Hilton Birmingham Metropole – the UK’s largest Conference & Events Hotel outside of London – has announced the appointment of Nicola Underhill as the new general manager as it prepares to unveil its multi-million pound refurbishment.
The impressive renovation, which is due to complete in January 2022, will transform every element of the hotel, with Nicola taking command of bringing the new settings to life for new and returning guests. These include contemporary bedrooms, refurbished conference spaces and three exciting new restaurants and bars.
Nicola is set to bring her vast experience and customer-focused approach to the mix for the new-look hotel, having joined from her position as general manager of Hilton St George’s Park Hotel, home of England Football. Earlier this year, her team were able to showcase their first-class service and facilities to the world when the hotel served as the England Men’s Senior football team’s basecamp throughout UEFA Euro 2020.
Nicola and her team spent many months preparing to host the national squad during their most successful campaign in recent history. From enhanced security and stringent Covid measures that incorporated the Hilton CleanStay hygiene commitment, through to catering for the strict dietary needs of the players, the St George’s Park team worked in tandem with the England support staff to ensure they went above and beyond in providing the VIPs with everything they required during the high-pressured and intense tournament.
“I am absolutely delighted and feel honoured to have been brought on board during such a significant time for this landmark hotel. Having followed Hilton Birmingham Metropole’s journey closely throughout my career, I am thrilled to now make my own impact within the property and on its legacy within the events industry,” commented Nicola. “The reputation of this hotel is intrinsically linked to the people, and I’m looking forward to leading our highly experienced team to realise our ambitious plans and to expand on our already strong foundations.”
Nicola’s appointment marks a historical moment in the 45-year history of the hotel, as she joins the team as the first female general Manager, bringing with her a wealth of industry experience. Previous to Hilton St George’s Park, Nicola spent time at Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham and Macdonald Hotels and Resorts’ Craxton Wood property, where she was a finalist in the 2011 Women in Business Awards. More recently, Nicola was included in the Women to Watch in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure Index 2019, which aims to highlight talent in the industry while also inspiring women to pursue a career in the sector and reach senior roles. During the same year Nicola was selected to become the new leader of the EMEA Board of Future Generations Project, as well as assuming the internal joint role of Leader of the 2019 Director of Operations Development Programme for Hilton UK&I.
Nicola’s approach focuses on both the development of her team members and guest engagement, with both underpinning her plans. She added, “We know this project means so much, to both our team members and our guests. Throughout every step of the process, we have intentionally thought about the design and layout of our new spaces to enhance the guest experience, including advanced technology such as Digital Key. We can’t wait to welcome even more guests back through our doors to enjoy the innovative changes that we have made.”
With the hotel now re-open, the venue has events booked in its new contemporary spaces from September onwards.