Silver Shiny Suit to Silver Service
Metro HotelsNovember 14, 2011
Metro Hotel Tower Mill is located opposite one of Brisbane's most famous convict built landmarks, the old windmill known as the Tower Mill. Brisbane's windmill tower, built in 1828 under the direction of Commandant Logan, is older and more significant than any other windmill still standing in Australia.
Positioned in parklike surroundings the Metro Hotel Tower Mill is only 600 metres from Brisbane’s CBD, 500 metres from central station. Brisbane City Council operates a free loop bus service from outside the hotel.
“People like to get away from the concrete jungle and come to a quiet area, yet we are still close to all big city facilities,” said Allan Hilt, Metro Hotel Tower Mill property manager since February this year.
The Queen Street Mall, Treasury Casino & Hotel, South Bank Parklands, Art Gallery, the Museum and numerous restaurants, eateries and shopping facilities are all close by.
This unique cylindrically shaped hotel, overlooking Brisbane city, offers a licensed restaurant and bar with room-service and charge-back facilities.
Free car parking, subject to availability, is onsite and there is council parking nearby.
Metro Hotel Tower Mill is in a prime position. Guests can stay at a convenient city location without paying big city prices. With 71 hotel rooms within the eight levels, there is a choice from a budget room, family room, executive double or twin, or a queen bed suite. Most rooms have balconies.
“One of my main aims when I first started here at the hotel was to get the name of Metro Hotel Tower Mill known. I had been in Brisbane for several years and I hadn’t heard of it,” Mr Hilt continued.
“You can’t spend money if you aren’t making a profit, so that was my first aim.”
All rooms have new air-conditioners, new 32” LCD televisions, high-speed Wi-Fi, complementary in-house movies and Foxtel.
“Now the hotel has 100% occupancy four days a week and is very busy during the weekend.”
Mr Hilt always had a passion for management, but his first involvement in the hospitality industry back in 1989 started a little differently.
“I came over for a friend’s wedding and I ran out of money. So, donning my silver shiny suit I’d worn to the wedding and armed with my resume—including the recently acquired hospitality supervision qualification completed in New Zealand—I went for my first interview,” explained Mr Hilt.
“My first job was counting linen for a nine floor 300 room hotel and separating each item into their own little trolley. I literally started right at the bottom.”
Since then Mr Hilt has worked in a variety of management and finance roles in different locations. Some of these have been in Brisbane, such as the Royal on the Park, Chifley at Lennons and two Mirvac properties. Other locations were at Hayman Island and Mirvac Cairns.
“I went into the finance and accountancy side of things years ago because I knew I wanted to become a general manager and I knew if I had that finance background it was going to help me in the long term,” explained Mr Hilt. “My past experience in accounting has certainly given me the understanding of how to control expenses.”
“I felt right at home coming here. Most of the staff have been here five years or longer and are extremely competent.”
“On November 10 this year we received our first certificate—a TripAdvisor excellence award for customer service,” beamed Mr Hilt.
“I believe in leading by example and as a people person I am very much hands on, which reflects onto the staff who are happily involved in interacting with the guests.”
Working in conjunction with the Mill Hotel restaurant, Metro Hotel Tower Mill provides conference and accommodation packages, where guests enjoy breakfast and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere.
The Brisbane Private Hospital is next door to the Metro Hotel. St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital and many medical specialists are also situated in Wickham Terrace.
Staff have received extra training in understanding the special needs of some guests who stay at the Tower Mill when visiting their medical specialists.
“Every day is different in hospitality. After 23 years in the industry there is always something new that will pop up for a challenge, which is what I enjoy about it,” Mr Hilt said passionately.
I’ve worked for some really great general managers and they have taught me a lot over the years.”
“I really love the industry and that’s what I get up for every morning,” smiled Mr Hilt