The energetic new man in charge at the West of England’s premier golf destination, St Mellion International Resort, is pledging to match its blue-chip golfing appeal with international-class levels of service off the course.
Ian Davies, the new Resort General Manager at St Mellion, not only brings over 38 years’ experience in hospitality to his new role at the UK’s #2-ranked four-star golf resort, but also a lifetime’s active participation in a wide variety of sports.
Mansfield-born Davies has been a regular visitor to St Mellion during his 25 years living in nearby Torbay, and when the opportunity arose he wasted no time in accepting the challenge of managing one of the most celebrated golf destinations in England.
“I am immensely proud to be here,” he said. “I can’t claim to be the greatest golfer, but St Mellion has always excited me when I have visited it. Luckily for me the Nicklaus and the Kernow courses both play fantastically well, whatever your level of ability, but I realise that we have to match their quality with an equally international-class experience off the golf course.
“For me, it is all about creating life-long memories for our guests. We have a superb award-winning 80-bedroom AA four-star hotel with a wonderful collection of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, and a great team already in place, so we already have a brilliant set of tools to work with.
“Although our national and international reputation is well-established, I would say we need to work even harder to make St Mellion an essential part of life in the Plymouth area, and the wider south west region. We play a big role in the local community, and each year we host many events organised by local people, but we can always do more.”
Ian Davies arrives at St Mellion after a recent spell as Managing Director of a hotel and leisure group. His previous high-profile roles include managing the launch of several hotels including a golf & spa hotel in the Midlands and refurbishing many others up to Michelin-standard cuisine.
The sporty 58 year-old Nottingham Forest and F1 fan, who is married with two children, is a self-confessed petrolhead: he has visited every single grand prix circuit in Europe, and has regularly taken cars to track days for high-speed sessions. He is also a former footballer, skier and county-level rugby player, and is a regular cyclist / mountain biker at weekends. He is a dead shot at Clay, Skeet, DTL and Field Target shooting, enjoys photography, good food and snorkelling, and is widely travelled with tales to tell of swimming with manta rays and turtles in the Maldives.
His excitement and passion for his new role at St Mellion grew after he read the recently-published book ‘St Mellion – The Bond Legacy’, which describes how two Cornish famers, Martin and Hermon Bond, turned their farmland into a spectacular 36-hole golf resort with the help of Jack Nicklaus, among others.
“Of our two golf courses the Nicklaus is clearly the more iconic, but we never forget that it was our Kernow course which originally attracted the European Tour to St Mellion” said Davies. “One of our jobs is to tempt golfers from right across the UK, and from across the water in Ireland too, to come and play them both. I can promise that the golf at St Mellion will leave you with an indelible memory!
“Jack Nicklaus and the Bond brothers left us with a unique legacy, and we must continue to build on that.”
In 2019, the resort’s award-winning hotel celebrates its tenth anniversary, and Davies is looking forward to taking it into its second decade. “When you have a product this good, the only thing to do is to keep pushing ever-upwards in all areas” he said. “I want our guests to demand more, and to expect more, each time they come here. Out staff must match our guests’ love for St Mellion with a passion of their own.”
On the general hospitality standards found in this country, Davies is emphatic: “British hospitality is often over-priced and under-delivered if you compare it with the experiences they offer on the Continent. One of my goals at St Mellion International Resort is to smash that into smithereens, and to offer a product which clearly ranks among the very best that British golf has to offer.”
Recently-ranked in the #2 slot among 4-Star golf resorts in the UK, and at 15th overall as regards golf resorts in Great Britain & Ireland, St Mellion’s two immaculate 18-hole European Tour golf courses, the Nicklaus Signature Course and The Kernow Course, have earnt it the #2 ranking in England as regards resort golf.
St Mellion International Resort www.st-mellion.co.uk