THE STARS of Leeds’ hospitality sector have been recognised at a glittering awards ceremony.
The Leeds Hotels and Venues Association’s (LHVA) awards celebrate the best in service from over 30 hotels and venues across the city.
Stars of the sector were invited to the special ceremony at Leeds United’s Centenary Pavilion on Thursday, June 12, which was hosted by TV legend Harry Gration.
The judging panel included representatives from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds City College and City and Guilds.
Gordon Jackson, chair of the LHVA and general manager of Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa, said: “These awards are such an important part of the hospitality calendar and eagerly contested by all hotels and venues in the city.
“Many of those recognised do such amazing jobs which is often unseen by guests but critical to the quality of their stay.
“It’s really important that this is acknowledged and their work celebrated. I feel very proud to be involved and congratulate all those nominated.”
Mike Crowther, chair of the judging panel, said: “I am inspired by the ambition and determination of the applicants.
“All those who were nominated this year should feel very proud as I can’t emphasise the difficulty the judges had in deciding on this year’s winners.”
Deborah Hindley, director of LHVA, said: “There is so much talent in and around the hospitality sector in Leeds.
“It is fantastic to be able to showcase the true stars of the industry each year at the annual awards dinner and give them the opportunity to celebrate their success.”
The Hilton Leeds City won three awards. Employee Liam Coulson took home the Exceptional Customer Service award, Megan Slack and Martin Hawkins won the Bright Idea award and Nishant Bhardwaj won the Shooting Star award.
The Top Team award went to the sales and revenue team from Bewleys Hotel and the Mentor award went to Daniel Benefer at the Doubletree by Hilton.
The Rising Star award was scooped by Lukasz Opilowski at Weetwood Hall.
The public also cast their votes for the Unsung Hero award, which is backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post. After hundreds of votes, Sara Potter from Crowne Plaza took the title.
A special award went to Jeremy Bradshaw from Well Met Conferencing and the Teach First Delivery Team, who have managed to secure a major piece of business to come to the city for the next two years, worth in excess of £5.5million to the local economy.
Mr Bradshaw said: “We are all so thrilled to receive this special award.
“This demonstrates how collaborations between venues can successfully win large-scale events and I hope this example inspires future city-wide bid projects.”
During the evening a prize raffle was drawn, raising £800 for the Leeds Offers Fun for the Young (LOFFTY) charity.