Interview | LYNDA COALEY

Meet The Gm

Issue 27

Whilst growing up did you always envision yourself working within the Hotel Industry? My parents are both hoteliers, a General Manager and a Financial Controller respectively, and I lived in a hotel until I was 12 so it is in my blood.

Can you briefly outline for the readers your career path to date? My initial management training was with De Vere Hotels, then I progressed my career through Swallow, Virgin and Marriott Hotels. Most of my general manager positions are within the IHG family, mainly with Holiday Inn ending with Holiday Inn Leicester, before I joined the Crowne Plaza Leeds and finally coming home to Hotel Indigo Newcastle.

Is there a mantra you always aspire to do business by? Support the team by allowing their personalities to shine, if I ensure they have fun in their job they will in turn look after our guests. We imagine that working in hotels can be exciting and varied.

The City is evolving enormously and its difficult keep the same levels of business coming through. The challenge is to retain the buoyancy when the sun isn't out!

Lynda Coaley

Is it true that each day offers something different? It is the variety that make hotels so exciting, looking after a large team and guests that visit for so many reasons.

The hotel life is 24 hrs over 7 days, it never closes and that brings you so many memories.

What do you feel is the Hotel Indigo Newcastle greatest asset? It’s the people, they are true Ambassadors of friendliness, they are proud of Newcastle and all that it offers.

Can you summarize some of your greatest achievements to date? Each hotel I’ve managed has a different story, my highlights include managing the Crowne Plaza Leeds through a £4.5 million refurbishment over a 17-week period and taking the Holiday Inn Leicester into the IHG’s top 10 UK hotels. I guess as a new General Manager it is making sure you don’t change anything that is great already, keeping note of your first impressions and seeing the hotel with a new set of eyes.

Hotel Indigo has been central to the fabric of Newcastle for many years now, can it be challenging ensuring that this remains the case? Most definitely. The City is evolving enormously and its difficult keep the same levels of business coming through. The challenge is to retain the buoyancy when the sun isn’t out!

With the continued opening of new hotels in the city can you outline how you adapt to the changing trends in the hotel industry? Competition will always be there, it is about remembering that your reputation is now on a global social platform and that it needs to be maintained. However, it still always comes back to guest experience and offering a great personal and friendly service.

How do you relax after hours? Now that I have returned home, my immediate time is taken by starting and finishing decorating my house. But the majority of the weekends I enjoy visiting the coast and exploring Newcastle as it has changed so much since I left.

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