Sarah Hill has been part of the Spabreaks.com team since the early days. Playing a formative role in developing the portfolio of hotels that we work with, she works closely with spas across the UK to develop the best spa packages and showcase the best that each spa has to offer. Now having been part of the team for eight years and counting, here she explains what she does and why she loves it…
My role is Senior Product Manager and so I oversee the product team. I am also the middle man between the sales team and the spa venues we work with. I ensure we receive the best offers and exclusive spa deals, and that can be booked in the easiest way possible. In short, I build relationships with the spa venues. I also find amazing new venues to add to our portfolio.
I have actually worked in hospitality and travel since I was 14. I started working in bars and went on to work in hotels, restaurants, and holiday parks. I also studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at university. So it was always in my blood. I then worked for another well known travel company in the retail division for seven years. After having my son I knew I needed a change and the role at Spabreaks.com came up. Although the product was very different, it was still hospitality and leisure, which is my passion.
I studied for a business and finance GNVQ at college and then went to Birmingham University where I achieved a 2:1 in my degree. During that time I did a one year placement for Haven Holidays, as they are now. I gained experience in all departments, and also did lots of hospitality part time jobs while I was at university. That gave me a great platform to then go on to get my first Holiday Sales Manager role at Thorpe Park in Cleethorpes. Following that I then moved into travel and became a Lunn Poly Dolly in 2002 before continuing to the Thomson Travel Group and then to Spabreaks.com!
I started as Product Manager. At the time there was just the two of us who were starting the department. We had to literally call and ask venues to join the site as it was the early days of the company. Now, eight years on, I am Senior Product Manager and we have built amazing relationships with our venues. We have grown our product team to seven members of staff managing more than 700 spa destinations in the UK and more overseas. The Spabreaks.com team call centre has also gone from around 20 to 80!
I knew nothing about them when I was offered an interview as it was a very new company. However, after meeting the founder, Abi, at my interview I was taken by her passion for the industry and what she wanted to achieve. I wanted to be part of it, and here we are eight years on – living the dream!
I like that we can all be ourselves and this has guided our success. The Spabreaks.com team are all passionate about the brand and where it is going and every day is totally different. I have never had a quiet day. Quite the opposite – its crazy busy every day and there’s always a new challenge or we think of something new to push boundaries in the spa industry. It’s very exciting seeing the changes happen, especially over the last 18 months. We have fun and we work hard but we just have such a great team that it feels like I am not even going to work!
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