Career Stories

James Wade-Smith

We caught up with James Wade-Smith for this Q&A on his budding career with Malmaison.

James Wade-Smith joined us back in June 2015 as our Deputy General Manager of Malmaison Liverpool.  

Since then James has won multiple awards - both internally and externally - including DGM of the Year in 2016, and runner-up in our ‘Best of the Best Awards’ this year.

James is not only a valued member of Malmaison Liverpool, but also supports other properties across the brand by sharing his knowledge and unbridled enthusiasm.

Between his busy superhero shifts, we managed to have a quick chat with James about his career and what it’s like to work for Malmaison.

  • What advice can you give to anyone interested in joining the hospitality industry?

Go in with an open mind. There are so many different fields to experience within the hospitality industry.  Reception, Food Service, Chefs, Sales, Accounts; the list goes on. If you enter into a role with an open mind, the opportunity for progression is almost endless. The greatest opportunities you can get will come from your own willingness to truly go above and beyond to get noticed.

  • What initially attracted you to Malmaison?

The character and individuality of the brand. I was initially apprehensive in applying to work for what I perceived to be a big brand’ as I had always worked in smaller independent companies where I was able to make the decisions of how things were done. What I actually found was that the ideals of Malmaison and myself are really well aligned, and that I can still have my voice heard. It has been amazing to have brand support on so many core things that allow me to put more of my focus into the things I really love doing.

  • What are your top tips for working in hospitality?

“Put your hand up first” – You’ll be surprised of the chances you get to develop and progress by being willing. Take the opportunities to expand your knowledge and understanding of any business you’re in as it will only add value to you as an individual.

“Don’t be afraid to get things wrong” – If you wait for the moment you know it all before getting things done, you’ll never even start! Don’t be afraid to learn on the job.

  • What do you do to motivate your team?

Be positive - There are a number of challenges to face in any job. If my team see me as an additional one, it only adds pressure to their day. Things do not always go to plan, but when they don’t, my priorities are always to put things right, find a solution and seek to understand how we can do things different in the future.

Be present – Hotels are a 24/7 industry with busy times and quieter times. I do my best to ensure that when the team are at their busiest I am there to support them.

  • What do you love most about working for Malmaison?

Seeing the brand develop and change regularly. Particularly within the hotel industry, there are a few brands which are pretty bland with how they market themselves. Malmaison is constantly changing and developing. All the things they offer their guests – cocktails, menus, facilities and even new properties! With two new Malmaison’s due to open shortly, it is an exciting company to be part off.

  • What is the proudest moment in your career?

Being awarded the DGM of the Year at the Best of the Best Awards 2016. After years of wondering if I would suit working for an established brand like Malmaison, to be recognised as the best in my role was a real honour! 

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