Swindon hotel staff mark two decade milestone

Three members of staff who have helped keep one of Swindon’s hotels running smoothly for two decades have looked back on their time with pride and happiness.

Cécile Raffy, Robert John-Lewis and Sukhjit Kaur all started working at the Campanile Hotel on Great Western Way in January 1998, each with different reasons for wanting to work in the service industry.

20 years later, they can all agree that they have got more than they bargained for from the experience.

For Robert, it was a case of a perfect opportunity to utilise his electrical training while keeping time free for his martial arts coaching.

Maintenance manager Rob said: “It is the perfect job for me because I live nearby, it allows me to use the trade I have learned and outside I am free to do my martial arts classes, which takes up a lot of my time.

“It is ideal for me and the company because I live so close that if there is ever a problem I can just pop in, my phone is always on and I don’t mind going the extra mile if I am needed.

“The staff are great too, we all get on great, I am delighted that the opportunity came up when it did and even then I could see myself staying here for a long time.”

Cécile made the move from the French Alps to the UK because she wanted to use the English she had studied to boost her career opportunities.

20 years later, she has worked across the hotel in a wide range of roles, starting out as a trainee, before moving on to a restaurant waitress position and head of reception before being named deputy manager.

She added: “I had always wanted to work in the tourism industry when I was studying in France and decided to move to England in order to improve my English in a professional environment.

“I started out as a trainee and have just continued to work hard.

“I am very pleased to be deputy manager and I have worked with some great people over the years, we are like family to one another.”

Sukhjit has also taken on a variety of roles over the last 20 years and currently works as head housekeeper.

She said: “I have enjoyed all of my roles here, from cleaner to site manager but I love my current position.

“Work is something I enjoy because of the team we have here, we are all good friends.”

General Manager Vaidas Viktaravicius said of the long-serving trio: “We are lucky to have such hard working and dedicated staff throughout the hotel but Cécile, Sukhjit and Robert are particularly shining examples.”