Employee Profiles

We understand that our people are our greatest asset and we have many great examples of how people have developed through the Group, Meet some of the team below to learn more about their story.

Philip Downes entered the hotel industry six years ago and is now the Events Manager in the very busy Ballsbridge Hotel, Philip shares his story with us.

My name is Philip Downes, I have worked for Dalata Hotel Group for six years and am currently the Events Manager is the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin 4.

I started my hotel career in the 4 star Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane originally as a reservations agent. This was my first role within the hotel industry and starting in a big property like the Cardiff Lane Maldron was an excellent opportunity to really learn the ins and outs of the hotel world. After a year I became Group Reservations Agent and then Corporate Reservation Agent. I saw an advert on the internal job board and I saw this as a great opportunity to move to the Sales and Marketing department in Cardiff lane which I applied for and I was successful in my application. I loved the challenge of Sales but felt my future was better suited to Revenue management so I transferred to Maldron Hotel Smithfield to become their Revenue Manager. After a year and a half an opportunity came up that I couldn’t ignore and I applied for the role of Events Manager with the Ballsbridge Hotel. The property had always been a fascination for me as I went to school in its shadow so I was thrilled to get a chance to work here. I am still in the Ballsbridge Hotel and loving the challenge it presents.

What excites me about this job is the challenge of getting it right for the client, I love every aspect of the job but the satisfaction when a piece of business you have worked on from start to finish goes well is immense

Dalata Hotel Group are a great company to work for with endless opportunities presented to their staff if you really want them. I am proud to work for a fully Irish owned company who have taken the hotel industry by storm even in these dark times for the tourism sector.

Rory Fitzpatrick is one of the original GM’s of the Group and has seen a lot of change around the group but is still very energised and excited about the future of the group. Learn why you should never burn bridges with your previous employers.

My name is Rory Fitzpatrick and I am currently General Manager of the Clayton Hotel in Galway, I have worked for Dalata Hotel Group since August 2007.

I had left the UK in early 2006 where I had been working in London for JurysDoyle Hotel Group at the time when Pat McCann was the CEO and Stephen McNally the Group General Manager and returned to Ireland to take up the post of GM in the Quality Hotel Wexford. After 18 months or so imagine my surprise to be called to Reception to be met by Pat and Stephen and learn that they had just acquired the leases and management agreements for 11 Quality Hotels and Comfort Inns across Ireland. Thank God I believe in never burning bridges!!

I clearly remember one of our first group management meetings in the then Comfort Inn, Portlaoise where even with 3 people per property in attendance along with pretty much the entire Central Office team we numbered less than 40. Contrast that to the Senior Management Meeting in March 2014 in the Pillo Ashbourne whereby over 150pax were in the room and it’s a real indicator of the progress that’s been made in such a short time!

I remained in Wexford until late 2010 during which time the rebranding to Maldron Hotels occurred and Dalata began its accelerated expansion. I was approached by Stephen McNally in Nov. 2010 and offered the fantastic opportunity of relocating to Galway to manage the Clayton Hotel which had just gone into receivership. I had trained in Galway in GMIT so it really was an easy decision for me and after nearly four years of leading a great team focused on building a sustainable business I was delighted to learn in Nov. of this year that Dalata had agreed to acquire the Clayton Hotel.

Personally I’m very proud to be a part of the Dalata success story. Over the years since its incorporation I have worked with and witnessed many strong people develop in their roles and progress to more senior positions within the company. I believe the opportunity that exists to grow and develop is central to Dalata’s continued success and I look forward in anticipation to seeing many more years of unparalleled growth.

Two things stand out in particular about what I love about my job, firstly seeing a large event or conference come to fruition – from the initial enquiry to the actual execution on the night is pretty special and secondly seeing people that I have managed in the past grasping opportunities to develop and moving up in their careers. I always allow myself a little congratulations for fostering / mentoring these people, even if it strictly the case!!

I am loving life in Dalata Hotel Group at the moment as quite simply because of the opportunities that exist to grow and develop in a fast paced, forward looking company that’s got its best years still to come.

Saulius Cepkauskas has developed his career through our hotels and is currently Deputy General Manager in our newest Dublin hotel – Maldron Hotel Pearse Street. Saulius shares his story so far with us.

I commenced in a hotel in June 2008, nearly seven years ago, which was shortly purchased by Dalata Hotel Group and became Maldron Hotel Parnell Square. Employed as reception supervisor (due to previous experience in front desk department), within 1st year I was promoted to Assistant Manager (supervising Front Desk and Accommodation departments). Within the same year I was chosen to participate in Management Development Programme. In 2010 I was given the opportunity to supervise Food & Beverage department together with current Front Desk and Accommodation departments. Within the same year I started overlook nearly all Hotel operations including forecast, payroll, financial, cost control and etc. These 3 years with Philip Uzice (General Manager) were extremely knowledgeable as Philip is great trainer.

In 2011 I was transferred to Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane (4 star 304 bedrooms) to perform Front Office Manager duties. Working in extremely busy 4 star property environment I received great experience as to how to work under pressure and meet any targets given within provided timescale. Conor O’Kane (General Manager) was great mentor and help whenever you needed it.
My next step was Maldron Hotel Smithfield (3 star, 92 bedrooms) in 2013, where I was promoted to Deputy General Manager, working closely with Ann Marie Traynor (General Manager). Given full support and knowledge by Ann Marie – I was able to strengthen my knowledge in hotel operations. Ann Marie provided another great asset for my future, which I am using currently – it is rooms revenue management.

In 2014 I was offered a position of Deputy General Manager in Pearse Hotel (3 star, 101 bedrooms), which was bought by Dalata Hotel Group and will be transformed shortly into 4 star property with 113 bedrooms. I was given an opportunity to re-organise operations as per Dalata Hotel Group standards and implement 4 star product together with Trevor Smith (General Manager). 17th of November Pearse Hotel was rebranded into Maldron Hotel Pearse Street and full refurbishment of Hotel started.

I will be looking forward to new challenges and hoping to be given further opportunity and to become a General Manager for Dalata Hotel Group.

If I was to give advice to any in this sector, it would be mentor, train and compliment your staff when they do the things right and take pride in their job!

Finally, I really enjoy working for Dalata, if you are passionate about our industry, hardworking and looking forward to any challenges, anything is possible here!

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