There’s a popular quote I like that says: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And as I reflect on almost 25 years of working with AX Hotels, I can safely say that the entire journey has been much more than a job to me. It’s been an integral part of my life that has allowed me to form lifelong friendships and has given me a sense of purpose and direction in my career.
My journey with AX Hotels began as a summer job back in 1996, when I was just 18. I joined the Suncrest Hotel as part of their Front Office team. Back then, my German language knowledge was a much sought-after skill due to hotel’s dependence on the German market.
I truly loved my first summer job at the Suncrest, working within a much-loved hotel right on Qawra’s busy seafront and having the opportunity to meet and greet hundreds of happy tourists visiting Malta. In fact, I loved that job so much that, as that summer came to an end, I took the decision to officially pursue a career in the tourism industry and enrolled in a further education course in tourism studies. Without ever planning it to be, the Suncrest was the beginning of my career in tourism.
Not only did AX Hotels provide me with a steady job throughout my studies, but they even offered to sponsor my education. It was a huge honour and a gesture which I am still grateful for to this day. During this time, I was also given the opportunity to work in all the different departments around the Suncrest to gain as much experience as possible. I worked in food and beverage, banqueting, cashiering, front office, and even housekeeping. All in all, this was a unique first-hand foundation course in what it takes to work in a first-class hotel, and I still carry those lessons with me today.
After a brief stint working in other areas of the local tourism sector, I re-joined the Suncrest as a Sales & Marketing executive a couple years after graduating. I received such a warm welcome back from the entire team, that it felt like a true homecoming, and I knew this was where I truly belonged.
I took every opportunity I could to learn from my superiors over the next few years. Each lesson equipped me with greater knowledge, skills, and experience to take on more levels of responsibility within the hotel. Eventually, I was thrilled to be offered the chance to set up and lead the Events department.
My responsibilities continued to grow and evolve as the resort rebranded as the AX Seashells Resort. The resort also expanded to include several new facilities, including the Tal-Kaptan restaurant, the Cheeky Monkey Gastropub, the Luzzu restaurant, among others. As such, I headed up a growing team under the Events department and helped establish new processes and procedures to increase the hotel’s revenue and business. I also completed several more training programmes to take my career to the next level, eventually taking the decision to enrol in a Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management. Here again, the management team and my colleagues were super supportive and continued to provide me with the guidance and room to flourish and become a proud Events Sales Manager.
There’s perhaps no better indicator of how well a company treats its people than when times get tough. During the pandemic, despite travel restrictions cutting off most of the hotel’s revenue for months on end, management continued to support all of us at AX Seashells. With events and functions at an all-time low, I was entrusted to take over the Front Office department where I had the opportunity to actively help the hotel and my colleagues pull through this challenging period.
And despite the industry-wide setbacks at this time, my colleagues and I had great confidence that the AX Hotels spirit would ensure we would emerge stronger. This was confirmed when we heard the surprise announcement that Mr Xuereb and the Group were going to embark on a major and complete makeover of the Seashells hotel. This was a huge boost to the morale of the entire team and was proof that AX Hotels was continuing to move ahead with vision.
As any hospitality professional will tell you, it’s not every day that you get the opportunity to form part of the launch of a new hotel opening. So, I truly consider myself lucky to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I also secretly hoped that this new hotel project would offer yet another opportunity for change in my career. And not before long, my wish was answered when I was asked to set up and lead the Guest Relations Department, a department which is integral to the overall success of the hotel. It’s a responsibility that I cherish and take extremely seriously.
From my first summer job through to the new challenges ahead, my career at AX Hotels has given me the rare opportunity to belong to something big, to be part of an established and respected company, and to form lifelong friendships that I treasure. It’s hugely inspiring and rewarding to work for a hotel that continues to push forward in order to remain relevant on every front. On top of the upcoming redevelopment of AX Seashells, I’ve particularly enjoyed being part of the Sustainable Tourism Committee with a vision of leading the Group to future sustainable practices.
I couldn’t recommend working with AX Hotels enough. Whether you’re just joining our family or have been part of the team for a while, I believe that here you’ll have a job for life with countless opportunities to improve your skills, learn more about the industry, and take on new challenges, just as I have.
All you need on this journey is a few time-tested qualities which I’d like to recommend:
- Communicate with your management and teams effectively and don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance.
- Always be kind and generous to your colleagues and never underestimate the power of teamwork.
- Remain determined despite any challenges that may come your way and know that management are there to support you.
- Seize any opportunity you get to further your education and improve your skills in what you love to do.
And above all else, I would recommend taking pride in yourself and your job. I believe this is the single most quality that will guide you forward and give you the greatest satisfaction in your career.