5 Mins with...Sammie McMullan, Receptionist at The Causeway Hotel
We want to share the amazing staff members behind the scenes that play a crucial part in welcoming all thousands of visitors every year. #PeopleBehindtheCauseway
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to start working at the Causeway Hotel?
I am a Travel and Tourism student at Ulster University in Coleraine currently on my placement year. I have worked in the industry for years, in both part-time and full-time roles but for my placement I wanted to work on Reception as it was the only department I hadn’t had the chance to gain experience within.
I am originally from Armagh, but I have lived nearby, in Coleraine for six years now. My family moved up here to be by the coast and we really love it here.
Is working in hospitality something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to work in hospitality, I started out with my first job when I was 15 washing dishes in a café. I loved working there and am passionate about working with people, but I wanted more interaction with customers.
In the hotel I am lucky that I can be involved with every element of our guests visit, from the beginning to end. The Reception is a guest’s first and last point of call, so I love being the person the to welcome them, to help with information or a recommendation of what to do in the local area to make the most of their time here on the North Coast.
So, would ‘Receptionist’ be your favourite role in your career so far?
Yes, I love being able to tell guests about the things you don’t see in the brochures or on the internet and help them have a real authentic experience of the Causeway Coast and Northern Ireland.
It’s a real bonus being located right on the Giant’s Causeway site, as it is the main attraction for many visitors, but I like telling them about the other things there is do and see.
I like to think that I have played a part in making people’s visits a pleasant experience, and even better than they’d imagined.
What is the best thing about working at the Causeway Hotel?
I love that this building has so much history! I am glad that the character has been protected and it is still very much the same hotel as it was in years gone by. I think it is very important that we preserve our heritage and history and that places like the Causeway Hotel remain so that future generations can enjoy them.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to continue working and progressing in the industry. I want to learn more, gain even more experience and eventually become an ambassador for tourism in Northern Ireland. I recognise the growth of tourism here – it’s crazy to see how far the industry has grown and developed and I want to make sure I am a part of its future.
What is your favourite National Trust place except for the Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Hotel?
Carrick-a-Rede, because I have so many funny memories there. About a year ago, my family and I took my Aunt there; she was a bit nervous and froze halfway across the rope bridge. Everyone had to get off the bridge and clear the way while the staff helped encourage her to the other side. Tourists from all over the world were standing watching her - she never lives it down!
Why is the National Trust important?
The Giant’s Causeway is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland and the National Trust protect and preserve it for the future. On a personal level, that makes the Trust important to me because this is my home and my place of work, so I appreciate the work they do here to make sure it is still as beautiful in years to come as it is now.