Double achievement by The Headland management team

Sarah Gaskin and Joshua Bates from The Headland Hotel’s management team have been recognised by two leading organisations in hospitality.

Concierge Sarah Gaskin has been accepted into Les Clefs d’Or, while hotel operations manager Joshua Bates has won a place on the highly competitive Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders programme.

Les Clefs d’Or, or the Society of the Golden Keys, is a professional association of hotel concierges with approximately 4,000 members across 80 countries. Sarah is the only member in Cornwall and Devon, and one of only 15 female members in the United Kingdom.

The requirements for selection into Les Clefs d’Or include a minimum of five years’ experience working as a concierge, and the ability to demonstrate a commitment to go above and beyond for a guest’s experience. To be accepted, applicants must attend an interview at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Hyde Park, where their knowledge, experiences and integrity are rigorously tested.

Sarah said; “I am so pleased to have been accepted into Les Clefs d’Or, and thank the senior management of The Headland who provided glowing references. The owners of the hotel also accompanied me to the interview, adding a personal touch that was genuinely appreciated by the panel.

“I’ve had some wonderful experiences during my time here, ranging from assisting with the organisation of a marriage proposal on the beach, to getting a young guest’s Halloween pumpkin back with him on a plane to Manchester. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a thank you from a guest, knowing that you’ve captured that memorable moment that makes their stay at The Headland stand out.”

Having been accepted as a member, Sarah will be a keeper of the society’s famous golden keys, have access to a network of best practice professionals, and provide reassurance to guests that they will receive some of the best concierge services in the world.

In addition to Sarah’s success, hotel operations manager Joshua Bates has won a place on the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders programme, a highly competitive diploma for ambitious senior managers, endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality.

Alongside the programme’s other successful applicants, Joshua will visit boutique and large hotels across the UK, learning about the operations of each property and sharing best practice. He will also partake in training sessions from Dr Hilary Cooke, course leader and owner of Merlin Consultancy, on subjects ranging from how to be a successful general manager, to marketing, finance and human resources.

Joshua said: “During my two years at The Headland, I’ve had the opportunity to develop my own role significantly by taking on more responsibility, taking part in internal and external training programmes, and receiving mentoring from my peers.

“The hotel grows year on year as we innovate our offering and work hard to exceed guest expectations. I was extremely lucky to join The Headland at the beginning of the new Aqua Club development, which will include five new swimming pools and a restaurant, and can’t wait to see how its facilities will benefit our guests and the local community.”