Craig Martin has been appointed as the new general manager at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick – and within a short time has already began to immerse himself into life in the town.
He has become a committee member of the Alnwick Chamber of Trade and is determined to attract more local residents to the White Swan.
“I’m looking to embrace the local people of Alnwick and build stronger relationships between the community and the hotel.
“Alnwick is a gorgeous, historic town with some great sights, like Alnwick Castle, and the White Swan is proud to welcome visitors from across the UK and beyond, but we are much more than just a tourist hotel.
“It’s very important to get to know the local people and make sure they know that they are always welcome here at the White Swan.”
Craig has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, working his way up from reservations manager to front-of-house manager at Slaley Hall in Northumberland, before spending two years as hotel manager at The New Northumbria Hotel, in Osborne Road, Newcastle.
He then spent three years working as general manager at the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle city centre. Craig joins the White Swan after a year as general manager at Dream Apartments, which has a collection of serviced apartments in city centre locations.
The White Swan is a charming 300-year-old coaching inn, with 56 bedrooms, including twin and double rooms, superior doubles, suites, family rooms and a luxurious four-poster suite.
It hosted the British Titanic Society’s annual convention in April, with a party of 50 members staying.
The Olympic Restaurant at the hotel features original panelling, mirrors, ceiling and stained glass salvaged from RMS Olympic, the Titanic’s sister ship, making it an ideal centrepiece for the event.
The White Swan’s website says: ‘The Titanic’s sister ship, the RMS Olympic, was launched in 1911, a year before its sister’s tragic maiden voyage. Despite being converted to oil-fired engines in 1919-1920, it became uneconomical in comparison to the new and luxurious Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and was finally retired in 1935 and scrapped in 1937. This provided valuable work for Scottish shipyards, which were suffering from the effects of the Depression.
‘Before it was dismantled completely, many of the fittings and artworks were auctioned. The then-owner of The White Swan bought the Olympic’s dining room and transported it to the hotel, reconstructing it in all its splendour.
‘The magnificent Olympic Suite, which can cater for up to 150 people theatre style and 120 diners, now shows off the original panelling, mirrors, ceiling and stained glass windows from a time when ships were truly magnificent. An eccentric idea perhaps, but one that has made The White Swan very special.’
For more information about the White Swan Hotel and its sister venues, visit www.classiclodges.co.uk