Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa 

Events Co-ordinator, Emma Hodges

I joined the team at Brandshatch Place Hotel in February 2008 as a Hotel Receptionist. I really enjoyed the interaction with guests that this position gave me and the fact that every day was different. To work as a Hotel Receptionist you have to love guest interaction and be dedicated to making every guests visit special. During my time on reception I also had a lot of interaction with the Revenue office team who took our guest reservations and co-ordinated weddings and I soon knew that this was something I would like to become more involved in. I was therefore really excited when an Events Co-ordinator position became available. I applied for this position and was successful and have never looked back. I am now a Full Time Events Co-ordinator and am involved in taking reservations, booking spa treatments, conferences and events and co-ordinating weddings. The best part of my role is without doubt the wedding co-ordination and ensuring that all of my clients weddings run smoothly from start to finish and that they have a truly special day at Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa. I would not hesitate to recommend Hand Picked Hotels as an employer to someone who is passionate about delivering great service and high standards on a daily basis.


Buxted Park Hotel

Front of House Manager, Steve Hemsworth

I joined Nutfield Priory in 2005 as a Demi Chef de Partie , but my real desire was to be Front of House dealing directly with guests. I started in the Bar and Restaurant and then moved to Reception as a Night Auditor and then Supervisor as well as offering DM and Reception support.

I moved to Buxted Park in May of 2010 as Night Manager and recently I became the Front of House Manager and now look after Reception, Housekeeping and Nights. My new role has many responsibilities the two I relish the most being customer satisfaction and product development.

My proudest moment came very recently when it was announced that Buxted Park had been awarded 4 AA Red Stars to have been part of the team that achieved this was extremely enjoyable and rewarding and I look forward to the challenge of maintaining them.

The thing I like best about Hand Picked is how forward thinking they are and how we sell our collection by focusing on exceptional guest service above all else.


Chilston Park Hotel

Assistant Revenue Manager, Peter Tappenden

My career in the hospitality industry started whilst I was at college.  I joined Chilston Park on the 9th October 2004 working as a C&B casual.  After a short period I discovered that I really enjoyed the hotel industry - meeting people and the interaction you have with both the guests and the people you work with.  I was then offered the full time position of C&B supervisor in June 2006 which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

In October 2007 I was offered the opportunity to move to Reception as a Reception Shift Leader, this gave me the opportunity to experience another department within the hotel and I felt it would help me to decide the area in hospitality that I wished to pursue.  From a reception shift leader I was promoted to Reception Supervisor in May 2008 and then to Reception Manager in May 2009.

I discovered the close working relationship between the reception and revenue teams - they worked as one team - and my interest in the revenue office grew so I approached the Revenue Manager to ask how I could assist in order to learn more and gain a better understanding of the business.

In January 2011 the position of Assistant Revenue Manger at Chilston Park became vacant so I applied.  During the application process the Revenue Manager informed us that she would be taking maternity leave and the position of Interim Revenue Manager was offered to me for the duration of the Revenue Manager’s maternity leave.  Upon the Revenue Manager’s return, I was then offered the Assistant Revenue Manager position which I accepted immediately and this is where I am still working today.

I have been working with Hand Picked Hotels now for 7 years and am extremely proud to say that I work for Hand Picked Hotels.  I am so grateful to everyone past and present for giving me the opportunities and the faith they have shown in me during my time here.


Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa

Assistant Restaurant Manager, Jim Jackson

I first joined Hand Picked in April 2009 working as a casual Conference and Banqueting Assistant.  I spent the next 12 months working in various positions around the hotel learning the Hand Picked ways.    During this time I worked in housekeeping as a linen porter, on reception as a receptionist and day porter and in the café bar and restaurant.  This allowed me to gain experience of each department and how they operate as well as how they all interlink and work effectively as one big team.  I then moved over to the restaurant on a more permanent basis where I experienced fine dining in the two rosette restaurant.  This allowed me to develop as a person, increasing my communication skills and my knowledge of service, food and wine.  Gradually I was given more responsibility and was promoted to Chef de Rang allowing me to run shifts by myself and start to learn management techniques.  During the Christmas holidays a temporary position became available in the accounts department and so I increased my experience allowing me to see things both from an operational point of view and from the finance side.  After this, having left university, I took on the role of the Assistant Restaurant Manager and I am now developing my management experience and knowledge of fine dining, food and wine.  I look forward to any challenge that is thrown at me and hope to develop my career within Hand Picked. 


Hand Picked Hotels

Cluster Human Resources Administrator, Emily Sanders

I started working for Hand Picked Hotels when I was 19 (in 2006) when I joined Rookery Hall as a casual Receptionist. I went to university in Birmingham but always came back to Rookery Hall to work in my holidays. I quickly realised how much I loved working in a hotel – no two days are ever the same and I got to meet so many different people with the number of guests coming to Rookery Hall. I expressed an interest in working in various different areas of the business and was lucky enough to be able to help out in accounts, the revenue office and in HR. I soon discovered that I really enjoyed the HR side of the business and so continued to help in this department in my holidays. Whilst at university in Birmingham a position came up for a part-time HR Assistant at New Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, so I jumped at the chance. I really enjoyed seeing how a different hotel in the collection operated and I developed my HR skills a lot in this time. After about six months in this position I graduated from university and was offered a new full-time role as Cluster HR Administrator, based back at Rookery Hall. This is a regional role where I look after the HR administration for seven hotels in the North and the Midlands as well as the Central Reservations Office. I regularly travel to all the hotels and so get to meet a lot of Hand Picked employees and see how they all work.

I am incredibly pleased to have developed my career within Hand Picked Hotels as the hotels are all stunning and I feel very lucky to be able to work in such beautiful environments. The Hand Picked employees are all very loyal to the company and so it often feels like working in a big family. Hand Picked as an employer look after their employees – I enjoy the benefits such as discounted hotel stays and spa treatments, and the generous pension.



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