His appointment to the 115-bedroom hotel in Birmingham that boasts one of the largest conference facilities in the city reflects the hotel’s determination to firmly position itself as the number one choice for corporate, conference and leisure visitors to the UK’s second largest city.
Dublin born McDonagh, who assumes responsibility for over 80 staff and conferencing space for up to 500 delegates (Horton Room), said of his appointment: “The Macdonald Burlington Hotel is a hidden gem that over the years has established an extremely good reputation for service.
“I wanted to get back into the 4-star hotel market. Macdonald Hotels & Resorts leads the way in its delivery of guest hospitality including a commitment to serve fresh and locally sourced food. It also has a fantastic career structure in place for management and staff, so when the opportunity to take the helm at the Macdonald Burlington arose I jumped at the chance.
“My priority is to raise the profile of the Macdonald Burlington and firmly establish the hotel as the leading hotel in Birmingham. With one of the largest conference facilities in the city and mindful of the fact Birmingham is home to both the International Convention Centre (ICC) and NEC, the staff will be working hard to regain market share by appealing to discerning visitors, including in the corporate business tourism sector.”
McDonagh’s appointment comes at a time the business hotel in Birmingham is investing over £1million in the refurbishment of its comfortable and spacious bedrooms. The beautifully appointed Victorian building, dating back to 1871, originally opened as the Midland Hotel. Located just two minutes’ walk from the main New Street railway station and in the heart of the city shopping district and offering business travellers meeting rooms in Birmingham, the Macdonald Burlington Hotel is an ideal choice for busy executives and leisure guests alike.
McDonagh assumes his new role with Macdonald Hotels after 14 years with Jurys Inn - the past 9 in the West Midlands. In 1999 at the age of 26, he became the youngest general manager ever to be appointed by Jurys.
The family man and keen distance runner (he competes in the annual Birmingham half-marathon) started his career in hospitality in Dublin at the age of 15 where he washed glasses within the city’s Green Isle Hotel. It is also where he met Clara, his future wife. Having found his calling in hospitality, the former Gaelic football player would go on to undertake a 4-year course in Hospitality Management in Dublin with placements in Germany (Bochum) and Galway.
Since 2005, McDonagh has sat on the executive of MARCHE, the Midlands Association for Restaurants, Catering, Hotel and Entertainment venues.