When you come to stay with English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues in the Lake District or North Lancashire, it’s good to know that the food you are served has been prepared with the greatest care and professional skill.

That’s one of the reasons why we’ve given our group of fledgling trainee commis chefs the chance to run their own restaurant for the day to experience the pressures of preparing and delivering food and drink orders for customers.

Full House for Dinner

The students from our Culinary Academy took control of Kendal College’s restaurant as a food service and hospitality challenge. It was an opportunity for the apprentices to showcase their culinary skills for a full house of diners, with support from Kendal College’s catering students. It’s a key stage in their development to graduate as commis chefs and a crucial element of their overall training which culminates in a fully accredited apprenticeship qualification.

Working together, the team served up a delicious three course menu selection for over 40 customers. A popular starter was Frank Benson’s Morecambe Bay Shrimps with brioche, lemon, dill and cucumber. Main dishes included herb crusted roast rack of Cumbrian lamb or Monkfish loin wrapped in Parma ham. And for dessert, they prepared a lemon and thyme crème brûlée with butter shortbread and steeped raspberries or a passion fruit, mango, oat and honey crumble.

Well Done Team!

Recent academy graduates Maria Cheetham, who is working and training at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, Jonny Marriott (Wild Boar Inn) and Rebecca Atkinson (The Midland Hotel, Morecambe) were joined by latest recruits Abbie Spencer (The Midland) and Travis Locke (Low Wood Bay).

They were also helped by Charlie Henderson from Samuel King’s School, Alston, who was enjoying a work experience stint with the academy. Bryan Rojas, who is doing his level 3 training at Lancaster House, completed the team.

Group Training & Development Chef Daniel Winstanley, who is also a member of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, explains: “The restaurant takeover exercise is one of the hardest challenges we set for the apprentices. It’s in real time and they take full responsibility from customer order to clearing the plates. Two things really stood out: their collective ability to work under pressure as a team, and that they all clearly thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Find Out More

For more about the opportunities available within English Lakes Culinary Academy, or about jobs across the group follow the links and get in touch

English Lakes re-started their quarterly service awards lunch in July 2022. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Directors to say ‘thank you’ to employees of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues for their dedication and loyalty.

English Lakes Annual Service Awards Lunch

During the Covid pandemic, reluctantly we had to suspend our quarterly Service Awards lunches (usually held in January, April, July and October). It was, therefore, even more of a celebration than usual when they restarted this month. All those in attendance at The Wild Boar enjoyed a sumptuous three course dinner, and the all-important award ceremony.

After each year of service, every employee of English Lakes Hotels is invited to an Service Award lunch. This is a great opportunity to meet colleagues from your hotel, or any of the other hotels in the English Lakes Group. The atmosphere is informal and friendly. It is an event that the Directors of English Lakes take very seriously as it is their chance to show appreciation to their teams and reward them for their previous year’s hard work.

New Benefits for All English Lakes Employees

English Lakes Managing Director, Ben Berry, hosted the recent Awards Lunch and presented English Lakes vouchers and +1 Awards to those in attendance. He also launched a new package of benefits to be enjoyed by the employees of English Lakes Hotels.

English Lakes Loyalty Rewarded

Every full year of service with English Lakes is rewarded with English Lakes Vouchers, worth between £100 and £350 for full-time employees, depending on length of service. These are presented at a Service Award lunch.

Free Bed & Breakfast Stay for Two People

This is a fantastic opportunity for every employee to be on the receiving end of English Lakes service. What a great way to discover what it is like for our guests. After a full year of service, and every year thereafter, the employee can book a night’s bed and breakfast accommodation. They are invited to bring their partner, or a friend or family member and stay in an English Lakes hotel overnight, and enjoy breakfast the next morning.

Enjoy a Thermal Spa Experience on Us

A little cosy treat that can be enjoyed as part of working for English Lakes Hotels. Each year, employees can enjoy the benefit of a three-hour Thermal Journey at The Spa at Low Wood Bay. A spa experience voucher for two people becomes part of the benefits of working for the hotel group.

+ 1 Awards

Every month team members are nominated for activities or performance that exceeds guest or colleague expectations. Successful +1 nominees are awarded a certificate and first-time winners also receive a +1 lapel pin.

Special Silver and Gold and Champions awards are made for those team members who achieve 10, 25 and 50 +1s respectively.

Prizes for Creativity

Creativity is what we do at English Lakes. If an employee has a great idea that has the potential to transform the way we do things, we invite their ideas! We call these people our ‘Imaginators’! When these ideas become a reality within the business, the employee is invited to an Awards lunch and receives a VIP treat.

Be Our Guest

After successful completion of six-week review, new employees are invited to enjoy a Bed and Breakfast stay as our guest at the Hotel where they work. We include the employee’s partner and children, or a friend.

Twice yearly we will also run a ‘Flash Sale’ for employees only so that you can treat your family and close friends.

And Lots More Benefits…

There are also extra holidays each year of continuous service, up to an extra 5 days. Employees can recommend a friend and receive £250 English Lakes Vouchers and there is a Personal Development Fund that workers at English Lakes Hotels can apply for.

A very popular benefit is the complimentary access to English Lakes Health Clubs and Spas at specific times of the day, as well as significant discounts off spa treatments, guest fees, watersports equipment hire and dining in our restaurants.

Find A Job at English Lakes Hotels

Take a look at English Lakes Jobs page to find out what opportunities there are available in the different hotels and departments. A job at English Lakes opens the door to lots of additional benefits.  

Working in the Lake District has many benefits, not least being surrounded by stunning scenery and some amazing small village communities. It’s also good when your Low Wood Bay manager organises a fun evening of teambuilding activities!Previous

Three-person Ski Race

Three-person Ski Race

Egg Catching

Egg Catching

Three-person ski race

Three-person ski race

Space Hopper Race Leader

Space Hopper Race Leader

Space Hopper Race

Space Hopper RaceNext

Three-person Ski Race
Egg Catching
Three-person ski race
Space Hopper Race Leader
Space Hopper Race

Created Tuesday, August 2, 2022, by Tina Alexander

Jobs in Lake District Hospitality – Work Hard, Play Hard

Jobs in the Lake District hospitality industry have gone through difficult times in the last few years. But as the country gets back into full flow and Lake District short breaks and Lakeland holidays are very much back on the agenda, the teams at Low Wood Bay are as always, ready to welcome visitors to the resort.

Last week, as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for a very successful quarter the managers of Low Wood Watersports and The Spa – Dan, Gary, Klara and Abi – organised an hilarious evening of fun and frolics. The added benefit was that it was also a great team builder.

Thirty-seven people from the two teams met for their safety briefing at 5.30 pm – all wearing buoyancy aids (because it will look hilarious on a space hopper!!). So, three teams of 12 with Callum from Watersports as the organiser and adjudicator.

Gary Tennant, Manager of The Spa, said …

The teams at Low Wood Bay work incredibly hard, and so a few of the managers got together to work out how we could show our appreciation. We are incredibly proud of the individuals and teams that provide excellent service, always going above and beyond expectations.

Building Memories for our Low Wood Bay Employees

The teams at Low Wood Bay can be like family, especially to those who are living away from home, perhaps for the first time. Klara, Low Wood Bay Leisure Office Manager, was keen to stress how important it was to create lasting memories for our Low Wood Bay staff, as well as for our guests.

Eggs, Spoons, Skis and Space Hoppers

The three teams chose their name, with best name getting extra points. We had Dan’s Pretty Girls; Jardine’s Angels; and Dougal Duodena Doudesses. You try choosing the best! The team captains, Charlie, Gary and Dan, called their teams to order, and the competition was on.

We kicked off with the Ski race with three people from each team racing against each other and covering one end of the lawn to the other. Hilarious on dry grass.

Everyone had to have a turn on the Space Hopper Relay. The loudest supporting team got extra points, as well as the winners of course.

The egg and spoon race was not just a straight line affair. It was around a course of cones, as well as having to limbo under an obstacle. Great fun.

Eggs also featured in the egg throwing competition to determine who could throw an egg the furthest without it breaking. There were several scrambled attempts at this one.

The competitive activities were rounded off by a rowdy Mega SUP slalom event. Two teams competed against each other, to the cheers of the crowd and various passers by who got involved.

The competitors moved to Low Wood Bay Conference Centre where the fire pits were lit and dinner and refreshments were laid on. There were medals for everyone, and trophies for the winning team.

A great evening of fun and hilarity was had by all.

Jobs at Low Wood Bay

Looking for a job in the Lake District? Check out the positions available at Low Wood Bay, and get in touch for more information, or to apply. 

Corporate training days, small conferences and learning and development courses are returning as a vital part of any growing business.

A Summer Conference in The Lake District

The Wild Boar is a great place to gather teams together in a beautiful Lake District setting, with great conference facilities, comfortable and characterful 4-star accommodation, amazing food and a choice of team-building activities.

Recently, The Wild Boar welcomed CD Medical to the hotel for their Summer Conference – three days of collaboration, training, development, and fun in the Lake District.

This young, vibrant company is growing an innovative portfolio of products, expanding its team and its global reach. The participants heard valuable insights from clinicians and the patients using their products.

“After three days of early morning lakeside strolls, evening forest falconry walks, sharing ideas, insights, learning and laughter, we left as one team, with a renewed focus and excitement for what’s to come. Thank you so much to English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues and Lake District Falconry for an incredible trip.”

The Team’s Evening Woodland Hawk Walk

What a fantastic way to conclude a day of learning in the conference room, and one that CD Medical chose. Outside, in the beautiful historic Wild Boar woods, the participants learn to handle these magnificent falcons and discover more about their world, their habits and habitats. Wear the falconer’s glove and wait for the hawk to land on your hand.

The short Hawk Walk through the woodland with the hawks flying alongside gives a spectacular insight into these beautiful creatures. When conditions are right, there is then the opportunity to watch the hawk perform in a simulated hunt, culminating, hopefully, in the successful capture of an artificial prey.

New Corporate HQ in The North West

The year 2022 is an important milestone for CD Medical as they establish a new company headquarters in Bolton, northwest England. We wish them every success with their future plans.

Book Your Next Corporate Event in the Lake District

We have a dedicated sales team who are happy to discuss your specific conference, meeting or event requirements. As well as our bright and airy Undermillbeck Conference Room at The Wild Boar, we can offer a range of activities including Falconry, Clay Pigeon Shooting, or Alternative Afternoon Tea. Contact our friendly team on
015394 39469
(9am – 5pm Monday to Friday)
or email

“Arrived as two teams, left as one!”CD Medical

Lancaster House is offering a Seasonal Special Offer with the choice of great family activities in Lancashire. We just had to road-test one of these family adventures for ourselves. 

A Day Out at Greenlands Farm Village

Lancaster House Wedding Co-ordinator, Nicole Pilkington, took her two daughters for a day at Greenlands Farm Village. Nicole and Isabella, aged 11, and Rose, aged 7, tell us a bit about their day and their verdict on whether they would recommend this day out to our guests.

So Many Adorable Animals

We arrived at Greenlands Farm Visitor Centre where we were issued with our full day Visitor Wrist Bands. The weather was beautiful and warm – perfect for outdoor fun.

Greenlands Farm has around 120 animals, with several unusual rare breeds including Kune Kune Pigs, called Mabel and Wilma. We loved Nigel, a leopard gecko, and Barney and Willow the barn owls. Many of the animals could be held, petted, groomed and even fed. It was just a great opportunity to get up close to the animals. We quickly discovered that we were being followed by a particularly friendly sheep – it just seemed to like our company and we quickly accepted him as part of the family!

Margo the snake became Rose’s stand out favourite in the Reptile house, but the owls, turtles, donkey and Phineas and Ferb the pygmy goats were all in close competition for top spot.

Village Green Pic-nic and Paddling

The Village Green was where we stopped for a well-needed rest from our animal exploits. It’s a lovely area with pic-nic benches, shady grassy areas which allowed us to cool down, a giant sandpit for smaller children and – another highlight of a hot day – a splash pool! (so remember to bring your swimming costume and towel). This is the perfect place to eat your Lancaster House pic-nic and there’s also a great selection of ice creams that Isabella and Rose took full advantage of.

In terms of activities on the Green, the giant bouncing balloon went down a treat with Isabella and Rose. There were even some adult ‘big kids’ who just could not hold back when it came to the bouncy balloon fun.

Straw Barn Shennanigans

A barn full of fresh straw, climbing frame, slides an swings – great for all weather conditions. There is also a good selection of ride on tractors and trailers, and coin-operated go-carts. This is a great area for family play and where imaginations can run free. There’s also a soft play area for children up to 12 years old.

A Friendly Farm

Greenlands Farm Village employs around fifty staff, both full-time and part-time. When we were there everyone we encountered was friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time.

The team regularly brought out the animals that weren’t roaming free so that we could meet the animals and get to know more about them. Everyone we met seemed to have lots of knowledge about the animals, their habits and personalities and it made it very informative as well as being fun.

Greenlands Has Something For All

There is certainly much more to Greenlands Farm Village than some animals and children’s activities. The owner, Roger Mason, opened the farm village in 2009 as a way of diversification when farms were struggling economically. The vision was always to be a place where children and adults could learn more about local food sources, showcase farming and the countryside, as well as having a great family fun day.

This has developed over the years and now there is a well-stocked farm shop with a butcher, a fantastic selection of local cheeses from neighbouring Cumbria and Yorkshire as well as award-winning Lancashire cheese. Greenlands Farm seeks to be an outlet for all sorts of local food stuffs and crafts – it could easily be a place to do your Christmas shopping!

The Verdict – Would you Recommend?

“Absolutely Amazing! Lots of Fun!”Rose Pilkington

The Low Wood Watersports team are delighted to present their most recent acquisition – a Mega SUP! Designed to hold up to 8 people – you can imagine the hilarity involved in keeping all 8 aboard and moving forward in the same direction!

What is SUP?

SUP is short for stand-up paddleboarding. It might be relatively new concept and outrageously fun to us, but the roots of stand-up paddleboarding are over 3000 years old. Peruvians rode the waves on ‘caballitos de totora’ or little horses made of reed. These water borne craft were made primarily for fishing but were also a form of entertainment. Down through the years SUPs have also been used as rescue craft, transportation and competitive sport. Indeed, the gondoliers in Venice, although not technically ‘surfing’ the wave, were stand up paddlers.  

We’ve all seen surfers riding the wave at great speed. SUPs are quite different, and although they bear the similarity of being a board, rather than riding a wave at speed, SUPs are designed to glide over the wave making them better in more stable water.

And a Mega SUP?

Think SUP on steroids! Our Mega SUP is a gigantic – over 18 foot long! – stand-up paddleboard.  Large enough to carry up to 8 people at once. Great for fun and games, exploring the lake, riding surf and working as a team, Endless fun for family groups, friends or team building.    

Are you up for the challenge?

Calling all groups of up to eight people (max. 700 kg) – whether family, friends, or for team building. Our RTM Big ISUP 18’2 is available for hire at Watersports at Low Wood Bay. Price per person is £20. Fun rating – priceless! 

Call 015394 39441 to book or for more information.

Across all of our North Lancashire and Lake District hotels, we place great emphasis in providing training and career development opportunities for our staff. That in turn means a better service for our guests.

This can often include more specialised training in areas that most people have never really considered. For our team of spa therapists at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, it’s a good case in point.

Three of the team have completed an Oncology massage qualification through the accredited Jennifer Young Training School. This professional qualification has equipped them with the skills to help with the treatment of cancer patients, including Level 1 and advanced cancer awareness.

Oncology massage is a certified qualification which gives spa therapists the skills and knowledge to undertake gentle, sensitive massage treatments to patients going through different stages of cancer.

Beneficial Treatment for Cancer Patients

Massage can be valuable contributor to healing in both mind and body, and research shows that it can be a beneficial treatment for patients having cancer treatment or recovering from the disease. Physical and emotional benefits are well documented from reducing pain, nausea and anxiety through to improving circulation, mood and wellbeing.

Katie, Hannah and Beckie are now qualified to offer oncology massage, as well as a range of specialist recovery treatments including facials, manicures and pedicures for cancer patients.

These types of treatments are not currently fully recognised as standard in the industry and have not been given due prominence. The aim for The Spa is to change that and ensure that a cancer patient seeking some relief can be professionally cared for during a really difficult time in their life.

Taking part in the oncology treatments training has been a highly rewarding experience for the trio of therapists, giving them the chance to develop additional career skills.

Committed to Training and Development

With a more detailed approach to training and helping team members to gain industry related qualifications, Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa is already working in partnership with Kendal College and ESPA to enable the spa therapists to progress through a specialist advancement programme.

The ESPA certification trains them in line with the highest industry standards in body and face treatments, including luxury brand knowledge, customer service and hospitality skills.

Low Wood Bay supports Paddlers for Life

Research shows that exercise and treatments like oncology massage bring cancer survivors a range of physical and emotional benefits. The hotel group also supports breast cancer charity Paddlers for Life, which has two dragon boats at the Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre for use by patients and families to help build friendship and support networks.

In April 2022 English Lakes Hotels welcomed not one, not two, but three new members to our Board of Directors. This expansion reflects the ongoing success of the business, and brings new breadth, creativity and personality to the board. Cumulatively, the three new board members have an impressive 56 years’ experience working for the business in different capacities. Teresa Lawrence takes up the position of Group Sales Director, Matt Stanaway is our new Group Operations Director whilst Michael Kay takes the role of Group Leisure Director. We caught up with them to find out a little more about their life in and out of work.

Teresa, Group Sales Director

I grew up in the market town of Ulverston, but now live not far from there in Dalton in Furness. I’ve been married to Peter for 21 years and we have a son, Thomas. I still can’t believe that Thomas turns 20 years old this June! Buster, our springer/cocker spaniel cross, is also very much part of the family – even coming to work with me on occasion.
I enjoy walking and enjoying the surrounding countryside and can regularly be seen on the nearby beach with Buster in tow.

Your career to date with English Lakes?

I’ve been with the company now for 31 years. I started at Low Wood Bay as Sales Co-ordinator before being promoted to Sales Executive and eventually Sales Manager for Low Wood Bay.
The Group Sales department was formed a few years later and I took on sales responsibility across all the hotels.

Memorable moments?

The most recent, and most obvious, is being made Sales Director. It was also a thrill to become Group Sales Manager when I first started looking after the sales for the group of hotels.

What are you going to tackle first in your new role?

I’m going to be delving into our sales strategy for each of our market segments. My role on an ongoing basis will involve working closely with the General Managers of the hotels and making sure they get the best possible sales support. One of my first jobs will be to employ a Revenue Manager for the group. This is a new position and one that I believe will be pivotal for the company. I am also very involved in overseeing some aspects of upgrading our online customer sales suite.

What do you love about working for English Lakes?

It’s a family business with good values which makes it a great place to work. I like that every member of the team is known by their first name – there are no airs and graces here. It is also a forward-thinking company that welcomes ideas from every member of staff. Our +1 Culture means that we engage with our guests, finding out how we can exceed their expections through small acts of kindness that make a lasting impression.

Michael, Group Leisure Director

Originally from Nottingham, I have spent more than half my life living abroad – Australia, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong, America. It was probably appropriate that I studied Foreign Languages and Computer Programming. I met my wife, Caroline, at one of the hotels then owned by English Lakes Hotels. We now have two grown up children, with five (soon to be six) grandchildren. As well as Grandad duties, I have a passion for health and fitness.

(L) Michael and Caroline with Laura, Grant and four grandchildren; (R) Annabel, Joe and Jacob


Career to date?

I started my career with English Lakes Hotels in 1995 on a student placement which covered all aspects of hospitality. I progressed to Duty Manager and then to Manager of several different units within the group. Leaving the hospitality industry in order to development my leadership and operational skills, I spent over 12 years as Operations Director with different companies with Spa and self-catering properties.

I returned to English Lakes in 2016 to take up the role of Group Leisure Manager where I have been involved in the redevelopment of Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa and other leisure operations within the group.

Standout moments?

There are far too many to mention! Whilst I am delighted to have been appointed a Director, for me the joy is in creating opportunities for team members and customers to experience standout moments whilst they are with us.

First on your ‘to do’ list?

My role is divided into two parts. I expect to carry on supporting the company with new opportunities both in terms of developing our sites and products. Recognising that our people are key to our continued success, I will be working closely with the General Managers and team leaders on the continued development of our Company Culture.

What makes English Lakes a great place to work?

Without doubt our locations are special, with each hotel offering something unique. It’s a privilege to be able to enjoy the facilities as part of our company benefits. To work in an organisation where everyone can be involved in creating opportunities makes it a great place to work.

Matt, Group Operations Director

I’m originally from Oldham but have lived in Leamington Spa, Brentwood, Chester, Blackpool and now, Grange over Sands. I’m married to Ruth and we have three children aged 18, 16 and 12. Although my university degree was in Engineering, I’ve always worked within the hospitality industry. I’m a Man City fan and addicted to trainers!!

Matt, Ruth and family on holiday in France

Career to date?

I’ve worked for English Lakes Hotels for 16 years starting as Operations Manager at Lancaster House. I then went on to manage several of the hotels in the group, including Waterhead, The Midland and The Wild Boar. Prior to joining English Lakes, I worked as Food and Beverage Manager for Hilton, Accor and Paramount hotels. My first job in the industry was as weekend Kitchen Porter – a long time ago!

Standout moments?

Whilst I was General Manager at The Midland, I really enjoyed working with Wayne Hemingway and the Midland team to create ‘Vintage by the Sea’. A specific moment in the Festival was standing on the top floor balcony of the hotel watching the only 2 remaining Lancaster Bombers fly overhead.

All about an ethos of meeting guests’ expectations as a minimum and, wherever possible, adding the small extra memorable touches which personalise the guest experience and exceed expectations.

First job in your new role?

Working closely with the hotel General Managers and their teams to offer the very best guest experience possible. Equally, ensuring that we have the best trained and motivated team in order to do this!

Why would you recommend English Lakes as a great place to work?

Having seen other companies come and go, it is reassuring to have the stability of a company with a long history in both the Lake District and Lancashire. More than that, English Lakes is a forward thinking and ambitious company that welcomes new ideas from the whole team.
Everyone seen as an individual and not a payroll number!

In April 2022, Ben Berry took up the mantle of Managing Director of English Lakes Hotels from his father, Simon Berry. Ben represents the fourth generation of the Berry family to manage the business. Whilst Simon is still very much involved in the company, he will take the role of Executive Chairman, leaving Ben to oversee the operational side of the business. 

Ben tells us a little about himself and his aspirations for the business. 

I was born in 1988 and grew up in the Lake District. My wife, Katie, and I have two children, Florence who is four and Bertie who is two. Our home is in Holme, a pretty village just outside the Lake District National Park. Completing the family are Wilma and Bettie, our beloved dogs.

English Lakes Hotels is our family business, and I am very proud to be at the helm to take it forward into the future.

Two of your favourite things?

Making my kids laugh and going to the cinema.

Career to date?

I’ve been with the business for 34 years! That includes living at Low Wood as a child, which was fantastic! Prior to becoming MD, I was the Director looking after Purchasing and Sales. Although I am sad to relinquish these roles, I know they are in very good hands. Prior to that I have done almost everything there is to do in a Hotel.

I have to say that my most enjoyable roles have been Pot Wash (now called Kitchen Porter) and Director of Sales and Purchasing!

Standout moments at English Lakes?

I have two moments that are tied as my favourites:

Firstly, we used to have secret shoppers test our ability to accurately and efficiently take bookings and explain all the benefits of staying with English Lakes. Whilst working in our Reservations Department I was called, unbeknownst to me. My secret shopper gave me the highest score ever given, and it has never been beaten! As a member of the family there is sometimes a worry that people might think you don’t deserve your position. The reality is that I have to work even harder to make sure I earn my place.

My second favourite moment was when I first became a Director of the business. I’d worked for many years inside and outside of the business and to be given a chance to direct change is an honour and a fantastic opportunity.

Your new role and your top priority as Managing Director?

My Great Great Uncle Norman brought hotels to the family. My Grandad Michael turned them into successful hospitality businesses. My father Simon introduced Marketing and raised standards. These are some tough acts to follow! That said there are some areas to which I have turned my focus to in the short term, namely Capital investment (investments in refurbishments and expansions across the group) with a particular focus on making best use of our real estate. This is no more important than how we can improve and expand our Staff Accommodation.

What makes English Lakes a great place to work?

I love to see how our +1 Culture really motivates people coming into the business. When it clicks and they realise they can use their initiative to improve things for guests, for colleagues, and ultimately for themselves. It’s an absolute no brainer, but not every company thinks like that!

English Lakes Board of Directors

In April 2022 I promoted three people onto the Board of the English Lakes group of companies. Each one of these people started on the ground floor of the Hospitality business. Each of our general managers worked their way up. At English Lakes we don’t want it to be a job for the summer; rather, we want you to have a career that is rewarding, fun and is going somewhere.

We are delighted to introduce Emma Underwood as the first female General Manager of Lancaster House. Emma brings a wealth of experience to the role, including almost fourteen years working for English Lakes Hotels. She tells us a bit about herself.

Thoroughly Lancashire Lass 

Home for me is Lancaster and I’ve lived all my life here. My home is close to the beautiful Williamson Park. Even when I worked in the city of Manchester, I would commute so that I would get home to my beloved Red Rose county.

When I’m not working, I enjoy going to the theatre, and travelling to experience new cultures. I am a regular at Sandpiper Club exercise classes. 

I spend a lot of time with my family and friends, and socialising is a big part of any downtime I have. In particular, I love to be around my Mum, my sister and Holly, my niece. Holly is definitely a mini me, and she thinks she is the little boss of Lancaster House! She is certainly full of character and is lots of fun to be around.
“Work Hard, and Be Kind”

Emma and Holly

In terms of hobbies, when conditions are right, I do very much enjoy a spot of open water swimming. 

A Career in Hospitality

Working backwards in my career, I’ve spent almost fourteen years at English Lakes Hotels as Deputy Manager of Lancaster House. I’m thrilled to be taking the reigns as General Manager and it feels very apt as I know the hotel and the team inside out. 

Other roles include a time in a large conference and banqueting hotel in Manchester. It would be quite normal for us to do three to four weddings each week, and host conferences for up to 250 people. The hotel also had a Spa which brought in different clientele and lots of day visitors. Prior to that, I worked as Reservations Manager for Holiday Inn, and then took a position as Operations Manager. I thought that moving to operations was a great idea at the time, but I missed the revenue side of the business. Now, as General Manager, I get the best of both worlds!

I started my hospitality career as a waitress. It didn’t take me long to realise that although it was great fun and enjoyable, it was also extremely hard work. I treasure my Dad’s words of wisdom when he told me to ‘Work hard, be kind, and you will reap the rewards!’

Favourite Lancaster House Moments

Some of my favourite parts of the job have been working with a great team, and in particular interviewing many different people for roles in the hotel. I’ve learned to go through the recruitment process but also to trust my gut as to whether the person will be a good fit in the Lancaster House team.

I’ve also enjoyed getting involved in the creative decisions around refurbishments and upgrades – choosing wallpaper and carpets for the Dalton suite was an enjoyable experience. Other stand out moments are when we host the Lancaster Food and Drinks Festivals.#

Looking After our Guests and our Team

I love the English Lakes + 1 culture which is about going the extra mile to deliver the best standards in every aspect of the business. It is also about caring for our guests and looking after our team. I believe it is this culture that makes us stand out from the competition, and I truly hope that everybody that walks through the doors of Lancaster House experiences this type of welcome and service that goes above and beyond expectations.

Top Priorities

I’ve got to say, ‘ensuring Lancaster House is the best hotel in Lancashire’. That is my passion and I hope to do this through creating leisure and corporate packages that people love, as well as delivering the best customer service. Continuing to develop the Lancaster House team is also key for me, and I’m happy to pass on any wisdom I’ve accumulated through my career to date. I like to be approachable and transparent about the direction I am taking the hotel. We can all achieve the vision if the vision is clearly defined and communicated to the whole team.

My first objective is to look again at our offering. Does it need to change? There is the old adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! But like everything, adjustments and improvements can always be made and found. I want to develop relationships further with local suppliers and to ensure that when it comes to weddings, events and functions, Lancaster House is always at the forefront of the minds of those in our local community. I believe that everyone in the county should try which I believe to be Lancashire’s finest Afternoon Tea!

Lancashire Afternoon Tea

A Great Team

Emma Celebrating 25 years of Lancaster House with the team

Lancaster House is a great place to work, not just because I work there!! We are a family. Most of the team are happy to get involved in other areas of the operation as and when required. I believe this gives us an appreciation of different jobs, and the challenges as well as the joys that each role presents. We only recruit people with the right attitude, and it is very much the case that the people make Lancaster House tick! Guests are always remarking about the way the team interacts and comment about the friendly camaraderie between us. My hope is that every team member will continue to feel value and have a good and positive work life balance.

Looking for a New Opportunity?

Perhaps it’s time for a new challenge and to be part of a great team. Take a look at the hospitality job opportunities at Lancaster House and our three other English Lakes hotels.  

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