A PEMBROKESHIRE hotel manager has been crowned the best in the UK.

Paula Ellis, group general manager of luxury boutique hotels, Twr y Felin, Roch Castle and Penrhiw Priory was named this year's best independent hotelier at the Independent Hotel Show on October 15.

The annual Independent Hotelier Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the independent hotel sector, and is recognised for excellence, with a reputation for pushing boundaries and creating exceptional guest experiences.

The only female and the only Welsh finalist in the category, Paula overcame competition from five other industry leaders, due to her commitment to the development of her team, the success of her establishment and the industry at large.

Paula has enjoyed a career of over 30 years working in the tourism and hospitality industry, taking charge of The Retreats Group venues in 2014.

She has reorganised the entire structure of the group, while managing the team of specialist conservation architects and contractors employed to restore and extend Twr y Felin, from a dilapidated, former windmill, originally built in 1806, into Wales' first Contemporary Art Hotel.

Alongside this, she has taken Roch Castle and Penrhiw Priory from unoccupied corporate retreats to five-star guest accommodations, with great occupancy.

"I am delighted to be crowned Independent Hotelier 2019, which is a true recognition of my industry success," said Paula.

"Being the only female general manager and the only Welsh person, demonstrates that my peers really do value my achievements and this award will provide me with the platform to inspire young women in Wales to pursue a career in hospitality"

Paula has also been has been shortlisted in the Revolut everywoman in Travel Awards in the Leader of Change category, awarded to a woman who is making a significant contribution towards the strategic direction of the business through best practices, employee engagement, improved productivity and innovation.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony held at East Wintergarden, located between the iconic towers of Canary Wharf in London on November 13, 2019.