RENOVATION IS LOOKING UP!

Restaurant & Bar Manager Amanda Heeks

Although most of her day is spent in the basement of the hotel, Restaurant and Bar Manager Amanda Heeks still likes to pop upstairs occasionally to keep an eye on the building progress.

For her customers wining and dining in the iconic 24 Bar & Grill the only evidence of the renovation work above their heads is the occasional builders’ noise which has been kept to a minimum. 24 even has its own entrance direct from the street.

But this is down to Amanda’s careful planning, encouraging lunch time guests to dine in the bar so they are not directly beneath the building work, and the set up for dinner starts when they know the builders are leaving for the day.

Says Amanda: “We are aware there may be some disruption and we are working together to ensure this does not impact on the guests”.

Amanda, from Manchester, celebrates seven years working at the hotel this year.

Her role includes responsibility for the day-to-day running of breakfast, lunch and dinner service, conference dining, room service, and bar service.  She ensures customer and guests needs are exceeded, looks after a team of ten people, ensuring revenue is maximised and she also takes on a duty manager shift once a week.

She says: “I am really looking forward to seeing the new open plan reception area, the modern feel, the change of furniture and the colour scheme. It will be a more welcoming atmosphere, hopefully they will see the larger space, modern and upbeat colours, just a happier more well designed area for our guests to enjoy.”

Amanda has worked in some larger hotels during her career, but says she loves working at The Arora as she feels the foundations and the aspirations are genuine.

“We are independent, we never seem to lose focus of what a hotel should provide and we can always go that extra mile” she says.

“We have a great team spirit and all work hard to provide our guests with the best customer service possible. After working here for nearly seven years, I am really excited to see some great changes within the hotel, I am looking forward to the guest feed back and I am looking forward to the future here at the Arora. “

 

SEAN IS ‘FACE’ OF THE ARORA

Sean McIntyre is the ‘face’ of the Arora and he is very often the first person guests see as they walk into reception.

As Front of House Manager he has the enviable task of making guests feel welcome, ensuring a seamless check-in process, and running a smooth and slick reservations operation.

He is also the man at the coal face during the current renovation work and probably one of the best placed people to comment on its progress.

Says Sean: “The building work is affecting our work area only because it is my area that is getting refurbished! We have shrunk in size temporarily but we have adapted to the working conditions superbly – and are managing just exactly the same.”

The old reception desk has been ripped out and temporary hoardings erected to protect guests – and staff – from the building site beyond.

Meanwhile Sean and his team have decamped to a temporary check-in desk in a small area of the foyer where they are still managing to effortless run all the front of house operations.

Eventually they will move into a new ultra modern bespoke reception area, with three individual check-in desks rather that one long reception counter. The general feel will be of a very special boutique hotel.

Sean was born in Hemer, Germany but moved to the UK at a very young age and has lived in various parts of the country. He has lived in Manchester for the past nine years and now likes to refer to the city as “home”.

For almost three of those years he has worked at The Arora and as Front of House manager his responsibilities include managing the front of house team and department, reservations and looking after guests ensuring they have everything they need during their stay,

While his current focus is on making sure guests aren’t too distracted by the building work he does admit he is looking forward to the day when he can visit his new reception area without wearing a hard hat!

He says: “I am looking forward to the completed work to see the massive changes and the modern appearance, we are even changing our uniforms to fit with the new look.

“We are looking forward to the new layout, which includes better interaction with the guests, and getting to know them more as we are introducing a coffee shop and lounge area. Also we are adapting to new quicker equipment which will also boost work time efficiently.”

Sean believes customers will benefit from the new look and feel because it will make the hotel and lobby area more inviting,  and provide another place for them to relax and unwind in.  Most important personal engagement will make guests feel valued.

He adds: “Working at the Arora has been fantastic, the opportunities and the involvement of new changes inspires you and makes you feel valued. Having worked here for nearly three years now -with more exciting times ahead – it really is a great company to work for.

“The fact that we have independence – so a lot of the thoughts and processes we have are our own ideas – sets this hotel aside from others. Yes we have similar services and procedures as other hotels, except everything here is injected with our own individual personality.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to Amar Chima and Jane O’Mahony for involving me and my team in such a big change – we are all excited to see the department changes and the whole look to the hotel.”