THE new manager of Hotel du Vin in Henley says he is excited about his first summer in the town.
Phil Cox, 41, has spent 14 years running hotels all over the country but is delighted to be working in the home of the royal regatta and Henley Festival.
He said: “I’ve been everywhere from Maidstone to Leeds but Henley is the best place I’ve ever worked. It’s a unique town with some fantastic independent shops and a real sense of community. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere with such a close-knit feel.
“That atmosphere comes through loud and clear whether I’m speaking to the Mayor or meeting local hairdressers.”
Mr Cox, from Basingstoke, said he would continue the work of previous manager Rohan Slabbert in forging links with the community. The hotel will still support the Chiltern Centre for disabled children and host events such as the launches of the Sue Ryder women of achievement awards, Regatta Radio and the Henley Literary Festival.
Mr Cox said: “I think you’ve got to embrace that if you’re going to do well as a business. It’s an amazingly exciting time.”
He will be helped by the hotel’s sales and events manager Fiona Pyle, who was promoted from events manager in March and has worked for parent company Malmaison for five years.
The 32-year-old from Twyford said: “I really enjoy meeting people — sales comes naturally to me and I couldn’t see myself in any other job.
“We have so many different types of people coming through the doors, which makes every day different and exciting.”