French-born Denis Verrier is the general manager at Homewood Park hotel near Bath. He was nominated by fellow Von Essen general manager Brian Jarvis, from Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire, for going the extra mile for a guest's sick dog. Verrier spoke to Kerstin Kühn
Why did you nominate Denis?
Brian Jarvis An elderly lady was staying at Homewood Park with her dog, and one night Denis had a call from the night porter saying that the animal was very ill and that the lady was desperate for him to see a vet. The night porter couldn't leave the hotel as he was on duty, so Denis made his way back to work in the early hours of the morning to rescue the situation.
He called the local vet, who agreed that the dog should be taken into the surgery to be seen to. It turned out that the dog required an operation, so Denis waited for five hours until the procedure was done. The dog was then kept in for observation and Denis returned with the guest to the hotel.
The following day, the dog was able to be returned to its owner, so Denis went and collected him, and returned both guest and pet safely to recuperate from their ordeal.
How do you feel having won the award?
Denis Verrier I'm very surprised, but I'm thrilled and feel very honoured. It's a great achievement for me to be recognised in this way, both on a professional and personal level.
What was the situation with the sick dog?
I had left the hotel after night shift but had got a call from the night porter at home, so I returned to the hotel and took the lady and her dog to the local vet, who decided the dog needed an operation.
How did the lady react?
DV She was beside herself with worry about her dog. She didn't immediately say "thank you" to me or anyone else for all the effort we'd gone through, as she didn't even stop for one second to consider this as she was so panicky about her pet's condition.
However, the next day, when all was well, she thanked all of us and gave us a £50 tip.
What will you do with the £500 prize money?
DV My wife and I are planning a trip to Rome next year, so I will save the money for our holiday. Instead of staying at a budget hotel, we'll be able to stay at a four-star hotel, so it'll make our holiday a bit more special.
- To nominate someone for this award, visit www.caterersearch.com/starofthemonth