Vale Resort receives Gold Award from Visit Wales

The Vale Resort at Hensol nr Cardiff is celebrating another industry accolade after receiving news that is has achieved a Gold Award from Visit Wales as a leading tourism business.

Announced today (Thursday 24th September 2009) by Heritage Minister, Alun Fred Jones, the Vale is the largest hotel resort to have been included on the Visit Wales Gold Award List of accommodation for 2009/2010.

The aim of the Gold Award is to recognise and reward outstanding quality, exceptional comfort and hospitality in the serviced accommodation sector in Wales.

The Heritage Minister congratulated the tourism businesses which have been listed, and said: “The gold award businesses exceed customer expectation and are first class products in all respects. These businesses are making an exceptional contribution to the quality of the Welsh tourism product and they are to be commended for their efforts. The introduction of this award signifies that Wales is serious about raising the quality of its tourism product.”

The award is based on independent mystery shopping experiences, training and staff development, independent quality and accessibility assessments and through the Visit Wales grading scheme.

It has been a winning year for the Vale Resort which is flying the flag for Wales’ hospitality industry after receiving a top AA score and new AA rosette for its Vale Grill restaurant earlier this year (May 2009). The Resort achieved an 82% AA merit rating out of a maximum 85% within the four star rating band, with its contemporary Welsh restaurant the Vale Grill achieving its first AA rosette.

Ben Danielsen, General Manager of the Vale Resort said: “This is another great accolade for the Vale Resort and recognises our efforts and focus on providing an excellent and individual customer experience.

“Hospitality is all down to teamwork and high on our agenda is the development of colleagues to ensure they reach their highest potential and that we consistently provide a high quality customer experience.

“We are delighted to have that recognised by Visit Wales and credit should go to everyone working here at the Vale in helping achieving this award.

“As one of the largest hotels to ever receive the Gold Award, it also underpins our aim to connect on a personal and individual level with our guests as well as the quality of the accommodation and surroundings here at the Vale. Too often large hotels do not put enough emphasis on all important personal service – we want guests to have a great experience that is custom made for them as individuals.”

The Vale is also one of the largest hotels to be part of the “Croeso Cynnes Cymreig – A Warm Welsh Welcome” programme aimed to stengthen a distinctive Welsh culture, food, langugage, history and landscape in Wales’ hospitality industry.

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort said: “Our aim at the Vale is to consistently perform at the top level and in world-class company.

“We are encouraged with recent performance and there are certainly signs that the market is improving; with a healthy forward order book for weddings and local and national corporate events in 2009/2010, our results are looking pretty good at present. We have invested widely in our leisure facilities with a £500,000 refurbishment completed earlier this year, which has in turn boosted the recruitment of our leisure club members.

“A big part of our success is linked to the wide range of facilities we have here with hotel, spa, conference golf, leisure products and as well as the major sports investment in training facilities here for the WRU, FAW, Cardiff City and the Cardiff Blues.

“This summer we launched our new Hensol Castle Park apartment development which has been a great success. We do not want to stand still, we are constantly evolving, however as part of that we must keep a watchful eye on ensuring we maintain the best quality standards.

“We are delighted with this award because it recognises that regardless of the size and scope of this Resort, we are still able to offer a very personal, high quality experience for our guests and that our commitment to employing great people will stand us in good stead for years to come.”

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