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Q&A with Cristina Mallia, SLH’s Senior Vice President of Hotel Services

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I live in Surrey with my partner John. My parents are both originally from the same beautiful village in Sicily, but my mum grew up in France. After settling in the UK in their early twenties it meant that my sister and I then spent every summer in Sicily seeing grandparents and family, and every Christmas in France seeing my mum’s side of the family. My sister and I soon started speaking Sicilian/Italian and French at an early age and we grew up enjoying all three cultures!

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT SLH AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT IT?

As Senior Vice President of Hotel Services, I am responsible for managing a team of 14 Revenue Account Managers across 5 offices and for Global Training. As Revenue Account Managers we are the main contacts for our community of 500 plus hotels. We play a key role at SLH in maintaining a strong relationship with the Owners, General Managers and their team members at the hotels. We work with them to ensure they connect to the brand, participate in our opportunities and ultimately get the most out of being part of the SLH community.

My favourite thing about my role is working with a brilliant team of professionals and hoteliers. We all come from different parts of the world, speak multiple languages, have mostly worked in the 4/5 star hotel business and we learn a lot from each other on a daily basis.

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WHEN VISITING AN SLH HOTEL?

There have been a few so it’s difficult to pin point one, but they all have something special in common – because our hotels are all independently owned, you can really feel how proud they are of their hotel and their local area, and you can see that they genuinely want you to experience their part of the world and make it a trip to remember.

 

WHAT SLH HOTEL DO YOU MOST WANT TO VISIT?

I would say Petit St. Vincent Island, St. Vincent & The Grenadines – it’s a private island in the Caribbean that you can also hire exclusively for your entire family! Last time the General Manager was here to give a presentation, he mentioned an all-you-can-eat lobster offering at the hotel’s beach restaurant. John would love that!

 

 

WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE CITY AND WHY?

Miami – for all-round sun, the beaches, exploring, shopping, the people, the fun atmosphere. I have stayed at The Betsy South Beach and The Plymouth South Beach, which are both fantastic hotels. The Betsy has a wonderful restaurant – the best steak I have ever had!

 

 

WHICH DESTINATION DO YOU MOST WANT TO VISIT AND WHY?

Hawaii – John has already been and raves about it. We always say that one day we are going to get married out there. Let’s see…!

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBY, OUTSIDE OF WORK?

I don’t really have a hobby. I spend most of my evenings and weekends either seeing my family (particularly my adorable nephew and niece) and friends or going away. I do love dancing – I am the first and last person on the dance floor and I love singing karaoke. The girls in the Singapore office took me to karaoke and we sung nonstop for 3 hours – we could have gone on for 24 hours! I have actually just signed up for ice skating lessons as it’s one thing I am particularly terrible at and would love to be more confident at. Let’s see how I get on – you never know, I might be the next Jayne Torvill.

 

DESCRIBE AN AVERAGE DAY WORKING AT SLH

It’s certainly dynamic and fast paced. Each Revenue Account Manager looks after around 40-50 hotels, and we know all our Owners and General Managers personally as we meet them during hotel visits, office visits and at regional meetings or conferences. We offer many services to support our hotels drive revenue so we have to be fully trained in most areas of the business and help with all sorts of queries. Communication is key, so I am continuing to keep the global team up to date with the latest opportunities and tools for the hotels.

 

HOW DO YOU BRING A PIECE OF YOU TO SLH?

I am bubbly and energetic, and my partner in crime at work, Romina, is always saying that I am full of ideas and initiatives and that I need to slow down! In fact, everyone says I need to slow down. Having worked for the company for almost 14 years, the team at SLH are family to me.