We spoke to Bill Mullarkey about the highlights of his astonishing 50-year career on the concierge desk…
“A close family friend worked in the hotel industry for many years and he encouraged me to apply for a job to see if I would like it. It was a coincidence that I was walking in Russell Square with some friends and noticed that a new hotel called The President had opened and it was looking for staff. I therefore decided to apply for a position as a day porter and was successful. The year was June 1962, which was also the year that The Beatles came to London and were staying at the hotel!
“As the years moved on, I became more attached to the hotel industry and started to really enjoy it. I also had challenges to overcome within these years, which included having to manage four hotels. However, these challenges were made easier by being fortunate enough to have good team members in each hotel, together with a good family-run business, Imperial London Hotels, as my employer.
“My most treasured memories have been when I met stars of the 60s and 70s such as The Beatles, Cilla Black and more recently the experience of the London 2012 Olympics. I have also received some memorable awards, which include receiving the Commendation from the Metropolitan Police in November 2006 for ‘dedication, tenacity and investigative ability in apprehending and convicting a professional and habitual burglar.’Alongside this, in 2008, I was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award at the annual Morris Golden Keys Concierge Awards.
“Over the 50 years in the hotel industry it has been a very exciting and enjoyable journey. I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people and some of them have become close friends.”