Spotlight Virgin Hotels Edinburgh’s Team Members, Leo Sardi & Marleni Gonzalez

Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2022 by Izabela KrajkaNo comments

Welcome back to our 'Spotlight' series where we shine the light on the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism industries and their inspiring figures! Today, our guests are Virgin Hotels Edinburgh’s Assistant Director of Engineering, Leo Sardi and Hotel Accountant, Marleni Gonzalez.

If you thought that hotel work is limited to Front of House, Housekeeping and Chef roles, you thought wrong! Leo and Marleni are here to show you why there’s so much more to it! Keep on reading to find out what it is. 😊

 

 

LEO SARDI - Assistant Director of Engineering

  1. Can you introduce yourself?

     

    Hi, my name is Leo and I’m a 40 year old Argentinian. I recently started my new role with Virgin Hotels in Edinburgh our first opening in Europe. I have taken up the role of Assistant Director of Engineering.

     

  2. Where did you start your career at?

     

     My career in the UK started in the now demolished St James Centre, doing a bit of cleaning and maintenance work.  And my hotel career started at the Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh in 2008.

     

  3. What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

     

    My main motivation is to know that every day will be slightly different and there will be some issue waiting to be resolved which hopefully will make a colleague or a guest happy!

     

  4. What do you do in your current role?

     

    In my current role I look after the maintenance and upkeep of the property, making sure everything works well and efficiently.

    I also look after a lot of the H&S to keep staff members and guests as safe as possible (fun I know!)

     

  5. What would you do (career-wise) if you were not in this current job?

     

    Would love to be working outdoors, even with this lovely British weather.  A forest, botanic gardens, anything!  

     

  6. Who is your hero? Why?

    I have a few heroes, mainly musicians (Les Claypool, Bob Marley, Bill Stevenson)

     

  7. What advice would you give your younger self?

     

    Don’t worry or stress too much about anything!  Don’t overthink things too much and just follow your heart and dreams.

    .

  8. How do you see the hospitality industry going further/changing?

     

    Hopefully going a lot greener as I see far too much wastage and non-recyclable material being used in most properties I worked on.

    Also, I guess that fast moving technology will play a very positive efficient roll for guest and staff experiences.

     

  9. Why should people consider working in the hospitality/Tourism sector?

     

    Because it’s great! And it’s a great way to make new friends from all over the world.

    It’s also very rewarding to know that no matter what your role in hospitality is, you can feel satisfied knowing that you can please guests that want to relax and enjoy their stay, dinner or whatever it is.

     

  10. Tell us three things about you that no-one knows?

 

I’m a good cook.

Love camping and being outdoors.

I was a pretty good basketball player in my younger days.

 

 

 

MARLENI GONZALEZ - Hotel Accountant

 

 

  1. Can you introduce yourself?

     

    Hi, I am Marleni Gonzalez and I was born in Venezuela. I grew up in a multicultural family and I have lived in 3 different countries, this makes me an open-minded person who sees things from a different point of view.

     

  2. Where did you start your career at?

     

    I started my career in Spain 20 years ago, working in different Hospitality related jobs. After I finished my studies in Business and Marketing, I decided to move to Edinburgh to pursue my career. In 2012 I started working in a 4* Hotel, throughout my 7 years in that hotel I worked in many different departments performing various roles – yes, I even worked as a swimming pool Lifeguard! I did all this while I was studying English and finishing my Diploma in Accountancy at Edinburgh College. These things helped me to understand the hospitality sector from diverse point of view.

     

  3. What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

     

    I am motivated by the fact that in this industry every day is different and challenging, I always see the positive part in every situation as there is always something new to learn. I love having the satisfaction of doing a great job. As I always say, Hotels are like a big home where you can meet a lot of people with different cultures and backgrounds.

     

  4. What do you do in your current role?

     

    My current job is a Hotel Accountant for Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, I have recently joined their professional and experienced team. This is a very exciting and unique opportunity for me to be a part of the grand opening of the very first Virgin Hotel in the UK and Europe.

     

  5. What would you do (career-wise) if you were not in this current job?

     

    Not sure, I think something related to providing assistance for people in need since I love helping people who really need it.

     

  6. Who is your hero? Why?

     

    My sisters are my big inspiration and example for me, we have overcome many personal and work-related milestones and have come a long way! We lost our parents when we were teenagers and they have always been a patron for me to follow and a good example of “if you work hard, you will get what you want”.

     

  7. What advice would you give your younger self?

     

    Take more risks and don’t be scared to fall.

     

     

  8. How do you see the hospitality industry going further/changing?

     

    I think now the industry is changing a lot because of the lack of staff caused by Brexit, Covid, etc. These factors have resulted in the industry increasing the salaries, benefits and conditions for their employees. As everything has a positive side the people are getting more value and the industry is attracting people from different backgrounds that bring new and different ideas to the business.

     

     

  9. Why should people consider working in the hospitality/Tourism sector?

     

    This Industry provides the opportunity of meeting a lot of new people from other countries, cultures, ages and backgrounds, where we all have the same objective, that is making a customer’s experience unforgettable. In this industry there are various roles where you can have flexible rotas, different contracted hours, fast promotions and several internal and external training is provided.

     

  10. Tell us three things about you that no-one knows?

 

- I can speak 3 languages.

- I love travelling and visiting new places.

- I am very good at baking deserts, especially cakes!

 

 

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