Friday, 05 January 2024

Fairmont Feature with Gavin Fogarty

Fairmont Feature with Gavin Fogarty

Carton House Q&A with Gavin Fogarty 


1. Tell us about your career journey atCarton House.


I would say my story is a unique case. This isactually my third time working at Carton House. I first started working here in2015 as the Conference Events Manager. At the time, the hotel was owned by adifferent group, and I was working under different management. I worked in thatrole for a year and a half before moving to The Merrion in Dublin. While Iworked there, Carton House was acquired by Pyramid and they asked me to returnand so, I did. Then from there, I decided to make a change and move to Dubai.Unfortunately, Covid hit and I was sent home. 


My plan was originally to return to Dubai, but I heardthrough the grapevine that Carton House was relaunching under Fairmont. I stillhad friends and contacts working in the hotel and asked if they needed helpwith anything as I was in a sort of holding period before leaving Irelandagain. 


From that point, I came in as part of a task force.Specifically, I helped with food and beverage and launching new concepts withinthat part of the business. My return to Dubai was set for October 2021, but bythat stage, I had fallen in love with the Fairmont brand and the rebirth ofCarton House. I could see so many opportunities here. Carton House always had aspecial place in my heart, but with the rebrand, I could envision thepossibilities. Fairmonts new vision was so clear while alsokeeping the original character of Carton House intact. I wanted to be a part ofits growth. 


2. What is your favourite part of thejob? 


Its cliché to say, but my favourite part of my job is that every single day isdifferent. It is controlled chaos. You have to be quick on your feet and mustbe able to adapt to different situations and I love that aspect of my role. Ialso really enjoy being a part of the guest journey and seeing the experiencecome to life. 


For example, if its an event, you seethrough every detail from start to finish and get to gauge the guestsreactions in real-time and experience how much it means to them. Evenwith a simple weekend stay, we oversee countless proposals and to be able toplay a part in pivotal moments like that, and to know you have helped to createan unforgettable moment, is a priceless feeling.  


3. What makes the Carton House employeeexperience so unique?


Over the years, I have worked with countless hotelbrands, but what makes Fairmont and Carton House stand out are the core valuesof the business. They truly celebrate the individual here and actively seek tohelp you improve and grow in your journey. 


In my case, I was selected for a leadership programmededicated to aspiring general managers. Its called the Bloomcourse and just 50individuals across Europe were selected. There is investment and developmentalways happening within the brand. Meanwhile, I also really enjoy thecamaraderie amongst the employees. We are a team and look out for one another.Everyone is also passionate about the job and takes great pride andresponsibility in their roles. Its inspiring to be in such anenvironment. I have worked here for years now and still, I drive through thefront gate and think to myself: Wow, I cant believe I get to work here.


4. What does your average day look like?


I don't think I have an average day because as I said,every day is different, but my most important role is making sure the guestjourney is correct and satisfactory from the minute the guest drives throughthe gates to the moment they enter their rooms and to the time they checkout.Each day, I oversee the accommodation, housekeeping, front office, guestrelations and the manor house which has 18 suites. 


I would also take care of any VIPs visiting the hotel,ensuring that they need any special attention or amenities. In addition tothis, I always keep an eye out for where we can upgrade guests. So, if a guestis planning a proposal, I guarantee that they receive the sparkle factor or ifa couple has recently got married, Ill make sure that we add a specialtouch. Its all about individualising the guestexperience and guaranteeing that everything is working as it should be. 


5. What advice would you give someonelooking to start a career at Carton House?


Always remember that you are a part of history. Asemployees, we are custodians and stewards of Carton House. This was theancestral seat of The Dukes of Leinster so there's an immense lineage andyou're stepping into history every time you walk through the door. In the samebreath, you are also creating a new history for the future. 


As in any job, there will be challenging times, buteveryone really adores working here. I really do believe every employee fallsin love with the hotel, its story and its surroundings. 

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