The new manager of a stunning 17th century hotel in the heart of Shakespeare’s country says she is determined to put her guests ‘centre stage’.

Kate Jeffries is the new General Manager at the Swan’s Nest Hotel, which stands an eight-minute walk away from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

One of the UK’s leading independent hospitality specialists, Focus Hotels, manages the hotel and Kate said it is the firm’s focus on people and their development that attracted her to the company.

Although she is only 33, her work within the hospitality industry already spans nearly two decades, having had her first encounter in the sector at the age of 14.

She said: “I’ve always worked in hospitality, it’s my passion.”

She grew up in Anglesey, North Wales, studied Hospitality at Coleg Menai and then completed a degree in Hospitality and Business Management at Birmingham UCB.

So far, her career has seen her work for Radisson Blu, Abode, Gidleigh Collection and Five Ways Hospitality, and she has specialised in rooms management, revenue and strategy.

She took up her post at the Swans Nest a few months ago, as it fell under the wing of Focus and began operating as an independent hotel, having been a branded business previously.

She said: “I saw this as a new, exciting opportunity, and relished the challenge of taking on a newly-independent hotel, which has a fantastic team of staff and is in a stunning location.

“Focus provides a wealth of knowledge and support, investing in people to get results.

My focus is to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for our guests to stay, ensuring a smooth transition from being a branded hotel to an independent while offering a personalised service to our guests.

“What I enjoy the most about my work is the team around me. They make a hotel.

“Watching – and helping – them develop is a joy which, in turn, has a positive impact on the environment we provide for our guests.

“Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the most charming and picturesque towns in the UK, steeped in history.

“The Swan’s Nest Hotel is nestled on the bank of the River Avon and we pride ourselves on offering a warm welcome and friendly service.”

The Swan’s Nest Hotel is a 17th century Georgian townhouse with a range of elegant bedrooms.

Lynn Hood, COO of Focus, said: “Kate has an infectious passion for the hospitality industry and has already built up a wealth of industry experience which she can draw on to successfully lead the team at this fantastic hotel, which is the perfect base for exploring Shakespeare country and the surrounding Cotswolds.”