Champagne and cake were the order of the day for a very special and unique celebration at Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel

Four ambassadors of their team, all Crawley residents, have just clocked up a total of 100 years’ service. When they joined the hotel group in the 1990s, none of them expected to still be working with Sofitel today but all say they love coming to work at the hotel based at Gatwick Airport’s north terminal.

“This is an amazing achievement and we are delighted to have such experienced, passionate and inspirational ambassadors on our team. It’s a very special relationship all of them have with this hotel and they are great role models for this hotel. This longevity also reflects very well on the hotel as one of the best place to work in the local area,” says Globy Ouseph, Sofitel London Gatwick General Manager.

Alison Knight started as a room attendant so she could work hours around her young family. Twenty-one years later, she is now head of housekeeping with a team of 80-plus staff….and she is now a grandmother. Paul Buckman has also served 21 years, starting as a hotel porter and now is head concierge, manning a 14-strong team. John Dale has happily stayed as the hotel’s electrician for the past 21 years, ensuring the smooth running of the building behind the scenes.

And longest serving member of staff is Judith Dagwell, now assistant finance controller, who started her career with Sofitel 27 years ago as a waitress when she was 18.

“I was part of the opening team for the building and remember unpacking crockery for the restaurant wearing a hard hat as the hotel hadn’t been finished at that stage,” says Alison, who has also worked at Sofitel’s sister hotels the Arora in Crawley and Sofitel London Heathrow before coming back to the Gatwick-based hotel where she first started. “I have been very happy here and have met some interesting people and always been given the encouragement to move on and up.”

If you would like to join the team, Sofitel is hosting a recruitment day on Friday, July 21 from 4 to 9pm. For more information call: 01293555122 or email