The fourth-generation hotelier

Unusual Hospitality Stories

Sally Beck, General Manager of Royal Lancaster London has hospitality in the blood. Her parents, grandparents and great-uncle have all worked in the hospitality industry and so it may have been destiny that Sally followed the family trait.

Sally holds at her heart an ambition to run the happiest hotel in London and believes that desires stems her upbringing of everyone mucking in.

Sally Beck has been General Manager of the Royal Lancaster London for over five years having originally joined as Hotel Manager. She was quickly promoted into her first role as General Manager but has taken it all in her stride. Sally has combined her experience with other five-star properties in the capital with an upbringing in hospitality to strive to create a hotel environment which nurtures a strong culture.

Today Sally emphasis that her hunger is to drive the hotel forward and be inspirational and to make all employees feel genuinely happy. It is this passion that may just lie in the blood. Having grown up in pubs and hotels she didn’t live in a house until she was 17 and believes this upbringing made have her helped shape her philosophy.

“I was born and bred in hospitality and was taught that the difference is in the tiny details; how you connect people, how to work together and how to pass on this approach. I didn’t have a front door until my teens so grew up with everyone knowing my business. Walking through a pub to get to your room in a small community meant news travelled fast. But this was normal for me and didn’t seem strange until you compare it to other upbringings.”

The Crosby Hotel where Sally’s great great grandfather worked

The Manager: “C.E. Beck” at The Crosby Hotel in Scunthorpe

Sally shares how this background is something she has also passed onto her children. They all have jobs to do and Sally ensured that when she took the General Manager’s positions, she wouldn’t be working every evening. “Before school when I was growing up, I was working in the pub cellar tapping the barrels and today my children are also helping out but in different ways. It’s about mucking in and working together as a family.”

This approach towards hard work and working together flows through Sally at work and at home. She is always striving to learn more and whether it’s the thoughts of Simon Sinek or books by Nancy Kline, Sally is absorbing and taking the best lessons into the hotel. “There are some brilliant pieces of work out there which really awaken you to the difference between generations or how best to work with a team in certain environments.” It is this yearning for knowledge that helps drive that ambition of inspiring and having a happy team.

The world may have changed since Sally’s great uncle was working in the industry, but the heart of hospitality hasn’t changed that much at all. It’s about great service, a warm welcome and strong teamwork. This is what Sally strives towards and is always keen to learn more. With four generations, she has the heritage, but importantly Sally also has the mindset and ability of a leader in hospitality.