Focus on hospitality at Hever Castle: Meet Roland Smith



House Manager, Roland Smith is responsible for all the hospitality and operational aspects of the Astor Wing, the 5* bed and breakfast and conference facility at Hever Castle.

Roland, who has worked in hospitality at Hever Castle for 16 years, started as Senior Assistant Manager and was promoted to House Manager in 2007.

The father of three studied engineering at university but worked as a waiter in a restaurant during a year out and decided the hospitality industry was for him.

He moved from Hove to join the hospitality team at Hever Castle with wife Nicola Smith, who is the Visitor Experience Manager.

Roland oversees the co-ordination of all hospitality at Hever Castle including weddings, corporate events, private events, birthday parties and conferences.

Since he has worked in the Astor Wing he has been involved in the refurbishment of the whole building from Medley Court, the 5* holiday cottage to the bedrooms in the Astor Wing and the creation of the Anne Boleyn wing as accommodation. Having only previously used accommodation for private hire it was Roland’s idea to open as a bed and breakfast in 2012.

As well as being involved in hospitality at Hever Castle he has also been responsible for special projects such as organising the introduction of solar panels to the estate.

For Roland the best thing about working at Hever Castle is the location: “You have to pinch yourself that you get to work here. It’s nice to see it for the first time as our guests see it. It makes my day when you have exceeded their expectations. When they literally cry with delight it’s so amazing.”

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