Michelle Harle, general manager at Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle
Michelle Harle is the general manager of Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle. She tells BQ more about the business and how she copes with the extra demand that comes with Christmas.
What does your business do?
Royal Station is a historic hotel located on Neville Street, adjacent to Central Station in Newcastle. The hotel was officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1858, and is a Grade One and Grade Two listed Victorian building. We cater to overnight stays, weddings, conferences, meetings and events. Our facilities include a fitness suite, bar and restaurant.
How does Christmas affect your business?
Christmas is an exciting time for us. We are conveniently located next door to the city’s main train station in the centre of Newcastle, so welcome families, friends and larger groups visiting the area to soak up the festivities. We also run a lot of party nights in December, as well as hosting private Christmas parties and functions.
How do you cope with the extra demand that Christmas brings?
We have a very skilled team and employ additional staff over the Christmas period. December is our busiest month of the year, and it’s always great to see the hotel bustling with guests looking forward to the holidays.
How do you market/advertise your business over Christmas?
As a business we are very active on social media and regularly update our website to communicate our offering and planned events in December. Our Christmas decorations, including a fantastic tree in the reception area, also make the hotel look incredibly festive and welcoming.
What has been the biggest achievement in your business so far?
There’s been so many, especially this year which makes it difficult to select just one highlight. Ultimately, we strive to deliver the highest quality experience for guests, so seeing happy faces and hearing positive feedback is what makes all of the hard work worthwhile.
Where do you see your business in five years’ time?
We plan to enhance our product moving forward. There is a lot of competition out there, and we want to be the first choice for those looking to stay in the city or arrange a stylish function.
What’s your favourite thing about the holiday season?
People are so happy and the hotel atmosphere is unbeatable. It really is a wonderful time of year.
How does your business celebrate Christmas?
Our hotel celebrates Christmas in January, as December is such a busy time for us. We host a post-Christmas party for all staff with lots of goodies, gifts and presentation of an employee of the year award. The staff have a thoroughly good time.