The winners of the eagerly anticipated 2019 NIHF Hotel Receptionist of the Year Awards have finally been revealed and the Causeway Hotel in Bushmills has been recognised for its commitment to excellence. Awarded a runner up place in the prestigious Hotel Reception of the Year category, the team joined fellow stars from across Northern Ireland to celebrate this tremendous accolade.
After months of deliberation, the awards were announced by compere, Pamela Ballantine, at a glittering awards ceremony on 2nd May 2019 in the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick.
The high volume of entries from receptionists across Northern Ireland lends itself to the immense talent and skill within the profession, as well as the high esteem in which the Awards are held.
A staggering eighty-eight entries were received for the competition, which is organised by the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF), and is now in its 15th year.
The competition has three award categories; Hotel Receptionist of the Year, Most Promising Hotel Receptionist of the Year (for those with under one year’s experience) and a team category, Hotel Reception of the Year.
The winner of the team category is determined by a mystery shopping process, while individuals competing for the receptionist of the year titles have to participate in a series of challenges set by Life Adventure company.
The winner of the ‘Hotel Receptionist of the Year’ was Micheál Farrell, from the Bishop’s Gate Hotel in Derry-Londonderry. This is history in the making as he was the winner of the most promising category in 2013. The reception team at Bishop’s Gate had further cause for celebration as they also won the ‘Hotel Reception of the Year’ category. The ‘Most Promising Hotel Receptionist of the Year’ award went to David Goodwin from Titanic Hotel.
The general consensus from all the judges is that the industry is in good hands given the exceptional level of candidates. One of the judges said: “It was an honour to act as a judge this year. The receptionists that I met were outstanding which made judging very difficult. Their passion for the role was clear and the desire to give guests the best possible experience was evident. It’s great to see such skills in Northern Ireland and I think our visitors are in very capable hands.”
NIHF President Gavin Carroll congratulated all of the winners and finalists:
“Being a finalist in the NIHF Hotel Receptionist of the Year Awards is a tremendous accolade and shows a real commitment from the hotels involved. It helps boost the profile of the individual receptionist, the front office team and the hotel itself. Not only is the competition an opportunity to share in the success of those who win an award but it offers the chance to meet fellow professionals, share ideas and strengthen the hotel sector.
“All of the receptionists who entered the 2019 awards were asked to attend an assessment day in the Wellington Park Hotel where they were given a series of tasks to test their interpersonal skills, their ability to cope under pressure and also personal presentation. On the basis of performance, a shortlist of fourteen was created and these receptionists progressed to the final interview stage.”
Gavin adds: “The 2019 Hotel Receptionist of the Year competition demonstrates the industry’s commitment to people within the sector and is one of the highlights of the NIHF calendar. The standard of entrants has been exceedingly high with many receptionists displaying exceptional people skills, a great understanding of their hotel property and a real passion for tourism. Funders and sponsors are critical to the awards and we’re very grateful for the support of Tourism Northern Ireland, Net Affinity, Right Revenue, Life Adventure Company and Insight6.”
The competition which is organised the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation has run successfully since 2004, growing in popularity year on year.