Kelly Widley, front-of-house manager at the Berry Head hotel in Brixham, Devon, is the 2006 Acorn Scholar.
Widley, 23, impressed the judges with her enthusiasm and efforts to improve training in the workplace.
"I intend to make every experience, the tuition and advice count. Winning the award has given me even more drive to give the industry the right profile," said Widley.
Her winning package includes 12 masterclass sessions with Learnpurple; all-expenses-paid trips to the USA courtesy of Aramark, and Luxembourg thanks to Villeroy & Boch; networking opportunities through the Acorn Club; and funding for personal development and training.