Wetherby’s Wood Hall Hotel wins AA Hotel Group of the Year Awards

26 September 2012

Hand Picked Hotels, which owns Wood Hall Hotel & Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, has won the prestigious AA Large Hotel Group of the Year 2012-2013, it was announced last night (24 September) at a glittering awards ceremony in London.

The 18th splendour of Wood Hall Hotel & Spa, set in 100 acres, is part of the collection of 17 country house hotels which won the most coveted category in the AA Hospitality Awards. Hand Picked Hotels’ Chairman and Chief Executive Julia Hands was presented with the award at the dinner.

The consistently high quality of service, hospitality and guest experience at Hand Picked Hotels were highlighted in the judges’ citation: “Hand Picked Hotels have continued to invest and develop into the quality offering seen today. All hotels hold a high AA Merit Score putting genuine guest service and hospitality at the forefront.

With 17 hotels from Edinburgh to Jersey, many of which are in the countryside, their guests are provided with a high quality experience. Just under half the collection hold prestigious AA Red Stars. Food is a key part of the Hand Picked experience with every hotel holding a minimum of two coveted AA Rosettes for culinary excellence.

This is the second time Hand Picked have won this award, a true credit to the teams! Congratulations on achieving the AA Large Hotel Group of the Year for 2012/13.


Gordon Burniston, General Manager, said:

Everyone at the hotel is so excited to be part of this amazing success for Hand Picked Hotels. Each hotel is encouraged to be highly individual. We have a great local following from people living in and around Wetherby for dining and celebrations, as well as guests from further afield. We receive some lovely feedback from our guests who really appreciate Wood Hall’s very special character. This award means a great deal to the brilliant team here.


Wood Hall Hotel & Spa, a former private country house owned by the Scott family, remains a tranquil retreat high on a ridge overlooking the Yorkshire countryside.


Former City lawyer Julia Hands said:

This award is a wonderful accolade following our 10th anniversary celebrations last year. Our General Managers and staff who work in the hotels and our head office team have been instrumental in winning this award for the second time. We like to think of our teams as Hand Picked people. They are part of the Hand Picked family who are dedicated to giving our guests the very best experience and creating a truly memorable stay.

Every one of our hotels is highly individual yet they all offer the Hand Picked experience. Our guests are at the heart of all we do and we have built up a hugely loyal and ever-expanding following.


The hotels’ wine list also reflects Julia’s philosophy and interest in wine, with a Hand Picked wine – Raccolto a Mano – “harvested by hand”, from the Hands’ estate they have created in Tuscany. A further feature of the wine list is the extensive collection of Bordeaux wines from the classic 2000 vintage bought by Julia en primeur.


Julia Hands said:

Our acquisition of Bailbrook House Hotel in Bath has given us a strategic presence in the South-west and we are looking to buy another two hotels to enhance our geographical spread and strengthen our position as the UK’s leading collection of country house hotels.



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