This year the Boutique Hotelier Personal Service Star Awards have one major exciting addition to its format. For the first time, we have brought in a judging panel who will decide on the worthy winners of each of the 11 category awards. We meet the five industry stalwarts who will have the final say on your applications and discover just why they are the perfect fit for the job.
Andrew Love, chairman, The Ritz, The Ritz Club
Trained as a chartered accountant, most of Andrew Love’s career has been spent in the luxury hospitality industry. He continues to hold positions as non-executive chairman of The Ritz Club and non-executive deputy chairman of The Ritz Hotel.
Amongst Andrew’s further activities, he is chairman of St James’s Conservation Trust, a council member of Mayfair & St James’s Association and the Jermyn Street Association, and director of the Heart of London Business. Andrew is a tireless fundraiser and in the past has served on several high-profile charitable committees. He is currently an ambassador for the Stroke Association.
Peter Hancock, chief executive, Pride of Britain Hotels
Peter Hancock became chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels in 2000. It is a consortium of never more than 50 independent luxury and boutique hotels throughout the UK. Before that he was group publishing director at Johansens. His career began as a waiter in the late 1970s followed by general management positions in hotels and restaurants in southern England. Peter is an honorary Master Innholder, a Fellow of HOSPA, a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Fellow of the Academy of Food & Wine Service and an ambassador for the Gold Service Scholarship.
Stuart Procter, general manager, The Stafford London
Stuart Procter began his distinguished career as a part-time waiter and dishwasher at Lancashire’s Northcote Manor at 15. At 19, he continued his studies in hotel management, moving to the Shire Hotels family, and later the Devonshire Arms at the request of the Duke of Devonshire. At 27, he joined The Stafford as a deputy general manager under Terry Holmes. Stuart spent time studying at the Cornell University School of Hotel Management before taking on the general manager position at The Stafford. After five-and-a-half years in that role, Stuart took a brief sabbatical from The Stafford to open the Hotel Football in Manchester as managing director. In November of 2015, Stuart made his triumphant return home to The Stafford where he proud to once again be steering this iconic hotel.
Giovanna Grossi, group area manager, AA Hotel Services
Giovanna Grossi has worked for the AA for 17 years and in September she will depart from the role after nearly two decades of service and dedication to the industry.
She graduated from Manchester University in accountancy before joining the family restaurant business. In 1999, she took on her first role at the AA as patch inspector but she still continued to work at her family’s restaurant at the weekend.
After her parents sold the business in 2003, she moved into a new role at the AA within the key accounts team. It was when an opportunity to become an area manager for London and the South East nine months later that she really found her strengths and worked there for the next two years.
When the organisation restructured in January 2008, the role of chief inspector was dissolved and as a result, Grossi took on the job of group area manager.
Since then, Grossi’s remit has included management of the inspection team and area managers, quality standards, liaison with tourist boards, responsibility for the awards processes, management of a number of key customers, training and recruitment of new inspectors.
Lorraine Dale, head housekeeper, Windsor Castle; chair of the UK Housekeeping Association
Lorraine Dale has more than 30 years experience in the housekeeping sector and now works at Windsor Castle as head housekeeper, where she has been for the last three years.
Her first head housekeeper role was with Arora Hotels and her job saw her involvement in building the successful model for seven new hotels under the Arora name, taking on the task of director of housekeeping across the portfolio for 12 years.
Included in this she was also part of the opening team for an aparthotel in Darwin where she stayed for two years.
With the wealth of experience behind her, she joined Windsor Castle in 2013 and thoroughly enjoys every aspect of her role.
Alongside her day to day, she has also been the London chair of the UK Housekeeping Association for the last three years as well as being in her second year of national chair for the organisation.