National Hospitality Charity winner chooses 'Break of a Lifetime' at Balmer Lawn

The New Forest’s Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa is the destination of choice for charity 'hidden hero'.

The hotel industry has come together to give thanks to a veteran of volunteering; with a stay at her dream hotel, Brockenhurst’s iconic 4 star Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa. 

Adam Terpening (Charity Director – Room to Reward) Hidden Hero Denise and Michael Clitheroe (GM of Balmer Lawn Hotel) at The Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa.National charity, Room to Reward works on a simple premise - partner hotels donate their anticipated unsold rooms to the initiative. Registered charities are invited to nominate their ‘Hidden Heroes’ for a break away. If selected, volunteers choose from over 150 hotels throughout the U.K where they would like to spend a break away as a ‘thank you’ from the charity they support.

After a long and varied career in hospitality, Denise Haugh turned her hand to volunteering with industry charity Hospitality Action. Mark Lewis, CEO of the charity, explains: “It’d be easier to list what Denise hasn’t done for our charity, than what she has. She has visited grant applicants to offer support with their applications, spends many hours in our offices helping with our administration and tirelessly volunteers for Golden Friends, for retired industry members who find themselves isolated or lonely.”

For Denise, the nomination was extra-special. Her choice for a stay at the Balmer Lawn Hotel and Spa meant the realisation of a lifelong ambition. Denise says “When I was a teenager I was horse mad. I spent every weekend and most of my school holidays at Billy Walsh's stable on Ham Common. Many times, in a horse box, I visited the New Forest where Lord Cowdray's team were playing Ham. I vowed to myself that one day I would be a guest at the Balmer Lawn. I am now almost 82! Thank you for making it possible.”

Michael Clitheroe, General Manager of the Balmer Lawn Hotel, said: “Denise was the most wonderful guest to look after. She encapsulates the true spirit of her work and the love and comradery of the Hospitality Industry. Not only was it so rewarding for me to be able to look after Denise, but also to hear the back story of why this hotel meant so much to her”

Find out more about Balmer Lawn rooms, events, weddings and spa here.


For more information about the work Hospitality Action does, visit: www.hospitalityaction.org.uk.

For more information on how Room to Reward is giving back to society’s Hidden Heroes, visit: www.roomtoreward.org.