The AHC Family: Welcome to Paul Nason General Manager at Langshott Manor
Paul Nason, our General Manager at Langshott Manor joined the Alexander Hotels Family in April 2021. Paul gives us some insight into his career, his thoughts on the Coronavirus pandemic and how hospitality will evolve.
Tell us why you started working in hospitality and what you journey has been to your current position as General Manager at Langshott Manor?
A good friend of my parents had a successful career working as the Managing Director at The Café Royal and latterly as Chief Executive of the catering division of Boddingtons. He encouraged me to pursue a career in hospitality. I started as a trainee manager with Hilton and completed my training with Village Leisure Hotels. I then moved to Metropole Hotels in Blackpool as Deputy Food and Beverage Manager. Following this I moved to Stakis Hotels as a Food and Beverage Manager and was promoted to Deputy Manager and then my first General Manager position during this time as Stakis was bought out by Hilton. I then moved to Hanover International as a General Manager in Daventry, Northamptonshire. I then took a leap of faith to fulfil a career ambition to run my own business, a pub restaurant in Shoreham by Sea in West Sussex. For the last 11 years I have been an Area Manager for a Hotel Management Company managing up to 6 hotels, branded and unbranded for various different owners before now joining the Alexander Hotels Collection.
What are your top tips for people thinking of joining the industry?
Work hard, be resilient and try to be the best you can be in what you choose to do.
Hospitality is going to change seismically in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the industry is known for being adaptable. How has the industry changed over the years that you have seen?
The biggest change to the industry since I started 30 years ago has been the way guests book. It used to be very simple by phone, fax or telex. Now there are multiple distribution channels.
What do you see being the main changes in the industry in light of the pandemic?
Corporate travel has currently stopped and I don’t think it will return to previous levels. Companies are much more conscious of their carbon footprint and there are a lot more home workers than pre-pandemic, which may continue when offices re-open. I think domestically as companies optimise home working there will be less requirement for large office spaces and there will be an opportunity in the small meetings market for hotels that can offer hybrid meeting facilities.
What’s been your favourite industry trend that you have seen in your career so far?
Food trends excite me particularly international influence.
If you could take a step back to heading a department again, which would it be and why?
I would be the Restaurant & Banqueting Manager at The Village Leisure Hotel in Bromborough on the Wirral. When I was there it was a new concept, exciting and fun with a young team and the empowerment by senior management was there for the team to give great service.
Tell us about how you motivate and inspire your teams?
I lead from the front, I am direct, open, honest and passionate about great service and attention to detail.
What do you do to relax?
I love walks in the country with my family and dog, keeping fit and I am a member of Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club where I race a 15 foot catamaran.
Where do you find inspiration?
I enjoy visiting different hotels and restaurants and have recently been listening to The High Performance Podcast.
What do you plan to introduce to Langshott in the coming months and what are you most excited about?
I am most excited about re-opening the hotel and planning the new strategy for Langshott to negate the fall in sales due to the reduced volume of passengers in and out of Gatwick. It will also be exciting to recruit a new kitchen team and retain our three rosettes.
What’s your favourite meal?
My wife’s homemade spaghetti bolognaise recipe passed down from her mum is fabulous!
Tell us about your favourite hotel experience or an occasion that a member of staff ‘wowed you’.
My wife and I got married three years ago, it was a very special day with the reception and wedding breakfast on the top floor of the Gherkin in London. Our wedding night was at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard. In both venues the service was exemplary.
What do you like the most about your property and about the AHC?
Langshott Manor is an intimate, cosy property in which we can really deliver a personalised service to our guests. I was lucky enough to complete a tour of all the Alexander House properties in my first week and everyone I have met has been really helpful and welcoming.
What’s your favourite destination and hotel in the world?
I have been fortunate enough to stay in some great locations but my favourite would have to be Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
Langshott Manor is our 22-bedroom Tudor boutique hotel, located 5 minutes from Gatwick airport (but not on the flight path!).