Newmarket Academy pupils get the five-star treatment at the fabulous Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel

It is only a privileged few who get the opportunity to experience the splendour of a five-star hotel like the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge. However, thanks to the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his Godolphin team, 33 pupils from Year 10 of the Newmarket Academy were given a school trip of a lifetime in early June.

The visit to this prestigious London location is one of the activity days that forms part of the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project, delivered by Racing to School.

The idea behind this event, which is in its second year, is to give the students an insight into how a fast-moving and successful public-facing business meets its daily challenges, while maintaining the highest standards; and how staff teamwork is key to the enjoyment of guests who stay at the hotel.

Introducing the group to the distinct but connected departments that allow the hotel to function is a way to encourage them to think about the varied career opportunities available in the hospitality industry, and at a time when they begin to plan their own futures.

“We had planned to bring 30 young people but word had gone around from the group that went on last year’s trip and we soon had to squeeze in another three who were so keen not to miss out,” said teacher, Mark Kirby.

On arrival Racing to School Chief Executive, John Blake welcomed the Academy pupils to the event and gave them a flavour of what was in store.

Four groups were assembled and each was hosted by a member of the hotel staff who are all specialists in their area. They guided the pupils through four unique elements that support the running of the hotel, answering plenty of questions along the way.

Listening to the stories of the concierge was an unforgettable part of the day. His recollection of the time when Michael Jackson was a guest got everyone excited, so too the chance to see some of the luxury sports cars that are kept at the hotel, including Bugattis and Ferraris.

The Event Sales team took time out from planning a charity dinner in the ballroom that evening to take the groups on a tour of the grand function rooms and the exclusive health club, which can claim Madonna among its past members.

The arched glass ceiling that guests can enjoy while swimming at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower

The arched glass ceiling that guests can enjoy while swimming at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower

The hotel is a 24-hour operation, and nowhere is this more in evidence than in the Housekeeping department, where huge numbers of maids and valets work tirelessly to keep the hotel’s 304 rooms in tip top condition. The pupils were able to join a room inspection of two of the most luxurious suits, which are charged out at over £2,500 per night and feature heated marble floors and a jacuzzi with a built-in TV as standard.

Executive Chef Simon Young was also on hand to take the groups into the myriad of kitchens and preparation areas that keep guests and visitors fed with some of the best food in London.

This was a really fascinating insight into the organisation and hygiene rules that go into delivering catering in a high quality and large-scale operation. As part of his tour, Simon talked to the young people about his own career choices and his journey to becoming a Chef, which can be viewed below.

“It was another fantastic day at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, made even more special by the warm reception from Director of Operations, Paul Skinner and his great team – many of whom were part of the event last year and were so generous with their time and advice to the Academy pupils,” said John Blake.

“The feedback from the pupils was so encouraging. We are very grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and our colleagues at Godolphin for enabling us to offer this fantastic trip as part of the Newmarket Academy Beacon project – a truly fantastic day.”