WIVENHOE House, the new luxury hotel which is also home to the Edge Hotel School, has been awarded four stars by the AA, with the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Signatures, also receiving two AA rosettes.

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The AA inspector who stayed at the hotel, on the Colchester Campus of the University of Essex, in December said the “quality of the food offered throughout the visit comfortably exceeded expectations” and the “stylish lounges, bars and day rooms presented to a very high standard”.

The hotel school, a partnership between the university, academic partner Kaplan and the Edge Foundation, is the first of its kind to be based in a commercial luxury hotel.

Students working towards hospitality management degrees combine their studies with work in Wivenhoe House, supervised by a team of professional and skilled hospitality staff.

Stephen Mannock, general manager at Wivenhoe House, said: “I am immensely proud of all we have achieved since we opened last September. This high rating is a credit to all the staff and students.”

Alan Jenkins, principal of the Edge Hotel School, added: “This is great news for our students and supporters. A cornerstone aim of the Edge Hotel School is to have our students learning by doing in a quality environment.

“This rating by the AA is testament to the commitment of our students and professional colleagues at Wivenhoe House and will set our students on a fast track to success as future leaders of the hospitality industry.

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