Small Talk

Anjie Keegal on joining Belgraves and why hospitality is like Marmite

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Anjie Keegal has been tasked with driving growth at boutique London hotel Belgraves
Anjie Keegal has been tasked with driving growth at boutique London hotel Belgraves
Anjie Keegel has worked in the hospitality industry for 19 years. She started her career within the operations team at the Edwardian Group London, but swiftly progressed to the sales team, working her way up to director level. She recently joined Belgraves as director of Sales and Marketing and has been tasked with driving the growth of Thompson’s first transatlantic outpost.

Tell us about your new role at Belgraves and your plan for the hotel

It is an amazing hotel, the epitome of lifestyle and boutique in a fantastic location both commercial and residential. The combination is balanced well at Belgraves. Plans are many and projects and actions plenty at this juncture. I’ve hit the ground running which is pretty exciting. There is a key focus on awareness within the UK so this tops the list at present.

Describe your typical day in your new job

My typical day starts with focus on my family, my kids in particular; it’s a mad rush to get out the door.  I am an early riser work starts the moment I am dosed up with sufficient caffeine which is around 5:30 - 6am. I am on emails and catch up from around 7am. The morning meeting is followed by what can be a serious of various client appointments and meetings, conference calls and team meetings or 1:1’s. I like to think I am an organised individual and my day starts with this mantra…I will be organised today and put first things first! Most days it does, however no two days are alike.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for hotels at the moment?

Consistency is a challenge and the changing needs and requirements of the traveller, the evolution of technology, the perceptions and managing of expectations of suppliers and clients alike all add to the mix. Challenges are what drive us achieve and evolve.

What do you love about working in the hospitality sector?

It’s an amazing industry to be in and I feel privileged to be in it. It’s like Marmite…either you love or you don’t….I clearly do! It’s a rich playground of relationships, variety, challenges and is nearly always a hive of activity. I thrive on all these things so for me it is perfect.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I have a few that has been huge contributory factors to where I am today. My previous employers Edwardian Group London was where I ‘grew up’, learnt, was nurtured and given the freedom to develop, for this I am grateful.

What have you found most challenging about working in hospitality?

The hours….they are long and can eat in to your private time however as I’ve highlighted above I thrive in a hive of activity. So to me this is pretty normal!!

What tips would you give to those who want to work in the industry?

Again, I refer to the above reference to Marmite! In order to enjoy whatever you do be it work, personal or hobbies you have to be passionate about it. So my advice is, be passionate about what you do. I get excited when I am in the midst of a new project, lead, opportunity etc. The passion I had 15 + years ago has evolved taking it to new heights.

Who inspires you most in the industry?

It has to be the people. I have had the privilege to work with some really incredible individuals both internal and external. Some truly exceptional and smart people who have inspired me to no end. 

Related topics: People, Interviews

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