Jonny Bailies Story
06 October 2015
My Story.... so far!
Having started in the hotel industry at the tender age of 13, it is safe to say that I owe alot of my development to my roots... Initially, I was a ‘glass washer’ who moved through all the ranks, training across the various departments with the result being a role in Hotel Management!
In my initial role in Hotel Management; I had gained a sound understanding of ‘hotel life’ and the ‘ups & downs’ of the Industry – experience that will stand by me forever...
At this stage, it was time to complete my studies so that my current experiences would be matched by academic, theoretical and further industry related understanding.
However; alike most students, I was not quite the ‘book worm’ and missed the ‘buzz’ of the busy hotel!
In my pursuit of part-time employment; I was fortunate enough to meet Martin Toner (GM, Corrs Corner Hotel) who gave me a position as a Bar Tender whist I completed my Masters Degree In Business Development & Innovation at the University of Ulster.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Corrs and here I was blessed with the prospect of meeting ‘the boss’; Eugene McKeever MBE.
The McKeever philosophy of ‘staff development’, ‘progression’, ‘guest satisfaction’, ‘quality product & service’ and inevitably ‘success’ matched that of my aspirations and it was clear that I had found an excellent employer who operated a successful family hotel business.
Mr. McKeever presented me the challenge & opportunity of moving to another one of his properties within the Group (Dunsilly Hotel) as Hotel Duty Manager with the aim of an operational re-vamp, improvement & development.
This was a challenge I accepted with open arms and in the summer of 2012, I undertook my position in Dunsilly – a decision I would certainly not regret!
As a team and with hard work, dedication and commitment we successfully further developed Hotel standards, offerings and operations. We are proud to say that Dunsilly continues to move from strength to strength and importantly has many repeat guests and satisfied customers whether on business, leisure or whatever the occasion!
On a personal note, it is also safe to say that I gained further invaluable hotel management experience and had the opportunity to work with some great people.
However, my biggest challenge was yet to come...
In July of last year, I was given the opportunity to launch the newest addition to the McKeever Group in Letterkenny. ‘Dillons’ was set to be quite something and to be asked to undertake such a role was an honour.
Not only was the prospect of opening a Hotel from scratch exciting and invigorating; I had been told by Catherine McKeever that I had to turn ‘what was at the time nothing, into something’... – quite the challenge!
I am now almost a year into my Dillons journey as Deputy General Manager and this has been a very rewarding experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been kind of a busy one too!
We are very proud of the completely refurbished product which offers 83 well appointed Guestrooms – some of which are apartment style; a buzzing Grill Bar, Restaurant, C&B suites and an exceptional Coffee Bar/Lounge.
For now, it is my aim to develop and consolidate the Dillons offering and further develop the customer base and staff team.
Wish me luck! :)