David Taylor, creator and operator of some of the most innovative new hotels of recent times, has been named as the 2018 Hotelier of the Year.
The vice-president operations of Principal Hotels at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was presented with his award at a celebratory lunch today at Whatley Manor, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, by Nick Appell of Casna Group, the award's sponsor, and Janet Harmer, associate editor of The Caterer.
Following the sale of the 13-strong Principal portfolio in May to French investor Covivio for £858m, with IHG as the operating company, Taylor is now overseeing the relaunch of the properties under a variety of IHG brands.
On being told that he was to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Harry Murray, Robin Hutson, Gordon Campbell Gray, Ken McCulloch, and Nick Jones, all former holders of the Hotelier of the Year award, Taylor said he was "utterly shocked".
He added: "Although I'm proud of what I do, I did not expect to receive this level of recognition from my peers, bearing in mind the former winners and the timing with what is going on. I'm thrilled and delighted by the award."
Andrew Stembridge, executive director of Iconic Luxury Hotels and 2010 Hotelier of the Year, summed up of the view of his fellow judges: "David is one of the dynamic hoteliers of the moment with a track record of innovative and award-winning openings and more recently bringing fresh energy and vision to weary hotel stock in provincial cities and the capital.
"He is also one of the most respected hoteliers of our time and his holistic approach to creating new brands and building great teams is a formula, which has earned him a very loyal following."
Eighteen of the past winners of the 36-year-old Hotelier of the Year award attended today's lunch hosted by last year's winner Sue Williams, general manager of Whatley Manor.
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