Apex City of Bath General Manager, Michael Musgrave — Source: Apex Hotels

Apex Hotel Group’s youngest hotel, Apex City of Bath turns five this August. The launch of the hotel back in 2017 was a milestone as it became the only one of the hotels to open outside of Scotland and London and it’s the only one of the group’s buildings that was built from scratch. To mark the birthday, we spoke to General Manager, Michael Musgrave about his experience in hospitality and at the hotel.

What made you want to work in the hospitality industry?

I started working in hotels when I was 16-years-old back in Northern Ireland. I enjoyed meeting new people and it fitting into something that suited my personality. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after my GCSEs and so I flitted about for a year before I saw a National Diploma being advertised in Hospitality and knew immediately, that was for me. The theoretical and practical elements blended made sense and I chose to follow this career path, through to my BA Hons Degree in Hospitality Management.

I then joined a Graduate Scheme, fast-tracked through the industry, and became a General Manager at the age of 29 in London. The opportunity to travel and explore many cities, was another reason I wanted to work to hospitality and my career has saw me work in Austria, USA, Belfast, Dublin, Southampton, London, Edinburgh and now Bath.

How did you and the team navigate the Covid 19 pandemic and what changes have you noticed to tourism since?

The pandemic was an unusually strange time for all in hospitality. There were so many questions at the time. We didn’t know how long was the lockdown going to be for, would it be four weeks or much longer? As a team we stayed in touch as much as we could.

Apex Hotels benefited from the use of the Furlough scheme. As a business, we stayed connected by the introduction of Engage4 app, where everyone across the group posted photographs and snapshots of what they were up to.

A lot of home baking was showcased, and we also set up a weekly quiz evening to engage everyone across all the hotels, laundry, and head office. Since the return from the pandemic, the city of Bath proved a very popular destination. As a hotel we had a strong performance, assisted by travel restrictions and the booming UK staycation market. Since the travel restrictions have been lifted, we have seen the demand taper off in the Southwest and continue to remain competitive in the market.

What’s been your proudest moment since working at City of Bath?

Since working at the Apex City of Bath, there have been many proud moments. I do love reading positive reviews and getting email communications directly from guests who wish to commend members of the team.

Our Best Companies survey in 2021 did see Bath obtain a 1* rating for team engagement and this was a huge achievement. Obtaining a Silver award to Green Tourism earlier in 2022 was also a great achievement down to the work and dedication of the Green Team here in Bath.

Apex City of Bath — Source: Apex Hotels
Apex City of Bath — Source: Apex Hotels

The Green Committee has been established for a while – how is the Green Roof Project going and what has been guest’s reaction to this?

The Green Committee was originally set up in 2020 and between the three Covid-19 lockdowns, we finally managed to get a run at focusing on the green initiatives within the hotel. There have been many quick wins in all departments and centrally with the assistance of some initiatives in place with Head Office. Our Green Roof has been a project set up by one of our colleagues who was undertaking a study on bio-diversity of our roof space. It is a project that guests do not see, however has opened up opportunities for other organisations who would like to investigate the potential use for Beehives or assisting with Green Programmes in the city.

What makes you happy in your job?

Apex City of Bath is an amazing hotel in the centre of the Bath. The footprint of the hotel with the fitness and wellness facilities does set us apart from many of our competitors. What makes me happiest though is the team of people who work here. The genuine smiles we see every day are from passion and wanting to be here. It does take time to get great people to make a team and I believe after trying to rebuild from the pandemic and effects of Brexit, we are seeing the fruits begin to blossom.

Walking around with a smile, greeting our guests and team is hugely important to me and one piece of advice I’ve found from ‘Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, is ‘carry your weather’ so if you start the day with a smile and great attitude, the rest will follow!

Here’s to another great five years in Bath!

About Apex Hotels 

Apex Hotels is one of the UK's leading operators of contemporary city centre hotels. The company currently operates three hotels in London, four in Edinburgh and one in Dundee. Customer service is the primary focus for all members of the Apex Hotel team. The company has a reputation for providing a 'friendly face' to all guests and aims to provide positive opportunities for interaction with staff at every property. Based in Edinburgh, Apex Hotels is a small family owned Scottish company, operating with a mission to provide chic and stylish destination properties in key markets across the UK. Management has adopted a philosophy of controlled, dynamic growth, with various key cities currently under review for potential expansion. Visit apexhotels.co.uk.