Hilton Brighton Metropole: Meet the GM of Hilton Brighton Metropole

GM of Hilton Brighton Metropole, Guy Hilton, explains to hotel-industry.co.uk why he thinks hospitality is a great career choice for young people.

Meet the GM:

  • Name: Guy Hilton
  • Property: Hilton Brighton Metropole
  • Number of rooms: 340

Hotel-industry.co.uk: How did you begin your career as a hotelier?

Hilton: My first experience of the hospitality industry was at the age of 16 when a family friend offered me some experience at Calcot Manor in the Cotswolds. I worked in the kitchen and restaurant for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year period and I completely fell in love with it – the rest, as they say, is history.

I believe that hospitality is a great career choice for young people. Hilton works actively to promote hospitality as a lifelong career choice and I would encourage anyone graduating from school, college or university to investigate the range of programmes available, from apprenticeships to fast track management training.

Hotel-industry.co.uk: How would you describe your style of management?

Hilton: I would say that I’m very hands on, focused and quality driven. I can be very direct when it is required, but I’m always open and honest. I think humour is important too.

Hotel-industry.co.uk: What achievements are you most proud of at your current property?

Hilton: Hilton Brighton Metropole was awarded Metro Division Hotel of the Year last year and we also received nominations for Hotel of the Year and GM of the Year in the Top 5 for Hilton Hotels Europe. We’re also moving toward re-establishing the hotel back into the local community and business environment. We recently underwent a dramatic renovation of The Waterhouse Bar & Terrace at the hotel, working with award-winning local interior designers and architects. The renovation is part of an ongoing refurbishment plan that has seen a £4million investment into Hilton Brighton Metropole.

Hotel-industry.co.uk: What keeps you awake at night?

Hilton: Occasionally, one of my three children! Thinking about work can sometimes keep me awake but it’s not very often – I usually sleep very well.

Hotel-industry.co.uk: How is the market changing in your sector and region?

Hilton: We’ve been seeing a shorter lead in time, from both a leisure and events point of view. Conference and events that would previously be booked between 6 to 12 months in advance are on average being booked 3 – 6 months ahead, with some as little as 6 weeks. I think companies are contracting minimum numbers and then growing the size of the event nearer to the date so as to reduce the risk and chance of cancellation charges being paid.

Value for Money is a key driving factor affecting demand in the current climate. In Brighton we can see that the weather is a key driver as well. Guests are also using the internet a more to search out the best available deal.

Guy Hilton’s top three pieces of advice for hoteliers:

  1. Hospitality should remain at the core of everything we do
  2. The customer must be at the heart of all our decisions
  3. Have fun – whilst we lead, manage and develop great businesses

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