Meet the Team: Kerry Watson, Operations Manager

ICMI Staff

Tell us a little about yourself and your experience working in the industry:

When I was growing up my mum was the General Manager at Inverlochy Castle and despite working there myself from the age of 12, rolling butter balls and serving room service, hospitality was not my first career choice.

I always knew the regular 9 - 5 working day wasn’t for me - I needed a career which would constantly challenge and stimulate me. I initially wanted to become a Navy officer but after a skiing accident I had to pursue a new career path once I finished studying and travelling.

After returning to Scotland I completed my hotel training at a Relais and Chateau property in Perthshire before joining Inverlochy Castle as their Senior Assistant Manager. After three years, I became the General Manager at Inverness and Rocpool Reserve when we took over from the previous owners and in 2010 started out as Group Operations Manager when ICMI was founded.

Since then we have opened numerous properties and held full management contracts for hotels which include the likes of Greywalls and Cromlix.

During this time, I graduated from the General’s Manager Program at Cornell in the States.

I am often asked why I have stayed with the same company for so many years - and to be honest, it’s like we’re a family. We have all developed and grown together, striving to always be the best at everything we do.

Tell us about ICMI Select’s new off-site training programme:

One of the best things about working with us is that you can bring your team to an off-site training session at one of the ICMI hotels. It’s a great way for your team to really experience how another hotel is run and then apply these insights to their work. By taking your employees off-site and providing a more inspiring environment, it can help to make participants more focused and engaged with the training session. We’re also more than happy to work with clients to create bespoke programmes tailored exactly to their staffs’ needs.

What other operational support do you and your team offer?

Thanks to our very personal approach, we hope hotel operators who work with us feel like we’re an extension of their team. This should give them peace of mind that should they require any scheduled or emergency cover, we’ll smoothly pick up where you left off.

What project have you worked on where overhauling operations management has had the greatest impact?

I have been very fortunate to have been the ‘first person’ to take over each of our hotels, whether it be a complete renovation and reopening like Cromlix and Crossbasket or where we have taken over a fully operational hotel with a full management team already in situ for example, Rocpool or The Isle of Eriska. Each hotel has presented very different challenges and all have their own strengths and weaknesses that we then must work around and adapt our approach to focus on their individual requirements. We’ve had a very positive impact on every hotel we’ve worked with, whether that’s improving guest satisfaction by enhancing the guest experience, upskilling existing staff, integrating our knowledgeable team or achieving greater results by improving the management of accounts.

Hotel Management Company of the Year 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2017
(The Scottish Hotel Awards)

CONTACT: norbertlieder@icmi.co.uk