Boutique and fairy-tale Langley Castle Hotel in Langley-on-Tyne has a new general manager who is on a mission to ensure castle stays and castle weddings top the agenda of British and international travellers and engaged couples.
The new general manager now at the helm of the luxurious four-star hotel is no stranger to its amazing interiors and seven-foot thick castle walls, having worked at Langley for over 25 years. Carla Robinson took her first steps as a Langley employee back in 1988 when, at the age of 13, she started work as a waitress, working in the same place as her mother, Elaine, then the receptionist.
Now, Carla has achieved her lifelong dream of managing Langley Castle, with her first key event being its April 29 wedding fair. Carla has put her stamp on that, with the launch a new wedding brochure and new wedding options, as well as putting on a different wedding fair experience.
In a new departure for Langley Castle, its April wedding fair is set to feature gin masterclasses with the help of independent northern small batch distillery, Poetic License. Couples will be able to learn more about different gins and botanicals, providing some very different ideas about the drinks they might wish to serve at their wedding.
Additionally, couples attending the wedding fair will be able to pick up special vouchers that will give them 10 per cent off the price of their wedding, if they book their wedding before the end of March 2019 and hold the wedding before the end of March 2020.
Carla is full of new ideas like this for Langley, understanding the business inside out, thanks to having worked in many of the roles within it. During her five years as a waitress, she would regularly cover reception, which led to her becoming reception manager. She began to assist former general manager, Anton Phillips, with some basic accounts work, which then saw her studying for formal accountancy qualifications, which she now holds.
Next, a role of assistant manager became hers, followed by a promotion to deputy manager. By this point, her daughter Shannon had also started to work at Langley as a receptionist, meaning that three generations of Robinsons were employed at the castle.
Around a year ago, Carla left Langley, to gain experience of running another hotel, whilst still handling the accounting side at Langley for one day a week. When offered the role of general manager, she could not refuse.
Carla is now working with her mother Elaine once more, as well as with many of her former colleagues. On her first day back as manager, she was stunned to see ‘Welcome Home’ posters pinned up all around the castle, carrying her image and created by Langley’s owner, Dr Stuart Madnick, from his home in Boston, USA. It was a fairy-tale dream come true, in a fairy-tale castle.
Carla says: “Hospitality is in my blood and my career goal was always to manage Langley Castle, for which I had worked for over 25 years. I am delighted to now realise that dream, having had experience of managing another venue and gained new insight from that.
“My aim is to make Langley the place to be, whether that is for a luxury stay, or a fabulous fairy-tale, Game of Thrones-style, marquee or outdoor wedding. My head is buzzing with ideas and my deep attachment to Langley Castle means that I shall do everything to put these into practice and drive the hotel on. I have waited a long time for the opportunity.”
Around 13 years ago, Langley went through the Investors in People accreditation process and Carla was asked to describe her career, to that point. Her answer was that it had been like “climbing a mountain.” Now, Carla has not only climbed it, but conquered it.
More information about Langley Castle Hotel can be found at www.langleycastle.com