Checking in with Serena von der Heyde, owner of Georgian House Hotel and Victorian House Hotel

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In the latest of a regular series, we check in with leading hoteliers and general managers to get an exclusive glimpse into their careers, their lives and their ambitions. This time, we speak to Serena von der Heyde, owner of Georgian House Hotel in London, and Victorian House Hotel in Grasmere.

I enjoy my job because…

It's all about the great things in life: people, teams, beauty, creativity, and great food.

I find my job challenging because…

Of the range of skills required as an independent business owner. I need to understand plumbing as much as marketing, finance as much as building teams, interior design as much as strategy, and understanding trends.

My best achievement in business was…

Winning awards for best employment, like the Springboard Best Education and Industry award.

My worst mistake in business was…

The worst has actually been some of my best mistakes. By that I mean that I have learnt most from them. My worst out-and-out error was signing up for some software that cost us thousands and brought us negligible benefit - I hate thinking about it.

What I am yet to accomplish is…

Opening a completely new business, but that is set to change in February when we open the Victorian House Hotel in the Lake District.

If I could change one thing about myself, it would be…

My right hip - it's worn out! I'm also working on improving my decision making to be more data-driven.

If I could change one thing about the industry, it would be…

The diversity in leadership. We are missing out on the full potential of our industry by failing to promote talented women and people of different ethnicities.

My top three bucket list items are…

Seeing the Northern lights; doing a marathon in Ethiopia; and skiing in Japan.

My life philosophy is…

Taking the first step on something challenging is the hardest - after that, things take their course.

My favourite songs are…

Fauré's Requiem or Daft Punk, Up all Night - according to my mood!

My ideal weekend would be…

Running in the hills with my husband, bivvying out under the stars, getting back next day to a big meal with friends and family - then dancing!

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