Top Hotel Role For Derry Man

A young Derry hotelier has reached the peak of his career to date with his appointment to a senior position in the North's top hotel group.

The new General Manager at Londonderry's Everglades Hotel is local man, Stephen Redden, 29, (pictured here).

A past pupil of St Columb's College and a graduate of the University of Ulster, he first took up employment with the Hastings Hotels Group over a decade ago, in 1999, as a bar supervisor in the Everglades, just across the border in Derry.

He then applied to be part of the group's innovative Trainee Management Programme - and was one of the first Derry employees to be accepted onto the scheme.

Stephen said that he enjoyed completing the programme especially as it included travel around Northern Ireland on placements in each of the six Hastings Hotels as part of the course.

"After this, I took up the permanent position of Bar Manager in the Everglades where I worked for a several years before leaving the group," he explained.

That move was for the opening off the new City Hotel, as Assistant Manager.

Stephen remained at the hotel for four years, before leaving in 2006 to take part in opening the newly refurbished Gallagher's Hotel, in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, this time as Assistant General Manager.

"I then returned to the Everglades in 2007 as Deputy General Manager before being appointed to the job of General Manager.

"I've been back at the Everglades since January 2007 - which was the same year as I got married," he said, noting that this also meant keeping the hospitality industry 'in the family'.

"I had the Everglades to thank for meeting my wife - which happened whilst in my first year working in the hotel.

"We now have two beautiful daughters, Éabha (22mths) and Caelynn (seven months) so I pretty much have my hands full," he laughed.

However, Stephen's plans for the hotel are significant too, aiming to make many other couples 'happy' too as he grows it as the 'Hotel of Choice' for the Northwest.

"We will be providing the finest in luxury and service and also hosting many potential brides and grooms who will be virtually 'queuing at the door'.

"I aim to make the Everglades known as the best wedding venue in the area - and maybe even in Northern Ireland," he enthused.

Commenting, Julie Maguire, Marketing Director at Hastings Hotels, said: "We are delighted at Stephen's appointment. He worked as Deputy General Manager under his predecessor, Stephen Meldrum - who has now gone to run the Five-star Culloden in Belfast - for three years.

"As a local man, Stephen Redden knows the city, the market and has many close friends and business colleagues, and being our youngest ever General Manager, he brings to the job many fresh new ideas about which he is enthusiastic," she commented.

She highlighted the rebranding of the formal Satchmo's Restaurant to a bistro-style offering, 'The Causerie' and said that it means "to chat" and said this concept has worked well in Belfast's Europa and Stormont hotels, as well as in the Cultra Inn and Percy French outside the city.

"Stephen is keen to establish this in advance of the Londonderry's 2013 City of Culture celebrations, which will, he hopes, bring a lot of business to the hotel," the senior director concluded.


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