Introducing Jenny, our General Manager at the hotel.
Jenny is celebrating 25 years at The Cooden Beach Hotel in July 2018. Her dedication to the guests and staff is simply amazing – we’re very lucky to have her!
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
It’s so hard to just pick one part I love almost everything about my job! If I had to choose just one part of my role at the hotel it would be weddings. From the very beginning showing the happy couples around to helping plan their special day it’s a perfect job with the perfect ending. I also really like motivating staff to progress within the business, witnessing their knowledge increase and see individuals develop.
How has your job developed over the years?
I started as a part-time housekeeper 25 years ago and I’m now the General Manager of the hotel. My role has certainly developed. Having worked in all departments around the hotel it can be said there are no flies on me!
What has been the biggest change at the hotel in the past 25 years?
The biggest changes I’ve seen at the hotel are since Mr and Mrs Kimber (current owners) bought the hotel in 2005. Going back to being a privately owned hotel is a big plus because of the autonomy it brings. Mr and Mrs Kimber have invested so much in the hotel refurbishment, as well as the staff.
Since the rebrand of the hotel in 2017, the incredibly extensive refit and the launch of the fabulous Brasserie on the Beach, we are now catering for a more modern market which is very exciting and new.
Do you have any memorable guest/s over the past 25 years?
There are definitely more than a few faces I like to see returning to the hotel. Because of the length of time, I have worked here I see generations of families growing and it’s always a delight to welcome them back. They love to see the familiar faces of our staff and managers and they do say it’s like coming home.
As a major part of the local community, we host many dinners, events and local fundraising Charity Events of which I have been involved with over the years.
What are your favourite items on the food and drink menus?
I love eating! I recently celebrated my 60th Birthday with family and friends in the brassiere on the Beach. As part of my remit I sample all of the dishes on the menu, my absolute favourite is the marinated Cajun chicken skewer or the Crispy Belly Pork… it’s so hard to decide. If I fancy something sweet I always have the candy floss sundae and I love a Cheese Board. If I just can’t decide, then it has to be both!
Which event or time of year do you love most at the hotel?
Christmas time is fabulous, and preparations begin in September. I love dressing the dozen or so Christmas trees and as with everything I do, more is more. If you think you have overdone the lights and decorations, I can assure you that you just have to add even more, as I tell the staff members that help every year. Christmas Eve right is a very special time as we have all worked so hard to reach the big event. Christmas Day has the most amazing atmosphere. Father Christmas visits and it’s such a magical time for the children in the hotel. For the last 20 years, I have been behind the scenes in the kitchen with our team of chefs directing the waiting staff taking out beautiful plates of food.
What do you like doing outside of work?
I love spending time with all my family. I love to read – anything and everything – but especially a good thriller! My garden is my passion and I harbour a secret love of Giant Garden Gnomes of which I have a more than a few. I’m sure my neighbours think I’m mad but, they make me smile.
Who inspires you?
There are many people that I meet who inspire me on a day to day basis. I admire people regardless of their background who achieve their goals through determination and hard work.
Jenny’s final words
If anyone is considering going into hospitality do it! Sometimes the hours are long and the work is hard but, the rewards are great. I have met some amazing guests and colleagues over the last 25 years at The Cooden Beach Hotel and although it is not always plain sailing it can be fun. I’ve had a memorable career and as you can see if you’re a little bonkers with a sense of humour, it helps.
When you’re visiting the hotel, be sure to say hello to Jenny! Why not visit the Brasserie on the Beach to see for yourself how good the candy floss ice cream is? We look forward to welcoming you to the hotel soon.