MEET THE TEAM: FELICITY MYERS
Felicity has worked in a number of different roles since starting out as a switchboard operator 20 years ago, progressing to her current position as Reception Manager. She spoke to us about the intricacies of her role…
So tell us what you do at the hotel and how long you've been here?
I've been here 20 years now and started as a switchboard operator, just for a year, and then I transferred to front office. So for a few years I was doing all the dreaded paperwork! I then wanted to do something different and had the opportunity to become a reception shift leader in 2008 and then I moved to management the following year. Initially I was assistant reception manager and I've now been a reception manager for six years.
What does your normal day look like?
Managing operations so, for example, today is just planning for our arrivals and our departures, what guests you've got coming into the hotel and which rooms they are allocated to as well. It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle, in terms of the rooms. Putting everybody in their requested rooms can be very challenging some days and obviously it's great to be busy but it is our challenge to fit every piece into the jigsaw puzzle.
So you do jigsaw puzzles! What else do you do?
I manage our team to make sure everything is running smoothly and that all our standards are maintained. We show guests to their rooms, which is important as it's all about the guest journey as they arrive at the hotel. Not all guests want the same things though, especially during the week when you often get guests who are keen to get checked in and then carry on with their day. I think the weekends are different though, guests want to be pampered, they're often here for a special occasion or for a weekend getaway, especially if there's something going on at the Royal Albert Hall or in Hyde Park.
Does that mean you're having to constantly keep up date with what's going on around London?
Yes, especially in the summer when the Hyde Park music festivals are on, we could get two or three bands and crews staying. We always make sure we're in the know about what’s going on.
Has the hotel changed over the years?
It’s changed a lot! With hotel staff, they come and they go but what’s unique about this hotel is that it’s a family hotel, everyone is very, very friendly. Here, everybody fits in and everybody is friendly. It’s really all about the staff and that’s why we’ve got good retention of non-service staff. Out of all of the hotels in London, I think we’ve got one of the highest retention rates actually.
Why would you recommend this hotel to someone who had never been to London before?
A few years ago I was having a conversation with some New Yorkers and I said to them “What’s good about Kensington is that it’s very much like the Upper West side in New York.” It’s that tiny bit quieter compared to staying somewhere like Oxford Street or Piccadilly, but it still has everything you need and more. It’s a safe area too, not far from Harrods or shopping, with Kensington Palace next door. There are lots of local restaurants and of course, Min Jiang upstairs as well.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of the hotel?
This year, I was very proud of myself as I did a 10K run. I cycle a lot too, it keeps me fit! I also love travelling. I’m very much looking forward to my next holiday in New York. I’ve just been to Vegas and LA a few months ago as well.