One of Yorkshire most experienced hoteliers has taken over the reins of one of York’s best known venues. Graham Usher – who started his working career at Wood Hall Hotel and Spa, near Wetherby – has been appointed the general manager of the BEST WESTERN Monkbar Hotel.
The 99-bedroom hotel is privately managed by Hospitality Management International (HMI) and, since opening its doors in 1990, has gained a reputation for its friendly and efficient service and a popular venue for conferences and weddings.
And for 34-year-old Graham, the move marks a welcome return to the city which he left in 2005 after two-successful years as general manager of the Grange Hotel.
Graham, a father of three, said: “From a very early I fell in love with the hospitality industry and have been fortunate to have worked in some of the region’s finest establishments.
“I’m delighted to have been appointed to run the BEST WESTERN Monkbar Hotel. This venue is a real jewel within York’s tourism crown, and is well regarded by locals and visitors alike.
“I’m lucky to have inherited a fantastic team and their dedication and commitment to delivering outstanding service will make my role a lot easier. One of my first priorities is to revamp the food and beverage operation, which will see us introducing exciting new menus.”
Educated at Northampton College, Graham moved to Yorkshire in 1999, where he took up the position of food and beverage manager at Wood Hall Hotel and Spa. Two years later, he became hotel manager of the renowned Hazelwood Castle Hotel, leaving in 2003 to become General Manager of York’s Grange Hotel.
His last position was general manager at Ilkley’s landmark Craiglands Hotel, where he oversaw a full refurbishment of the hotel.
Trevor Lynn from HMI, which privately manage the BEST WESTERN Monkbar Hotel, said: “Graham is one of those rare finds, a hotelier through and through. His is young, dedicated and ambitious and we are thrilled to welcome him to our senior team.”
Graham takes over the post from June Nelsey, who left in January after 11 years at the helm.