10 Minutes With: K West Hotel & Spa Operations Manager, Vladanka Manceva
Meet hospitality hotshot, Vladanka Manceva, the woman at the helm of one of London’s trendiest hotels.
30 Second CV
Name: Vladanka Manceva
Current Title/Company: Operations Manager at K West Hotel & Spa
Educational Background: High school in Macedonia, CIDESCO and CIBTAC in Beauty Therapy
The Real Deal
Brief overview of what you do:
I’m involved in every aspect of the business and I work with all department heads to ensure everything runs smoothly and targets are achieved. I could be setting financial budgets one day and sorting HR problems the next. In Operations, the chances of you becoming bored are very low indeed.
Can you describe your job in 3-5 words?
Dynamic, fun, creative, challenging
Do you have a weekday morning routine?
I usually wake up around 6.30am, kick starting my day with a cup of coffee whilst checking all reports from the previous day, the revenue and occupancy, and feedback.
As soon as I get to work I put on the kettle and make my second coffee, before starting on my emails and heading into the daily morning meeting.
What does a typical day at your desk look like?
Every morning we have a meeting and go through daily arrivals, VIPs and all sorts of things from the previous day to be followed up. Because K West is so close to music venues like the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and the Apollo, we tend to have a lot of musicians staying and they generally want to keep a low profile.
Throughout the day I will be checking the financial report and going through feedback, as well as engaging with team members and clients throughout the hotel and keeping an eye on what is happening in each department.
No two days are the same, but one consistent feature is meetings – sometimes my whole day is taken up meeting people, from clients to colleagues to suppliers.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
I’ve had so many proud moments, but the best has to be when the Spa refurbishment was completed in 2010. My son was born only six weeks before, and seeing the final product was like having another baby! Since then, K Spa has gone on to receive the top rating of ‘5 bubbles’ from the Good Spa Guide. I am very proud.
Your job – the good, the bad, the ugly:
The good: I meet lots of people, which is always great. I also enjoy all the times spent with the K West team – it’s so rewarding, like one big family!
As a beauty therapist, I also enjoy spending time teaching different techniques and training the therapists in different beauty secrets.
The bad: The hours you do in hospitality are long and it is probably not the best paid industry.
The ugly: TripAdvisor blackmailers who extort free rooms, dinners and spa treatments.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Love what you do and do what you love.”
This was the advice my grandmother gave me when I was little girl and wanted to do so many things but could not choose. My mother was cautious of how I would spend my time and how productive it would be. But even now, 30 years on, I am still the same; I always want to be involved in everything and find myself doing many different projects at the same time.
Who are your role models?
Richard Branson is very inspirational. I would love to be part of his team one day.
How do you relax and recharge?
I relax through being busy, though I do enjoy cooking and also find that gardening recharges me the most!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Shoes and chocolate…
What can’t you leave the house without?
Complete this statement: I feel most powerful when wearing____ a good pair of high heels!
If you could have lunch with any woman in the world, who would it be (and what would you order)?
I’d invite Hillary Clinton for a hot spicy dinner (I read that she carries hot sauce wherever she goes) and a nice chocolatey dessert.
Can we join you? To learn more about Vladanka’s ‘second baby’, the K West Hotel and Spa, visit www.k-west.co.uk.