Kew & A with Pete Mill

We catch up with Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth's Reception Manager

What is it you do at Kew Green Hotels?

I’m Pete, I am the Reception Manager at the Holiday Inn Express, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.

Tell us about you outside of work

This year has changed so many aspects of all of our lives: my Pompey FC season pass has sat un-used as games have been played without crowds; spending time with friends and family has become more complex, but also more valuable than ever. My brother’s Netflix account has been very well used! Tiger King and a slice of Banana Bread have been the end to many an evening at home.

Talk us through your experience of lockdown and what it’s meant for you as an employee

Lockdown challenged us in so many ways: the worry, the loneliness, and getting to grips with the ‘new normal’. Having worked at the hotel for over 3 years, it was strange to suddenly find myself here alone, the once-busy public areas – full of people excited for a day of exploring – were quiet and empty. We kept ourselves busy with DIY, painting, deep cleaning and organising… never really knowing when we would be able to reopen and get back to business. When the good news about re-opening finally came, we were raring to go!… we just had to stock up on PPE, get the signage in place and practice the new breakfast routine, ready to welcome our amazing Key Worker guests!!

What have the biggest changes been for your hotel?

Social distancing and mask-wearing have had their challenges as we pride ourselves on our personable, friendly and caring interactions with our guests. Thankfully, the feedback has shown that we’ve adapted well and have still been able to give them the first-class service that they expect, with guests reporting that they feel safe and valued.

What support have you had from Kew Green Hotels through this time?

Kew Green Hotels has ensured that we have been supplied with all of the necessary equipment to keep staff and guests safe. We have been provided with PPE, signage, COVID Safe working guidelines, and new online training modules. Staff have had access to a careline for support with their mental wellbeing during this often difficult time.

What’s the biggest thing 2020 has taught you?

2020 has highlighted more than ever the importance of having a strong support network. Overcoming all of the challenges mentioned above would not have been possible, physically or mentally, without my incredible teammates. Loyalty, determination, positivity and a commitment to making the best of whatever situation we find ourselves in has given us the drive to keep on going when times have been tough.

Whatever comes our way, I know that together we will embrace the change and, as always, aim for Outstanding!

We’re not recruiting at the moment here at Kew Green Hotels, but if you’d like to join our talent community for the future, please contact Charley on