The Grand Eastbourne appoints a new dedicated guest relations

Continuing its focus on offering guests the very best in five-star luxury and service, The Grand Hotel Eastbourne has appointed Barbara Fontyn to the role of guest relations.

Barbara joins the team at The Grand with a vast range of experience in customer-facing roles and will have the responsibility of looking after all of the hotel’s valued visitors.

She will bring her warm, people-focused approach to the role at The Grand as the face of the hotel’s famed customer service, taking over from Madeleine Verall, who departs after 15 years.  After intensive on-the-job training, rotating between each department of the hotel, Barbara now is responsible for handling all resident and non-resident requests, providing a personal contact for guests throughout their stay, managing customer relations via email, and responding to all guest reviews online. 

Speaking after her appointment, Barbara said: “I am really delighted to join the team at The Grand, having lived in Eastbourne for 13 years and been a regular visitor over that time. When I found out about the role I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use my people skills in a new way – I haven’t worked in a hotel before, but I think the important thing about this job is what I can bring to it as a person, rather than it being about a specific set of qualifications or skills.

“Although it can be challenging stepping into a role that’s been held by the same person for the past 15 years, the team have been incredibly supportive, and I’ve been receiving really positive feedback from guests. The guest relations position is about making sure guests have someone approachable who they can ask about anything, and if they leave the hotel with a smile on their face, I know I’ve done my job.”

Jonathan Webley, general manager of The Grand, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Barbara to The Grand, and I am thrilled that she has settled into the role so quickly. As a hotel that prides itself on customer service excellence, we feel that it’s extremely important to have a dedicated member of staff who is approachable and who is entirely focused on making them feel welcome and at home. Barbara is a perfect fit and is already receiving fantastic feedback from guests.”

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