East Lodge hotel has triumphed once again. At the East Midlands Tourism Enjoy England Excellence Awards, the renowned Rowsley Hotel beat the cream of the region’s tourism businesses to strike gold and victory in the ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ category - in recognition of the hotel’s investment and efforts in making sure that the East Lodge experience is second to none.
East Lodge joined 50 other finalists from leading East Midlands tourism organisations including Leicester City Football Club, The National Space Centre, and near neighbour Chatsworth at the lavish gala awards dinner at the Roundhouse in Derby on 7 October. Businesses from across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland competed for the 18 coveted awards on the night and East lodge, together with all the other Gold winners will now progress to the national final, which will be held in spring 2011.
”To win two gold awards in different categories in three years is an amazing achievement and one we are all overjoyed about,” said Iain Hardman, managing director at East Lodge. “We spend a great deal of time and effort ensuring East Lodge delivers a level of customer service that exceeds the expectations of our guests, so it is fantastic this commitment has been recognised by the judges. Meeting the highest standards day in day out is by no means easy and is not just a matter of money. There are many sophisticated challenges that involve ensuring the guest experience remains high and I would like to thank all our staff, because it is their consistently high performance that makes everyone’s stay at East Lodge memorable for all the right reasons.”
Designed to identify only the best of the region’s tourism businesses, the awards set a high benchmark for the rest of the tourism industry to aspire too and the prestigious award was presented to East Lodge staff Charlotte Mitchell and Samantha Otter by the host for the evening Jo Hayward together with Ruth Hyde, Tourism Director at the East Midlands Development Agency.
“All the participants in the awards were very strong and it gets more difficult each year to choose a winner. It’s a great achievement to get to the final stages given the quality of the entrants this year. The standard was such that mystery shoppers who visited each finalist were so impressed with what they saw they want to go back and visit some of the businesses as customers,” commented Ruth Hyde. “Use of local produce is now almost standard amongst all categories showing how far we have come as a region in using fresh local food, an area which the region excels in. All the finalists demonstrated a great understanding of their customers’ individual requirements and how they are using feedback to improve their service. “
This award makes it three in a row now for East Lodge, as the hotel recently scooped three red stars from the AA and secured another Visit England Breakfast award. This latest gold award is the icing on the cake and rounds off a hat trick of real quality for last year’s winner of ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ and for one of only 48 hotels in the country ever presented with a Visit England Gold Award.
East Lodge is owned by the Hardman family and the hotel is no stranger to awards. The coveted AA “Inspectors’ Choice” accolade places East Lodge within the top 150 hotels in the UK – hardly surprising for a hotel that has also been a former silver Winner at the national finals of “Hotel of the Year 2009/10” - renowned as the tourism Oscars.
“Winning this award is a great achievement but East Lodge will not be resting on its laurels,” added Iain. “A hat trick of awards is a great feeling, but our sights are now fixed on the forthcoming Derbyshire Restaurant of the Year.”