The AHC Family – Welcome to Giuseppe Pezzolla
Giuseppe Pezzolla, General Manager at our Surrey Hills destination, Barnett Hill, joined The AHC at the beginning of April. We caught up with him to delve to a little deeper into his inspirations, background & plans for all things ‘On the Hill’.
Tell us why you started working in hospitality and what you journey has been to your current position as General Manager with Alexander Hotels?
I started in hospitality when I was 15 years old in a bar in Italy and fell in love with this industry. I took the job to have some pocket money and then I realised it was what I wanted to do with my life. I went to university to study geology but my love & passion was in hospitality. I moved to England in 2006 initially for 3 months to learn English but after 16 years I’m still here, married with a wife & two sons!
My first role in England was as a kitchen porter in a hotel in Peterborough. I then moved to Windsor to start my management career. I worked really hard to achieve my position and worked my way through every department to gain experience in each and every one. If you work hard with Passion, Politeness, Professionalism and Pride (I call them the Hospitality 4Ps) you can definitely achieve great things!
What are your top tips for people thinking of joining the industry?
You definitely need Passion. Without it you can’t work in hospitality. You work long hours and frequently miss weekends & festivities, but seeing happy customers really is a wonderful feeling.
What did you learn in the pandemic?
I learnt that people love to go out (even in the rain!), so hospitality will always be needed. Humans have a need to socialise, celebrate and meet up. It’s a part of life!
What’s been your favourite industry trend that you have seen in your career so far?
I have so many in my head after 27 years in Hospitality! 😊
However, to see the success of Aperol Spritz in the UK makes me very happy. I introduced this drink in my previous hotel when no one had heard of it, but I knew it would be a popular and as expected our guests loved it!
If you could take a step back to heading a department again, which would it be and why?
I have loved every department I have worked in, but the most important role I had was as a KP in the kitchen. It was the hardest job I have ever done – I couldn’t speak any English and I was on my own in a new country; but I didn’t give up and I would do things exactly the same again.
Tell us about how you motivate and inspire your teams?
I like to talk to my teams and appreciate their work. It is important to be polite and give your team tasks so they can develop & grown their careers.
What do you do to relax?
I love playing football with my son and spending my time away from the hotel with my loved ones.
Where do you find inspiration?
My family! Everything I do is for them – my wife & my boys are everything for me and seeing them happy inspires me on.
What’s your favourite meal?
It would have to be burrata for a starter, followed by a seafood risotto and a rum baba to finish.
What do you plan to introduce to Barnett Hill in the coming months and what are you most excited about?
Barnett Hill has such great potential. It is great to walk around the house & grounds and see all the possibilities. I’m definitely going to use the Wine Room for private lunches & dinners where our guests will be able to enjoy a leisurely four course menu with a wine pairing. Afternoon tea is very important to me and I want the hotel to be known for it’s fabulous afternoon tea – just watch this space in a few weeks time. I would also like to utilise the hotel’s outdoor spaces in Winter as well, possibly with the addition of some cosy igloos.
What do you like the most about your property and about the AHC?
Barnett Hill is a blank canvas with so much potential. The AHC is a great company created by two passionate people; there is great support and I like the family feeling.
What’s your favourite destination and hotel in the world?
I’m a winter boy so anything with snow is a great destination for me! I do love to go to Italy – as a holiday destination it is a great country from north to south. Our family like to hire a small villa with a pool or a chalet in a ski resort so I can feel at home when on holiday.
Barnett Hill is our contemporary getaway in the Surrey Hills.