aNOTHER AWARD FOR bUCKDEN gEORGE

THE George Hotel in Buckden, which won Huntingdonshire Business of the Year in The Hunts Post Business Awards in November – and Hunts Post Retailer of the Year for the second time in three years – has now won a gold award by VisitBritain, the national tou

THE George Hotel in Buckden, which won Huntingdonshire Business of the Year in The Hunts Post Business Awards in November - and Hunts Post Retailer of the Year for the second time in three years - has now won a gold award by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency.

VisitBritain confers only 20 three-star hotels in England each year with its gold standard.

Manager Cynthia Schaeffer told The Hunts Post: "My feet have not touched the ground. To win this award, only weeks after winning The Hunts Post award, is just amazing. Holding the gold award is an achievement I am very of. I am thrilled that the team's continuous efforts to achieve high standards have been rewarded."

To be awarded gold status, the hotel is visited unannounced by a VisitBritain inspector and rated on customer service, food and cleanliness throughout.


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The inspector said the George's hospitality, service and management efficiency were "exceptional" and added that she was "swayed by the continuity of the team".

In her report the inspector said: "Not only does the hotel offer a relaxed, peaceful environment but staff, and in particular the management team, continue to be great ambassadors for the George's values and high standards.

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"While quality, design and style can make up the fabric of the hotel, guest experience can only be balanced if the management and staff deliver a standard of service and hospitality to make the experience memorable."

She said Ms Schaeffer and her assistant Craig Minney led the team with a very hands-on approach, which ensured that all staff delivered a level of service that met and exceeded guest expectation.

"All the team members have a very positive manner, which makes for a very pleasant working environment, this positive manner being emulated by the guests too. Ray Smikle, the head chef, and his brigade produce very interesting menus which demonstrate an array of skills and the use, when possible, of locally-sourced seasonal produce. The dining experience was excellent, the dishes chosen well balanced and culminating to create a very memorable dinner."

The Hunts Post Business Awards judges also said they were impressed by the George's "engrained customer service culture and management's encourage of staff to develop their skills." Business at the George has increased by 14 per cent this year.

INFORMATION: The George is owned by Anne Furbank, who also owns the designer dress shop next door in Buckden High Street. The George was bought and completely refurbished by Mrs Furbank in 2003, reopening in March 2004. The average price for a stay is £100 a night for a double room including a full English breakfast.

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