The AA has announced its latest round of red star winners, celebrating the country's best hotels, as well as a new award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, awarded to UKHospitality's chief executive Kate Nicholls.
London's 11 Cadogan Gardens (pictured) was awarded the maximum five red stars, while four red stars were given to Forest Side in Grasmere, Cumbria; Linthwaite House in Windermere, Cumbria; and the Swan in Southwold, Suffolk. Three red stars were also awarded to the Pig at Bridge Place in Canterbury, Kent.
Further to the red star announcement, the AA has created a new award to reflect and acknowledge the work being done in the face of new challenges being presented to the hospitality industry by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award has been presented to UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls in recognition of her work supporting the industry and lobbying on its behalf to government throughout the pandemic.
Nicholls has worked in hospitality since 1993, holding roles in public affairs and strategic communications across the industry. She is also chair of the Tourism Alliance, chair of the Mayor of London's Night Time Commission, and a member of a number of industry supporting boards and initiatives.
During the pandemic, she has led UKHospitality in bringing together the hospitality sector to codify messaging, lobby the government for support and clear guidance, and introduce key guidelines and safety measures to allow the industry to operate within a constantly shifting landscape.
Simon Numphud, managing director at AA Media, said: "There is no denying that it has been an immensely difficult time for the hospitality sector, but we have seen hotels across the UK and Ireland rise to the occasion, providing the public with fantastic experiences and enjoyable stays despite the challenges of Covid-19. Providing outstanding hospitality is an impressive feat at any time, but is particularly notable now, and we are delighted to be able to recognise the hard work and creativity of our red star winners.
"It is also vital to recognise the individuals in the industry who have stood out in their efforts to campaign on behalf of the sector and its businesses as a whole. Kate Nicholls has worked tirelessly to ensure the hospitality industry has a clear and unified voice and that its concerns are heard at government level."
Nicholls said: "I'm hugely honoured to receive this award and would like to thank the AA for the recognition of the tireless work, dedication and devotion that's been taken by the whole UKHospitality team, because this is really an award for my whole team. I'd also like to thank all of the individual members of our industry who have been so supportive throughout our campaigning work with government. Thank you, and I hope that we can look forward to a better 2021."
The announcement follows last week's reveal of the this year's AA rosettes, with recipients including the Ritz London, Ocean restaurant at the Atlantic hotel in Jersey, Muse in London, and the Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park hotel in Bagshot, Surrey.