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Cateys 2016: Hotel of the Year – Independent

08 July 2016
Cateys 2016: Hotel of the Year – Independent

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Longueville Manor

The mission statement of the Lewis family, the owners of Longueville Manor in Jersey, is "to create the stuff that dreams are made of".

Not an easy aspiration to achieve, but one which our judges wholeheartedly agree every member of the team, at what is one of only a small handful of privately owned and operated five-red-AA-star hotels in the UK and the Channel Islands, consistently work towards. In fact, one of our judges said that her stay at the property was "without question my best hotel stay for many, many years".

Longueville Manor is located close to St Helier within 18 acres of grounds, comprising woodland walks, a Victorian kitchen garden and a lake. It was originally acquired by the Lewis family in a state of disrepair in 1949. The 30-bedroom property, which partly dates back to the 13th century, has since passed through the hands of four generations and is today with husband-and-wife team Malcolm and Patricia Lewis, with Pedro Bento as managing director and Andrew Baird as executive chef.

The past 18 months have been a defining time for the hotel. Last year, Longueville achieved an increase in average room rate and revpar of 25.45% and 29.59% respectively, at a time when the broader tourism industry in Jersey saw a decline.

Rather than being drawn into any price wars with its competitors, the hotel has instead taken the bold decision to spend money on improving the property. Malcolm and Patricia believe that guests are willing to pay for good quality and exceptional service.

Recent investments have included the creation of the Cottage Garden, a boutique spa, which is to include a unique organic skincare treatment menu; a 44ft yacht for guests to enjoy bespoke trips around Jersey and to France; and a new website, offering online vouchers and making it easier to book digitally.

In the six weeks running up to Christmas 2015, some £65,000-worth of vouchers were sold, which was £13,000 more than the entire voucher takings for 2014.

Building on a rich heritage of family values and top-class service, combined with a building that is always maintained to the very highest level, Longueville Manor, a member of the Relais & Châteaux consortium, is a truly exceptional hotel. Little details that continually delight guests include complimentary lavender sleep sprays left on pillows, or the Scrabble games in each room.

What the judges said

"I was really impressed by the standards achieved, the innovation and the bold business strategies adopted."

Melvin Gold

"Step into Longueville Manor and you enter an oasis of calm and elegance where as a guest you are cocooned by warmth and genuine care and hospitality in pristine surroundings. Without exception, the team are passionate about service excellence - you feel you are at the very core of their existence."

Claire Randall

"The Lewis family has consistently, for many years, delivered first-class hospitality with a team that very much embodies the family spirit."

Andrew Thomason

The shortlist

  • Cedar Manor Hotel and Restaurant, Windermere, Cumbria
  • Longueville Manor, Jersey
  • Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

The judges

  • Garry Baldwin, Senior hotel and restaurant inspector, AA Hotel & Hospitality Services
  • Melvin Gold, Melvin Gold Consulting
  • Claire Randall, Managing director, Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Wiltshire
  • Simon Rhatigan, Managing director, Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants
  • Andrew Thomason, Managing director, Gravetye Manor, West Hoathley, Sussex

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