I was honoured to attend the 2013 Catey Awards last week along with my colleague Tim Gardiner. The awards recognise true excellence in the hospitality industry, including an accessibility category.
The venue for this very glamorous event was the 5* Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane. We were treated to fine food and wine - I particularly enjoyed the chef's take on Tiramisu for desert, a chocaholic's dream! For a hotel built in 1929, the Grosvenor House has been adapted very well for accessibility, but I always find that great guest service really does make all the difference to a disabled person, and I was very well looked after by all of the staff. One particular member of the events team, Paulina, went out of her way to help me, and even better she enjoyed doing it - service which I won't forget.
The highlight of the evening was seeing Tourism for All UK member One Great George Street win the Accessibility Award. The leading Westminster conference and events venue is a Grade II listed building which has numerous accessible features, including a platform lift with integrated steps allowing access via the main entrance of the building. You can see a video here of how it operates. I've been told about this lift many times over the years, and was very excited to finally get the chance to use it late last year! I'm so thrilled that all of their hard work and commitment to welcoming all guests has been recognised by the Cateys, thoroughly well deserved.
I had a wonderful evening at the awards, catching up with colleagues, meeting some new industry leaders and seeing some famous faces - it's great to see positivity celebrated, and accessibility included.