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Hotel of the Year – Group

21 January 2005
Hotel of the Year – Group

Sponsored by JohnsonDiversey

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2004 winner Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa
"The location of the £18m new-build property wasn't immediately in its favour, but rather it was the hotel's overall offering that won the judges' favour" The past few years have been difficult for the group hotel sector, with operators of all sizes feeling the pinch resulting from low occupancy levels and competitive room rates. Economic confidence has also been slow to pick up from its 2001 slump. Last year, however, saw the strongest indication of recovery yet, and all signs are pointing towards a healthier 2005. Group hotels that invested in their portfolio and standards of service are the ones now likely to benefit the most from a healthier market. Last year's winner of the Group Hotel of the Year Catey, Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, near Leeds, owned by Shire Hotels, is likely to be in that fortunate position, having wowed the judges with its winning formula of a high quality product underpinned by superior levels of service. With this award open to any group hotel of any size or market level, nominees in this category are always up against extremely stiff competition, but the judges felt that the 123-bedroomed Thorpe Park surpassed all other contenders. Situated on a business park, six miles from the city centre of Leeds, the location of the £18m new-build property wasn't immediately in its favour, but rather it was the hotel's overall offering that won the judges' favour. Primarily a business hotel which caters to the conference market, Thorpe Park, with its bright, modern facilities, including its 14 naturally lit rooms and well-designed conference caf‚ for delegates, stood out from the traditional business hotel line-up. A luxury spa complete with state-of-the art steam room and sauna helped to convince the judges of the hotel's quality credentials, and its achievement of excellence in its sector. But it wasn't all about hi-tech facilities. The fact that a high proportion of the hotel's staff were recruited "raw" and trained up from scratch, with more than half of the managers promoted from within other Shire Hotels, was a major factor in Thorpe Park's success last year. One judge summed up that success as: "They have gone the extra mile and made the effort." To catch the eye of this year's judging panel, contenders for the Hotel of the Year - Group award will have to demonstrate consistency of product and service, as well as particular achievements in the past year. If you would like to nominate a hotel for the award, fill in the form on the back of this brochure. The closing date for applications is Friday 4 February. Judging will take place on 6 May at a London BaxterStorey contract. Judges' criteria The Hotel of the Year - Group category is open to any group hotel of any size and at any market level that demonstrates: - Excellence in its chosen market. - Consistency of product and service. - Success as a business. - Particular achievements in the past year. Don't forget All nominations in this category MUST be accompanied by a supporting statement.
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