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Northern Ireland Hotels Federation hosted its anual ‘Hotel Receptionist of the Year’ gala awards ceremony in the Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges, this week (Wednesday 10th May 2017). Almost 80 entrants from Northern Ireland’s top venues were competing for gold in the various categories. However, it was talent from the North West hospitality providers that shone through.
Ciaran O’Neill, President of NI Hotels Federation and operator of Bishop’s Gate, discusses the awards:
“It is great to see such enthusiasm for these awards. We had a record number of competition entries this year. The standard was particularly high and the judges did comment on the exceptional quality of the finalists from Derry-Londonderry, which included Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Waterfoot Hotel and Maldron Hotel.”
““It is a pleasure for the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation to recognise the important role of the receptionist, reflect on the exceptional talent that we have in Northern Ireland and reward those who ensure the success of our hotels. Within the tourism industry, people are an essential part of our hotel product – we simply cannot function without them! The receptionist role is multi-faceted. It includes welcoming guests, dealing with queries, managing complaints and imparting information on local attractions. Receptionists must have an excellent knowledge of not only their own hotel’s amenities but of attractions, sites and products in their local area. Every day they deal with a wide range of requests and many miscellaneous issues.
Ciaran added: “This competition is also a great example of working in partnership. The support of category sponsors: Tourism Northern Ireland, Net Affinity and Right Revenue coupled with the assistance of Omagh & Fermanagh District Council, Life – One Great Adventure and Frost Couture has been essential in making the event possible. I want to thank all of our generous sponsors.”
Scooping the title of ‘Hotel Receptionist of the Year 2017’ was Laura Curran of Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry-Londonderry. The judges described Laura as: “someone who has such passion for the job and the industry, she should be bottled and used as a global ambassador!
Meanwhile, the accolade of ‘Most Promising Hotel Receptionist of the Year 2017’, supported by Net Affinity, was bestowed on Adam Sweeney, Waterfoot Hotel, Derry-Londonderry. Adam was described by the judges as: “warm, energetic and enthusiastic with exceptional business acumen”. This person’s passion for hospitality and their story of progression is a real inspiration”.
Finally, in the team category the title of ‘Hotel Reception of the Year 2017’, sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland, went to Bushmills Inn, Bushmills. One of the judges summed up the interaction they had with the team as: “Possibly one of the best check-in experiences I have ever had throughout my years of hotel inspecting. The experience was a perfect mix of genuine hospitality, very good systems and a well-trained team”.
Ciaran O’Neill concluded: “I would like to congratulate all of our award winners. Personally, I think that everyone who entered is a winner. I’m very proud of the exceptional standard noted by the judges this year. Well done!”
The competition is kindly supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, Right Revenue, Net Affinity with additional support from Fermanagh & Omagh District Council.