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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

It’s a family affair at the Adair Arms – four daughters follow in father’s hospitality footsteps!

Aimee, Ellie, Neil, Lauren, Shannon - the Gordon family who work in Adair Arms Hotel in Ballymena

L-R: Aimee, Ellie, Neil, Lauren, Shannon


This Father’s Day, the Gordon family are living proof that hospitality and great customer service runs in the family as daughters Shannon, Aimee, Lauren and Ellie follow in their dad’s hospitality footsteps, working in the Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena.


Neil Gordon joined the Adair Arms Hotel over 20 years ago, working part time as a bartender. When the McKeever Group bought the hotel in 2010, Neil was impressed by their emphasis on family values and people development. Over the next 14 years he progressed through different departments, learning every aspect of hotel management, until being promoted to Deputy General Manager at the start of 2024.



Neil said:


“I was originally working full time as a painter and joined the Adair Arms to earn some extra money at the weekend. Working in hospitality was never a career I considered, and I only planned on staying for a few months. Now I can’t ever see myself doing anything else. It’s very fulfilling.


“The Adair Arms has always felt like my second home and I consider the team my extended family.”


As a father of four, Neil wanted his daughters to gain some work experience, and encouraged each to apply for part-time jobs while they were still at school. They followed his advice, and with all four working at the Adair Arms they quickly discovered that hospitality was also in their blood.



Neil continued: “Now, working with my daughters, takes family values to a different level  – even if they do have to listen to a bit more moaning from me than the rest of the staff! The girls always work hard and they make me very proud to be their dad and their boss.”


Shannon, the eldest daughter (25) works as a Housekeeper, Aimee (22) is Front of House Manager, Lauren (19) works on the bar team and the newest recruit, Ellie (16) is Trainee Housekeeper.


Shannon said: “Dad’s clearly been a great role model for us. Working with him has taught me the importance of always taking pride in your work and how everyone’s job is equally important.”



Aimee agrees with her sister but jokes that while her dad has achieved a great deal in his career, he still has some lessons to learn:


“It’s a two-way street;  I’ve learned so much from him but I’m still the main person he turns to when he needs help with any I.T. issues!”


As far as Lauren is concerned, the biggest problem is switching from home life to work mode:


“Working with my dad has really helped me to learn so much about hospitality, but I’m always trying to remind myself not to call him ‘daddy’ in front of the guests!”



Youngest daughter and newest recruit Ellie added:


“As I’ve just started working in the hotel, I’m still getting to know the job, but dad has been amazing,  taking the time to explain or show me what I need to do, and I’m not too shy to ask the boss any questions – which is good!”


As far as Neil is concerned, he’s the real winner as he gets to spend quality time with his daughters at home and at work:


“Before joining The Adair Arms the girls were all quite shy and reserved, but now they’re all a lot more outgoing, confident, and independent. I couldn’t be more proud of them, and I’m very much looking forward to even more family time as we celebrate Father’s Day together on Sunday 16 June!”

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