Ellena Kkolos, Editorial Assistant

What attracted you to Secret Escapes? I adore travelling and writing, and luxury goods are my opiate of choice, so naturally Secret Escapes was perfect because it incorporates all three. Because it’s a fairly young company, there’s so much scope for growth, and to potentially be a part of that seemed very exciting. Eat, sleep, travel, repeat.

What attracted you to Secret Escapes?

I adore travelling and writing, and luxury goods are my opiate of choice, so naturally Secret Escapes was perfect because it incorporates all three. Because it’s a fairly young company, there’s so much scope for growth, and to potentially be a part of that seemed very exciting. Eat, sleep, travel, repeat.

What was your first week at Secret Escapes like?

It was pretty crazy, but the UK editorial girls took me under their wings and helped me cope with the magnitude of little things and style nuances to learn. Everyone is really friendly and approachable – I knew I was in good hands within my first few moments.


How did you find the recruitment process at Secret Escapes?

Super-efficient. Within the space of a few weeks, I’d gone through the entire process and committed to moving from Bristol (which I love) to London (which I love even more)! SE didn’t waste any time too which is a blessing – it’s not nice to be on the other side waiting helplessly. I instantly accepted the offer because I loved the vibe I got from the office and the girls interviewing me – it was the perfect fit.

What did you dream of being when you were growing up and why?

It was always a battle between a fashion designer, a Greek popstar and a writer. Needless to say, my lack of talent for the first two meant my writing ambitions prevailed!

What has been your best memory so far?

The Tiki takeover (yes, the office has its own Tiki Bar) and Christmas buffet were quite special. Even though joining just before Christmas meant things in the office were super busy, the festivities going on kept everyone happy and excited.

What makes Secret Escapes different to where you have worked before?

The fact that there are more than eight people on the team is a start! Everyone is passionate about the job they’re doing – they work really hard but know how to have fun, so the environment is always positive and productive. I don‘t think there are many companies that have such a harmonious balance, with a team of people who genuinely love their job.

Finally …. What has been your favourite holiday destination and why?

There are so many places I’ve loved – Sicily, Amsterdam, New York – but New Orleans is like nowhere I’ve ever been. The mix of cultures, beautiful colonial architecture, the vibrant outdoor social scene, live jazz music, amazing food and the spooky presence of voodoo are just a few things that make it one of the coolest cities I’ve explored.

Carene Andrew, Head of France Hotels

What attracted you to working at Secret Escapes? I remember the first time I saw the SE TV ad, it stayed with me and I was impressed by the strong message and branding of Secret Escapes.

What attracted you to working at Secret Escapes?

I remember the first time I saw the SE TV ad, it stayed with me and I was impressed by the strong message and branding of Secret Escapes. Years later when I had the opportunity to join I did not hesitate one second as I loved the product as well as the company’s culture and vision.

 

What was your first week at Secret Escapes like? 

Hectic… but in a positive way! Lots to learn and a lot of people to meet. I was nicely surprised by how welcoming everyone was including Alex and Tom (the two founders) who hosted a secret breakfast that week for all the newbies. Secret Escapes is a sizeable company and despite this, it has kept a family like atmosphere which is quite refreshing especially coming from the corporate word.

 

How did you find the recruitment process at Secret Escapes? 

Pretty efficient! I first had a chat over the phone with the Sales director and he asked me to come to the office the following week. After that meeting I was asked to come back and present my plan for the role in front of a panel. I put my thinking cap on and prepared my presentation: it went well and the exchange was really interesting and constructive.

 

What makes Secret Escapes different to where you have worked before? 

I love the funky office (especially the tiki bar!) and the way people are so relaxed but so dedicated at the same time. I also love how our founders communicate results and plans with everyone using a ‘normal’ language as opposed to using too much corporate jargon!

 

Finally… What has been your favourite holiday destination and why?

I instantly fell in love with Kyoto in Japan when I first visited it aged 16 (many many years ago!). I was lucky enough to return two years ago and I was stunned again by this imperial capital of Japan that dazzles with its temples, shrines and gardens. It gives you a unique sense of tranquillity and peacefulness. Highly recommended!

Bex Tonkinson, Recruiter 

What attracted you to working at Secret Escapes? It was the opportunity to work for a global business which is still relatively young however extremely ambitious.

What did you dream of being when you were growing up and why?

Beside this?! I dreamt of becoming an astronaut and exploring the stars… I am ambitiously hoping that one-day Secret Escapes may run trips to the moon!

 

What was your first week at Secret Escapes like?

Crazy, exciting and fun. I came into a welcoming and beaming team (they had even drawn me my own caricature) and I soon felt like part of the Secret Escapes family.

 

What attracted you to working at Secret Escapes?

It was the opportunity to work for a global business which is still relatively young however extremely ambitious. I really admired (and still do) what the founders, Tom and Alex, had achieved and the great brand they and the team at SE had built.

 

How did you find the recruitment process at Secret Escapes?

Fast, efficient and challenging. The offices were great to visit and have a look around during the interview process, I also really enjoyed meeting different members of the team throughout the recruitment process.

 

What has been your best memory so far? 

When the space hoppers arrived in the office! We are lucky enough to have two of the retro space hoppers knocking around the HR area … the day we got them my manager and I whizzed around the office on them.

 

What makes Secret Escapes different to where you have worked before?

The space hoppers!? I love the vibe and atmosphere in the office. Everyone works really hard but is also very sociable (table football, board game Wednesday, bake club all helps with this).

 

Finally …. What has been your favourite holiday destination and why?

St Petersburg in Russia was incredible. Very different from anywhere I had been as it ranged from bunny rabbit petting areas in traditional restaurant to some amazing historic sites.