Harrogate’s hospitality heroes celebrated at sell-out awards evening
Harrogate’s hospitality and tourism heroes were rewarded for their excellence and commitment on Monday night (6th June) during a gala dinner with a theme celebrating the best the town has to offer and reflecting the last 3 years, at Harrogate’s Royal Hall.
This year was the fourteenth year of the sell-out awards evening, which is organised by the Harrogate Hospitality & Tourism Association (HHTA), and hosts Simon Cotton and David Ritson were joined by the General Managers from the member Harrogate hotels from HHTA and proud award sponsors to present the coveted award categories.
The Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards aim to promote the town’s hospitality offering through celebrating and rewarding those individuals who show the highest levels of commitment and strive towards excellence on the town’s behalf.
During February and March this year, members of the public and visitors to Harrogate were invited to nominate individuals who they thought deserved special recognition. This year another new award, Housekeeper of the Year was added and helped generate over 1000 nominations before a shortlist was chosen by judges across the thirteen categories.
David Ritson, General Manager of the Old Swan Hotel and co-organiser of the event said; “The awards are a fantastic occasion for the town and beyond. They reward not only the winners, but all those who are shortlisted and work in every area of hospitality, recognising the effort and commitment they make on a daily basis.”
He added; “We received so many entries this year and after what our industry has been through recently it was great to see such a large number of the community getting involved. We have been able to reward some very worthy winners. The nominations we receive outline the amazing feats that this industry can generate. We are extremely lucky to live and work in a town where the
community comes together to make it such a great place.”
Simon Cotton, Managing Director at the HRH Group and co-organiser of the awards commented “We would like to thank everyone who supported us in the awards; we had a record response to nominations and a record number of people wanting to attend the dinner and awards at the Royal Hall. The hospitality sector is so important to this town’s economy and it is wonderful to see the crème de la crème of their category being acclaimed for their efforts; both those shortlisted and those who won deserve their ‘moment in the spotlight’ and it was great to see everyone celebrating tonight!”
What could be described as the most prestigious award of the night, the Harrogate Ambassador of the Year was won by Harry Satloka. Harry Satloka saw an opportunity that Harrogate’s tourism scene would benefit from hugely and has brought a fantastic visitor experience to our town. Through his free walking tours around town the professionalism and passion that he puts into promoting Harrogate can be seen by a quick look at his impressive TripAdvisor page where almost every one of the near 300 reviews score him a 5 out of 5 for the tour.
Having recently expanded his tours to included primary schools and educating the next generation about our great town, he’s also recently launched a ‘drinks tour’ promoting the great pubs and bar venues of Harrogate and was also used by Destination Harrogate in their recent Christmas Campaign in London promoting the direct train service whereby Harry greeted guests at Kings Cross and spoke to them on the train in First Class about what Harrogate has to offer during their journey up.
With 12 member hotels, the HHTA welcomes over 300,000 guests each year and collectively employs over 1000 members of staff. The Association has been in existence for many years with the enduring goal of promoting Harrogate as a destination, working in close partnership with the Harrogate Convention Centre and the Yorkshire Event Centre to promote conferences and local businesses for leisure breaks. Members work together and with other tourism-led businesses in order to promote high standards within the industry and the town.
The Award winners were:
Waiter/Waitress of the Year – sponsored by Harrogate Spring Water
Happiness Brown – Majestic Hotel
Bar Person of the Year – sponsored by Matthew Clark
Kallum Atkinson – Fat Badger
Chef of the Year – sponsored by Sykes House Farm
Callum Bower – Rudding Park
Team of the Year – sponsored by Platinum
Starling Bar Café Kitchen
Newcomer of the Year – sponsored by Harrogate College
Hopkins @ Horticap
Unsung Hero – sponsored by Bidfood
Louiza Noland - Banyan
Best Achievement of the Year – sponsored by Harrogate BID
Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
Outstanding Customer Service – sponsored by Slingsby
Domenico Ponziani – Sasso
Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by the World of James Herriot
Drum & Monkey
Bar of the Year – sponsored by Timothy Taylor’s
Tap on Tower Street
Receptionist of the Year – Sponsored by Bookers Wholesale
Sam Ramsden – Rudding Park
Housekeeper of the Year – Sponsored by Beaucare
Elaine Long – Old Swan Hotel
Harrogate Ambassador of the Year sponsored by Harrogate Christmas Market