Brits Abroad – Nick Barnard

03 August 2012 by
Brits Abroad – Nick Barnard

Nick Barnard, 22, is a member of the front desk and concierge team at the five star Barceló Formentor hotel in Majorca. He tells Janet Harmer how his language skills have opened the door for a career in hospitality

Tell us about where you work
Barceló Formentor is set within a 3,000-acre estate with stunning, manicured gardens on the beautiful Formentor peninsula in the north of Majorca. The hotel has 122 rooms and private villas and a magnificent restaurant, El Pi.

What does your job entail?
I check in guests, welcome them and make sure they are well informed about the hotel and its facilities. During the day, when our guests are relaxing by the pool or on the beach, we spend as much time as possible working behind the scenes; that might include organising the reservations for the coming weeks or through our concierge service arranging boat rentals or offering advice on local activities and restaurants.

How did you get the job at the Barceló Formentor?
When a front desk veteran retired, my local knowledge and experience in the sector, combined with my language skills and a pinch of luck, got me the job.

Have you worked abroad before?
I have only ever worked abroad. I am what I call a Brit abroad via inheritance. When I was five my parents moved to Majorca and I spent much of my childhood growing up on the island. I moved back to England for secondary school and following that I completed some administration courses. In 2007 I returned to Spain and started working with Fairline Yachts North Majorca. My sales position meant my languages came in handy and I was often travelling around Europe.

How did your time in the UK prepare you for working abroad?
My time in the UK was important for fully understanding British culture and mentality as Majorca is a popular destination for the British market. Along with three months I spent in Hamburg on a German exchange, it means that I am fluent in English and Spanish, with a good knowledge of German, as well as an average understanding of French. A tip for any young man looking to learn Spanish is to find a Spanish girlfriend; it has done wonders for me!

How has your knowledge of languages helped your hospitality career?
The competition for jobs is tough at the moment, and if you want to get into the hotel or tourism industries, an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and languages is a must. Working as the first point of call for hotel guests, speaking a number of languages has provided me with great opportunities.

What do you like most about working in Majorca?
I love the fact that every day is different. Meeting new guests is always a pleasure. The setting of the hotel is unbeatable and, in my opinion, the north of Majorca and around Formentor and the harbour town of Pollensa is paradise.

What do you dislike?
Unfortunately, Majorca depends on seasonal tourism; most hotels are only truly open from around May to October. Even though there are huge efforts to amplify these dates, the winter can be very slow.

Is there a large British contingent working in hospitality in Majorca?
There is a fairly large British community, however it is not limited to hospitality. I try to integrate the British community with the local one to avoid any sense of rivalry between locals and foreigners.

Where else in the world would you like to work?
I have always thought California would be a great place to live and work. I love to travel, it has given me so much over the years, so I am fairly open as to where I go next.

2011-present Front desk and concierge, BarcelÁ³ Formentor, part of BarcelÁ³ Hotels & Resorts
â- 2010-2011 Personal gym trainer
â- 2008-2010 Concierge manager and estate agent/translator, BHI Group Properties
â- 2006-2008 Administrator/salesman, Fairline North Majorca

TagsHotels and Careers
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