The Vale Resort, south Wales, has appointed a new resort operations manager who will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the hotel and Hensol Castle.
Mark McKnight, 38, who lives in Cwmbran, recently held the post of hotel operations manager at The Grand Hotel in Bristol, having previously worked at the Marriott in Swansea and the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.
Mr McKnight’s career highlights include working as part of a team to deliver the food and beverage requirements for the Ryder Cup within his role of food and beverage operations manager at the Celtic Manor Resort.
By securing an appointment at the Vale Resort, Mr McKnight has come full circle, as he previously held the position of assistant resort food and beverage service manager at the four-star resort for two years, leaving in 2005.
A major project for Mr McKnight will be overseeing the top-end 120 cover restaurant at the 400-year-old Hensol Castle, expected to be opened at the end of next year.
Mr McKnight said: “It was a natural progression for me to return to the Vale Resort as I have very fond memories of the two years I spent here when I started my career. I really enjoy working within a resort setting due to the varied level of business, so my working day is very busy but hugely rewarding.
“When I previously worked at the Vale Resort, the castle had been derelict, but I had the pleasure of arranging the first wedding in a marquee in the castle grounds in 2004.
“Now the castle has undergone a major £10million refurbishment and reopened last year with five function rooms and the new purpose-built Courtyard Hall function suite.
“I will now oversee the next exciting phase of redevelopment and ensure the high standards within the main hotel are carried through into the castle.”
This is not the only major investment that has been made in his 11-year absence, as the Vale Resort has also established a £10million Elite Sports Academy.
He said: “Just before I left the resort was being used by teams while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped, so Liverpool FC, Manchester United and others were often staying and training with us.
“Now there has been a huge investment in the sports facilities, with pitches built to FIFA and IRB specifications, and the resort is home to the Wales football team, who stayed at the resort ahead of their successful UEFA Euros 2016 tournament, the Wales rugby team, Cardiff Blues and Cardiff City FC.
“It has also hosted a raft of international clubs including Real Madrid and has been a designated training venue for the British and Irish Lions on two occasions.”
Paul Beddoe, sales and marketing director at the Vale Resort, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Mark McKnight to the role of resort operations manager. He proved himself as a hardworking and valued member of the team before he left 11 years ago.
“With many years of experience in similar roles, he brings tremendous expertise to the Vale Resort and I am sure he will prove to be an essential and key member of the team, who will lead the operations staff successfully to maintain our high standards.”