Lisa Dowdall-Sousa

How many years have you worked in events?

Approx. 15 years

Where have you previously worked?

I was General Manager of the Durley Dean Hotel which was under several ownerships including Swallow Hotels, Folio Hotels and Shone & Taylor, chef at the Parkstone Golf Club, Hotel Ombremont France, Norfolk Royale Hotel, Marsham Court Hotel

How long for Oceana and why did you choose Oceana?

Just over 10 years, the company I was working for the hotel was due to have refurbishment and be closed for a while, I therefore used the opportunity to leave as I heard this position had become vacant.  I thought it was exciting and a new challenge as the company was new and the Cumberland had just been refurbished.

Most memorable event? Why?

So many but probably organising the Airshow with the Corporate Boxes over the four days, normally in August. When I have looked from the cliff top back at the hotels with all Corporate boxes full, Penthouse Rooms sold, and all the people out on the decking,  Overcliff Pub and balcony at the Ocean Beach, it was such a proud moment to see that all hotels were so busy.  There was such a large volume of guests enjoying themselves over the four days, especially when the sunshine was out , made it worthwhile and all the planning before the event had paid off.

Claim to fame?

Winning overall Student of the year at Bournemouth & Poole Catering College plus another award

Winning Travel Trade Hotel of Year with Swallow Hotels

Winning Ambassador of the award at Oceana Hotels (2016)

Meeting various celebrities at the hotel, especially Dancing On Ice stars when they stayed on the hotels, also been invited to the Sheik Alis wedding in Qatar as it was beyond amazing with the culture and venue it was held in.

Best thing about your job?

Meeting new people all the time, no two days are the same. Receiving excellent guest satisfaction, knowing you have completed the event/ tasks and exceeded the customers’ expectations. Beating targets. Help grow the business. Learning new things all the time especially with technology and business in general.

Event you specialise in?

Weddings & large corporate events

Favourite event to organise?

Weddings as you meet the couple in the early stages of their plans and help create their special day.  You build up a relationship over the months, years and when you finally see them getting married it can be quite emotional, a lot of planning has gone into it. It’s lovely to see a couple happy with their family and friends on that special day.  A lot of money has been spent on the day so the attention to detail is important, I pride myself on that.  I am in contact with many ex brides and grooms and become good friends over the years

Hobbies? Interests? How do you wind down?

Anything to do with food and cooking, world cuisine, travel & visiting relatives abroad and visiting new restaurants and hotels, keeping up on new trends in the catering world

CALL THE CENTRAL oceana SALES TEAM ON 01202 298 350


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