23 Stories 13 – Meet the General Manager

Stephen Meldrum was recently announced as the General Manager for the Grand Central Hotel Belfast. Stephen joined Hastings Hotels in 2002 as Restaurant Manager of Ballygally Castle before working his way to become the hotel’s General Manager. He has since held the role of General Manager at the Everglades Hotel, the 5-star Culloden Estate & Spa and is currently saying goodbye to the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa having managed it become one of the finest award-winning resort hotels in the UK and Ireland. Stephen is also the incoming President of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation.

Stephen took some time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions for Belfast Live:

What do you do (in 10 words or fewer):

Lead, develop, nurture a team. Oversee and drive the business.

Three main attributes you need for the job:

Leadership, Commitment, Enthusiasm

Path to this position:

Having worked in the Hospitality Industry for over 20 years, I began my career by working a number of years in the hotel sector before joining Hastings Hotels in 2002 as Restaurant Manager at the Ballygally Castle. I quickly worked my way up to General Manager and subsequently held similar roles in the Everglades Hotel, the five Star Culloden Estate & Spa and most recently spending over four years as General Manager at the Award winning Slieve Donard Resort & Spa.

What’s your dream job? 

I am embarking on my dream job in opening and managing Northern Ireland’s largest hotel – The Grand Central Hotel, Belfast for Northern Ireland’s most prolific and forward thinking Hotel Group – Hastings Hotels.

What are you most proud of in your job? 

Being able to lead and develop a number of skilled team members and provide them the opportunity to grow into talented managers.

What are you most proud of outside work? 

My wife Sharmaine for being such a strong and talented individual who supports me in everything that I do, and my two children Ruby and Rory for their loving, kind and generous nature.

What do you wish you had invented? 

The mobile phone.

Who is Northern Ireland’s brightest business brain?

The late Sir William Hastings was one of most talented and astute businessmen I was fortunate to have worked with. He had a natural ability that I admired and his vision and passion drives me to continue his legacy.

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

A Formula One racing driver like Fernando Alonso.

Where’s your favourite place in Northern Ireland? 

Anywhere, as long as I am with my wife and kids, although after spending over 4 years in Newcastle, I do have a soft spot for the County Down coastline.

Where’s your favourite place in the world? 

Canada – I love the people and their natural and warm hospitality

What word do you use the most? 

It would be either ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ – something which my mother taught me from an early age costs nothing but means everything.

In 10 years’ time I’d like to be…

I would love to say retired but I am of course too young for that. On a serious note though, I would like to be the Chief Executive of Tourism NI

This interview first appeared on Belfast Live on 18th April 2018. 

Booking for the Grand Central Hotel is now open for stays from 1st July 2018. For further information call 028 9047 1066 or visit www.grandcentralhotelbelfast.com

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