Position: General manager, Hotel du Vin, Winchester
Career to date… After leaving school, Nichols did a degree course in hotel management at Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative studies. During the course, he took an internship at the Chicago Marriott, and returned to join the Hotel du Vin group in August 2000 as trainee manager of the Winchester hotel.
He was promoted to house manager at Hotel du Vin Bristol and became acting general manager there for seven months. In February 2004, he returned to Winchester as deputy general manager and in 2004 became general manager.
Why is he a winner? As general manager of Hotel du Vin Winchester, Nichols grew the business from total revenue of £2.80m in 2004 to £2.93m in 2005. His management style is calm, and he delivers a clear vision to his team through good communication. He has been instrumental in establishing cross-training between all departments, achieves revenue targets and runs his business as though it were his own.
His attention to detail is second to none, as shown in the 2005 TNS Mystery Guest programme - after 12 monthly visits, Nichols and his team came out on top with a score of 95.6%. His ability in financial management means he achieves and beats budgets.