The winners have been announced for the 2021 Independent Hotel Show Awards, which took place on Monday (4 October) at Olympia London.
Joanne Taylor-Stagg, general manager of the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, secured the Independent Hotelier Award; while Anna Sirba, operations manager at the Salcombe Harbour hotel, was awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with the Master Innholders.
Juris Dubrovskis, executive housekeeper at the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, was additionally named ‘One to Watch' by the judges, for his "tenacity, drive and passion for hospitality".
Taylor-Stagg, who also won Manager of the Year at the Cateys just last month, worked with Dr Hilary Cooke to create the Master Innholders Developing Additional Skills (MIDAS) earlier this year in response to the exodus of young talent from the industry.
She said: "I'm very proud, not only of our achievements but of everything that the industry has done through the most challenging of times. Thank you very much for this, but I would like to share it with all my fellow nominees."
David Morgan-Hewitt, awards judge and chairman of the Master Innholders, said: "The GM of the Future Award was created by the Master Innholders to champion the next generation of hotel leaders and is designed to celebrate those who go the ‘extra mile' to demonstrate their commitment to becoming a future leader.
"Anna and Juris both embody these qualities and share a great passion for the hotel industry. On behalf of the Master Innholders I congratulate them on their awards and extend a well done to all finalists who demonstrated such a high standard of entry."
Elena Attanasio, event director for the Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam, said: "Huge congratulations to our 2021 award winners. This year's event is a vital celebration and chance to reconnect as a hospitality community. Both Joanne and Anna have demonstrated their passion for this fantastic industry and are hugely deserving of these accolades."
A surprise addition to the evening's accolades was an Outstanding Contribution award for Independent Hotel Show ambassador Peter Hancock, the outgoing chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels.
Announcing the award, David Noble, managing director – hospitality and leisure at James Hallam, said: "[Hancock] is a wonderful human being, and his sparkle will leave a legacy in the hotel sector for many years to come."
Hancock said he was "absolutely thrilled and surprised" to receive the award, adding: "it meant a great deal to me and I shall cherish it forever".