Establishing Solihull as the conference centre for the area will be the focus for Darren McGhee, the new general manager at St John’s Hotel in the town.
40-year-old Mr McGhee said he was looking forward to building on the hotel’s already buoyant conference and events business, which attracts thousands of delegates to the venue every year, thanks to its dedicated facilities such as the recently-refurbished Park Suite – the largest conference room in the Solihull area.
Conference and facilities expert Mr McGhee, who is married with a young son, has 25 years’ experience in the hotel industry, having started his career at the age of 15, when he joined The Grand Hotel in his hometown of Brighton while still at school.
He was offered a place on the De Vere Hotels fast track management programme and worked in a number of high profile, four and five-star hotels, including The Belfry in Wishaw, where he assisted with The English Open and Ryder Cup; De Vere University Arms in Cambridge, and helped to open Oulton Hall, Leeds.
He joined the Principal Hayley group, a collection of upscale hotels and conference venues that include the Grand Connaught Rooms, London and Chateau Saint Just, Paris, in 2009 as general manager, heading up Wotton House, in Dorking, and The Met Hotel.
“St John’s Hotel is a great venue in the heart of Solihull and I am excited about developing its already established reputation as one of the leading conference, meeting and wedding venues in the area,” he says.
“From the front of house to the kitchens, the staff are already bursting with great ideas on how we can make St John’s even better and I’m very much looking forward to harnessing their passion for customer service and excellence.
“I’m also planning on getting to know Solihull’s business community as soon as possible.”