The Hotelier Edit: Charlotte Horler and Adam Bateman of The Grand Hotel Birmingham
The Independent Hotel Show team took a trip up to Birmingham and met with Charlotte Horler, Hotel Manager and Adam Bateman, Culinary Director of The Grand Birmingham. This renowned hotel, which was first established by Isaac Horton in 1879 and designed by Thomson Plevins, has hosted prominent figures such as royalty and rock stars. Over the years, it has served as a center for networking and meetings in the city, while also providing a stunning Grand Ballroom for unforgettable events. Following a comprehensive £50 million renovation and refurbishment, the original grande-dame hotel in Birmingham was reopened after being closed for almost two decades.
Can you give us a brief intro into your roles and your experience in the hotel sector?
AB: I started in the industry at just 15 years old, so I’ll let you do the maths on how long I’ve been in kitchens. From working in Michelin Restaurants to highly acclaimed events and landing in hotels, I have covered a wide variety of kitchen operations. Most recently having opened many 5* luxury lifestyle hotels across the UK and currently in the role of Culinary Director at The Grand, Birmingham.
CH: I have worked in the industry for 18 years, Adam has 10 years on me so he can boast a few more years’ experience ;) I started as a Kitchen Porter before quickly moving into the Front Office division and seeing most of my career through Front of House before moving up into Operations Management and Hotel Management from there.
How did the city respond to the reopening of the Grand?
AB: As a brummy boy, born and bred, I think opening The Grand was a huge celebration for Birmingham. We have been so proud of our city for so many years and it’s just fantastic that the hospitality around the city is joining the buzz.
CH: Absolutely, from independent bars and restaurants to some of the coolest concepts around, and of course great hotels, Birmingham really is the UK’s second city and is more so becoming the place to be. I don’t know if you heard about our launch party, but it is still considered one of the best recent events in Birmingham and we were so proud to showcase actively all we have to offer.
What does a great guest experience look like at The Grand? What makes it unique?
CH: What an endless question… We have so many tiny touches that we do for our guests, and depending on what brings you to The Grand, depends on what a great experience is for you. We do have some wonderful delights in place for our guests from a full afternoon ‘candy shop’ for conference delegates, to Cadbury chocolate bars in the bedrooms and edible Grand logos wherever we can squeeze them in, I truly believe there is something to make everyone feel truly special.
AB: Absolutely, what you want, you will get. We are also well known around Birmingham for our Afternoon Tea which was listed in the Sunday Times Top 23 last month as well as our very unique Isaac’s Restaurant, an informal New York meets Birmingham Brasserie.
What is the main reason/reasons you would attend Independent Hotel Show and other industry events?
AB: I am a networker! I love meeting other chefs and like-minded hospitality professionals to pick their brains and see what I can ‘steal’ from them. From discussing tasting menus to burgers, procurement deals to recruitment best practice, I always find them so valuable and come away with an enormous list of things to do!
CH: Yes, I couldn’t agree more. I am still very much at the start of my senior hotel journey and having the opportunity to meet people at the top of their game is invaluable. We are so limited in our resource at times, having everything under one roof, in one day, really is exactly what we need to develop and grow our industry.