Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth near Darlington is marking its fifth anniversary with the appointment of a new chief executive, as the business continues to grow and enter new markets worldwide.
Eamonn Elliott, a well-known award-winning hotel executive, will join Rockliffe Hall in December as the resort moves into the second phase of its development, following its first five years of continued growth.
Mr Elliott has worked at a number of prestigious venues all over the UK and Ireland, including eight years as general manager of the multi-award-winning Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire and manager of the AA Irish Hotel of the Year, the Mount Falcon and Spa in County Mayo.
For the past five years, he has been general manager of the Grand Jersey Hotel, taking it from an unknown four-star hotel to the Channel Islands highest-rated hotel, gaining a Michelin star for its restaurant and AA five-star status. In addition, he has won numerous awards culminating in the Institute of Directors Young Director of the Year 2013-14.
Originally from Ireland, Mr Elliott trained as a professional footballer and played for Carlisle United before moving into spa management and gaining an honours degree in management from the University of York.
Warwick Brindle, chairman of Rockliffe Hall, said: “We are delighted Eamonn Elliott has agreed to join Rockliffe Hall as our chief executive as he brings with him such varied experience. We already have outstanding people that have made us a great success in the last five years and this appointment strengthens our team as we go into the second phase of development at the resort.”
Mr Elliott said: “I look forward to working with the Rockliffe Hall team and helping them take the resort into its next chapter. I want to make a statement of intent – I believe that the infrastructure, foundations and quality of Rockliffe Hall demand the best team in the country.
“I look forward to seeing the business embrace this challenge and establish itself as one of the top culinary, golfing, spa and hospitality destinations in the UK and Ireland.”
Next month Rockliffe Hall celebrates its fifth anniversary since opening as a 61-bedroom hotel, home to three restaurants, a world-class golf course, a multi-award-winning spa and wedding and conference facilities. The five-star resort has seen its business and reputation grow internationally and staff numbers steadily increase since launching in November 2009. Having started with a team of around 150, Rockliffe Hall now employs more than 320, mainly local, people.
Occupancy levels at the hotel, despite opening in a recessionary climate, have increased by around 25% since the first year of opening, going from 52% in 2010 to 78% for the period ending June 2014.
In the last five years, Rockliffe Hall has won numerous awards including being given the AA’s highest accolade of five red stars last year and being named as VisitEngland’s Large Hotel of the Year in 2013.
Rockliffe Hall’s spa was this year named in the top five of the UK’s most luxurious spas by the Good Spa Guide which introduced a new category of “5 Bubble Luxury” with just five UK spas nominated and, in addition, the resort was last month named in the Sunday Times top 10 spa hotels in Britain.
The golf club has also become world renowned and has, for the past two years, been the home of the European Tour English Senior Open, attracting international names and Ryder Cup stars such as Ian Woosnam, Mark James and Sam Torrance.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary, Rockliffe Hall is holding an anniversary masquerade ball on Saturday, November 22, with members of the public invited to attend. For more details visit www.rockliffehall.com or call 01325 729999.