Unsung Heroes: Oliver Smith, hotel director, Sharrow Bay


Oliver Smith joined Sharrow Bay in the Lake District as a time of transition. It was 2014 and the hotel needed to be rescued and its reputation restored. Sharrow Bay had been neglected and suffered some difficult years following its inheritance by a manager who sold it on a very short leasehold with poor infrastructure, aged interiors and a de-motivated workforce.

Smith stepped in from his role at Amberley Castle to bring the hotel back to its former glory, restoring the fabric of the building and its facilities and improving the standards of service and hospitality. He worked to a tight budget, without major disruption to guests and still managed to increase percentages and profits along the way. Now almost three years on, Sharrow Bay continues to defy the odds; the winter floods hit the hotel hard, taking nine months to rebuild the fabric of the building and its utilities back to normal.

The business is bouncing back however, and Smith has appointed a number of experienced key new staff as the hotel continues on its journey, as well as overseeing the interiors renovation, and maintaining its country house feel. “It’s great to be part of the Sharrow Bay family, Smith says, “the view across Ullswater Lake and Helvellyn never gets boring, it also makes turning up for work every day a pleasure.”

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Sharrow Bay

Address: Ullswater, Penrith CA10 2LZ

Bedrooms: 17


Twitter: @sharrowbay


Tags : HoteliersPower ListUnsung Heroes
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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