Ten months into his role as general manager at the Aviator in Farnborough, a luxury hotel for the elite traveller by the TAG Group, and Dominic Osborne is embracing life an independent hotelier.
“It’s refreshing to be part of the team here and an independent hotel; you can be innovative and make decisions,” he said at the time. Osborne joined the team in October 2016, taking over from Mark Ashton, with more than 20 years in hospitality, dominated by stints in large chain operations and branded properties, such as Hilton and Malmaison.
Now responsible for all the operations at the Aviator, with its 169 bedrooms, which run at a healthy 75% occupancy, through its six meeting rooms, 2 AA Rosette restaurant, American diner One Eleven, and the famous destination cocktail bar, Sky Bar, Osborne’s role is a world away from the more corporate environment he was used to.
The Aviator hotel opened in 2008 with Ken McCulloch – of Malmaison fame – heading up the launch with his wife Amanda Rosa responsible for all the interior design. Fast forward eight years and Osborne is determined to spread the word about the hotel and its offering, giving it the nationwide recognition it deserves, both within the industry and to travellers.
“We are a good mature business now with a great reputation and great numbers coming through, so the challenge for us now is probably less about the 10%, more about the 1 or 2% differences we can make and that’s the focus for 2017,” he adds.