Natalie receives award as most promising new receptionist

Marc Mallett checks in with Natalie Kavanagh, Benedicts of Belfast, Winner of Most Promising Hotel & Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year, supported by Avvio.
Marc Mallett checks in with Natalie Kavanagh, Benedicts of Belfast, Winner of Most Promising Hotel & Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year, supported by Avvio.

Londonderry woman Natalie Kavanagh has been named the most promising hotel and guesthouse receptionist for her work in Benedict’s in Belfast.

Natalie received the gong at the Hotel and Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year gala awards ceremony in La Mon Hotel and Country Club on May 20.

The competition, organised by the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, is in its twelfth year and has gone from strength to strength since its inception.

Mandy Patrick, President of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation said: “Within the tourism industry, people are an integral part of business success.

Delivering a warm welcome is just one aspect of creating a memorable experience for visitors. Guests also expect a professional service. They want queries responded to in a prompt manner and they need to be able to draw upon the knowledge of the receptionist who should be able to signpost them to various services or amenities.

“This event provides an opportunity for those working in the sector to showcase their people.

“As the hotel receptionist is often the first point of contact for visitors, they can dramatically influence a hotel’s success. Without their commitment to delivering exceptional customer service the sector as a whole could not generate repeat business, through providing guests with the excellent experience they are looking for.”

The winner of the title of ‘Hotel & Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year 2015’ was Martin Hutchinson, Hotel Ibis, Belfast City Centre. Martin was described by the judges as confident, enthusiastic, with a very professional manner that was complemented by strong sales skills.

The winner of ‘Most Promising Hotel and Guesthouse Receptionist of the Year 2015’, supported by Avvio, was Natalie Kavanagh from Benedicts of Belfast.

Natalie was described by the judges as bubbly with excellent interpersonal communication skills and an ability to sell a diverse range of products.

The team category title of ‘Hotel & Guesthouse Reception of the Year 2015’, which was sponsored by Tourism Northern Ireland, went to Tara Lodge, Belfast.

The judges remarked on the excellent front desk personnel, who had exceptionally strong interpersonal skills, with eye contact between staff and guests, of particular note.

This is Tara Lodge’s third accolade this year. Earlier this month it was named ‘AA Guest Accommodation of the Year for Northern Ireland 2015.’