The property, a former William and Mary house which was restored and turned into a hotel Historic House Hotels in 1984 and gives all profits to the National Trust, was chosen by BigHospitality and judges from LateRooms.com as winner of the Best Service category for its consistency of service and investment in staff.
Some of the elements of good service include general manager Lionel Chatard leaving a hand-written note in each room to welcome guests, who staff refer to by name. The 29-bedroom hotel also recognises that retaining staff ensures a consistency of service - 20 per cent of its staff members have worked at the hotel for more than five years.
Responding to news of the Best Service award, Chatard said: "We were thrilled to hear that Middlethorpe Hall & Spa, York has received such a prestigious international award. I would like to dedicate this ‘Best Service award’ to our long-standing and enthusiastic team who has worked so very hard caring for our guests. I am very proud of them."
Other winners of awards in this year's competition included the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport (Best Dining) and The Oak Tree Inn in York (Best Breakfast) while the family-owned Auchrannie House Hotel on the Isle of Arran was voted Hotel of the Year by LateRooms.com’s 44,000 Facebook fans.
Lynda Matthews, LateRooms.com’s offline marketing manager, said: “All of these winners really are outstanding in the facilities and services they offer to their lucky guests and we are proud to honour them with these awards."
More than 3,000 hotels were nominated for the awards across 11 categories by the hotel-staying public before a panel of judges sifted through shortlisted candidates to pick winners.
Winning hotels receive an award as well as an enhanced listing on LateRooms.com, which was the first online site to use VisitBritain's official national classification system to rate its hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses.
Best Kept Secret Awards 2012 award winners
- Best Interiors - The Cartford Inn, Preston
- Comfiest Bed - Heywood House Hotel, Liverpool
- Best Service - Middlethorpe Hall, York
- Best Gadgets - Ecclestone Square, London
- Best View - Tregenna Castle, St Ives
- Best Eco Credentials - Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth
- Best Spa - Cotswold House Hotel and Spa, Chipping Campden
- Best Garden - Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, North Wales
- Best Dining - Celtic Manor Hotel, Newport, Wales
- Best Breakfast - The Oak Tree Inn, York
- Hotel of the Year - Auchrannie House Hotel, Isle of Arran
For more details about the winners visit the Best Kept Secret Awards website