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Our people - Director of Rooms
For the Connaught’s Director of Rooms Jannes Soerensen, combining iron self-discipline and a friendly disposition is all in a day’s work
I was born in Berlin to a social-worker mum and a school-director dad. Both these professions put a high value on care and nurturing people, and so do I. I believe that routine and discipline leads to good performance, which is why I get up at 5am every day to swim. When I was growing up, I loved field hockey and I was a regular at the Berliner Sports Club.
Unlike my sister and my parents, I decided not to go to university right after school. I wanted to pursue a more practical, less academic path and enter a profession by doing an apprenticeship instead. I started my career at the Adlon, the famous hotel opposite the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and probably one of Europe’s most iconic locations. After that it was another major hotel in another major European capital – the George V in Paris – to take up the role of concierge.
Next came a brief stint in Barcelona, before I was invited to help the team that opened the Plaza in New York as Assistant Head Concierge, aged 27. Despite all this, my proudest moment was when I got the call from the Connaught, and I finally made it to London as the hotel’s Reception Supervisor.
What I really enjoyed when I first got here was helping the team to help others. I loved being on reception and learning how it worked, and now I’m responsible for that team. My role is very supportive: I guide the heads of department towards the Connaught way of doing things, and I encourage them to set their own personal standards of excellence.
The first thing I discuss with new colleagues is how important it is for them to be happy here. Without that foundation, you cannot build the level of service and the quality of your relationships with guests and colleagues that sets the Connaught apart from other hotels. The way I approach it is almost as if we’re a school – the Connaught is a place where we prepare people to achieve in their roles and in themselves. It all goes back to my parents I think!
I love classical music, and when I lived in Berlin I used to visit the Berlin Philharmonic at lunchtimes. Gabriel Fauré, Robert Schumann, Chopin and Mozart are my all-time favourite composers. But I also keep an eye on the future too: I’m a design fan, and an avid user of all things Apple. I like the simplicity of how the devices work, and the beauty on the inside that you can’t see – it’s an approach that could also be applied to running a hotel. The most important thing, though, is to be the person who does the right thing.
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The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL +44 (0)20 7499 7070
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