Lisa Jenkins about the role and plans for the brand
Can you tell us about the focus for your new role?
We are working on the launch of a new luxury brand this year, based in landmark buildings in major cities up and down the UK. It's been important for me to get to know the differentiators for this new brand and build strong relationships with the hotel management and their existing clients.
With the exacting requirements of our celebrity and sporting guests, it's essential I know every service and facility the hotels have in order to provide every comfort.
Which hotels will you represent?
I will look after a collection of grand city hotels [being developed under the codename Project 1898] which will come on board over the course of the next 12-18 months. We have already opened the George Hotel in Edinburgh, the Royal York Hotel in York and the Palace Hotel in Manchester. In 2017 we will open in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, London and Oxford, and in 2018 the former Martin's Bank in Liverpool.
You've completed a tour of the new hotels - what will you be highlighting to future guests?
There are five Georgian townhouses at the heart of the George Hotel in Edinburgh, which has been given a multi-million pound refurbishment - George Clooney recently stayed in one of the new suites. The Palace Hotel in Manchester has undergone an incredible transformation and the architecture of the building in the heart of a city is so unexpected.
How has the entertainment, media and sports sector changed over the past five years?
It's always been an interesting sector and every day is different: my day can consist of working on several different projects, with musical artists, actors or comedians. It's a fast-moving industry and having a strong relationship with clients is hugely important.
Do you have to socialise with your clients often and have you got a particular special event that you have attended?
Account management is a huge part of my role, and it involves entertaining clients to showcase our properties. A special memory for me was representing our hotel collection at LE Miami, a luxury hotel conference in Miami earlier this year - it was a fantastic networking opportunity.
Would you encourage others to do what you do?
Definitely, I love what I do and the hospitality industry has been good to me.
Who has influenced you in your career?
Ken McCulloch of Dakota Hotels, who drilled into me the importance of attention to detail and true hospitality, and Sean Wheeler, director of people development at Project 1898, who inspires me and has played a key role in my personal development
And I've got to ask - are you friends with any celebrities?
Well, yes, but I can't tell you who. Discretion is everything in my business.
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