Michael Gray receives the EHMA “Hans Koch Lifetime Achievement Award” 2024

From left to right, Michael Gray and EHMA President Panos Almyrantis

On Saturday 13 April in Venice, Italy, during the Gala Dinner of the 50th EHMA Annual General Assembly, President Panos Almyrantis, Chief Development Officer (CDO) Ella Resorts in Athens, presented to Michael Gray – former General Manager of the 5-Star Hyatt Regency -The Churchill London and Vice President UK for Hyatt International – the well-deserved “EHMA Hans Koch Lifetime Achievement Award” for the year 2024. This prize honors outstanding EHMA Meritorious General Managers who over their lifetime career have significantly contributed to the improvement of the Hotel Business and to the Association itself. The award is named after Hans E. Koch, EHMA President from 2013 to 2019, who sadly passed away in 2021, in recognition of his long and successful career in the hotel industry.

Michael Gray retired in 2016 from full-time employment after 48 years in the hospitality industry, of which the past 34 years working for Hyatt.

Michael Gray is noted for being described as a “consummate hotelier” and a “tireless ambassador” for the hospitality industry. He has succeeded in balancing his very personal approach to running hotels with a public role in representing industry needs. Above all, he recognizes the importance of a happy, friendly and efficient staff and leading by example, with the ultimate objective of delivering a truly exceptional service. His dedication to staff development is legendary and he consequently enjoys great loyalty from his team. At the same time he takes great care of the well-being of the guests and makes sure the hotel provides what they want.

Gray began his career in 1968 at Claridge’s London, moving in 1974 to the Carlton Tower, where he was promoted to resident manager when Hyatt took over the management of the property in 1982. After 3 years, Hyatt transferred him to Singapore as manager of the Hyatt Regency Singapore, before going on to Australia in 1987 to open the 249-room Hyatt Hotel Canberra as general manager. He was later appointed general manager of the 550-room Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

Upon returning to London in 1990, he was responsible for the multi-million-pound refurbishment of the Hyatt Carlton Tower and in 2004 he was appointed General Manager of the 5-star 434-room Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. In 2010 he took over the additional role of Vice President UK and Ireland for Hyatt International holding responsibility for their other hotels in the region: the Andaz Liverpool Street London, the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham and the Hyatt Place London Heathrow.

Named Hotelier of the Year by The Caterer in 2007, Gray was made honorary professor at Thames Valley University in 2010. He has also held the post of chairman of the Master Innholders. He is a member of EHMA since 1992 and National Delegate UK & Ireland from 2005 to 2023. Gray hosted two EHMA Management Council meetings at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill in 2008 and 2014.

European Hotel Manager of the Year
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