Staybridge Suites hires general manager for Newcastle (UK)
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has appointed Mark Armstrong as general manager of Staybridge Suites Newcastle. The 128-suite extended stay hotel is due to open in April 2009, hot on the heels of the UK's first Staybridge Suites property which opened its doors in Liverpool in June 2008.
Armstrong settled in Bristol when he returned from a 15-year stint in Australia having moved there aged 18. While in Australia, Armstrong spent five years in food and beverage management at the five-star Sheraton Sydney Airport Hotel after securing a place on the management development programme. He moved to the hotel from the Brisbane Sheraton Hotel & Towers where he worked part-time while studying Hospitality and Business Management at Griffith University in Queensland.
Having now adopted Newcastle as his home, Armstrong said: "I've worked in the north east for the last three and a half years. While it's a hugely competitive area for hotels, I've thoroughly enjoyed working in the hospitality industry here and I now think of Newcastle as my home. The Armstrong family name is originally from the Northumberland region, so I do see myself as an honorary Geordie too."
Karen Nielsen, vice president, brand development, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), IHG, said: "The role of the general manager at Staybridge Suites is different to the general manager role in a regular hotel. Our guests typically stay with us for more than a few days and some stay for several months at a time. An important part of all our Staybridge Suites properties is that they have something we call a hub kitchen where guests gather for informal networking over a glass of wine most weekday evenings. Over the course of their stay our general managers end up spending a lot of time with our guests and get to know them well."
Since the first Staybridge Suites outside North America opened in Liverpool earlier this year a further property has opened in Cairo in Egypt. There are 12 Staybridge Suites hotels currently in IHG's pipeline across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
For more information on Staybridge Suites visit www.staybridge.co.uk or call 0871 423 4948
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