Scooping the coveted accolade of Sunday Times Hotel of the Year 2016 within less than a year of opening is an impressive achievement for any property, but when it’s at a hotel where you are general manager for the first time, it’s quite something. That was the case for Luke Millikin, who joined The Painswick in October 2015, ready for the property’s launch in March of the following year.
He came from a background of vast experience – from deputy positions at Ibis and the Abode Hotels Group to three years spent at St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall – but it was his natural hospitable flair that made him the perfect man for the job at The Painswick. The restaurant with 16 bedrooms is the fifth property in the Calcot Collection, which consists of Barnsley House and the Village Pub, Calcot Manor, plus Lord Crewe Arms up in Northumberland.
The new hotel is bold, confident and funky and makes no apologies – just serves up fantastic service with a slice of quirky design that strikes the right balance between comfortable and unconventional. From the get go Richard Ball, chairman of Calcot Collection was confident about the bold statement that The Painswick would make when it finally opened and wanted to bridge the gap that had opened up between posh pubs and luxury at full tilt. For Millikin, who had the ambition to be a hotel general manager before he turned 40 on his bucket list, was a ‘big tick’ for him.
He says: “We treat it like our own, rather than a hotel we work in. We are so proud of this place and we never get bored,” he adds.