Site Visit to Umstead Hotel & Spa Provides Learning Opportunities

The Umstead Hotel & Spa recently welcomed Meredith College’s hospitality and tourism students to their multi-award-winning, peaceful, wooded escape in Cary, NC.

Upon arrival, Program Director Michael Altman and his Principles of Hospitality and Tourism class were treated to a delicious spread of breakfast snacks and goodies and an informative chat with Director of Human Resources Kathy Brown and Director of Rooms Shital Vyas. Then, Madison Hamilton talked with the class about how her Meredith education (dual major in Hospitality and Tourism and Food & Nutrition) combined with several hotel luxury hotel internships (one at The Umstead) helped her to secure her dream job in Sales and Catering at The Umstead. 

Then it was time for a tour of the hotel’s gorgeous public spaces and back-of-house functions where the students and Altman met many of the professional staff whose top-notch service helps to make the Umstead North Carolina’s only Forbes 5-Star rated property! 

Umstead Hotel General Manager presenting to students.Finally, class members sat down with General Manager Jim Beley for an informal, interactive chat about what it takes to run a luxury property of this size and some of the challenges associated with recruiting and consistently delivering quality, authentic service at the highest level. 

“We were also excited to hear about some of the sustainability initiatives that are underway on-property and even got to see their new rain garden that reduces runoff from the property and helps provide food and shelter for certain wildlife,” Altman said. 

The students were wowed by the experience and highly valued the time that the Umstead staff invested with them. 

Altman offered thanks to Jim, Kathy, Shital, Madison, and the whole Umstead Team. 

“We appreciate you and the leadership and authenticity you bring to our industry,” Altman said. 

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330