The announcement this week of the Independent Hotelier of the Year shortlist has not only underlined the luxury sector’s credentials but also emphasised the importance of sanctuary in luxury.
Spear’s was unsurprised to see the inclusion of world class hoteliers such as Andrew Stembridge, who runs the elegant rural Chewton Glen and Cliveden hotels, alongside Terence and Vicky Conran for Boundary and Peter Prescott’s Shoreditch House.
Another welcome inclusion is Robin Hutson who runs Lime Wood and The Pig hotels in the New Forest where he has been able to craft refreshingly informal retreats with genuine rustic charm.
The award recognises passion in the right place, looking for the individual who has ‘consistently helped change the landscape of the independent, luxury and boutique hotel sector; a pioneer with a reputation for pushing boundaries.’
The shortlist is:
Robin Hutson, Lime Wood & The Pig hotels, New Forest
Paul Milsom, Milsom Hotels
Andrew Stembridge, Chewton Glen & Cliveden House
Terence Conran, Vicky Conran & Peter Prescott, Boundary Hotel, Shoreditch
Christoph Brooke, Hillbrook Hotels
Charles & Edmund Inkin, The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon
Claire Randall, Lucknam Park, near Bath
Ruth and Ken Hunt, Combe House, Gittisham, Devon
As shown by the diversity of the shortlist the high-end hotel can no longer hide behind high-end pampering and overstated luxury. Guests increasingly want distraction and the conformity of plush comfort does little to inspire and engage. The listed hotels not only raise the bar but will hopefully inspire the industry as a whole.
You can read our reviews of nominated hotels below: