A day in the life of Les Morgan begins at 5AM, when he heads into battle with the Auckland traffic, travelling to the Sudima Hotels Queen Street Support Office. At least once a week, he will be seen at one or more of the Sudima Hotels around the country. Morgan estimates he travels around 2,500km a week.
Les Morgan is a renowned figure in the hotel industry with over 25 years of experience working for international brands including Sheraton, AccorHotels, Duxton and Scenic Hotels.
Recently, at the 2018 New Zealand Hotel Industry Awards, Les Morgan received the prestigious Hotel Industry Senior Hotel Executive of the Year for his work as director of hotels at Sudima Hotels & Resorts.
Born and raised in Rotorua, Morgan – like a lot of other major industry players – didn’t always plan on working with hotels.
Before working in the industry, Morgan worked as a clerk in an insurance office. At one point in time, he dreamt of becoming a professional martial artist. While he earned the rank of black belt, he was unable to find financial stability with his combat skills.
Needing to pay the rent somehow, Morgan finally dipped his toes in the hospitality scene.
“I was backpacking in London when I saw an ad for a job as a waiter at a five-star hotel in the Scottish Highlands. I got the job, was immediately hooked and I haven’t left the industry since.”
The thrill of anticipating guests’ service needs is what attracts Morgan to his job.
“I view it as an art, and if you get it right, it can bring tremendous satisfaction. I think this is one of Sudima Hotels best attributes; our team’s ability to provide above and beyond for our guests, before they even have to ask.”
Morgan is a busy man, but in the time he gets off he likes catching up on sports. In saying that, it may be wise to stay clear when his teams are losing
“I throw things at the television when my favourite sports teams aren’t listening to my couch coach advice.”
When he was younger, Morgan travelled all over the world, but despite his vast travel experiences, his favourite place is still home in New Zealand.
“I would encourage New Zealanders to consider their own country before they rush to escape overseas. We seem to be in a hurry to explore the world, forgetting that we have fantastic regions right here.”
Sudima Hotels recently announced a new $30 million hotel project in Kaikoura, aiming to open in the summer of 2019/2020. The 118-room, four-and-a-half star hotel will join Sudima’s growing portfolio of hotels in New Zealand, with a hotel in Christchurch Central set to open mid-2019.
“I would like to continue to be part of the journey Sudima Hotels is on. We’re headed in an exciting direction. If I can contribute to its cultural and financial success, establishing a positive framework for the future, it’ll bring me great pride.”
As a team leader, Morgan understands how to run a hotel as effectively as possible, if not more, than anybody else in the industry.
“Company culture starts from the top. Treat your hotel staff how you’d want to be treated, and as a result, they’ll want to treat your guests this way, too. ”