The director of a hotel in Cornwall has become one of only ten people to be named ‘Master Innholder’ this year.

Veryan Palmer, from Newquay’s Headland Hotel & Spa Resort, has been awarded the acclaimed status by the Worshipful Company of Innholders.

Veryan is among just ten industry professionals who have received the award this year in recognition of their outstanding contribution to hospitality.

The award will be made by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Innholders at a special presentation at Innholders’ Hall in London, on Tuesday, June.

Dan Rose-Bristow, chairman of the Master Innholders, said: “To become a Master Innholder, you need to demonstrate great leadership qualities, what you stand for as a hotelier, your involvement in the wider hospitality community in terms of education and charity, and an appreciation of the heritage and traditions of the Worshipful Company of Innholders, who award the honour.

“Our ten successful applicants this year all demonstrated their passion and drive for our profession and were all committed to becoming an active part of our community.

“I am extremely proud to welcome all these inspiring individuals to our family.”

Falmouth Packet: Veryan’s family’s connection with The Headland began in 1979Veryan’s family’s connection with The Headland began in 1979 (Image: Headland Hotel)

Veryan’s family’s connection with The Headland began in 1979, when her parents bought the Victorian hotel, rescuing it from decades of decline and disrepair.

She became a director in 2020 and has continued to support its journey as multi-award-winning five-star hotel, with 86 bedrooms, 39 cottages, a five-bubble-rated spa, a six-pool AquaClub, and four restaurants.

“I have been told that my first encounter with the Master Innholders would have been when I was less than ten years old, when Hilary Metcalf, the first female Master Innholder in 1979, joined The Headland Cornwall as general manager in the mid-1990s,” she said.

“Little did I know then how various Master Innholders would come to guide my hotel career in the future.

“I have been incredibly lucky to have been managed, guided or mentored by several Master Innholders during my hotel career, including David Morgan-Hewitt, Jeremy Goring, Graham Copeman, Sue Williams, Andrew Stembridge, Richard Ball and Danny Pecorelli - and following their lead have had aspirations to join the Master Innholders for many years, following my award of a St Julian Scholars scholarship, courtesy of the Master Innholders and Worshipful Company of Innholders back in 2012.

“I am thankful to all who have supported me over the last two decades in the wonderful world of hospitality, and I look forward to upholding the aims of the Master Innholders for the years to come.”

Falmouth Packet: Veryan became the director of The Headland in 2020Veryan became the director of The Headland in 2020 (Image: Headland Hotel)

As a leading force in the hotel industry, the Master Innholders promote education and development within the sector.

Various programmes, such as the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma, the Innholders Scholarship, the Hotel Leadership Conference and MIDAS, are all designed to offer training and support, and promote discussion and research into the pressing challenges the industry faces today.