Member Spotlight: Assumpta McDonald General Manager Hyatt Regency & Hyatt House Manchester

Wednesday, 28th July 2021

Each week we get to know one of our members a little better. This week it’s Assumpta McDonald, General Manager – Hyatt Regency & Hyatt House Manchester.

Assumpta joined Hyatt Manchester in January 2020 from Hyatt Regency Sydney, Australia. She oversaw the transitioning of the hotels into the Hyatt Brand which represented a significant milestone for Hyatt’s brand growth in the UK and the debut of Hyatt’s extended stay segment, the Hyatt House brand. Both properties are housed within the same building offering guests a choice based on their travel needs and duration of stay.

  1. Career highlight?

My passion for the hospitality industry started in my school days when I worked in a hotel in my hometown in the west of Ireland.  I was immediately hooked on the world of hospitality and the constant buzz.  In my first role we were expecting a visit from a well-known VIP and I was fortunate to serve him, I noticed that he was unable to enjoy his lunch due to people trying to talk to him so I politely explained that he was here to relax and enjoy his lunch. My General Manager was impressed and used by behaviour as a good example to the team and my passion to become a General Manager was ignited.

I wouldn’t restrict myself to one career highlight as I have always been passionate about Hospitality and enjoy the challenges and opportunities each role brings. I have made life long connections and been fortunate to meet some amazing people along my Journey. Along the way I have mentored many Colleagues and continue to do so and I hope the highlights keep coming for many years to come.

This industry has allowed me the opportunity to work in some amazing hotels and brands across Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and now Manchester.

       2. Why do you love pro-manchester?

I’ve always respected the can-do attitude of people in Manchester, it’s a similar temperament to hoteliers we will do everything to work together to make something special happen.  This is why I enjoy working with organisations like pro-Manchester. Connecting and collaborating is one of the most important things we can do as leaders to help each other and our region and I believe this is even more important now as we emerge from the pandemic.

      3. What are you reading at the moment?

I guess you will find a lot of us hoteliers live and breathe the industry in all aspects of our life so you probably won’t be surprised to hear I am reading “The Grand Life – Confessions of an old School Hotelier by Patrick Griffin OAM whom I was lucky enough to meet when I was working in Sydney.  Patrick was born in Rugby and grew up in Swanage, Dorest. This trilogy of books certainly resonates with stories of his famous and infamous guests and the challenges he faced including opening two new hotels during a global crisis that shook the world.

     4. What are you watching at the moment?

I love to watch all types of sport, so on the weekends watch what ever is live be it Tennis, Formula One, Golf, Football or Australian Rules Football. I am fanatical supporter of the Sydney Swans AFL team which I find as a great means of release from any work stress it’s just not as easy to attend from Manchester. I am becoming a football fan of the teams from this region and I’m looking forward to attending live sport again.

     5. Favourite band or artist?

I love music of all types and I am looking forward to being able to see some live performances soon, Manchester has such a wealth of venues and performers, at the hotel we are lucky to be opposite the wonderful Royal Northern College of Music just opposite us here at Hyatt Manchester and we will hopefully be collaborating with their students soon.

      6. Hidden / Useless Talent?

My life revolves around my work which I love but I do find time to run regularly around my local area and look forward to participating in Park Runs again.

      7. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Travel the world, be adventurous and study.

      8. Favourite meeting place in Manchester?

I’m looking forward to exploring the city fully but my favourite meeting place is 20 Stories, the wide-open views of the ever-changing cityscapes are amazing as I have found the service to be.

     9. Favourite place to visit in Manchester

Manchester and the surrounding region have been in some form of lockdown the majority of time I have lived here so I have been unable to explore as much as I would like too, but I like the outdoors so we have visited many of the parks local to us like Fletcher Moss, Heaton Park and Prestwich Forest Park.  The proximity of four national parks is a great benefit for me with the some of the best countryside in the UK on our doorstep including the Peak & Lake Districts and Snowdonia.

      10. Best concert / gig / performance you’ve been to?

I love music and theatre and I have been fortunate to attend some amazing performances from watching Les Miserable at Radio City Hall in New York and seeing Coldplay in both New Zealand and Australia, but one that tops them all is seeing U2 in Croagh Park Dublin it’s always a big occasion like a homecoming at such a large venue.

     11. If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?

As a big fan of sport I would spend the day with John Longmire the Senior Coach of Sydney Swans.  We can learn from the sporting arena on leading teams through the good and not so good times, the trials and tribulations and the joy when the team performs and the success can bring to all.

     12. What are you looking forward to most in the next 12 months?

In addition to being park of the transitioning team of a new hotel, one of the other main motivations in moving to Manchester was to be closer to my family in Ireland and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that so it’s the top of my list personally as is exploring Manchester and the wider UK countryside, villages and towns.

Professionally I’m looking forward to introducing Hyatt Manchester to the city. At the hotel we have a good mix of long-standing colleagues and new ones and I want to inspire the very best performance in my team and looking forward to welcoming lots of new and returning guests to Hyatt and Manchester.