Potts Point Front Office Manager Soña is originally from Slovakia. She arrived in Sydney 8 years ago and instantly fell in love with the beautiful nature, laid back lifestyle and pleasant climate.
She studied librarianship at high school and banking at university, followed by different roles, always related to customer service in some way. She started working with Sydney Lodges in 2014. Apart from her native Slovak language, she speaks fluent Czech and English of course! She also studied German and Russian at school. "They are a bit rusty now but I’m hoping to find time to improve them in the future!"
When she is not at the front desk, Soña loves travelling, "if I’m not roaming yet another new country you can find me busy planning my next trip!" so she always has great advice to our overseas guests as she knows what is important when travelling.
Her favourite food spot in Potts Point village is the Italian at Friggitoria just across the road from our Bayswater property. "It is a friendly little place, perfect for a tasty and quick meal. It is also well priced. You have to try their Arancini! They are delicious and crispy and make a perfect meal when you just want something small but filling instead of a big lunch!"
Soña thoroughly enjoys meeting guests from different countries. "Getting to know various cultures and having the opportunity to meet some very special and interesting people that I would not have met if I did not work at the front desk."
Coffee order: Cappuccino with 1 sugar
Glen grew up in Sydney, originally studying social work at University; then working as a consultant to NSW Government on community projects.
His love of adventure and meeting new people has taken him all over the world to live in various countries from New Zealand to Asia, Europe to USA and Brazil. He also has travelled a lot within Australia. He has stayed in all types of accommodation from 1 to 5 star luxury and so understands the special quality of lovely places to stay and those who prioritise - the guest experience.
Glen is really one of the family, he has been with Sydney Lodges for over 20 years. His focus is to create a memorable experience where a guest wants to return again and again. He says, that our guests are known to say, "It's their home away from home". Glen says "The comfort of hotels and friendliness of staff is something I always look for when I travel, so I always strive to give that in return to our guests ... I want to give them the best experience and service I can."
His favourite food is a toss-up between Italian or Thai, with a glass of wine of course! “My favourite Thai restaurant is Thai Terrific in Hughes Street, Potts Point, this restaurant really is terrific! Also for those who appreciate a good dining experience Macleay Street Bistro is a Potts Point institution that shouldn’t be missed!”
Having worked in the area for so long, Glen, is definitely our go-to-person for everything Potts Point – he knows it all: best food, restaurants, cafes and great specialty shops in 'a unique village life'.
When not working at Sydney Lodges, you will find Glen wandering furniture stores, fabric houses or perhaps looking through some beautiful books at a library, Glen has an Interior Design business with his partner of 20+ years.
As Glen says, “Life is too short for a bad coffee!” He gets his coffee at Anatel, "she makes a great coffee with lovely naughty treats" the bonus is - the cafe is on-site at Springfield, SO VERY convenient!
Romsel is a Senior Front Office Agent in Randwick. She is originally from Cambodia but has been living in Sydney for the last 8 years.
With over 18 years experience, working in the Hotel Industry, Romsel previously worked in an international luxury hotel in Krong Siem Reap, a resort town in northwestern Cambodia and the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the ancient Khmer kingdom.
She speaks English but also French, Thaï and Cambodia's official language: Khmer.
When she is not at the front desk she raises her two daughters (7 and 5 yo) in the inner-eastern suburbs of Sydney.
In Randwick, she always recommends Choys to guests who enjoy Asian flavours and in particular their Noodle Soup.
Romsel enjoys being at the front desk as she likes talking with guests, sharing their stories, joys and worries, especially the hospital patients who come and stay for the proximity to the Randwick Hospital.
Coffee order: Mocca.
Meet our Aussie-born team member Louis who works as a Front Office Agent in Randwick. As a young teenager he lived abroad, both in the UK and New Zealand before returning to Sydney and speaks a titbit of French (that he would love to take further!)
In his free time this autodidact loves reading, mainly fiction and classics like George Orwell's popular 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. Also a cinephile, his favourite movie of all times would probably be Pulp Fiction.
Louis's recommended place to eat in the neighbourhood is Burger Barrel on the way down to Coogee Beach. "The burgers are absolutely spectacular!"
Louis enjoys the friendships he has with his co-workers and the steady-flow of the day to day running of the Sydney Lodges front desk - "It's great meeting new people every day".
Coffee order: Latte
Queenie is a Front Office Agent in Randwick. She is 23 yo and is originally from the Philippines, General Santos City. She has been in Australia for almost 2 years now and is studying a Master in Social Work. She speaks English, Filipino and the 2nd most spoken language in the Philippines: Tagalog (that means "native form the river").
When she is not studying or working, Queenie enjoys the beach, trekking and singing.
Like many other Randwick staff members she enjoys at burger10 and recommends the 'Cheesy Bacon' with sweet potato fries.
She enjoys working at the front desk as it is all about communicating with a wide variety of people. She listens to stories and feels it will help her future professional skills as a social worker, especially with guests coming to Randwick for a hospital visit as it is never an easy time.
Coffee Order: tea with milk and 2 sugars (Filipino style!)
Zafar is a Front Office Agent in Randwick. He comes from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, and has been in Sydney for a year, living close to Maroubra. He has an MBA in Human Resources and used to work with Aid agencies, helping refugees and people affected by the war. He came to Sydney following his wife, who got a scholarship to study a Master of Development Studies at UNSW.
Zafar speaks 4 languages: English, Urdu (Pakistan's national language - also called Hindu in India), Pashtu (Afghanistan's national language) and Darri (Persian language).
When he is not at the front desk, he loves walking, hiking, watching movies, sports and is a big cricket fan! He already has his tickets for Pakistan/Australia at the @ourscg.
He enjoys his work as he gets to meet new people daily and also love a good challenge: being in tough situations and finding solutions!
Coffee order: Cappuccino 2 sugars.
Rehan has a Commerce Degree with Accounting Majors. However when he realised he didn’t really enjoy numbers that much, he pursued a profession in hospitality and thank goodness for us he did! He’s been involved in many areas in the industry from Events Co-ordinator to Chef and has now been working with us on the Front Desk for the past year and he's loving it! He speaks 2 languages, Urdu and English, and would love to learn Spanish.
Rehan has been in the industry for a long time, he says that it's because he loves meeting new people.“You learn so much about people - I think that’s the best part of the job!”
When he’s not at work he loves working out at the gym and spending time with his wife exploring the city and going out for coffee to all his favourite baristas. His go to restaurant in Potts Point is Thai Rock.“They have the most amazing chicken wings and Thai fried rice and the Tom Yum soup is a must! ”
Coffee order: Latte extra hot. No sugar.
Meet the lovely Lena, who is originally from the Ukraine, however she grew up in Israel and arrived in Australia only 2.5 years ago.
Having lived in all these places she naturally speaks 3 languages fluently: English, Hebrew and Russian. Lena holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management, Food Resource and Tourism. Her most recent job was working in the 5 star hotel "Dan Tel-Aviv" in Israel.
When working Lena's food haven escape is to the Sweet Spot Patisserie at The Spot just down the road from Perouse and our other Randwick properties. Her sweet tooth, leads her to all those delicious continental cakes and desserts - “the apple strudel is to die for.”
In her spare time, Lena spends her time looking after and being entertained by her 3 year old son.
With her position at Front Office, she loves talking to new people and hearing all about where they are from and why they are in Sydney. She takes prides in making sure our guests are comfortable during their stay with us at Sydney Lodges and has fun suggesting unique places to see and things to do in the area.
Coffee order: Skim Milk Cap
He studied Hospitality and Tourism at the age of 20 and has worked in hotels both back and front of house positions during and after his studies. He has had 10 years’ experience in various hotels around Sydney. He speaks 2 languages, English and Bahasa Indonesian, and would love to learn Spanish because it sounds so wonderful.
When not on duty at Sydney Lodges, he helps to raise his 8-year-old son and loves to play basketball. He personally recommends the New Hampton Bar and Grill on Bayswater Road right next door to Bayswater as they have a very simple but delicious selection of classic pub style food. His favourite is the House Hamburger.
On working with Sydney Lodges, Justin says “I enjoy my work because every day you meet new people. Thinking about it, though I think the best part is when you see return guests coming back. “It makes me proud to hear that they have returned to us because of the impact of our team’s positive hospitality."
Coffee order: Small Latte with 2 (or 1) sugar please (I would prefer 2... but if I get caught!)
Jan is from Germany, arriving in Australia three years ago. He moved to Australia after completing his Apprenticeship for Business Administration & Management in Germany and is currently studying Leadership & Management in one of Sydney's recognised colleges to further his knowledge in the industry.
He has been working in Hospitality and Customer Service since arriving in Australia and has gained a lot of practical experience before joining us at Sydney Lodges in our Front Office almost a year ago. “Our goal is to provide a memorable and terrific customer service experience for all our guests. That is why it is essential to listen carefully to our guests' needs; and to work together as a team to help make our guest experience the best stay in Sydney.”
Jan loves the opportunity to meet new people every day and listen to their exciting stories. He enjoys the daily challenge of accommodating a huge variety of hotel guests, that come to stay with us at our Randwick properties, people from all over the world with diverse and interesting multi-cultural backgrounds. Plus he says Sydney Lodges is a great company to work for and his local Randwick team are wonderful. We all think you are great too, Jan, except when you eat all the pastry samples from our new cafe - opening soon, next door to our property Perouse.
Besides from working and studying, Jan enjoys the simple things such as spending time in nature visiting the great outdoors or in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. He admits he’s a bit of a 'foodie'. "The best thing about living in Sydney is there are so many places to explore and taste with such a great mix of Cross-Culture Fusion Foods."
He highly recommends the Randwick café, 22 Grams just around the corner from our hotels towards the Sydney Children’s Hospital 2 mins walk. "They roast their own coffee beans and bake their own bread on site with delicious home-made pastries.
My daily coffee order is a long black (just black coffee with no extras).
Zaneta, was born in Australia but moved to Macedonia with her parents at 17. She graduated from the University of St Cyril and Methodius in Skopje with a degree in English Language and Literature and then worked as an ESL teacher for 20 years before moving back to Australia.
She speaks three languages Macedonian, Serbian and Bulgarian but would love to learn a couple more, she says, beaming that big smile of hers, “…the more languages you know the richer you are!”
Once back in Australia, she moved away from teaching and studied Hospitality, but always kept up with her love for teaching by becoming a private tutor for extending accellerated students in Maths and English.
Zaneta has been with Sydney Lodges in our Potts Point Front Office for the past 10 months and we are much richer for her joining the team. "I enjoy my job because I love meeting new people and the great team I work with – it's a lot of fun".
When not at work she loves spending time with her 18 year old daughter and 11 year old son. She enjoys cooking and reading a good book whenever she gets a free moment.
Her favourite place to eat out in Potts Point is The Butler in Victoria Street between our properties Springfield and Challis. It has an amazing panoramic view of the Sydney city skyline from the terrace and exquisite Ibero-American cuisines. The food and the way it is prepared and cooked brings a zesty texture and tangy twist to classic dishes. Plus "there's always something going on at The Butler - it's a great place to go for brunch, a lazy Sunday lunch or dinner."
Her coffee order: "The only coffee that I like is the one that I make at home an ice frappe, but I love to order a freshly squeezed orange juice or a smoothie when visiting any of our local cafes at Potts Point!"
Libby is our Sales & Partnerships Manager joining us in early 2019.
She is a "country girl at heart", originally from Tamworth, Country Music Capital of Australia, now living at beautiful Bondi Beach with her family. "I am a 6th generation Aussie with my ancestors arriving in on the First and Second Fleets, one as a Naval Captain, the other a Convict!"
Initially studying Photography, Libby fell in love with the hospitality industry whilst working in hotels travelling the world. Back in Australia, she worked in marketing and events.
When she is not in Sydney Lodges HQ, she loves walking her dog, going out to local restaurants and supporting Sydney's fringe theatre. "My favourite walk is the Hermitage Foreshore, starting at Rose Bay and finishing at Watsons Bay for a vino as the sun goes down."
In summer Libby loves The Butler Sydney (123 Victoria Street) "it has a real Sydney Lifestyle feel about it, plus great city and bridge views. The shared plates menu is full of fresh Aussie produce, I love the Kingfish Ceviche!" In winter she usually heads to Dulcie's Kings Cross, a cosy 1930's bohemian bar full of unique Aussie inspired cocktails. "Try the Carousel Club tastes just like a Pavlova! (Australia's favourite dessert).
Libby loves meeting new people and chatting all about Sydney Lodges and the area. "Plus we have a fun team at HQ."
Coffee order: skim latte in her own keep cup!