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Sopwell House Appoints Thomas Garlich As General Manager

Leanne Donovan 27 April 2017
Sopwell House Appoints Thomas Garlich As General Manager

Can you tell us a bit about your background before your current role?

I have worked in the hospitality industry since 1983. I started my career as a Chef apprentice in Germany where I worked in a number of Michelin starred restaurants. In 1996, I completed my Master’s Degree in Hospitality Administration and Management in Dortmund, Germany.

In the early 2000s, I took my experience to Front of House and commenced working within the management side of the Hotel business. Starting as the Food & Beverage Manager at the Pink Beach Club in Bermuda, I was soon promoted to Resident Manager where I worked for eight years gaining invaluable experience. I came to the UK in 2008 to assist with the opening of the 5 Star resort Luton Hoo Hotel Golf and Spa. Originally employed as the Operations Manager I was promoted first to deputy General Manager and then to Resident Manager of this destination resort.

How do you feel about your new position at Sopwell House?

Having over 30 years of hospitality industry experience; I am well prepared for this new challenge, but my real excitement is to work with this talented group of people and to build on the great reputation of Sopwell House. We have a real family feel here at the hotel and our guests often comment on the genuine hospitality our staff is demonstrating on a daily basis.

What is your favourite thing about working in a hotel?

No two days are the same in our industry, being able to assist guests with a short weekend away, planning an important business meeting and being part of someone’s weeding day is a great thrill as you get to see that hard work pays off.

What made you want to work in the hotel industry?

My parents owned a Hotel in Germany so you could say it was already in my DNA to work in hospitality. My mum installed in me regardless what level your hotel is at you have to ensure you are the very best every day you operate. Sopwell House 4 star status is very strong and we often achieve 5 star service, so I hope I do my Mum proud.

What do you hope to achieve while you are General Manager at Sopwell House?

As this is my first appointment as GM I now have the opportunity to put all my experience into what I stand for. I have always been a leader from within and I hope to create this feeling for all staff members that they work with me rather than for me. I am certain Sopwell House will be a favourite destination of our guests and a company staff want to work for.  Happy staff, happy guests comes to mind.

Quick fire questions

What was the last hotel you stayed at?

The Hemmingway Hotel in Nairobi

What is your favourite food?

Steak and Lobster, however taste is by far more important than presentation

What is the item of technology that you cannot live without?

My mobile phone, I like to talk to people rather than sending endless emails

What is the most important life lesson you’ve learnt?

Use all members of your team to their best ability, there is a lot of knowledge within a company and it would be foolish not to use this to one’s advantage.