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Jessy Brepoels, Front Office Manager

Jessy Brepoels, Front Office Manager

In many hotels and restaurants, the turnover in personnel is quite large, but many of the employees at La Butte aux Bois have been WORKING HERE FOR YEARS. One of these is the Front Office Manager, Jessy Brepoels. “The people on our team are the first and last contact points for our guests,” says Jessy.

The first contact that guests have with the staff of a hotel or restaurant when they arrive often sets the tone for the rest of their stay. Check-in, the handling of the luggage, informing guests about what, for many of them, is a new environment … All of these are factors that are essential at the start of a fabulous evening or a relaxing weekend. “A successful stay begins at reception,” asserts Jessy Brepoels, who has worked at La Butte aux Bois since 1999. “It is difficult to say this about my own team, but I think that the friendliness of the employees at all levels is one of the huge assets of this house. You can learn a computer system at school or by taking evening courses. A spontaneous and jovial manner with the guests is an attitude that is partly a feature of your character and something which you must work on every day.”

Together with her team of fifteen staff, Jessy Brepoels is responsible for what they call the front. “The first and the last impressions are made by the Front Office. If there is a problem in between, then we try to solve it at Reception. For example, when a guest forgets his smoking, he doesn´t have to panic. It is a challenge for us to help him as soon as possible. “We do not turn a deaf ear to any comment. I constantly remind the team: If you come across as unconcerned, then we just bungle up the work of all the other employees. Therefore, it is important that we receive immediate feedback from our guests. If we are only notified of a problem or a source of dissatisfaction at check-out, then we do not have the chance to remedy the situation.”

“Because La Butte aux Bois has a large number of regular customers, after each of their visits, we make a note of their specific wishes and remarks. These range from a preferred pillow or a favourite dish. This way we can anticipate their expectations. To me, it is the most logical approach in the world. If you go to a hotel that has a five-star superior label, you may expect more from them than you would from a hotel of average quality.”

After 21 years, Jessy is always still finding new challenges. “Nowadays, the guests are much more demanding. You cannot miss a beat, but that keeps you sharp. I still consider myself lucky every day that I can work in this fascinating environment. You constantly see new people, which means that it always stays interesting. You know before you start that a job in a hotel or in a restaurant requires flexibility. I have my own family with three sons, ages 20, 17 and 13. Due to the irregular hours, balancing my private life with my work is not always easy, but in return you are blessed with so many great experiences and interesting encounters. I have learned an awful lot about life at La Butte.”