive Hotels and Venues has been named as the 2014 Hotelier of the Year.
He was presented with his award at a celebratory lunch today at London’s Grosvenor House hotel, by Amanda Afiya, editor of The Caterer, and Nick Appell, owner of Casna Group, the award’s sponsor.
A judging panel of past winners selected Pecorelli as this year’s winner for achieving the highest standards of hotelkeeping in running a group of four hotels, two venues and two golf clubs which hold an unprecedented 20 AA stars and four Michelin stars. They were particularly impressed by his passion and commitment in being a hands-on hotelier and driving the business through mentoring and development of people, whilst continually achieving culinary excellence across all the properties.
Andrew McKenzie, managing director, the Vineyard Group, and 2008 Hotelier of the Year, said: “If you were to paint a picture of the modern hotelier it would be like Danny Pecorelli! He possesses all the qualities required to operate hotels in this day and age – an understanding that his people are at the core of everything that he does, alongside an awareness that without making his business efficient and profitable there would be nothing for those people to do.”
Dominic Walsh, business reporter (leisure/drinks), The Times, described Pecorelli as “a restless innovator” who always seeks new ways of making his hotels the best they possibly can be.
“He is not afraid to invest to achieve his aims, as shown by the remarkable collection of Michelin stars and other accolades garnered by the hotels’ restaurants,” he explained. “Yet, despite his role as managing director of the group, he remains very much a hands-on hotelier, spending much of his time walking the floor to meet guests and interacting with employees at all levels of the business.”
Pecorelli took over the running what was then known as Exclusive Hotels in 1997 and over the past 10 years has overseen the business double its turnover to £50m. His father, Giuseppe, founded the company in 1981 with the acquisition of Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey.
The group has since gone on to add South Lodge hotel and Mannings Heath Golf Club in Lower Beeding, West Sussex; Manor House Hotel & Golf Club, Castle Combe, Wiltshire; Lainston House, Winchester, Hampshire; Fanhams Hall, Ware, Hertfordshire; and Royal Berkshire, Ascot, Berkshire.
Past winners of the 32-year-old Hotelier of the Year award include Harry Murray in 1986, Robin Hutson (2003) and Andrew Stembridge (2010). Last year’s winner, Stuart Bowery, general manager of Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott hotel, hosted today’s lunch.
* See this week’s issue of The Caterer, on 14 November, for an interview with Hotelier of the Year, Danny Pecorelli