Rafi Bejerano gets to see the best of both worlds as his role of director at AB Hotels. Overseeing business at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire and The Arch in London he experiences the varying market conditions that come with owning a hotel in the regions alongside a boutique in the heart of the capital.
AB Hotels, the family-owned business, was started by his father more than 30 years ago when he bought Sopwell House in Hertfordshire and has stayed in the Bejerano family fold ever since. Luxury London boutique, The Arch came along much later just six years ago, but Rafi has demonstrated that he has the ambition, passion and genuine love of the industry to see both ventures hit hotel superstardom. He now oversees the day-to-day running of both hotels and in-house restaurants, managing strategies, sales and marketing, HR as well as driving the business forward and ensuring they stay ahead of the fierce competition.
One of the most admirable things about Rafi is his sponge-like mentality to soak up every drop of information available to him and apply it to his own businesses in a bid to run a smoother, more efficient and profitable operation.
Last year he reported a 16% profit growth at Sopwell House, focusing on the conference and events side of things to help drive the bedroom trade during the week, while The Arch finished the year with average occupancy around the 83% mark.
Rafi is hugely passionate about, not just his business, but the hotel industry in general and improving standards across the board. He was elected to the board for Small Luxury Hotels last year and is on the London committee for Springboard; encouraging people to take hospitality as a career seriously is a big deal.
“I’m happy if the general quality of the hotel service industry goes up in the UK,” he says.
He also isn’t shy to seek advice from some of the top names in the industry and take ideas from the sector’s most inspirational figures. “I always look upwards and ask how can we be better?” Rafi comments, “I want to aggressively catch up with these leaders in everything we do.”