The city centre hotel was cut off by floodwaters and plunged into darkness.
However, the hotel’s staff went beyond the call of duty to ensure all their guests remained safe and well during floods which brought misery to thousands of people across the region.
The hotel has received a prestigious industry award, in recognition of how its team dealt with the floods, and ensured the Crowne Plaza re-opened as quickly as possible afterwards.
The Crowne Plaza on Wellington Street, was badly hit by the floods on December 26 2015, which cut the hotel’s power supply and left guests and staff stranded on site.
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The team’s efforts on the night and, in the months afterwards, have now been rewarded with a prestigious ‘Extra Mile’ award at the Hotel Cateys – an industry event, hosted by The Caterer Magazine.
Lynda Coaley, the general manager at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, said: “This award means so much to the hotel team.
“The floods were truly unprecedented and our guests and staff were faced with spending the night here in darkness, as unfortunately it was unsafe to leave.
“We had no power to the hotel at all and no methods of communicating other than mobile phones.
“However, our team rallied together and put our crisis plan into action immediately, providing guests with as much comfort as possible before moving them to another hotel when it was safe to do so.” The floods caused irreversible damage to the hotel’s IT infrastructure. Much of the hotel’s basement, ground floor and car park also suffered significant damage.
The Crowne Plaza team then faced a two-month clean-up before the hotel could re-open.
Ms Coaley added: “It was hard work to restore the hotel after the flood damage.
“It cost more than £1m and we had to work with our customers to rearrange event bookings and room reservations wherever possible.
“However, in March this year, we reopened our doors and welcomed our customers back.
“It’s been a tough journey but one that has shown the resilience and the dedication of the team at the Crowne Plaza Leeds hotel.”
Gordon Jackson, the chairman of the Leeds Hotel and Venues Association, said: “Having been so devastated by the flash floods over the Christmas period, I know that it must have taken a great deal of grit and determination to even begin the process of refurbishment.
“The team pulled together and handled the situation amazingly well and we’re pleased that local member hotels were able to support in the immediate aftermath and during the refurbishment; knowing they wouldn’t hesitate to do the same for anyone else.
“The award is completely deserved.”