Home' Hotel Management : HM APRIL 2015 Contents Tell us the path of how you became General Manager of the property.
I spent my first 18 years in rural NSW on our 3rd generation family property of 4000
acres in the central west of NSW. After finishing school, I moved to Sydney to seek
employment opportunities and my first job was as a valet within the newly opened Park
Lane, Sydney (now the Sheraton on the Park).
Over eight years, I was employed within the Concierge departments of various five star
hotels and resorts in differing regions that provided a foundation of experience and prepared
me for my first Chief Concierge role and rewarding six years at Stamford Plaza, Brisbane.
After spending two years out of the hotel industry, I re-entered with enthusiasm
as a member of the opening management team of Emporium Hotel, Brisbane. I held
numerous positions there for six years, including Chief Concierge (as a Les Clef ’s d’Or
member), Sales Manager, Rooms Division Manager and Executive Assistant Manager.
My current role as General Manager of Gambaro Hotel has included 12 months of
pre-opening preparation before opening our doors to guests in May 2014.
How is business at present and what are you expecting for the year?
Since opening we have experienced continued growth in occupancy and rate with March
currently tracking to become our best month since opening (excluding November and the
It’s well known the Brisbane market has experienced a softening of consumer demand
and an increase in hotel supply with further hotel openings in the near future.
In saying this, I envisage Gambaro Hotel will continue on this cycle of growth as the
market continues to be educated on the unique offerings provided by the Gambaro Group.
During 2015 we will continue to build our corporate base, MICE market and the
Gambaro brand awareness on a national basis.
Tell us what makes the property so unique in your opinion.
Gambaro Hotel is owned and operated by the Gambaro family who have been operating
in this location for over 60 years. The family are food and beverage professionals who
have created a beautiful boutique hotel to complement the existing business. Also
owned and operated by Gambaro Hotel is Gambaro Restaurant (2014 – QLD Seafood
HM sits down with the General Manager of
Gambaro Hotel in Brisbane, MURRAY ROWBOTHAM.
Interview by James Wilkinson in Brisbane
Restaurant) and Black Hide Steakhouse (2014 – National
Steak Restaurant), both restaurants providing charge back
facilities to guests rooms. Awards were at the Restaurant
and Catering Savour Awards.
The property provides clients 11 differing meeting and
event spaces ranging from a selection of private dining
rooms to a ballroom featuring 12 chandeliers and space to
accommodate up to 350pax sit down.
The presence of the Gambaro family within the
business interacting with guests is also a touch that is
recognised and appreciated.
The location is unique being only 200 metres from
Suncorp Stadium allowing visitors the opportunity to
enjoy the game day atmosphere with only a four minute
walk having guests entering the stadium. In addition,
being separated by only one set of traffic lights to
Brisbane Airport, Gambaro Hotel is the closest luxury
hotel in Brisbane by road to the airport with a consistent
14 minute travelling time.
What have been some of your biggest
challenges over the last 12 months?
The process of any hotel opening presents many
challenges and obstacles that require overcoming to meet
an opening date.
Gambaro Hotel operates independently and therefore
does not leverage off the affiliated sales support and
rewards program. Over the past 12 months there has
been a focus on building awareness of the product
nationally with a balanced marketing strategy and a sales
strategy that incorporates the General Manager and
Directors selling the product together domestically. This
sales approach has been effective and the retention of
new business being solely on providing an experience our
guests not only want to return to, but recommend to their
colleagues and friends as well.
The decision to remain independent is not the easy
option, although as the business builds our costs are
Gambaro Hotel Brisbane General
Manager, Murray Rowbotham
The rooftop terrace at Gambaro Hotel
34 HM The Business of Accommodation
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