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‘When Work Feels Like Home’ – Life at Nobu Hotels London Portman Square

Heard of Nobu Hotel London Portman Square? Whether you have or you haven’t, this 5-star establishment inspired by minimalist Japanese style is something to marvel at! But did you know Nobu Hotels aren’t just amazing places to stay… they’re also one of the best companies you could ever work for?

We mean it… just ask the staff! Well, that’s what we did anyway.

Nobu Hotels Entrance

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square

If you haven’t yet seen on our Instagram (which you should totally follow BTW), we took a trip to Nobu Hotel London Portman Square to talk to the wonderful employees there, and find out what it’s like from the inside.

Nobu Lobby

Lobby with its famous ceiling decor

There’s a lot to shout about – so without further ado, here are the:

6 Best Things about Working at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square.

1. It’s dynamic and high energy

This tends to be the case in hospitality, but we thought we’d mention it nonetheless. If you’re looking for a change of pace or like to work dynamically and keep on your toes, this is one of the best places you could start off a career.

Sooji Hwang, a Nobu Restaurant Waitress, didn’t intend to work in the industry long-term until she picked up hospitality jobs during university and decided to continue.


‘I like the fact that I get on with meeting loads of people all the time, working as a team I really liked… This hotel I chose specifically because it was new and I wanted to be part of something that was up and coming,’ she shared with us.

‘I’m really active which I like – I like having an active lifestyle. And it’s fun because… the energy’s always high so I like that.’

‘Everyone looks after each other’

One of the best parts of our day at Nobu was that, at every turn, employees could not stop talking about how supportive and caring the people are.

Philip Leddy, who currently works as a Bar Back, said:

‘…everyone looks after each other… that no matter who you turn to, there’s always someone to help you out. Whereas in previous places, it’s normally: you go into a job, they show you around and then they leave you to it. Whereas here, if you’re ever unsure, your team is like your family so they’ll help you out, or even if you go to different departments they’ll always help you out… It’s nice to have that reassurance that you’re not really alone.’

No one likes feeling isolated at work, but it seems like that’s not much of a problem at Nobu! Through the eyes of the employees, the positive impact of working in such a friendly, nurturing environment shone through.

Fabiola Gonzalez Marquez, Assistant Front of House Manager, has only been working at Nobu for a few months and could already tell us how much she likes it.

‘They do have this welcoming, warm feeling. That you feel all cosy… it’s a really cosy feeling about it! …Of course, you have your days – bad days, busy days – but after all, you still feel that support coming from your colleagues, your family after all – too many hours together!’ she told us, smiling.

Be safe in the knowledge that, when you join Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, your colleagues will feel like friends, if not family!

Sooji Nobu Blog

Sooji Hwang, Nobu Waitress

Fabiola Gonzalez Marquez, Assistant FOH Manager

‘This place gives you a lot of opportunity to grow if you want to’

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square has more than one way to allow you the room to progress in  your career, whether upwards or even sideways!

Sooji Hwang shared a bit about her career aspirations with us: ‘So they offer a cross-training programme here which I’m really interested in. I’m a waitress now… but I know there’s ways for me to cross-train into events or sales so it’s really nice that they offer this programme.’

But rest assured, you don’t have to be at Nobu for a long time for your skills and knowledge to start building up – they’ll get you to it straight from the start.

‘When I joined, we had a two day induction which was really interesting. We got to learn about the history of the company, the founders… and specifically what this company has to offer… Like, all the future pathways I can go to.’ Sooji remarks.

Whilst Philip works as a Bar Back, his end goal is to become a Bartender.

‘…right now the training I’m receiving is wine training… There’s also a cocktail training I’m going through… like different ingredients, origins of tequilas…so the training is quite wide and various.’ said Philip.

No matter the career path you end up going on, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square can be the place where you can develop, and you’ll be encouraged throughout! Because…

Phillip Nobu Blog

Philip Leddy, Nobu Bar Back 

Piero Pascal blog

Piero Pasca, Nobu Bartender

Find out more about all jobs available at Nobu Hotels in London Marylebone or Shoreditch!


4. ‘It’s so beautiful the way they care about the staff’

On top of values, good management comes in as a cornerstone of a good workplace. And there’s no shortage of initiatives from Nobu Hotel London Portman Square to make its hotels genuinely great places to work. Fabiola let us know about some of these!

‘…we do have every Monday Nobu Now which gets together the entire hotel to give us updates, so it gives everyone in the hotel a very clear line of communication to know what’s going on… and what’s coming next. So it’s really good to see people striving and being recognised for their efforts.’

And of course, what’s work without a good social once in a while!

Aside from lunch time Kokoros (
‘heart’ in Japanese) when the staff gather for lunch time, every month, Nobu employees go for a Kanpai (‘cheers’ in Japanese) visit to the park or pub to get together and enjoy themselves. This is in addition to other social events such as football or karaoke nights!

‘Everyone from different departments just mingles together and it’s just really nice… that way, your friendships and your family just become wider,’ says Philip.

In a post-pandemic world, we know how important it is to have social connection in our lives, so it’s amazing to see workplaces such as Nobu Hotel London Portman Square prioritise this for their employees, on top of having Mental Health First Aiders in the team for extra support.

‘…it’s so beautiful the way they care about the staff and what they do for us,’ says Assistant Lounge Manager Pedro O’Connor.

And the benefits are certainly a bonus! On top of generous holiday (up to 33 days per year), Employee Awards Night, discounts on services voted on by staff, and of course…

‘We do have an employee rate for all the Nobu properties around the world,’ says Fabiola with a big smile. ‘Can’t wait for the new opening in New Orleans! So that’s one of my bucket list items!’

5. They welcome anyone who is fresh and young at heart!

You may be put off working for a luxury 5-star hotel – maybe you’d think it’s a hard job, and they’d need people with experience. But Assistant Manager Fabiola assures us that working for a luxury 5 star hotel is not as strict as you might think!

‘Because this is still a very fresh and new brand…it rings very well to younger generations, so I would say any generation is absolutely fine to work with us. But you have to be young at heart and be passionate about what you do. Of course age is just a number, but for millennials and Generation Z, it’s a really good property to work in.’

Not every role at Nobu will ask for experience, either! Pedro had never worked in a hotel before, and was just promoted to Assistant Lounge Manager the day of our visit!

Giving fantastic guest service is not just about doing the ‘right things’ – it’s about feeling comfortable in your skin, having fun and sharing those good vibes with the people who walk through the front doors. That is what makes Nobu so brilliant – their culture sustains the type of work they do, and the work sustains the culture.

‘As long as you’re passionate about what you do and what you do comes straight from your heart, that’s fantastic. You know, the hiring process is not even difficult in a way. I remember mine… it was really funny and most of the time I ended up speaking about music so it was quite fun!’ laughs Fabiola.


Pedro Nobu Blog

Pedro O’Connor, Nobu Assistant Lounge Manager

Maria Nobu Blog

Maria Baoghi, Hostess at Nobu Restaurant

6. Your life could change for the better!

Maria Boaghi, a Hostess at Nobu Restaurant, shared with us just how much her career at Nobu has helped her develop not just professionally, but personally.

‘I had a few previous jobs in hospitality… and here it’s different… I really feel like I’ve come to my second home here. They support you, they give you a lot of training. I feel like I’ve changed as a person here.’

‘I feel good here, like my mental health is good and I feel very well.’

It was heartwarming to hear what a positive impact working at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square has had on Maria’s life. And that wasn’t the only memorable story we heard that day! When asking Sooji whether she had a ‘work bestie’, she answered: ‘Yes! In fact, I met her on the first day I joined and now we’re roommates. It’s crazy!’

And lastly, having a job which challenges and supports you in all the right ways, surrounds you with friends in your colleagues and takes care of you, really does make each day that much better.

‘I really love challenges and I feel proud every day when I learn something new because every day is different and the customers are new,’ says Maria. ‘I like to help them. When they leave happy, for me this is like,
my job is done.’

Be sure to check out
current vacancies at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square via Placed! If you want to check out more amazing employers, jobs and opportunities for your next stage in life, download the Placed App for Android or Apple.

Nobu Reception

Reception, designed in Japanese minimalist style

Nobu Bar

Nobu Bar

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