Cumbria Tourism Awards 2015

Cumbria Tourism Awards 2015

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A place in the finals for treasure Patricia

Cedar Manor’s Spanish treasure is heading for the finals of a customer service award.

Patricia Torre, 22,  from Santander in Spain, came to work at the Hotel two years ago, a year after coming to England. She’s now a treasured member of staff – general assistant and waitress – and she’s singled out by countless visitors for her kindness and sense of humour.

Now she has been shortlisted for the Cumbria Tourism customer service award, and the hotel’s owners, Caroline and Jonathan Kaye, are thrilled.

“Patricia is a real treasure,” said Caroline. “She is singled out by so many of our guests for her kindness, thoughtfulness and her cheerful smile day and night.”

Caroline said that from a timid start, Patricia now has an excellent command of English, but is also delighted to talk to Spanish guests in their native language.

“She has grown in confidence. Initially she was anxious about dealing with telephone enquiries, but now she’s a great communicator, capable of attending to anything, including welcoming guests in reception. She anticipates customers’ needs, stepping in even before they ask, understanding what might be required.”

Caroline said that Patricia was especially attentive with guests who are elderly or disabled, always patient and kind. “She has helped with our charity fundraising efforts, often giving her own time to work on days like charity tea parties and annual Christmas fair.”

Patricia, who recently passed written exams in English and Maths with very high marks, 89% & 100% respectively, was assessed in the hotel restaurant by Kendal college teacher Dean Boydell as part of her Hospitality & Catering NVQ and apprentice qualification.

Mr Boydell said: “Patricia consistently delivers excellent customer service. Having observed her in action over the past 18 months she has grown in confidence and skill. Patricia adapts her customer service skills to each guest, has a natural balance of friendly professional service and anticipates her customers’ needs. She has excellent knowledge of her organisation, local area and products and is able to give advice and suggestions, which adds to her customers' experience.”

The Cedar Manor, currently in the running for best small hotel in England, has the highest TripAdvisor ratings in the area, and Patricia has been highlighted in many reports. She was described by one guest as “the best hotel staff member we have ever come across”.

Another wrote: “But the true treat of Cedar Manor is its people. Patricia is truly a delight, with a fabulous future ahead of her, as she has a real flair with people.”

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