Michael Yeo, a founder member of the Pride of Britain Hotels consortium, has died aged 76.
Having run a pub in Salisbury, Yeo and his wife Frieda opened the Ardanaiseig Hotel in Argyllshire and were among the first hoteliers to join Pride of Britain in 1982.
Yeo was initially marketing director of Pride of Britain, before becoming chief executive in 1988, running the consortium from Esseborne Manor before selling the hotel and setting up a dedicated office in Andover.
He retired in November 2000, having increased the consortium from 12 members to more than 30. He was also a founder member of Historic Hotels of Europe.
Paul Milsom, owner of Maison Talbooth and son of Pride of Britain's founder the late Gerald Milsom, paid tribute to Yeo.
"He was the personification of the Country House Hotelier and Pride of Britain with his great sense of humour, interest in people and sense of what makes a hotel special.
"He was enormously helpful to our business and I know that he was to many, many others."
Yeo's funeral is at St Mary's Church, Iwerne Minster, Dorset on 30 August.
By Daniel Thomas