“A day in the life of” Simon Haden, Managing Director, Gregans Castle Hotel.

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Q 1- How does your normal day begin?

I’m usually the first up so I start by feeding our 25 cats (we adopt from the Galway SPCA), 2 donkeys and our pony. Then it’s a short stroll to the hotel where I do a walk around followed by breakfast over my emails.

Q 2- What are your biggest daily challenges?

My main challenge is to be well organised in structuring my workday and prioritising the tasks put in front of me. Something you may have planned to do may have to be put aside at the last minute because something more important got in the way.

Q3- What do you love most about your job?

I love the variety. There are so many aspects to it that you could never get bored or lose interest. I love the customer interaction and feedback. But then I could be in the back office on my own looking at figures or working on sales and marketing. Later I could be outside talking to the gardeners or in the kitchen having a meeting with the Chef and Restaurant Manager.

Q 4- What do you do to relax?

My big de-stressor is swimming. But my default is listening to loud music (the heavier the better). But I could as easily be on the couch in front of the fire with a good book.

Q 5-Favourite staycation destination in Ireland and why?

My wife Freddie is from Connemara so that’s where we usually head to when we can as her parents live there. It’s a big contrast to the Burren but just as beautiful. At this stage, it’s almost my second home.

Q 6-Favourite holiday destination worldwide?

In 2019 we discovered a small remote unspoilt island off Madagascar. We had intended to return there in 2020. There are no roads on the island and the locals travel around by boat. The wildlife is amazing particularly the lemurs. We also had to get over our fear of snakes.

Q 7-Favourite Business motto?

I always thought that “Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself” is the most appropriate motto for the hotel business.

Q 8. Advice for young business entrepreneurs

There are always ways that you can improve and your team and customers always have great ideas, so listen.