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‘Congratulations Rachel, I will see you on Monday’ said Mr Jones. I put the phone down and that was when I knew I had made the right decision. The people you work with are so important to your quality of life and after eight years in one job, making the decision to move on was not one I took lightly.
So, Monday morning came and my routine was much the same, round up the boys; check everybody had sandwiches and their PE kits and drop them off at school. But that is where the normality stopped as I set off on my new journey to the Abbey Hotel in Great Malvern.
I drove out of Tewkesbury over the myth bridge and headed towards the hills. I could see the water had receded and the threat of flooding was once more a distance thought. I don’t think I could face another six months in a caravan.
As I turned the corner the sky line changed dramatically and the imposing hills loomed, the soft peaks floodlit with the early morning sunshine, the colours of autumn cascading down their slopes. The tranquillity I felt from the views and the country lanes was a refreshing change to driving into town.
As I drove through the villages, I saw the start of everybody’s day; young children lined the corners of the streets waiting for the school bus. I passed a couple of children cycling behind their mum, just like a mother duck and her ducklings. It is funny how in the absence of knowing their names, you give them nick names, which reminds me, I have not seen the young girl who stands by the ‘Free Range’ gate for a few days, her parents must sell eggs.
As I start to climb up the hills through the ploughed fields and golden trees, radio 4 announces the stock market has fallen by 5% and it is only 8.15am. My new job as a Business Development Manager is going to be a challenge.
As I arrive at the hotel, I see the Virginia creeper covering the building like a red blanket, one can instantly tell it is steeped in history, time to research. I wait in reception for Mr Jones and watch the receptionist smiling and chatting to the guests as she happily sends them on their way.
As we sit in the lounge chatting about my 3 week induction programme and how I will integrate it to the Abbey Hotel’s life, Mr Jones suddenly jumps to his feet and announces ‘It’s 9.30, time for the morning meeting.’
The Hereford suit is home to a wooden boardroom table and leather chairs. As the heads of departments assemble and take their positions, I am reminded of ‘Hotel Babylon.’ Then Mr Jones brings the room to order and I am left to consider the facts, is Mr Jones as glamorous as Tamzin Outhwaite… and will the duty manager be as street wise as Dexter Fletcher?
The first point on the agenda is the duty manager’s diary. We discuss the happenings of last night’s service in the restaurant and any comments or requests from the guests from the night before. Then moving on to today’s events, we discuss the functions and meetings in the hotel, followed by the comment cards. Mr Jones reads through the cards and the guests comments, ‘Mr Smith room 326 all good and excellent, Mrs Brown room 310 all good and excellent, although had a problem with the TV could not get channel 4. Duncan can you check this for me’ he said as he turned to the maintenance man. Duncan was already taking notes and wrote the room number down. This theme of care and attention continued throughout the meeting. It was very clear that the customer was indeed king, at the Abbey Hotel.
My day continued meeting the heads of departments, discussing their roles and the people in their teams. A tour of the bedrooms was to come. With 103 to choose from and all individual, it was difficult to decide which of them was my favourite. Would it be room 426, the bridal suite with views over the Vale of Evesham, a spacious lounge area and a bathroom “to die for,” with his and hers sinks and a bath with bubble action. Or will it be room 236, with its dramatic bay window, looking out over the rose garden and the Malvern Hills.
Next I met Mr Gennaro de Bourbon, Revenue Manager at the Abbey Hotel. As he came through to the lounge, I could not help thinking what a flowery name, who was he? Gennaro walked in. He was tall, early forties and well groomed with a fine, well trimmed beard and an elegance difficult to describe, but with presence. He sat down and commenced with the usual conversation ‘This is my team, this is my role’.
At the end of the day Mr Jones had time-tabled in a few minutes to discuss my day and thoughts. We chatted freely for a few minutes and then he said, ‘You do know that Gennaro is a prince, don’t you?’ ‘No, tell me more,’ I requested. He went on to explain the connection to the royal houses of Europe and how Gennaro can trace his family back to 357 AD. To this day he is closely related to the French royal family, his aunt is married to the crown prince.
The day was over and what a day, I work with royalty and at the Abbey Hotel the customer truly is king. Come and see for yourself, I look forward to meeting you and Gennaro has put some fantastic offers on our website.
Written by Rachel Proctor, Business Development Manager at The Abbey