What are the main awards in the hospitality industry?

The UK and international hospitality industries would not enjoy the renown that they do if they were not inspired to achieve the highest standards by competition – and it is through the formal recognition of the highest achievers that such standards can be further encouraged. That’s right: we are talking about the many awards events that populate the hospitality events calendar.

Here are just five of the major awards ceremonies that those involved in the running of hotels, bars, restaurants and pubs throughout the UK, Europe and beyond eagerly anticipate each year. Don’t forget to invest in a hotel management system to boost your own establishment’s chances of awards success!


International Hotel Awards

The International Hotel Awards arose from the long-established International Property Awards, which were first presented in 1995. Today, the International Hotel Awards has the support of leading global blue chip companies and constitutes the international five-star hotel ratings standard. Hotels and hospitality companies around the world are judged by an experienced panel of professionals, with accolades presented to hotels in a range of size and type categories.

The best hotels are also recognised on the basis of their architecture, interior design, website and marketing, which simply makes the International Hotel Awards even more highly anticipated by a wide range of hotels and hospitality firms across the regions in which the awards are presented: the Asia Pacific, Arabia, Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and the UK.


Worldwide Hospitality Awards

The World Hospitality Awards were first held in 2000 and are still going strong, with the 16th edition set to take place at the Intercontinental Le Grand in Paris, France on 5th November 2015. The event aims to recognise exemplary achievements by hotel teams with regard to such areas as communications, marketing, human resources, innovation, social and environmental responsibility and customer loyalty.

Since the inaugural World Hospitality Awards, about 1,200 applications have been received, with the event’s first decade seeing the presentation of some 150 awards. Every year, candidates from every continent enter the competition in the hope of being recognised in such categories as Best Communication Campaign, Best Hotelier, Best Innovation In Hotel Concept and many more.


The Catey Awards

Hospitality awards don’t come more prestigious in the UK than the Cateys, which have even been likened to the Oscars by many industry observers. Since the event first took place in 1984, many of the biggest names in the hospitality sector have been recognised and made, especially in the prestigious Chef Award category, where previous winners include Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc.

The latest Cateys ceremony took place at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel on 7th July 2015, with the range of prizes given including the Accessibility Award, Best Employer Award, Best Marketing Campaign Award, Best Use of Technology Award and many more. The most recent winner of the Chef Award was Sat Bains, of Restaurant Sat Bains. There was also a Hotel of the Year – Group Award, which was presented to The London Edition, with the Hotel of the Year – Independent Award going to Gravetye Manor.


The Acorn Awards

Every year since 1986, efforts have been made to recognise 30 of the hospitality sector’s rising stars at the Acorn Awards. Individuals who have gone on to be major figures in the industry – ranging from Jason Atherton, Zoe Jenkins and John Campbell to Katharine Lewis, Craig Bancroft and Nick Nairn – are among the less than 900 people to have been presented with an Acorn Award in the almost three decades for which it has been running.

The 2015 Acorn Winners’ Weekend and awards presentation took place at Foxhills Hotel and Resort in rural Surrey on 7th and 8th June 2015. All of those nominated were required to be under the age of 30 and employed in the UK hospitality industry.


European Hospitality Awards 

Hotels across the continent always pay close attention to the European Hospitality Awards, which is set to be next held on 12th November 2015. The ceremony seeks to recognise Europe’s very finest hotels across such prestigious categories as Best Hotel Suite, Opening of the Year and Hotel Spa of the Year, with the biggest gongs of all being the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hotel of the Year.

Not only does landing a European Hospitality Award put a hotel in some very special company indeed – joining such past winners as The Savoy, Kempinski Hotel Palais Hansen and Lough Eske Castle – but it also demonstrates the considerable esteem in which that establishment is held by its peers and industry personnel. All of this makes it extremely difficult to imagine a more prestigious accolade for any hotel.

Can your own hotel hope to join the winners’ circle at any point in the coming years? Perhaps, but only if it works hard to deliver the strongest possible experience for customers, as is made easier by such innovations as a hotel management system. Indeed, such a system makes the booking of rooms as convenient for the customer as it is for the hotel’s managers.


However, if there’s another thing that many a hotel staffer requires amid the stress of competing for custom and the big prizes, it is a bit of light relief. Click here to read about some of the strangest things that guests have left behind in their rooms.

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