COUNTRY luxury Northumberland hotel Slaley Hall is celebrating over 50 years of combined service by its dedicated concierge team.
The hospitality industry has long had an issue with high staff turnover with many hotels and restaurants finding it difficult to retain staff, however Slaley Hall has been able to create long-standing relationships with employees leading in their areas of expertise.
Head concierge porter Chris Swift has been with the hotel for an impressive 17 years this month whilst Alan Wright, Slaley’s longest-serving hall porter has been welcoming guests for 16 years. Hall porter Derek Iddon joined the hotel 11 years ago and concierge porters Neville Connell and Ian Armstrong are fast establishing themselves after seven and four years respectively.
Chris Swift, head concierge porter at Slaley Hall said: “I started working at the hotel when I was just 17 years old back in 2000 while I was studying at sixth form. I was planning on going to university but after being offered a full time contract, I decided to stay at the hotel and within one year I was head concierge. There are so many great aspects to my job, I have met a lot of different people from all walks of life and have grown a strong rapport with the regular guests.
“Every day is completely different to the next at Slaley Hall; one minute I could be organising airport pick-ups, the next I could be training and developing my team. One of the most memorable instances for me was meeting the England football team who stayed with us when the new Wembley Stadium was being built. I also can’t forget the moment I met my wife who also works at Slaley Hall!”
Chris hopes to apply for the ‘golden key’ accreditation from acclaimed society Les Clefs d'Or, a huge privilege in the industry which involves networking and charity work, in 2018 following the completion of a successful interview in order to be accepted.
James O’Donnell, hotel manager at Slaley Hall, said: “We are extremely proud of our concierge members at Slaley Hall who between them have reached 55 years of service which is an outstanding achievement. The team really understand that every single guest is unique in their requirements or reasons for visiting and deliver a truly first-class service.
“Through all their years with us, they still hold real passion and motivation for the job and most importantly enjoy it – not to mention taking pride in maintaining our quality reputation. We strive to have happy guests and as the faces of our hotel, greeting them on arrival at the start of their trip and supporting however they can during it, our concierge is much-loved by visitors – both old and new.
“It’s a fantastic feeling when people get in touch to tell us about their experience praising individuals they came into contact with. We’d love to hear stories about anyone who has been looked after by Chris, Alan or the wider team here at Slaley whether it was for a special occasion or simply a weekend escape.”
The four star Edwardian mansion is set in 1,000 acres of Northumberland countryside, offering short breaks for leisure and business, as well as weddings, conferencing and events. Additional hotel facilities include two award-winning championship golf courses, a spa, health club and multiple restaurants and bars.
For more information on Slaley Hall visit www.qhotels.co.uk/our-locations/slaley-hall or call 01434 676 795.