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Cateys 2012: Manager of the Year – Justin Pinchbeck

06 July 2012
Cateys 2012: Manager of the Year – Justin Pinchbeck

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On the website of boutique country house hotel Lime Wood, it reads: "Service is led by hotel director Justin Pinchbeck. A relaxed but sophisticated style is part of Justin's intrinsic DNA and is at the heart of how we do things."

Pinchbeck's DNA was exactly what Robin Hutson was looking for in his search for someone to recruit and lead the team at Lime Wood, his soon-to-be award-winning hotel in the heart of the New Forest. The 40-something hotelier had the unusual experience of opening a contemporary townhouse with the backbone of training from a hotel industry's powerhouse - Pinchbeck was perfect for Hutson's precious new project.

Being a hotelier is in Pinchbeck's blood. His father worked for Trusthouse Forte for 25 years and spent several years as number two at the prestigious Imperial hotel in Torquay. It wasn't long before Pinchbeck the younger entered the same profession.

He undertook traditional training with the Grosvenor House before going on to hold management positions at the Sloane Club, Firmdale hotels, and the Royal Thames Yacht Club. He was then approached by Mark Sainsbury, Lord Sainsbury's son, who was looking for someone to help with the opening of the Zetter and he joined as general manager. Six years later - and with several awards in the bag - he was on the move again, but this time to the country, to Lime Wood.

Hutson says: "Justin is well schooled in the legislative and financial aspects of the business - this being demonstrated by the impressive growth in performance over the past 12 months that resulted £1m of EBITDA in this, only the second year of operation."

Ready for a fresh challenge, as we went to press, Pinchbeck was due to take up a new position - that of general manager at London's five-star Berkeley hotel - and Pinchbeck will be succeeded at Lime Wood by Kenneth Speirs, currently of London's Halkin.

"It is a big loss for us," says Hutson, "but Justin has done a fantastic job at Lime Wood and he moves on to a brilliant job at the Berkeley with our blessing."


WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

"Justin has proved himself to be a consummate hotelier who is equally adept in both the London and the country market. However, this year the work he has undertaken at Lime Wood really deserves recognition. To go from an opening to some of the highest praise from travel writers and journalists, while taking a new untrained team along with him, has been nothing short of amazing."
Philip Newman-Hall, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Shortlisted
â- Justin Pinchbeck, hotel director, Lime Wood
â- David Taylor, general manager, Marriott's Edition

The JudgesDavid Cochrane, chief executive, HIT Scotland
Linda Halliday
Nick Halliday, CEO, Brownsword Hotels
ZoÁ« Jenkins, general manager, Coworth Park
Liz McGivern, vice-president of human resources and training, Red Carnation Hotels
David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director, the Goring
Stephen Moss, chairman, Springboard UK
Harry Murray, chairman, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa
Philip Newman-Hall, director/general manager, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Xavier Rousset, managing director, 28-50 and Texture

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