Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the UK's largest private hotel group, scooped three prestigious awards across two categories at the North East Tourism Awards on 6 October.

Hosted at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, William Salve, restaurant manager at the 4-star Macdonald Linden Hall Golf & Country Club in Morpeth, Northumberland received the Gold Award for Outstanding Customer Service. 

In the Large Hotel of the Year category, the historic 70-bedroom, 4-star Gisborough Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire picked up a Silver Award. In the same category, Macdonald Linden Hall, dating back to 1812 and nestled within 450 acres of private grounds received the Bronze Award.

In reaching their decision, judges may have noted that Salve's high standards of customer service have been consistently praised both on hotel guest comment cards and on TripAdviser.  Salve, who started his hotel career in 2006 at Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick, now goes forward to the VisitEngland national awards in the Spring of next year.

It is the second time in a year that the 30 year-old, originally from Mumbai in India, has been recognised for delivering the highest standards of service to discerning business, conference and leisure guests within Linden Hall's stylish two AA Rosette Dobson restaurant. In March, he received a silver gong for customer service at the North East Hoteliers Association Awards; a ceremony at which his colleagues Helen Butler and Jean Mills respectively picked up the prestigious Sales and Leisure Excellence awards.

Salve, who holds a postgraduate qualification in Hospitality & Tourism Management from Stratford University in London, said of his latest success: "I am over the moon to win this award. No words can describe how I feel.  I was initially just delighted to be shortlisted, so to have won the Gold Award for Outstanding Customer Service is a dream come true."

He added: "Of course, I would also like to win the national (VisitEngland) awards while I focus on building my career within Macdonald Hotels.  Every year I have been fortunate to earn a promotion (he was appointed restaurant / bar manager in 2010) and hopefully one day in the future I will have the opportunity to manage a Macdonald Hotel." 

Ruaridh Macdonald, Sales & Marketing Director for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, added: "The very fact that prestigious awards have been conferred again on staff at the Macdonald Linden Hall and Gisborough Hall Hotel reflects the highest possible professional standards for service and product delivery that we strive to consistently offer our discerning guests across all Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.

"It is also a tremendous personal accolade for William (Salve) to receive the Gold Award for Customer Service - one that I believe underlines the fact that within the Macdonald Hotel group, our guests are always our number one priority."

A total of 44 tourism businesses across the region were recognised at the North East Tourism Awards.