We caught up with Jo our Front of House Manager for our latest Up Close & Personal blog.  Jo has been with us almost exclusively for 28 years and will be a familiar face to our many returning guests each year.

 

We caught up with Jo as she hunkered down at home during the government lockdown.

“I was initially interviewed for a Receptionist role in October 1992, but I was promoted before I even started to Assistant Reception Manager; I like to think that I impressed the recruiter!  After a few years I moved over to the Sales team as the Corporate Events Co-ordinator to look after conferences, golf days and golf club events.

I left briefly in 1999 before I was thankfully invited back less than a year later by the Sales & Operations Managers to become the Reception Manager.  I intended to stay for two years to strengthen my CV but 20 years later and I’m still here!  I’m currently Front of House Manager which looks after the Housekeeping, Nights and Reception team and it keeps me busy; I love it.

You can’t beat the view from my seat on Reception, overlooking the Great Lake – you never tire of it! It’s lovely to watch the seasons change with the variety of migrating and hibernating wildlife; no two days are the same.

A perk of my job is being able to meet a diverse range of people.  I’ve encountered some interesting guests and we’ve had a number of celebrities stay over the years.

I love exceeding guests’ expectations and making sure as a team we ensure that they enjoy their stay, from the moment they arrive to the time they leave.  We all like to believe that this is the reason why so many customers return and continue to support us as an independent hotel. I think our homely feel comes across to the guests and makes it more of a personal experience for them.”

 

What’s home life like at the moment for you?

“I miss being around my colleagues; we are one big family, and I’ve come to be friends for life with many of them.

Whilst working full-time gives me little time to pursue hobbies, I do love to cook when I get the chance.  My happy place is my kitchen and I love having friends and family over.  I make a mean curry, but I’m too critical of my cooking to know what my best dish is – you would have to ask my guests for that!

Being at home is quiet at the moment.  I’ve not had children but I have three wonderful nieces that I’m very close to and two great-nephews, with another on the way!  I’ve had to adapt to keeping up to date with them via FaceTime and calls instead.

Not many people know that I’m a great aunt.  I’m hoping this comes as a surprise to people in thinking I don’t look old enough!

Growing up, I actually had big ambitions to be a chef but in reality I couldn’t cope with the heat of the kitchen.”

 

What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

“I’m desperate to get back to work!  I miss my colleagues and the banter in the office.  The Sales office tends to be the hub of the hotel, and we have staff and golf members frequenting it to catch up.

We’ve got a schedule of improvements on the hotel, and I’m keen to see these through.  I’d like to see the hotel viewed as the best resort hotel in the area, the venue and the whole team deserve it!

It’ll also be great to actually see my friends and family in person and not on the House Party app, I’m looking forward to giving everyone a hug when this is all over!”