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A day in the life: Claire Steven

I have been the general manager of Oulton Hall since 2015, having previously been based at one of our sister properties, the
Nottingham Belfry.

Oulton Hall was always a hotel I wanted to work for. I started my career in a resort hotel and it is something I had always wanted to go back to; I love the complexity and variety that it brings.

I know it’s cliché, but my favourite thing about my job is that every day is different. By the very nature of our industry, guests come and go, so you get to meet such a range of interesting people on a daily basis. Events we hold also really vary, from bespoke outdoor festivals to butler dinners for the most discerning of clients.

The role is very challenging but because of this, very rewarding. My main responsibility is ensuring that we have the best possible team on board who are committed to deliver the exceptional service our guests expect. 

The majority of my time is spent visiting our different departments, checking colleagues and guests are happy. We have many great facilities at the hotel, from our world-class golf courses to our luxurious spa and it’s my responsibility to assure a certain standard is met across the board. 

A real passion of mine is the conferencing side of the business, having spent a large amount of my career in event operations. I am often involved in initial discussions suggesting unique ideas, utilising the creativity of our team. For example, one client wished to have a food and drink workshop as part of their event so, as well as organising a cocktail masterclass, our chef also arranged a sausage making competition which was great fun for all the delegates! I also help the team with delivery on the day.  It is very rewarding being part of the whole process and watching detailed planning of an event come to life.  

We were also honoured to host the England football team prior to their match against Costa Rica at Elland Road in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup. The preparation that goes into an event like this starts months before it happens. We had to work closely with the England team and our chefs to ensure strict dietary requirements were adhered to. Security was also paramount, as was the discretion of all our team. 

This has certainly been one of the most challenging events we have had at Oulton Hall, but through careful planning and consideration, their stay ran very smoothly, and we even had great feedback from Mr Southgate himself, the England manager.

I have the pleasure of working alongside a passionate and hard-working team, which has a real sense of camaraderie. Without them, we wouldn’t deliver such memorable events and excellent guest experiences.