Co-Founder and CEO, SmartOtels
Matthew Brooks has over 30 years’ experience in the hotel and serviced apartments industries starting out as a kitchen porter and rising to Director of a London hotel group before living in Spain for a while and starting to work as a consultant. Matthew has now returned to the U.K. and lives in Wimbledon, London with his wife, Cathy, and their two year old son, Robert.
Matthew’s experience in the hotel business has covered the range – sales, marketing, revenue management and operations – and he has spent substantial periods in several General Manager roles as well as senior Sales and Marketing positions, including 6 years as Director of Marketing and Revenue for London Town Hotels – his second role at Director level.
In his recent consultancy role, Matthew took Harrington Court Apartments, London from opening to 95% occupancy and increased rates by substantial percentages year on year (both ahead of competitive set) with only a very brief setback during the 2008 financial crisis. Several other clients benefitted from Matthew’s expertise. During the period, social media marketing came into being and Matthew added that to his list of skills.
On co-founding SmartOtels with Joaquin Cababie, Matthew said: “Joaquin and I had been connected in LinkedIn for 3 years but got into detailed discussions when I came back to London in January 2013. We found we had much in common and both saw the opportunities for a partnership that would be able to offer a much wider range of services than most consultancy companies out there. We saw the chance to expand that with SmartOtels Trusted Associates, so that we could offer a one stop consultancy covering most services our clients might need.”
Co-Founder and COO, SmartOtels
Joaquin Cababie is originally Argentinian, was mostly brought up in Seville, Spain but has lived in London for several years. During and after university in England, Joaquin worked in Food and Beverage at the Arabella Sherton Hotel in Mallora followed by positions in Sales and Marketing in Spain and in the U.K. A period working for hotel representation company LJR Consultancy followed, representing boutique hotels in Thailand.
Joaquin then joined Loving Apartments, single-handedly expanding the brand into Paris, Berlin, Budapest and Madrid. This was followed by The Apartment Service and Joaquin travelled widely in Europe, and beyond, to add new properties in Madrid, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Singapore, Zurich, New York, Barcelona and more.
In these roles, Joaquin developed his passion for developing win/win commercial relationships based on cooperation, collaboration, trust and belief in mutual benefit. This passion was put to good use as he became and consultant and worked for Club Living in London focussed on international marketing, branding and distribution. His easy going charm makes him a natural networker and this network now extends to a wide range of senior figures in the travel and hospitality industries and beyond. His fluent Spanish and English ensure a minimum of barriers.
On co-founding SmartOtels with Matthew Brooks, Joaquin said: “Bringing together Matthew’s experience and my network and networking skills made a lot of sense and gave us the opportunity to create something truly unique. SmartOtels is attracting a lot of attention right now simply because there is no other consultancy that offers as wide a range of services as we can, especially with SmartOtels Trusted Associates. SmartOtels brings hotels and serviced apartments that we represent or work with wide access to an excellent range of contacts in the U.K. and being London-based gives us added appeal.”
Both Matthew and Joaquin have several glowing testimonials and numerous endorsements on their LinkedIn profiles from industry connections. Here are excerpts from a few:
“Matthew has a vast knowledge on the hotel industry and in particular on the issues and challenges each hotel has to face in the modern electronic distribution age.” (Cho Wong, Managing Director at Supranational Hotels).
“I must admit that rarely do I encounter such a meticulous and precise person, controlling all aspects of hotel distribution and revenue management. He has been a true pioneer, and is result oriented. A true pleasure to work with such a professional!” (Patrick Landman, CEO and co-Founder, Xotels).
“Matthew is a very knowledgable and well connected person within the business of accommodation distribution and yield management. I have always found him both pleasant, likeable but also very professional and good at his job.” (Matthew Harris, Executive General Manager, Europe/Middle East/Americas at Wotif.com).
“After a productive start, we are working hard together and I have to say it is a pleasure to work with him. He comes up with innovative ways to market our product to his clients and we are delighted with the response we have had. I would no doubt recommend Joaquin for any other apartment providers throughout the world as he is incredibly knowledgable about his market and a pleasure to work with” (Hannah Longman, Sales and Communications, Thon Hotels).
“Joaquin developed and successfully built the company’s international corporate housing portfolio building authentic and valuable relationships with suppliers. Joaquin demonstrates an incredible initiative and a strong dedication. He possesses a strong acumen and expertise of the serviced apartments industry worldwide and his efforts have produced high quality results time and time again” (Javier Serrano, Client Relationship Manager at STR Global).
“Joaquin is dedicated, hard working and driven. He achieved his goals with us and proved to be a highly valuable member of the team. He has the ability to put people at ease, both internal and client-side which enabled him to open doors and develop valuable relationships which were highly beneficial for the company. Easy to get along with and focused on his goals Joaquin proved to be a real asset to our business.” (Jonathon Norman, Owner, loving Apartments Ltd.).
Following the links to each of our LinkedIn profiles to see many more testimonials and endorsements for both Matthew and Joaquin.