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Our esteemed panel of judges got together to discuss the Independent Hotel of the Year nominations, here is an insight into how the day went and how the tough decision was made to whittle down 111 fantastic nominations down to just 8.

Independent Hotel of the Year Judges

Brenda Collin

Executive Vice President of Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Brenda Collins

Brenda Collin serves as Executive Vice President of Europe for Preferred Hotels & Resorts, overseeing the company’s growth and evolution in the region, as well as ensuring the retention and success of nearly 200 member properties across 25 countries in the region.  

Since joining Preferred in April 2013, Brenda has been instrumental in generating significant awareness of the Preferred brand among trade and industry audiences. In addition to strengthening engagement among existing member hotels, she succeeded in tripling the size of the company’s footprint in the region during a seven-year timeframe by spearheading representation of acclaimed hotel companies such as Nordic Hotels & Resorts and signing more than 50 new member hotels such as The Beaumont (London, England); Old Course Hotel (St. Andrews, Scotland); Pulitzer Amsterdam (The Netherlands); and Hayfield Manor (Cork, Ireland).

A Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and Chair of the organization’s London branch, Collin holds a B.A. in Hotel & Catering Management from Galway & Mayo Institute of Technology, as well as a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornel University’s School of Hotel Administration. 

Eloise Hanson

Editor, Boutique Hotel News


Eloise joined IHM in September 2019 as reporter for Boutique Hotel News and was promoted to editor in January 2022. As a multimedia journalist covering the global boutique, lifestyle and luxury hotel industry, Eloise spearheads BHN’s webinar and podcast series and contributes to daily news articles, a weekly e-newsletter and monthly features. 

In addition to BHN, Eloise regularly contributes to IHM’s three other B2B websites: Serviced Apartment News, Short Term Rentalz, and Urban Living News. The collective editorial team broadly covers the global hospitality and operational real estate industries, and helps to curate interactive thought leadership events.

Outside from IHM, Eloise also sits on the Institute of Hospitality’s editorial forum, which releases a quarterly print and digital publication. She often writes features as well as provide content ideas for upcoming editions. 

Jane Pendlebury

CEO, HOSPA (The Hospitality Professionals Association)

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Jane Pendlebury is CEO of HOSPA | The Hospitality Professionals Association. Her relationship with HOSPA was first as a sponsor and member, then - after volunteering her time assisting with the annual conference HOSPACE - she was taken on to run the Membership and Events office before being promoted to CEO in early 2016.  

Kickstarting her career with a degree in hotel management, Jane worked with both chain and independent properties. Thereafter, she spent many years assisting hotels and restaurants with their technology decisions around Property Management, Point of Sale and Revenue Management. This culminated into a role as VP and General Manager covering Europe for a global software house.

Jane is an enthusiastic supporter of hospitality and always remains a positive advocate for the industry!

Nick Maddox

Head of Risk, James Hallam Hospitality and Leisure

david noble

Nick is currently ‘Head of Risk’ at ‘James Hallam Hospitality and Leisure’, who are a specialist insurance and risk management provider to the hospitality sector.  His role takes him across the UK working extensively with a wide range of hotel properties, visiting 200+ locations each year, to ensure that they are able to fully comply with their statutory obligations, meet complex insurer requirements, as well as seeking to achieve best practice. 

With over 30 years of experience, he has been involved in a range of risk management initiatives, including the grading of risk compliance for which the team were awarded ‘Risk Management Initiative of the Year’ by the ‘Insurance Times’.  Currently, he has been working on the development of an online ‘Risk Proof’ software model that aids hoteliers in meeting compliance and evidencing due diligence, meaning that insurers are far more receptive to providing extended and more affordable insurance covers due to the reduction in losses.

His broad understanding of the insurance and hospitality industry has allowed him to tailor risk-based solutions that meet all parties and offer reassurance within unsettled times.

Peter Hancock

Conference & Awards Host

peter hancock

Peter Hancock is a professional conference & events host and after-dinner speaker. He is also an ambassador for James Hallam Insurance and was Chief Executive at Pride of Britain Hotels from 2000-2021, Group Publishing Director of Johansens from 1988-2000 and a hotel general manager in his early career, starting as a waiter in the late 1970s.

Peter is an Honorary Master Innholder, a fellow of HOSPA, a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a fellow of the Tourism Society, an ambassador for the Gold Service Scholarship, an ambassador for the Independent Hotel Show, an honorary St Julian Scholar, a member of the Professional Speaking Association and a fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. Peter has one many awards including, Winner of the "Outstanding Contribution to the Industry" award from the Institute of Hospitality (2019), Winner of the "Outstanding Contribution" award presented at the Independent Hotel Show (2021), and Winner of the Hotel Catey for 'Outstanding Contribution' (2021).

Richard Fraiman

Chief Executive, The Good Hotel Guide

Richard Fraiman

Richard is a media, publishing and marketing veteran. He started his career in Sales and Marketing at British Airways, he then spent nearly 20 years in the US at Time Inc, America’s largest magazine publisher. He was then the President of Time Home Entertainment Inc, the ancillary publishing division of Time Inc for 7 years. He is now Chief Executive at The Good Hotel Guide, the leading, independent guide to the UK and Ireland’s best hotels, inns and B&Bs. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oxford, and an MBA from Columbia University in New York. He currently resides in Highgate with his wife and two children.

Kalindi Juneja

CEO, PoB Hotels


Kalindi Juneja is CEO at PoB Hotels, the UK marketing consortium for British independent luxury hotels. Since taking on the reigns at PoB Hotels, Kalindi has strategically repositioned the brand with a new visual and verbal expression, including a new website, online magazine, gift range and annual coffee table book. This new direction builds on PoB Hotels' growing appeal to a wider, affluent audience strategically targeted by the brand, whilst underpinning its core values and equity of 40 years.

A passionate hotelier with over 20 years in the industry, Kalindi has worked with some of the most renowned privately owned hotels globally including instrumental roles at Relais & Chateaux where she was International Director, overseeing Regional Directors in Europe, South & Central America and South Pacific with an emphasis on her home market of UK & Ireland. She understands the luxury independent hotel sector and has a strong commercial focus, having worked on property, within an agency and also for luxury consortiums, she brings a unique blend of expertise to the role.

Kalindi has a degree in Hospitality Management and a qualification in Professional Marketing from The Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is enthusiastic about inspiring the next generation of hoteliers and is involved in a number of industry initiatives. Kalindi is a member of the Southeast Committee for UK Hospitality, on the Southwest Board for Hospitality Action, a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a judge for the MIALD and an ambassador for the Independent Hotel Show.

Petra Clayton



Petra Clayton is CEO and creator of hospitality marketing consultancy CUSTARD, which she launched in 2007 to deliver creative, strategic, and measurable marketing and communications solutions to the hotel, venue and hospitality supplier industry.

With more than 27 years in hospitality marketing, Petra is a frequent commentator on relationship marketing, wellness, digital PR, consumer behaviour, destination marketing and brand development. She has also relished the opportunity to share her marketing expertise with the industry through training and development as well as supporting industry organisations sitting on boards and committees including the Hotel Marketing Association and the Victory Services Club. Petra is also an ambassador for the Independent Hotel Show.

Sarah Duncan

ESG Consultant, author of The Sustainable Business Book and The Ethical Business Book.


Sarah Duncan is a Sustainability (ESG) consultant, and author of The Sustainable Business Book and The Ethical Business Book.

Through training and consultancy, she helps businesses understand the commercial and moral benefits of sustainable and ethical business practice.

She advises on how to make sustainability a genuine part of your business culture and day-to-day practice, not just a tick-box exercise (or race to be the ‘least bad’).

She started life in luxury hotels in London, before moving to Asia to work on various dining/country club and spa projects. She set up her own consultancy Sleeping Lion (now a certified B Corp) in 2005.

Simon Numphud 

Managing Director, AA Media

simon numphud

Simon has spent his entire career in the hospitality industry, from managing hotels and restaurants through to the last twenty years with the Automobile Association. As Managing Director, he is responsible for both AA Hotel and Hospitality services and VisitEngland Assessment services. This includes the various AA and VisitEngland classification and award schemes which in total numbers over 12,000 hospitality businesses

Simon is a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a member of the Southwest Board of Hospitality Action and Ambassador, Room to Reward Ambassador and regular judge for various national hospitality awards. Simon is passionate about mentoring, having been a mentor for Oxford Brookes University hospitality management students, an institute close to his heart having studied hospitality there himself during his formative years.

Stuart Procter

Chief Operating Officer, The Stafford London


From Blackburn, Lancashire, Stuart began his career at 16, as an Apprentice Trainee Manager at Northcote Manor on the edge of the Ribble Valley, going on to work for Shire Hotels as a Deputy General Manager. He became GM of The Vineyard, a luxury 5-star hotel and spa in Berkshire and then General Manager of The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa in North Yorkshire. During the four years he was there, the hotel gained 4-AA-Red-Stars along with several accolades including 1 Michelin Star and 3 Rosettes. 

In 2006 Stuart took over the helm at The Stafford London at the age of 29. During his five-year tenure the hotel’s annual revenue and profitability grew substantially, and in addition, the hotel collected many international accolades. In 2011 Stuart left The Stafford to become MD of GG Hospitality, which he co-founded with footballers Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, spending five years creating and developing two global brand concepts, Café Football and Hotel Football. In November 2015 he returned to The Stafford as General Manager, overseeing multiple refurbishments including the Carriage House renovations and the relaunch of The American Bar. Stuart has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of The Stafford London and the recently acquired Lancashire-based hotel, Northcote. 

Zoe Monk

Senior Editor, Boutique Hotelier

zoe mark

Zoe started her journalism career as a reporter on two b2b magazines in Essex, before moving to London to become Editor of Boutique Hotelier, the industry’s leading title for the UK’s independent hotel operators, just one year after its launch to the market. It’s here where Zoe got the bug for the hospitality industry; interviewing owners and entrepreneurs of exciting hotel businesses, breaking news stories and meeting inspiring individuals to help drive innovation and excellence within the sector.

Fast forward seven years and Boutique Hotelier has cemented itself as one of the industry’s best-loved bibles.

GM of the Future Judges

Adrian Ellis MI

Hotelier of the Year & GM, The Lowry


Adrian Ellis is a hotel executive with 24 years’ experience of managing luxury international properties in the UK, Europe and Asia. In February 2015, he returned to Manchester to become the General Manager at The Lowry Hotel.

He has received numerous awards from his extensive career in the industry, including the Acorn Award as one of the top 30 hoteliers under the age of the 30 in the UK in 1993, a Top Hotelier award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in 2008 and most recently being awarded Hotelier of the Year in 2022.

Dan Rose-Bristow

Chairman, Master Innholders & Owner The Torridon


Dan Rose-Bristow is the current Chairman of the Master Innholders. His career in the hotel industry began in 1999 when an opportunity to change career into hospitality came in the shape of an offer to manage The Torridon in Scotland, with his wife Rohaise, which her parents had purchased in 1992.

Having taken over operations and now bought the business, they continue to build on the family success. Employing up to 55 staff and with a focus on training and excellence, the hotel has won number of industry and tourism awards including the Catey Independent Hotel of the Year 2018. Daniel was awarded the Master Innholders Derek Balls Scholarship in 2017 and attended Cranfield University as part of the Derek Balls Scholarship.

Glenn Wallace

Event Manager at Independent Hotel Show London


Glenn Wallace is the Event Manager at Montgomery Group, a global events company with over a century of expertise in delivering market-leading events for a variety of industries.

He also oversees the management of the Independent Hotel Show, an annual event dedicated to luxury and boutique hoteliers.

With sales expertise in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia, Glenn is a top-rated executive with over 15 years’ experience working with Global Fortune 500 companies.

James B Clarke

Vice Chairman, Master Innholders & GM, Hilton Bankside London


James B. Clarke is General Manager at the Hilton London Bankside - an award-winning hotel located in the heart of London's Cultural Quarter. He brings with him over 30 years of experience within the hospitality industry, offering a wealth of experience he has gained from around the world.

Alongside his work in the UK, James’s career has taken him the US, where he worked at various prestigious hotels including the Grand Hotel Marriot Resort, Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Boca West Country Club and The Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

James has also worked for Martineau Bay Resort & Spa, Vieques Island and the El Conquistador Resort & Spa in Puerto Rico, Hilton New York, Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel and London Hilton on Park Lane.

Karen Weisheit

GM of the Future & Hotel Manager, Grove Narberth


Karen Weisheit is the hotel manager at Grove of Narberth in Pembrokeshire and last year’s winner of the GM of the Future award. She has a wealth of experience in the hotel industry spanning 15 years, which also saw the Grove of Narbeart winning UK Hotel of the Year at the 2022 Catey Awards under her management.

Her love of the industry began when she was young, helping her dad at family parties making cocktails and checking guests were happy. This eventually led to her travelling to Austria for a three-year hospitality apprenticeship before then taking on roles such as Head Waitress, Restaurant Manager and House Manager at a variety of different hotels.

Petra Clayton

CEO of Custard


Petra Clayton is CEO and creator of hospitality marketing consultancy CUSTARD, which she launched in 2007 to deliver creative, strategic, and measurable marketing and communications solutions to the hotel, venue and hospitality supplier industry.

With more than 27 years in hospitality marketing, Petra is a frequent commentator on relationship marketing, wellness, digital PR, consumer behaviour, destination marketing and brand development. She has also relished the opportunity to share her marketing expertise with the industry through training and development as well as supporting industry organisations sitting on boards and committees including the Hotel Marketing Association and the Victory Services Club. Petra is also an ambassador for the Independent Hotel Show.

Wallace Vincent

Executive Secretary at Master Innholders


Wallace Vincent is the Executive Secretary of the Master Innholders, helping to promote its various educational programmes as well as manage the delivery of its events throughout the year.

With a 23-year military career under his belt, Wallace has worked with some of the world’s largest service providers in the defence, healthcare, and education sectors as a divisional director. As a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Vice President of the Réunion des Gastronomes and a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Cooks, Vincent is firmly embedded within the hospitality industry.  He has also previously worked as a Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma (MIALD) tutor.