Get To Know Our Staff - Helen Stuart
Part of what makes the Hilton Coylumbridge so special is our staff. We thought we would give our guests a little insight into the people who make our hotel what it is by featuring interviews with our staff members.
Our first interview in the get to know our staff series is with Helen Stuart our Courtyard/Funhouse Manager.
Where are you originally from?
I was originally born in Nethy Bridge a small village 12 miles away, I moved to Aviemore when I was 12 yrs old.
How long have you been working at Hilton Coylumbridge?
I started work at Coylumbridge (then Stakis) when I was 13 (1975) I used to serve coffee in the lounge after school.
I left the area when I was sixteen and returned to work in Coylumbridge almost 18 years ago. One of the positions I held back then was staff cook , my mother had also been in this position in the 70’s and previous to that had been employed to cater for the company that actually built Coylumbridge Hotel (Bovis)
Share your most memorable day at the hotel.
I don’t know if it was my best day, but definitely one I laugh about often.
I was wearing one of our Funhouse character costumes “Bodger the Badger” they always make an appearance for Birthday’s and parties etc. I was in a storage room taking it off when it became snagged on a shelf, I couldn’t move, I was on my own so hoped that someone would notice I was missing very soon , it didn’t happen ,sadly no-one missed me ,
Nearly an hour later I was still yelling my head off for help. A young boy (customer) shouted through the door “Are you Ok? “ I asked him to please go get his Mum or Dad for me , it was ages later when he came back , I asked “ did you get Mum “ No he said “I’m here with my Aunty not my Mum ! “ and took off again.
In a final attempt to escape the intense heat and humiliation I pulled the shelving unit and its entire contents down on top of myself to escape. The only apparent injury was my pride.
Where do you recommend guests visit first in the Cairngorms?
Weather depending I would always recommend a visit to Cairngorm Mountain , which offers spectacular views of the valley and lochs , numerous walks to suit all family members with a few of the other local attractions on route eg , Reindeer Centre Husky Centre & Loch Morlich .
Landmark Adventure Park, in Carrbridge is voted one of the best family attractions in Scotland, and it really is, so I will always recommend a visit there too.
What was the last trip you took?
My last holiday was with a couple of “Nethy” girlfriends to the Costa del Sol, lots of laughs with lots of Sun ,Sea & Sangria . We are going to do it all again this year at Egypt’s Hilton Sharks Bay and I can hardly wait.
If you could share a whiskey with any person from the past, who would it be?
My Mother drank whisky on the odd occasion when she was alive (medicinal of course). I could definitely put my hatred of the stuff aside to sit and share a wee dram or two with her
What was the best thing that happened to you this year?
Seeing my youngest doing so well in her final year of high school and securing a place in University was just the best feeling.
This year a few of our younger local staff members who have worked with us since the age of 14 have graduated etc.
They drop by for a blether often, It’s just great to see them in their chosen professions knowing that somewhere along the line we must have contributed if only by way of support and encouragement.
How do you like to spend your days off?
I like walking especially with my wee dog Barney
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Helen and we're sure you had a little chuckle at her "memorable moment" like us. Check back monthly to see new interviews with our staff!