West Sussex hotel wins prestigious award

Gravetye Manor
Gravetye Manor

Gravetye Manor Hotel and Restaurant, in the heart of the Sussex countryside, was awarded a prestigious Catey award, scooping Hotel of the Year - Independent. Managing Director, Andrew Thomason and his senior team attended the award ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on Tuesday (July 7) night where the very best of the hospitality industry was recognised.

The annual award ceremony is put on by The Caterer, the UK’s weekly business publication for hospitality professionals.

Mark Lewis, Publisher at The Caterer, said: “The awards are a celebration of all that is good and admirable in the industry and the winners in each category represent the very best the hotel, restaurant, foodservice and our pub and bar industries have to offer”.

Gravetye, in West Hoathly, was shortlisted for the award, which was sponsored by Sky alongside fellow Pride of Britain hotels The Arch, London and The Torridon of Wester Ross, Scotland.

A panel of six distinguished judges were enlisted to decide on the winner, taking into consideration wide ranging factors from the overall business model to the guest experience.

The judging panel was made up of industry heavyweights: Patrick Burke (General Manager, Atlantic Hotel, Jersey); Melvin Gold (Managing Director, Melvin Gold Consulting); Robin Hutson (Chairman and Chief Excutive, Lime Wood Group and Home Grown Hotels); David Morgan-Hewitt (Managing Director, The Goring, London); Simon Numphud (Head of AA Hotel Services); and Claire Randall (Managing Director, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, Bath).

It was the resurgence of Gravetye Manor under the new ownership and management that really captured the imagination of the judging panel. The hotel came under the ownership of Jeremy and Elizabeth Hosking in February 2010.

Major structural and infrastructure works have ensured the house will remain standing for generations to come. The hotel’s facilities internally have also been updated. The world-renowned gardens have received some much needed attention.

Judge Robin Hutson said: “Gravetye Manor was the vanguard of the country house movement decades ago and, despite some difficult periods, has now risen once again to exemplify all that is great about a true independent hotel”.

Patrick Burke added: “Jeremy and Elizabeth Hosking have rescued a national treasure, but the real driver behind Gravetye’s renaissance is the comprehensive strategic plan that is being so ably implemented by Andrew Thomason and his team.”

Andrew Thomason, Managing Director, said upon winning the award: “I am so thrilled for the whole team at Gravetye to have won this prestigious award, it is testament to their hard work and of course to the owners immense passion and generous investment. Being recognised by some of the best in the hospitality industry is something that we are immensely proud of.”

Under the new ownership the hotel has gone from strength to strength and this award is just the latest in a string of successes over the last two years.

In addition to being the AA’s Hotel of the Year 2013-2014, Gravetye was awarded the Best Rural Hotel by Food & Travel and the Best Countryside Hotel by Conde Nast Johansens for 2014.

This January the restaurant was awarded 3 AA Rosettes and received praise in the Waitrose Good Food Guide, where Head Chef George Blogg won the Editor’s Award for the Chef to Watch for 2014.

Impressively, Gravetye Manor is also the second longest-standing restaurant in the Good Food Guide, beaten only by The Connaught in Mayfair.

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