An Interview with our Hotel Manager
Change is in the air for one of the most beloved hotels in Wiltshire. In our latest blog, we would like to introduce you to Alex Mika, our new hotel manager.
Before we discuss Alex’s plans for Bishopstrow House, it makes sense to first learn more about his background and passion for the hospitality industry. “I had the opportunity to work at Cliveden Hotel, Berkshire when I was 14 for a work placement whilst studying GCSE Catering at school. I got to work in the kitchens for 2 weeks – it provided some very valuable insight!”
It is evident that Alex adores cooking, as he then enrolled at Thames Valley University to continue his study of catering. Over the years his career grew at Cliveden – his time there saw him embrace the role of a part-time General Assistant, and then Senior Footman. With subsequent roles at other properties that included Head of Conference & Banqueting, Host Manager, Senior Assistant Manager, Deputy General Manager and Hotel Manager, we are delighted that Alex has joined us at Bishopstrow House to share his expertise and love of exceptional customer service.
So now that he has been here for a month, how has he found it?
“The time has passed extremely quickly but it has been fun learning and discovering the ways of Bishopstrow.” And your team? “The team have been very welcoming! I look forward to working with them as we develop the hotel.” The team at Bishopstrow House can certainly gain a lot from Alex’s experience; in 2011 he was selected to be part of a new program, created by the Master Inn Holders for ‘Aspiring Leaders’.
Here, he was able to receive training and further his knowledge of all aspects of the hotel industry. “I had to complete several exams – I passed with a diploma in tourism and hospitality.” Now that certainly is an achievement! “It is a fantastic course that is still in operation today. It was a great opportunity and something I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of.”
Everyone at Bishopstrow falls in love with the honey hued house the moment they see it, but Alex, what attracted you to come and work at Bishopstrow?
“I had heard of the exciting development plans – the hotel has a lot of potential. It made sense for this to be the next step in my hotel career as I can help drive these plans forward and support Mark (our General Manager) in the exciting future that Bishopstrow holds.” Coincidentally, Alex also shares Mark’s passion for cycling. As we already mentioned in our General Manager blog, Alex also has a keen interest in cycling and has raised money for Hospitality in Action. We can sense more blogs on this dynamic cycling duo in the future!
In his spare time, Alex likes to enjoy other restaurants and hotels with his wife. Not only can he see what is going on in the industry, it also affords him such much deserved time out, and the chance to enjoy fine wines and food away from work!
He has been with us a month, but already he can clearly envision his main goals for the hotel. “I want to share my knowledge with the team so that we can succeed in delivering a great customer experience.” And how he is going to do this is already planned. “I will be hosting regular training with the staff, encouraging them to enjoy being part of the guests’ journey.”
Welcome to the team Alex and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for our country house. Wiltshire has exciting times ahead…