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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.
Eating Out : 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
Phakha is one of our wonderful housekeeping ladies, who takes meticulous care and pride in the state of our bedrooms. She makes sure everything is as it should be before each guest check in.
Originally from Bangkok in Thailand, she studied as a teacher in early days and was certified and recognised as a ‘Royal’ teacher, one who has been chosen to serve the National Government of Thailand. Phakha speaks many different dialects of her native Thailand including Southwestern Tai, Lao and Karen languages.
She enjoys working with the team at Sydney Lodges, she loves to clean and enjoys meeting and greeting guests when she bumps into them in the hallways of Challis or Springfield… She is dedicated to making our guests feel comfortable and in a safe environment when staying with us.
When she’s not working she enjoys cooking at home on Sydney’s north shore and relaxing over an Aussie beer or a glass of local wine with her husband. She enjoys a trip into the City to wander the shops and she loves visiting the heritage buildings, like the Town Hall or the Queen Victoria building and is interested in current affairs and events in Sydney.
Eating Out: Her favourite place to get fresh fruit and vegetables locally is Harris Farm, “It’s great for a quick home style cooked meal or salad if you’re in a hurry, or soup for a winter lunch time take-away. It’s easy because it’s directly opposite Springfield Lodge.”
Or she visits the local Kings Cross farmers market on Saturdays at the El Alamein Fountain on Macleay Street to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables to take home and cook on the weekends.
Coffee Order : Latte please.
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.
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 Baked Republic, next door to our property Perouse Randwick.
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.
Daily Coffee Order ☕ : a long black (just black coffee with no extras).
Jocelyn is originally from the Philippines and so speaks Tagalog as well as English.
She has studied and achieved Certificate 3 Level in Hairdressing and Certificate 4 Level in Hospitality.
Jocelyn feels like work is her second home, teamwork is one of her values so she really enjoys the team camaraderie. Seeing our guests happy and appreciative of her hard work makes Jocelyn feel extra special.
Outside of work, Jocelyn enjoys cooking, shopping and going to church. Her kids are all grown so she spends a lot of time assisting her retired husband. “Family is important!”
Eating Out : Jocelyn loves the sandwiches at Cali Press Juice, down behind the Hospitals on Barker St in the exciting Newmarket Dining precinct – “they are fresh and the place is new and fun”.
In Potts Point, she loves the cafe life, and recommends our own Springfield‘s Anatel for a good coffee.
Coffee order ☕ : Regular Capuccino, 1 sugar but not more – “I’m sweet enough”
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.”
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!”
Ivan loves to learn and has Degrees in both Graphic Design and Nursing; and a Certificate in Carpentry – Amazing.
Ivan has been with Sydney Lodges for several years and loves the constant challenge as every day is different in the Maintenance department.
When not at work, Ivan likes to spend time working out and enjoys taking his dog to Coogee Beach. He says he’s a “Demogorgon”
Ivan always has a one-liner up his sleeve and puts everyone in a good mood. Today it is: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
When asked what languages he speaks; he usually says “Souvlakian, the lamb one!” apart from Slovakian he also speaks Czech, Russian, German and of course English.
Eating Out : Ivan recommends Out of the Blue on Clovelly Road for the best burgers or fish and chips in the East – he says “if you know, you know” If you don’t believe Ivan, just go and have a look at the queue of locals there all day every day…
Plus another local favourite of his is the “Cloey Hotel” or Clovelly Hotel, great place for a local beer or Sunday Lunch – you’ll find it on your coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi.
Coffee Order ☕ : Long black with 1 sugar
Nunia was born in Fiji and moved with her husband to Australia around 8 years ago. After school she studied Administration and Secretarial Studies and before moving to Australia she had a career in property management. During her earlier work life back in Fiji, Nunia managed 10 commercial and retail properties as well as another 7 residential properties. Apart from her perfect English she also speaks Fijian.
When she’s not at work she is busy being a housewife and running the household with her husband and their 3 children in Arncliffe.
Nunia’s local favourite cafe is Saint Marks on Clovelly Road in Randwick. It’s a popular local place, they have good coffee and the menu is full of variety to suit most tastes. They are only open for breakfast and lunch, but it is a definite local go to place for their cold drip single origin coffee. The Breakfast menu consists of the usual Sydney brunch offerings, smashed avo, housemade granola, super healthy bowls, corn fritters, bacon & egg rolls, plus a few Mexican twists including Quesadillas and Huevos Rancheros. For lunch there’s some great burgers, salads, grain bowls and ‘loaded’ dishes that everyone orders.
Nunia really likes working with Sydney Lodges, she is based at our Randwick properties; and she says they are a great team who enjoy working together. She says “The leadership team is great too, they always lead by example and that makes coming to work so worthwhile.
However, most of all, she always like to put a smile on our guests’ faces.
Coffee Order ☕ : A regular Latte with 1 sugar please.
Another shining star from our Guest Services team is Nana. Nana is from Indonesia, growing up in Java and Bali before moving to Sydney with her husband for a new adventure.
Nana has been passionate about hospitality since High School and studied Hotel Management. She trained in Singapore and worked in an exclusive 5 star resort in Bali before moving to Sydney. She says that the best thing about working for @sydneylodges is the “amazing team and Management”
Outside of work, Nana enjoys hunting down the newest foodie spots, shopping, watching movies and exploring the many many beaches of Sydney.
?️ : ”I love pasta and I always get the ‘Pasta Scampi’ from @fratelliparadiso – it is the best!”
☕ : Latte with 2 sugars
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.”
Eating Out : 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.
Coffee Order ☕ : 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.
Eating Out : 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.
Eating Out : 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
Nikolay is part of our Guest Services Team in Potts Point greeting our guests with his lovely smile.
Nikolay is from St Petersburg, Russia and he grew up between there and other parts of Europe before embarking on his study adventure in Australia. He has always enjoyed the hospitality industry and is very good at keeping our guests calm and happy!
When not at work, Nikolay enjoys historical reenactment, reading books, watching movies and is currently learning French!
?️ : “I love Mexican food and sonora mexican is my favourite in the Potts Point area!”
☕ : Latte or Capuccino
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.
Eating Out : His favourite food joint in Randwick is Burger10 (try the German Königsberger!) and in Maroubra, go to Inferno Grill Maroubra for a good steak.
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.
Lindsay forms part of our Maintenance team in Randwick and has been a carpenter/handyman for the past 20 years after his career change from an accountant.
Of working at Sydney Lodges, Lindsay says he “enjoys the variety and challenge of the job” and gets a kick out of making things right or better.
Sip and Savour Local : Lindsay likes to grab a pie or cake from The Sweet Spot Patisserie. It is just up the road and the display alone is bound to get your mouth watering!
Coffee Order ☕ : Large Skim Capuccino
Meet the lovely Hilda who works with our Housekeeping Team in Randwick. Hilda studied Business Administration and worked in the Industrial Sector before moving to Australia from the Philippines in 2003.
Hilda loves meeting and greeting customers and says that one of the best parts of working with Sydney Lodges is being part of such a great team.
Outside of work, Hilda likes to keep up with all the latest movies and loves shopping whether it is at the shopping centre or online, our little fashionista knows where to find a good bargain so be sure to ask her for shopping tips!
?️ : Hilda love to start her day with a coffee and pastry from @baked.republic located conveniently out the front of Perouse Randwick by Sydney Lodges. “Try the custard-filled donut, it is soooooo yummy!”
☕ : flat white with 1, extra hot!
Camillo studied Computer Science at University and loves building computers. He’s definitely a whizz kid! He loves his time at Sydney Lodges, because he likes to be given a challenge and fix it! “I like to get everything fixed and I like to do it well!” He is always friendly and ready to help with any job that he’s asked to do, “yes no problem”!
When he’s not at work, he likes to work in his garden and plant new flowers and trees plus he is an avid reader. He also speaks 3 languages Filipino,Taglalog and his English is pretty darn excellent!
Eating Out: Of course his go to cafe is Anatel because it’s here right at the doorstep of work.
His favourite order is the Bacon and Egg Roll or for lunch the Quinoa and Mushroom Salad never fails to please!
Coffee Order : A large Cappuccino