Simon McClaughlin General Manager, Holiday Inn Kensington Forum

A BIT ABOUT- Holiday Inn Kensington Forum  

The Iconic Holiday Inn Kensington Forum has been a part of the fabric of the London Hotel landscape for almost 50 years serving the needs of travellers, both Business and Leisure alike. The hotel has recently undergone a multimillion pound refurbishment programme including bedrooms, the creation of the brand-new Ashburn SW7 Restaurant and the implementation of the famous Holiday Inn open lobby concept. Located in the heart of Kensington & Chelsea borough & proud to be the largest Holiday Inn hotel in Europe, the hotel offers 906 bedrooms and 11 meeting roomswith a capacity of up to 400 delegates. 

meetingsclub was delighted to spend time with Simon McClaughlin, newly promoted General Manager of the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. Read about Simon’s dream of becoming a pilot and his top tips for sleeping in a hotel. PlusSimon shares how this iconic London hotel is going from strength to strength as news breaks of further exciting refurbishment plans for the conference and banqueting space later this year. 

Who has inspired you most in your career?   

Two people really. The first was my Manager Alastair Lawson at the Holiday Inn, Sutton.  He very much believed in having fun at work, whilst always getting the job done and was very good at personally looking after all the team members.  The second person who has inspired me most in my career was my former General Manager here at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum Jon Beecroft.  He was always so supportive and there when you needed, always allowing you the space to get on with the job.   

If you could work anywhere in the world where would it be? 

Well, I’ve got to say that I’ve always wanted to work in the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum and told my wife years ago long before I came here.  But if it was abroad, then it would have to be San Francisco or Los Angeles. 

What has been your  proudest  business  moment?  

My proudest moment was very recently when I was promoted as the new General Manager 

What are your favourite business use APPs?  

I use LinkedIn a lot so that I can keep up to date with the latest industry news within the world of hotels and hospitality and keep in touch with colleaguesThere’s also some great online groups where you can read about the latest trends. 

What piece of advice would you give to your teenage self?  

I never went to University, but I’ve always worked hard throughout my career.  I realise that whatever you do, whatever career you decide on, make sure it’s something that you enjoy, because if you enjoy it you will be successful. 

What three items would you bring to a desert island?   

That’s easy! 

  1. A TV which has a cricket channel 
  1. A comfortable pillow 
  1. A really good bed. 

What are your top tips for sleeping well in a hotel? 

I stayed in our hotel last night and had a really good nights sleep.  The temperature has to be just right, not too hot or too cold.  A pillow of your choice is very important and I swear by a glass of wine before I go to bed which helps me to relax. 

Is there anything on your bucket list that you haven’t yet done?  

I’ve always dreamt of being a pilot – I would love to one day get my Private Pilots Licence.  

If you were the Prime Minister what would be the first thing you changed?  

I’d cancel Article 50! 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

Surround yourself with good people, stay loyal to those people and fight the battles you can win. 

What have you learnt along the way? 

Always enjoy what you do at work and play.  The hotel and hospitality industry is a really dynamic and diverse industry.  And always take time out to spot and develop good people as they are the future.