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Life in the Hotel Business

Tracy Tennant, one of our club members, spoke to us this week about her life in the hotel business.

Tracy is currently the General Manager of the Knoll House Hotel in Studland and explained her background and her mantra “A Happy Team Creates Happy Guests”.

Tracy explained that all hotels are different and there are many different categories of business, from tourism to corporate, and from seaside retreats to city centre establishments. But there is a lot more to managing a hotel than meets the eye. A manager has to be a jack of all trades and be adept at everything from looking after the payroll, to meetings with staff, having Human Resources skills and forecasting room demand.

Tracy’s background is quite different from what she does now. She started out in nursing at a very young age but soon realised it wasn’t for her. So she took a job as a checkout clerk at a supermarket and quickly moved through the ranks, eventually achieving a role in supermarket management.

However, this wasn’t to be her long term career either and she saw a job advertised at a hotel and went for it. She’s come up through the ranks in this business too, and worked as a receptionist, events manager, reservations manager and a number of other roles in several hotels in the north of England. She then became a troubleshooter, going into hotels where problems had been identified and fixing them. Ultimately she took her first steps into hotel management, where she had since thrived, turning around the fortunes of many businesses.

Her career to date has enabled her to get involved in charity and she has been a staunch and active supporter of People Against Poverty, working in areas such as Romania.

Tracy has won a number of awards over the course of her long career, including Business Woman of the Year and Mentor of the Year.

On behalf of the club, Rotarian Jenny Hynan thanked Tracy for a most interesting talk. Sadly (for us) Tracy will be leaving us at Christmas to take up a new opportunity in the Winchester area, so we all wish her well.