A Wigan hotel has been voted the best in the UK by its customers, and was almost named the best on the Continent to boot.
The Holiday Inn Express at Martland Mill, topped a UK and Ireland customer survey with a satisfaction rating of 94.96 per cent, and was also named the third best hotel in all of Europe, just 0.04 per cent behind the second best hotel in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
The result buoyed boss Stephen McManamon, who said the honour was down to his hard-working staff, loyal customers, and through working with other local companies.
“I’m very pleased, very pleased for the staff,” he said.
“We try to do that little bit more. We want to excel, we don’t want to be ordinary. It’s a nice atmosphere, staff are free to use their abilities to the best they can.”
He added: “It’s based on cleanliness, customer satisfaction, the food quality, all those sorts of things. We’ve done lots of good deals with local businesses - our stuff is sourced from local butchers, we get a lot of locally produced, quality food.
“We employ all Wigan people, and we have very good staff who look after our customers. I can’t praise them enough for their hard work.
“We would also like to thank all of our customers, and our very good corporate customers like Heinz, Millican and the DW Stadium. They’ve helped us get here and been such good customers. Without them, we never would have made it.”
“We had a slow start initially. Then we had a change of management, and since then we’ve gone from strength to strength and kept improving.
“We kept working on customer focus, and our turnover increased, as did our customer satisfaction.”
And the hotel is still improving in a bid to be the best in Europe, Stephen revealed.
He said: “We’ve hired a new chef, and we’re trying to get to number one.
“We’re going to be opening a new brasserie with home-cooked food, which we’ll be rolling out in two months time. We won’t be doing your ordinary, bland hotel-style food, it’s going to be proper and home-cooked.
“This a great story for Wigan. It’s about the town, about our people, and about what we’re all doing here.”
Stephen opened the Holiday Inn Express at Martland Mill - the former home of the Wigan Post and Wigan Observer for three decades - in December 2017.
He and his father, Joe McManamon, installed and commissioned the newspaper’s presses when the building was opened by then United Newspapers in 1982 as a bold regional printing and publishing centre with 24-hour production.
Initially, he had planned to turn the giant existing press hall into a manufacturing plant for press equipment, but changed tack when his father remarked that the layout would “make a great hotel”.