Matthew Johnson, director of hotel operations at Historic House Hotels, died suddenly on Monday 2 August after collapsing on a golf course. He was 49.
Johnson was based at the 46-bedroom, four-red-AA-starred Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire, where he started his career with Historic House Hotels more than 27 years ago. After working at Hartwell House as assistant manager initially for two years, he then moved to sister hotel Bodysgallen Hall near Llandudno, where he remained for 20 years as director and general manager.
He later returned to Hartwell House for another five years, following Jonathan Thompson's retirement, where he held the role of director of hotel operations for the whole company.
Johnson had worked in the hotel industry for nearly 30 years and was a Master Innholder and active in the British Hospitality Association (now UKHospitality).
Throughout his career with Historic House Hotels, Johnson worked with the properties' owner, the National Trust, as well as marketing consortia Relais & Chateaux and Pride of Britain. During his time at Bodysgallen Hall, the hotel was recognised with various industry awards, including AA Hotel of the Year for Wales 2012. In 2008, Historic House Hotels and all its interests became the property of the National Trust, by donation.
Richard Broyd, chairman of Historic House Hotels, said: "Matthew was respected and well-liked by everyone he met and worked with and was everyone's friend. He was sympathetic with an outstanding ability and he encouraged kindness on a daily basis. In my half-century career, my working relationship with Matthew was one of the most fruitful I have enjoyed. I also remember his tremendous sense of humour. It is a truly sad day and everyone at Historic House Hotels is filled with sadness. He will be much missed."