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Ian Edwards, GM at Celtic Manor, tells us about his Ryder Cup-hosting venue and why, if circumstances were different,he would be piloting fighter jets.
The hotel business is in my blood. I grew up in Africa and travelled across the continent with my parents seeing many different hotels.
I got involved in the industry when I graduated from a degree in hotel management and began as a trainee manager with Metropole Hotels.
My biggest challenge is the diversity of Celtic Manor. Our range of facilities helps us try to be all things to all guests. We can accommodate up to 2,000 people in our Convention Centre, golfers can play out their own magic moments on the course used for The 2010 Ryder Cup and families get a fun-filled stay with the range of activities on hand at the resort.
The best part of my job is seeing all the different types of guests – be that from the leisure or conference market – enjoying at the resort in tandem.
My favourite phrase is: ‘Well done, great result, team’.
When I get time off I love sitting in my back garden, taking in the country views of the Welsh hills.
Not many people will know that I used to play squash for my county.
At the hotel we’re excited about launching ‘The Way Forward’, a new employee programme, as well as upgrading the convention centre and opening some new luxury lodges in 2012.
My favourite hotels in the world are any of the Jumeirah properties in Dubai. It’s somewhere I can truly relax and get away from it all.
If I wasn’t a GM I would be a fighter pilot. I need something that keeps my adrenaline pumping, gives me a buzz and focuses me.
The person I have learnt the most from is Sir Terry Matthews, our Resort Chairman. He has such enthusiasm and an incredible passion for developing new ideas.
In 10 years’ time I can still see myself overseeing the resort, with an extension to the Convention Centre, and extra 50 luxury high-end lodges and maybe event another golf course.
The Celtic Manor Resort, Coldra Woods, The Usk Valley, South Wales NP18 1HQ
tel: 01633 413000, squaremeal.co.uk/celtic
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events Autumn 2011.