An interview with our General Manager
Our reputation as one of the most convenient hotels in Oxfordshire precedes us.
As you may have already read in our other blog, we are currently undergoing extensive refurbishment and a rebrand – for this latest post, we sat down with our General Manager, Andy Gelleburn, for a quick chat.
What are you most looking forward to from the hotel’s refurbishment?
I am looking forward to being able to have an amazing facility that is modern, fresh and will exceed the needs of both the team and guests on a daily basis. I thrive on putting exceptional teams together – this refurbishment is the perfect opportunity to deliver an amazing hotel culture from day one, as soon as we start trading as a Hilton Garden Inn.
Most of 2018 has been spent undertaking construction and design work. Guests have suffered minimal disruption thanks to your staff. With all that in mind, what are your main goals for 2019?
Of course, there are financial targets to be met within any business, and I am confident that these can be achieved. My personal aim is for our property to be the best Hilton Garden Inn in the UK – this can only be done through a fully engaged, motivated team and I am lucky that throughout the refurbishment, my team have been a shining example of positive customer service.
What will the benefits be for Oxford Abingdon when the hotel becomes part of the Hilton Garden Inn brand?
There are so many benefits to be had – we will be part of the Hilton brand that is recognised worldwide for quality and excellent standards. The brand is all about the team having the ability to truly learn about their guests and then take action to make them feel special when they choose to stay with us. The word they use is Bright Hearted and it will be amazing fun taking the existing team on a journey to achieve this every day, during every interaction, consistently.
Can you share anything new with us that will feature in the hotel?
We will have The Shop. This is set to be a retail space next to reception that can vary its offering depending on the mix of guests, the day of the week or even the season. We can sell suntan cream in the summer and umbrellas (also in the summer if usual weather applies!). We can have hotel essentials such as phone chargers, toothpaste and snacks, but we will also be able to add a little local flavour to what we offer with Cotswold products and local area items like honey, gin and local beers. This will all be priced appropriately and will be an excellent focal point in the lobby area.
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Andy. To wrap up our chat, is there anything else you would like to share?
I have to convey how excited the team are about the future. They know it will be hard work transitioning from an unbranded hotel with 20 bedrooms to a 146-bedroom flagship property, but we are all motivated to be part of something amazing. Watch this space!