Eddie McKeever, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) President, and host Pamela Ballantine, are pictured with the Hotel Heroes from across Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) is proud to celebrate its 25th anniversary. As part of these celebrations, the NIHF is recognising outstanding individuals who serve as ambassadors in the hotel profession. This year’s Hotel Hero Awards showcase the diverse roles and opportunities available within the sector.

People are the lifeblood of the hotel industry and to celebrate the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) recognised 15 hotel heroes at a special awards ceremony in the Observatory at Grand Central Hotel, Belfast, last month. The Hotel Heroes were welcomed by host Pamela Ballantine.

Congratulating the recipients, Eddie McKeever, NIHF President, said:

“As an organisation, we felt it was fitting to celebrate our people. People are the pivotal focus of my presidency and the NIHF aims to celebrate the dedicated professionals who contribute to the success and vibrancy of Northern Ireland’s hotel landscape. They are unique, and it is their individuality that gives our industry its personality. We know that the commitment of our staff and the passion that they have for the industry ensures that guests have a great stay. We were delighted with the response, and we had a diverse range of nominations.


“The industry has grown dramatically over the last two decades, and our staff remain central to our success. We asked members to nominate someone within their business who has really made a difference. The person may have been performing a valuable ‘back of house’ role or meeting customers each day. Either way, their contribution has been noted as enhancing the overall hotel experience.”

The recipients of the 2024 Hotel Hero Awards represent a spectrum of roles, showcasing the breadth of opportunities within the industry.

Recipients and Their Roles:

  • Sharon Dunne, Revenue Manager, Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry-Londonderry
  • Louise McGuinness, Breakfast Supervisor, Crowne Plaza Belfast, Belfast
  • Soulef Bounaaja, Executive Head Housekeeper, Everglades Hotel, Derry-Londonderry
  • Gerard McCavanagh, Senior Concierge, Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast
  • Tony Heagney, Head Concierge, Hilton Hotel, Belfast
  • Anita Czup-Jaczewska, Housekeeping Supervisor, Holiday Inn Belfast, Belfast
  • Trevor Shannon, Head Chef, Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Lodges, Fermanagh
  • Tracy Crothers, Reception Manager, La Mon Hotel & Country Club, Belfast
  • Pamela O’Brien, Deputy General Manager, Maldron Hotel, Belfast
  • Pascal Whitley, Operations Manager, Manor House Country Hotel, Fermanagh
  • Margaret Smyth, Accounts Manager, Slieve Donard, Newcastle
  • Severina Motuzaite-Zajac, Receptionist, The Gasworks Hotel, Belfast
  • Shauneen Mallon, HR Coordinator, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast
  • Anthony Boyle, Head Chef, The Whistledown Hotel, Warrenpoint
  • Martin Kelly, Barman, The Waterfoot Hotel, Derry-Londonderry

Each recipient embodies excellence in their respective roles, contributing to the exceptional guest experiences and operational excellence that define Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector.