A couple of weeks ago I was proud to be invited to a dinner at Innkeepers Hall, the home of hospitality since 1473. I was also formal accepting membership as a Master Innholder from The Master. The award of membership is open to practicing hoteliers by application each year. Candidates must be recommended by an existing member and have to undergo a rigorous interview where they have to clearly demonstrate not only their innkeeping ability, but also continuing support for improving standards within the industry.
The formation of the Master Innholders in 1978 was the first step taken by the Worshipful company of Innkeepers (WCI) towards renewing its old links with innkeeping. In common with many other Livery Companies it had few links with the modern day industry.
With the full support of the Worshipful Company of Innholders and the Institute of Hospitality, the Master Innholders have slowly grown in number and have increased their influence and charitable activities within the hotel industry. There are around 105 Master Innholders.
There is no doubt that the foundation of the Master Innholders was an inspired step and has brought wide recognition and benefit not only to the Worshipful Company, but more importantly to the Hotel Industry and the members. Numbers have grown steadily and the organisation’s members represent nearly all the most distinguished hotels in London, the City, the countryside and a goodly number overseas. They are one of the most effective voices in the hotel industry and with the support of the Worshipful Company hold an annual conference which not only achieves a large and influential body of attendees, but also attracts expert speakers and industry leaders in many related disciplines. The General Managers Annual conference is held every January in London.
Since 1996 the Master Innholders have been administering a scholarship scheme on behalf of The Worshipful Company of Innholders to assist in the personal development of managers in hospitality. This contributes towards fulfilling the Worshipful Company’s objective of supporting the industry on which their ancient guild was founded hundreds of years ago.
In September I will be formally introduced to all the other members at an AGM and the following day will accept the Freedom of The City of London.
I am very proud to have been accepted and look forward to playing an active part as an MI. 2014 will be an exciting year for the Company as it will be 500 years since The Innholders received their first charter, setting out their rights and “privileges”, from Henry VIII in 1514.