People are the lifeblood of the hotel industry and to celebrate its 20th anniversary the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) recognised twenty hotel heroes at a special awards ceremony in the Observatory at Grand Central Hotel, Belfast, on Tuesday 10th September.

The excitement was palpable as the heroes were welcomed by host Pamela Ballantine and their significant contribution to the industry was recognised.

Congratulating the recipients Gavin Carroll, President of the NIHF, says:

“As an organisation, we felt it was fitting to celebrate our people.  They are unique and it is their individuality that gives our industry its personality.  We know that the commitment of our staff and the passion that they have for the industry ensures that guests have a great stay. We were delighted with the response and we had a diverse range of nominations.

“The industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades and our staff remain central to our success. We asked members to nominate someone within their business who has really made a difference. The person may have been performing a valuable ‘back of house’ role or meeting customers each day. Either way their contribution has been noted as enhancing the overall hotel experience.”

The twenty hotel heroes received an individual trophy on the night and have been invited along as guests to this year’s Hospitality Exchange which takes place on 15th and 16th October in Crowne Plaza Belfast.

Discussing the employment opportunities that the industry holds Gavin adds:

“The hotel sector has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. The number of hotel rooms has doubled. We increased jobs by 100% and the roles that we have to offer have diversified. It is important that we attract more people into the industry and it is therefore imperative that we increase awareness of the opportunities available.

“The excellent careers that we can provide in hotels and the wider hospitality industry need to be recognised and celebrated. Image has been an issue for the sector for some time. We are keen to play our part in addressing any misconceptions and highlighting the opportunities a career in hospitality presents.”

For further information on NIHF log onto and for Hospitality Exchange log onto

NIHF Hotel Heroes 2019


Hotel Name Hotel Hero Job Title
AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast Lynsey Guest HR Manager
Bishops Gate Hotel Paul Sharkey Executive Chef
Causeway Hotel Davy McMaster Kitchen Porter
City Hotel Derry Clare Campbell Guest Services Manager
Corrs Corner Hotel Martin Toner General Manager
Europa Hotel Martin Mulholland Head Concierge
Everglades Hotel Sean Kavanagh Kitchen Porter
Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort Linda Graham Setup Manager
Hilton Belfast Templepatrick Sophia Beattie Housekeeping Supervisor
Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre Valerie McFadden Housekeeper
Jurys Inn Belfast Katey Smyth Asst Front Office Manager
Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges Patricia Kavanagh Accounts Manager
Malone Lodge Hotel Louise Tinsley Reception Supervisor
Merchant Hotel Paula Stephens Director of Sales
Millbrook Lodge Hotel Patricia O’Hare Restaurant Supervisor
Silverbirch Hotel Alana McCauley Head Receptionist
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Nora Hanna Business Manager
Stormont Hotel Phil McCartan Accommodation Services Manager
Wellington Park Hotel Belfast Malachy Toner General Manager
White Horse Hotel Emma Davis Reservations Manager

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