Billy Hughes, area manager UK Ascott Hospitality Management Ltd, on his career highlights, biggest service bugbear and where he sees himself in five years’ time.
Highlight of your career so far? As part of an innovation project for Ascott I stayed at the FlyZoo hotel by Alibaba in Hangzhou China. FlyZoo sits in Alibaba’s Technology City and is the most technologically advanced hotel in the world. I had a chance to interact with all the tech, including a robot barman, the robots delivering room service, an avatar gym studio and eye operated lifts and doors. It was simply amazing.
If you could invite three guests, dead or alive, to dinner, who would you choose? There is a Glasgow comedian called Jerry Sadowitz, he is provocative and an amazing close up magician. M.C Escher, as I love his graphic art. And my Mum and Dad as I haven’t seen them in a year due to lockdown.
Last hotel you stayed at? La Clef Champs-Elysees, which is one of our Crest Collection properties.
Best piece of advice you ever received? Be curious and have the ability to look outside of your own set of daily responsibilities to grow, challenge, learn and support.
Biggest service bugbear? Having no eye contact during a conversation. Process is important but don’t let it lead your day.
If you went on Stars in their Eyes, who would you portray? I’m afraid that is never going to happen!
Which other company (inside or outside the industry) do you most admire and why? ‘Jellyfish’, a global digital marketing agency. They are innovative, ambitious, cool, recognise success and they are human in their interactions.
Your first job? I worked as a Barman at Gleneagles during the Scottish Open golf tournament.
If you weren’t a hotelier what would you be doing? I don’t know, but I would not have had the most amazing experiences and group of friends I have now.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Health and wellbeing are massively important to me. I have two children, aged two and five, so having a healthy mind and feeling fit and happy sends the right message to them. With Ascott, I see myself in a wider European cluster role with four or more different brands under my responsibility.
Your dream job? A professional golfer. Then a COO.
In one word…
Favourite food? Mince and tatties
Favourite UK city? London
Favourite request on the jukebox? The Masterplan by Oasis
Favourite drink? Nothing wrong with a pint of lager
Favourite holiday destination? Canada
Favourite film? Leon
Favourite gadget? My apple watch fitness app
Favourite thing you own? My tartan trews