Jesmond Dene House wins Hotel Olympic Gold
September 3 2008
At a glittering London dinner, Jesmond Dene House is named AA Hotel of the Year 2008-09...
Jesmond Dene House received an unexpected present, last night, to celebrate its third anniversary. At a glittering London dinner, the Newcastle boutique hotel was named AA Hotel of the Year 2008-09.
The AA’s ultimate hotel prize, given to a hotel that provides an outstanding example of service within its class, the award happily coincided with Jesmond Dene House’s third birthday.
The 40-bedroom hotel, which overlooks leafy Jesmond Dene ten minutes to the north of the city centre, opened in September 2005 after an 18-month transformation of the Grade ll-Listed Arts and Crafts building. To impress the AA inspectors, the hotel needed to demonstrate both an overall excellence and significant improvements throughout the previous year. Former winners include One Aldwych, London and Calcot Manor in Gloucestershire.
“To have achieved such an honour within such a short space of time was totally unexpected,” said Jesmond Dene House’s general manager, Eric Kortenbach. “From the beginning, it’s true that we set out to offer exceptional levels of service and comfort but I know from my own 20 years in the business how hard that is to achieve, and to achieve consistently. Without a shadow of a doubt, it is down to our staff; their hard work, dedication and determination.”
The hotel, which is jointly owned by the North East’s leading chef restaurateur, Terry Laybourne, and Durham-based property developer, Peter Candler, was also awarded four AA red stars. Red stars (as oppose to the standard black stars) are not given lightly and are only awarded to hotels whom AA inspectors feel deserve special recognition within their class. Only around 150 hotels throughout Britain hold them. So, it was truly a night of celebrations for Jesmond Dene House’s 70 staff.
Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “This is fantastic news for the reputation of NewcastleGateshead as a world class place to visit. Jesmond Dene House has become one of the jewels in the crown of the North East’s tourism experience. In just three years, it has grown a national and international reputation for the quality of its service and food.”
The black-tie dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, whose guest list was a Who’s Who of the hotel and restaurant world, also celebrated 100 years since the AA first introduced schemes to recognise and reward quality within the hospitality industry. The banquet was prepared by five of Britain’s top chefs, including Raymond Blanc and Tom Aikens. Ten of the hotel’s staff were treated to this fabulous night out in London.