For anyone seeking to excel in a career in the hotel industry, London has always been the place to be; the golden ticket so to speak. And in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games and beyond, those with a passion to succeed and the ambition to take on some of the capital’s best hotel jobs would do well to cast their eyes over the city’s booming boutique hotels.
According to leading hotel consultancy firm HVS, the number of boutique hotel rooms in London is set to double by 2013, with the addition of 18 new boutique hotels to the city’s already burgeoning scene.
So if you’re looking to advance your career, or seeking to get your foot in the door at a top London hotel, targeting your job search on smaller boutique properties looks like an increasingly appealing strategy.Lia Poveda – Head Sommelier at the 5 star Milestone Hotel – is a shining example of the dynamic career progression that is achievable within London’s fast-growing boutique hotel sector
Not only does it offer the chance to gain valuable experience in an ever-expanding niche, but boutique hotels are some of the most unique and fun places of work in the whole industry. In some ways, you’ll develop skills faster in a luxury boutique hotel because it is the antithesis of the “cookie cutter” approach of branded chains: guests expect individual flair from the staff and your personality is encouraged to shine through.
Just read our review of Antonio’s martinis at the Egerton House Hotel or our interview with Lia Poveda (Head Sommelier at the Milestone Hotel) for living proof of how well excellence is cultivated at the best boutique hotels.
So where should you start your search for job vacancies? Well, how about starting with the best? A glance at the latest TripAdvisor rankings and long-held reputations brings two big names to the fore: Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Firmdale Hotels.Red Carnation Hotels aims to offer a career in the best boutique hotels, not just a job
More than just a job at Red Carnation
With a trio of their 5 star London hotels (the Milestone, Hotel 41 and the Egerton House Hotel) currently occupying the top slots on TripAdvisor for all London hotels, it’s safe to say that Red Carnation is doing something right.
In its mission statement, family-owned group Red Carnation says it wants to create, “an environment in our hotels where our guests, as well as our employees refer to our hotels as their ‘home away from home.’” The excellent service is what guest comment pick up on most frequently and the company clearly understands the value of nurturing and caring for its staff to motivate them to perform so consistently.
Most of all, Red Carnation is keen to stress that the company doesn’t just offer jobs; its offers careers with “long-term prospects coupled with
first class training and development.”
If that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll be pleased to know that the group’s careers webpage currently has a host of vacancies available. The Rubens at the Palace is advertising an exciting part-time position at the moment for a Doorperson to act as the ‘face’ of the hotel on weekends: welcoming guests, booking taxis, handling luggage and parking cars.
If food and drink is close to your heart, the Chesterfield Mayfair is currently looking for a restaurant supervisor to work as part of the team at its popular restaurant. The role is a superb opportunity for anyone with a passion for catering in the hospitality sector. And if you have management experience, the same 4 star luxury hotel is also seeking an Assistant Restaurant Manager to help train and develop the restaurant team.Staff at leading boutique London hotels are trained to deliver the “wow factor” to guests – which often makes the job a lot more satisfying and fun
Rapid career progression at Firmdale
Firmdale’s six London boutique hotels are also consistently well represented in the TripAdvisor rankings, with the group’s Haymarket Hotel and Soho Hotel in the top ten at the time of writing. Run by Tim and Kit Kemp, Firmdale consists of half a dozen luxury hotels in London along with one in New York, each lovingly designed by Kit herself.
Firmdale says on its website that it is “always looking for highly motivated, professional and ambitious staff.”
Firmdale currently have a wide range of vacancies at their hotels for individuals dedicated to excellence in customer service within a homely boutique environment. It’s also worth pointing out that they have in the past won hospitality career website Springboard’s awards for ‘best career progression’ and ‘best initiative to attract people into management.’
Firmdale’s Knightsbridge and Charlotte Street hotels are both also advertising for Porters, offering a great opportunity to get that all important foot in the door at a company that seeks to “wherever possible, promote from within.” Commis chef jobs, bar jobs and restaurant jobs are also up for grabs, providing an immediate chance to prove you have the talent and drive to get ahead in the hotel industry.
More hotel jobs at Firmdale and its top-rated London boutique hotels can also be found on the excellent Caterer.com website.Firmdale’s boutique hotels like the Soho Hotel (pictured) offer its staff a stylish and inspiring environment in which to work
Be part of the future of London’s thriving boutique hotels
With such unprecedented growth and enthusiasm in London’s boutique hotel sector at the moment, this is an exciting time to carve yourself a niche and develop your skills. Whether your passion is for excellent customer service, people management, or delivering a great dining experience, London’s finest hotels are keen to meet you. Seize the opportunity today!
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Photo credits: Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Firmdale Hotels.