AN INDEPENDENT hotel in the heart of York has appointed an experienced general manager to steer it out of lockdown.

As Galtres Lodge Hotel and Forest restaurant prepares to welcome back overnight guests and inside diners from Monday, the owners have appointed David Macdonald to oversee operations.

David will play a key part in mapping out future business plans following two years of substantial refurbishment and improvements.

Galtres Lodge, in Low Petergate, was originally two Georgian townhouses, which have been combined to make a 12-bedroom hotel and restaurant.

The hotel is dog friendly and a member of Indie York, a not-for-profit business association that champions the city's independent businesses.

David has previously worked with the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin brands for more than 13 years, opening Hotel du Vin Newcastle in 2008 and being appointed to general manager of Hotel du Vin York in 2010.

Passionate about hospitality, David was awarded a prestigious Acorn Award in 2011, which recognised him as one of the brightest prospects in the hospitality sector under the age of 30.

Most recently, David has spent the last seven years growing and managing the Talbot Hotel in Malton where he opened a cookery school and wedding venue, co-founded the annual Malton Gin Festival and worked with the Visit Malton team to establish the town as Yorkshire's food capital.

Now, David who lives in Malton hopes his expertise and knowledge will help cement Galtres Lodge's status as one-to-watch.

He said: "I’m delighted to be leading the team as we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic.

"I’ve spent the past two years working alongside owners Rebecca and Chris to develop Galtres Lodge and Forest Restaurant, converting a busy and well-liked cafe into a destination restaurant, bar and hotel.

"Now, stepping into the role of GM, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to get even more stuck in and continue to have a real impact on the future success of the business. It’s an honour to be involved with such a promising venue.

"I'm especially looking forward to working alongside great Yorkshire names like Stephanie Moon, who collaborates with us on our menus, taking Galtres Lodge and Forest to the next level."

Rebecca Hill, the owner of Galtres Lodge and chair of Indie York, said: “David has played a crucial part in the process of re-imagining Galtres Lodge so far, especially with regards to the restaurant re-brand to Forest in July 2020.

"The final part of the puzzle was to bring in an experienced general manager to see us through the final parts of the process, and we were delighted when David took on that role, given that he’d been so influential so far already.

“With his appointment, David is fundamentally becoming part of the ownership team, helping to put Galtres Lodge and Forest on the map as part of our big plans for the future.”

Having been closed in line with government guidance since December 30, 2020, Galtres Lodge’s Forest restaurant reopened for outside service on April 12, 2021, with inside service and stays at the hotel to resume from May 17.