We spoke to Marc Jones about his experience leaving a successful Holiday Inn property in Aberdeen to embark on a new challenge in Scotland's largest city.

Marc achieved exceptional success at Holiday Inn Aberdeen West and is now leaving a positive mark to the well-known Glasgow city hotel.

 

Based on your experience successfully managing a Holiday Inn property in both Aberdeen and Glasgow, tell us what you consider to be the biggest differences you’ve noticed, managing a hotel in each city.

I suppose the biggest difference is meeting the needs and requirements of two very distinct groups of guests. In Aberdeen, most of our guests and clients worked in or with the oil industry, up until recently, Aberdeen was an almost exclusively corporate focused city. Glasgow on the other hand, is a much more multicultural and cosmopolitan city. Although there is still a sizeable demand from the corporate sector, Glasgow has successfully promoted itself to the UK and international leisure guests for many years, so we get a hugely significant number of tourists visiting the hotel. 

 

How do you see the Glasgow market, what are the main challenges you face in a Glasgow city centre hotel.

Undoubtedly, Glasgow continues to thrive, being a hugely popular destination for international conferences and events and festivals, as well as a buoyant market for tourists. That said, Glasgow now has more hotel choices than just about any UK city. This is obviously good news for guests, but not so great for operators in terms of achieving more realistic room rates. A knock on of having over 100 hotels, not to mention, some 2000 restaurants in and around the city is the ability to hire topflight staff from a relatively limited talent pool. However, as ours is a family operated business, we have much greater success in attracting and retaining quality staff than many of our competitors.

 

marc-jones-holiday-inn.jpg

 

Tell us about changes you’ve brought to the property (anything you are excited or proud about)

My first highlight was taking what was an outstanding 3 AA starred hotel and achieving a 4 AA star which was certainly cause for celebration. Similarly, our multi-award winning brasserie La Bonne Auberge underwent something of a change last year, with new branding and uniforms, giving it a more contemporary feel whilst staying true to its essence and roots. The icing on the cake was that, following an unannounced inspection from the AA inspection team, La Bonne Auberge retained its exclusive AA Rosette status for the 21st consecutive year. Adding even more reason to cheer was that the accolade came less than one year into the stewardship of our recently appointed Head Chef, Jordan Shane, who was promoted in summer 2019. 

 

Any changes planned for 2020?

We are way ahead of others in the industry when it comes to improving our carbon footprint and have made substantial reductions across the board in the past few years. This remains a key focus for us, and we will make any changes necessary to ensure further improvements. Additionally, our involvement as one of just 4 outlets in Scotland participating in the Zero Waste Scotland -  Deposit Return trial, a Scottish Government initiative focussing on disposal and recycling of glassware, gives us another opportunity to “sit at the table and influence the discussion”. 

 

What are your favourite places to eat in Glasgow?

La Bonne Auberge is genuinely my favourite as every dish is cooked fresh to order by our brigade of Chefs, who use only locally sourced ingredients. I do also enjoy occasional visits to Sartis, and also seafood restaurant, Gamba because like La Bonne Auberge, neither is part of a chain.

 

Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express Theatreland
La Bonne Auberge
161-165 West Nile Street 
Glasgow 
G1 2RL 
Tel: 0141 352 8300 
https://www.hiexpressglasgow.co.uk

 


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