Harrogate’s longest-standing luxury hotel is celebrating winning the big award it always wanted to - theIndependent Hotel of the Year at the annual Catey Awards.
Considered ‘The Oscars of the hospitality industry’, Rudding’s managing director Peter Banks said the award was testimony to the hotel’s commercial success.
Mr Banks said: “Our philosophy is to continually invest in the business to ensure the products and services are of the highest standard.
“We are run as a proper commercial hotel which is unusual at the very top end of the hotel industry.
“We borrow money on the open market and have to pay it back. Our wage bill alone is £9.5 million pounds a year. You have to be on your game always.”
Mr Banks said he was proud of the whole team at Rudding for delivering such high-quality service and care.
He put this down not only to the two-hour meeting held each week with staff to assess customer experience but also the fact many of the top team had worked together for 20 years or more.
He said: “The longevity of our team is one of the secrets of our success.
“I’ve worked with owner Simon Mackaness for 23 years, the hotel manager for 17 years and the golf manager for 20 years. That’s unusual in the hotel trade but the loyalty of our staff is key in winning so many awards.
“A lot of our guests are just as loyal. Some have been staying for 20 years.”
First opened as a hotel in 1997, Rudding Park is set in 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland and boasts 90 bedrooms, a spa voted Best Newcomer Good Spa Guide Awards 2017, two restaurants, a kitchen garden, a private cinema, two golf courses and conference and events space.
Such has been its success over the years, the hotel has attracted a number of high profile visitors, including Bill Clinton, Sir Roger Moore and Carrie Fisher.
Rudding doesn’t feel at all threatened by the launch of the new luxury Grantley Hall hotel near Ripon.
Mr Banks said he welcomed the unveiling of Grantley Hall after a luxurious £70 million renovation by Valeria Sykes and said, while Rudding had many different layers to what it offered customers, the newcomer was focusing on the very top of the top end.
As a result, he did not believe it would have a massive impact on Rudding.
He said: “Grantley Hall will be fantastic. I’ve known its general manager for years.
“But what we do is different. They are trying to generate their own market, bringing people up from the south who can afford to pay £5,000 a night.”
Rudding Park’s award comes after the hotel missed out in 2012.
“We nearly won Independent Hotel of the Year six years ago and were determined to win it this time,” he said. “We are very self-critical. We want every customer to have a great time every time.”