Hotel Cateys 2011 - Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry
Sponsored by Diversey
WINNER: Gordon Campbell Gray, Campbell Gray Hotels
Gordon Campbell Gray may no longer operate a hotel in the UK, but the impact he has had on the industry here is indelible.
In creating the five-star, 105-bedroom One Aldwych in the heart of London's West End, Campbell Gray broke the mould of the capital's luxury hotels by offering understated sophistication and timeless chic, combined with truly personal service and comfort. The individual design, with elements of humour sprinkled throughout, reflects the fact that this is a man who knows his mind.
And then there is Campbell Gray's impeccable green credentials. When One Aldwych opened in 1998, it was the first time that a hotel of that calibre in the UK had a seriously thought out environmental policy, years before other properties even considered their approach towards corporate social responsibility. Hence, it is no surprise that Campbell Gray is currently in his third year as chairman of the Considerate Hoteliers Association.
Campbell Gray eschewed a formal hotel school training in favour of working his way through every department in a variety of properties before becoming assistant food and beverage controller at London's Portman InterContinental, at the age of 22. It was soon after being promoted to purchasing manager that he left the UK to spend several years spent working for Save the Children in the Third Word in Bangladesh, Morocco and Nicaragua.
On his return to the UK in 1982, he bought the old Dorchester hotel in Oxfordshire, which he redesigned and relaunched as the Feathers in Woodstock. The Draycott in Chelsea, London, followed in 1987 before he sold the two hotels to concentrate on developing One Aldwych.
Earlier this year, Campbell Gray Hotels, which expanded overseas in 2003 with the opening of Carlisle Bay in Antigua followed by Le Gray in Beirut two years ago, ended its association with One Aldwych.
Campbell Gray loves the adventure and excitement involved in creating new hotels and it comes as no surprise that he has a plethora of projects on the horizon. He is currently developing a 60-bedroom hotel with 30 villas on the Caribbean island of Grenada, and he is soon to confirm details of a deal to expand the Le Gray brand to six locations throughout the Middle East.
Senior members of the Caterer and Hotelkeeper editorial team
2010 Alan Parker, former chief executive, Whitbread
2009 Willy Bauer, chairman AB Hotels
2008 John Williams, executive head chef, the Ritz, and executive chairman, Academy of Culinary Arts
2007 Grant Hearn, executive chairman, Travelodge