Guest house

A hotel to convert a guesthouse into staff accommodation

Grand Hotel Photo: DAVID FERGUSON. (26785406)

Handpicked Hotels, which has a number of properties in the Channel Islands and the UK, will convert the 11-room Bay View from tourist accommodation to 14-room workers at the Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa.

The move follows a planning request filed last month by the Royal Yacht Hotel’s parent group to convert the 33-room Mountview Hotel on New St John’s Road into staff accommodation.

Shaun McGachan, general manager of Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa, said it had become very difficult to retain and recruit reception staff, but was unable to attribute the difficulty to specific causes.

“There is still so much uncertainty with Brexit and we have had people signing up to retain their rights to stay here,” he said.

“But Brexit is not necessarily the main problem; it is a combination of a large number of factors. Jersey is a difficult place to recruit and retain staff and we have seen this over the past 12 months with places closing.

“We’re in a privileged position where our owners are committed to investing in the team, but the smaller places are probably in a position where they won’t be able to.”

Mr McGachan added that his company subsidized the rent of a number of its employees and said if the island wanted to keep more staff, it had to offer more affordable housing.

He added that the plans were also aimed at improving the work-life balance of staff.

“Currently some of our staff are living in the hotel because we don’t have staff accommodation and they never feel like they are leaving their jobs, but with this project they should feel like they are to be able to move away, “he said.

“The hospitality industry is, on the whole, a fairly transient industry and we have been fortunate to have a large number of Jerseys with local housing qualifications who do not need housing but obviously like the ‘stressed the Jersey Hospitality Association, we are now bringing Kenyans to Jersey to fill the voids left by those in the UK and Europe.’

In August, it was reported that the Charing Cross Premier Inn was experiencing a staff shortage with three housekeeping workers in its 91 rooms.

And now the chain is due to open a 122-room hotel on Bath Street as part of £ 70million plans to regenerate the area.

When asked if he thought the UK-based company might have a hard time recruiting enough staff, he replied: “It’s not just for them, but for everyone with a new business that has just started. They may find it difficult to fill vacant positions if they do not have housing in place, “he said.

“A lot of staff just can’t afford to live in Jersey. It’s not just about hospitality, but at all levels. ‘


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