In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the 50 finalists in the HD Brit List 2017 – this week, we continue with five more of the top 25 hoteliers…
ROBIN SHEPPARD – BESPOKE HOTELS
Together with his business partner Haydn Fentum, Robin launched the now supremely successful Bespoke Hotels back in 2001 as a management company, which nowadays comprises more than 170 hotels and 8,000 employees in the UK and abroad.
Given his wealth of experience in the sector, earlier this year, Robin was recognised by the government’s Office for Disability Issues as its ‘Hotel Sector Champion’ – a cause close to his heart; and his tireless commitment to ensuring the hospitality industry continues to improve its approach to access and experiences for disabled guests means he is a worthy winner at this year’s Brit List.
ANDREW THOMASON – GRAVETYE MANOR
Andrew’s culinary beginning in hospitality manifested itself in the running of a number of restaurants in Surrey before entering the hotel business. Andrew credits his four years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons under Raymond Blanc as Resident Manager with instilling him with a passion for luxury hotels and hospitality. He claims managing Gravetye Manor fulfils his true passion for country house hotels.
This passion for the sector has been vital for Gravetye Manor following its multi-million pound refurbishment programme, and his stewardship has seen the country manor become one of England’s top properties in the sector.
TONY TROY – PRINCIPAL HOTELS
Tony acts as CEO of the Principal Hotel Company, operator of more than 45 hotels throughout the UK under the lifestyle brands of Principal and De Vere. A career hotelier with over 25 years in the industry, Tony has helped shape the UK hospitality landscape from his first management buy-out in 1994 to managing a multi-billion pound capital investment and restructuring programme over the course of the last decade, acquiring some of the industry’s most prominent assets along the way.
Tony’s most recent undertaking, the £200m investment in landmark city and country estate hotels supported by Starwood Capital, a private alternative investment company which manages over $53 billion in assets, ensures the restoration of some of the UK’s finest hotels to their former glory.
ANDREW WILDSMITH – WILDSMITH HOTELS
Andrew made a monumental career change when he swapped the laboratory of a Cambridge-graduate chemist for being a hotelier in the stunning, remote landscapes of the Lake District. Since, he has opened three fantastic properties; Hipping Hall in Kirby Lonsdale, Ryebeck in Bowness-on-Windermere and his latest – Forest Side in Grasmere, which has recently been awarded a Michelin star for its superb dining offering.
Following extensive flooding in the winter of 15/16, Cumbrian tourism took a considerable hit. Its testament to Andrew and his team’s hard work that Wildsmith Hotels is now flourishing and quickly becoming talk of the industry.
SUE WILLIAMS – WHATLEY MANOR
Sue’s storied career in hospitality has taken in the likes of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Bath Priory – with arguably her finest achievement coming at Cliveden House, turning the fortunes of that Berkshire property around. Now hoping to do the same at the Relais & Chateaux property Whatley Manor, Sue’s passion and energy can already be seen in her short time there.
Here tonight at the Brit List, we honour her continued commitment to nurturing young talent in the hospitality industry with the Ten out of Ten programme, now in its seventh year of giving youths a chance to work at some of the UK’s top hotels.