Since opening its doors in late summer 2017, The Hilton Garden Inn at Emirates Old Trafford has been mastering the art of delivering high-quality hospitality, upon the foundations of a brand-new building and team.
“We’ve changed more than 11,000 beds, served over 10,000 meals and laundered 1,000 plus shirts”, says General Manager, Michael Hewson.
The hotel has now been open for 12 weeks, not long enough to create a legacy, but ample time to have delivered an impactful launch and generate some key customer relationships.
So, how’s it gone?
In the first four weeks of business, Michael and his team delivered their entire three month budget and has continued that growth in all revenue streams since.
By the end of November, the four-star hotel had taken over 10,500 room bookings and welcomed even more customers – including some internationally famous faces, such as leading politicians and sports personalities.
On top of all that, the new Hilton Garden Inn, which overlooks the world renowned Lancashire Cricket pitch, has achieved ‘Top 50 Status’ on the ‘Popularity Index in Manchester’. An achievement which Hewson largely puts down to his staff…
“A highlight so far for me has been recruiting and developing an exceptional team of people.
“The amount of staff now working at the hotel is over the 50 mark and, with a fast paced introduction into hotelier life, they’ve all been a credit to themselves and the venue.
“We’ve also recruited some experienced and confident hoteliers from across the county, who have been helping to lead the team in our first quarter of business.”
This hard work has been culminated in the quick, and well deserved, promotion of the hotel’s Reservations Manager, Shani Grisdale.
But a hotel launch doesn’t come without its challenges and Hewson, who arrived at Emirates Old Trafford just one year ago from The Academy Hotel in Bloomsbury, London, has been getting used to the variety of business involved.
“The biggest learning for me has been the constant changing of thinking caps,” he said. “From concert planning, to catering for conference groups and football fans, no day is ever the same.
“Being based at Emirates Old Trafford gives us the chance to be incredibly versatile with our sales and marketing – there’s the ongoing demand for business guests who are working on conferences and meetings across the venue, right through to cricket fans, city slickers and concert goers.
“We even turn our pitch-facing bedrooms into hospitality suites, which was put into practice for the first time against South Africa, and then again when we welcomed the West Indies, in 2017. Come 2018, this unique offer will be experienced by music fans, as well.”
When the hotel opened at the end of August, it marked the completion of a new era for Emirates Old Trafford, in which we saw a £60m regeneration project come to life.
Now, as cricket fans look out from their stands across the venue, they see not just an impressive Lancashire Cricket stadia but a place for which all varieties of guests can enjoy and relish.
So, what does that mean for the future of the Hilton Garden Inn?
“There’s a long way to go,” Michael concludes.
“We want to continue to grow our market share in Manchester, whilst exceeding our financial targets – there will be no let-up.
“Developing our team members is absolutely crucial in ensuring that we have a solid and holistic approach to running the business, and rewarding them for their continued dedication.
“But, most importantly of all, we are committed to continuing to offering our guests an enjoyable experience whilst they are here at the hotel. From parking their car, to getting a good night’s sleep, right through to a hot breakfast - we’re with them every step of the way.”
Through social media, guests have been sharing their experiences so far…
“A great place to stay and in a great location too.
We ate in the restaurant for our evening meal - the service was perfect with friendly waitresses only too happy to help, the food was very tasty and we only had good things to say about our meals and deserts. I can heartily recommend the sticky toffee pudding for desert too.
We'll be back!”
“Room was lovely, the staff were very helpful and the location is great.”
“Love that the hotel is spotlessly new! Received an upgrade - great views of the cricket pitch.”
“Great stay and easy access to Manchester Centre! Still all new so a fab night’s sleep. Back next week!”
Now that we have seen the Hilton Garden Inn at Emirates Old Trafford take its first steps, everyone at the venue and beyond is looking forward to watching it stride through the hotel market in Manchester.
To find out more, or book a stay, click here.