Greenclose Hotels is a family-owned and operated hotel company that encompasses Montagu Arms and Careys Manor in Hampshire, its luxury spa, plus The imperial Hotel in Llandudno. One man who knows each business inside out is James Hiley-Jones.
Now managing director, he’s been at the company in a management capacity since 2001, when he started as general manager at Montagu Arms, which was then a three AA star, 23-bedroom hotel. Having worked his way ever since then, now he oversees the group’s operations, making sure to enter each hotel regularly with a ‘fresh eye’. Now each property boasts a four-star status for its service and facilities and home to an impressive set of restaurants with a handful of Rosettes between them. Careys Manor is also home to SenSpa, the brand’s Thai-inspired health and wellness space, which has a plethora of awards to its name; on a winning streak from 2012 to the present day.
Hiley-Jones has implemented a number of improvements and upgrades across the group to ensure standards are maintained and staff are content. In 2015, Careys Manor relaunched its restaurant following a £200k investment programme in a bid to capture more ‘off the street’ trade and build a better reputation. It worked and less than six months later, non-resident business had increased to 15% and the restaurant was pushing for 3 AA Rosettes.
Thoughts then turned to The Montagu Arms in 2017, with its restaurant benefiting from a £400k overhaul to bring it into the 21st century. Hiley-Jones was awarded the prestigious Master Innholder status in 2015, an honour that he described as ‘at the peak of the hotel and hospitality industry’.