The Brit List 2018 – hotelier profiles

    676 433 Hamish Kilburn
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    In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the 75 finalists in the Hotel Designs Brit List 2018. We continue with profiling our 25 winning hoteliers in alphabetical order…

    This year’s The Brit List 2018 concluded on November 22, when leading designers, hoteliers and architects gathered at BEAT London to find out which of them made it on to this year’s The Brit List 2018. The hundreds of nominees and entries were whittled down by the event’s five judges, who were:

    • Gilly Craft, President of the British Institute of Interior Design
    • Charles Leon, founder of Leon Black Architecture and Interior Design
    • Gerri Gallagher, former associate editor, Tatler
    • Lysbeth Fox, founder and director of Fox PR
    • Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs

    Top hoteliers

    Barney Cunliffe – The Gilpin 

    Barney Cunliffe is the Managing Director of the truly family run The Gilpin. At the heart of the hotel is a very passionate family and team, dedicated to creating lasting memories for guests who return time and again for romance, celebrations and escapes.

    For Cunliffe and his team, hospitality starts with a very warm welcome and ends with a friendly goodbye, with extraordinary service, exquisite décor and stunning culinary experiences in between.

    Brian Benson – The Gainsborough

    Brian Benson’s genuine charm and warmth, which echoes throughout The Gainsborough, makes him a truly exceptional hotelier in Britain today.

    The hotel, which was reviewed by Hotel Designs, was opened in 2015 with interiors by celebrated designer Alexandra Champalimaud. It prides itself as Bath’s most exclusive hotel as it is the only hotel spa in the city that taps into the natural heated thermal springs.

    Conor O’Leary – Gleneagles (Winner, Inspiration in Design – Hotelier of the Year)

    Conor O’Leary, who brings more than 20 years’ experience to his role, first joined Gleneagles in November 2016 when he took up the position of Hotel Manager, with chief responsibility for all food and beverage operations across the hotel and estate.

    Since then, he has exceeded in his mission to enhance the reputation of Perthshire and to position Gleneagles as Scotland’s luxury playground with a number of pursuits, activities and opportunities outside a typical hotel. The most recent addition to the hotel is Ochil House, featured as part of a review by Hotel Designs as an exceptional add-on meeting area designed by Ennismore’s design team, led by Charlie North.

    David Morgan-Hewitt – The Goring

    The charismatic Managing Director is as much of an institution as the hotel itself, having been with The Goring since 1990. In his 25 years at the hotel, he has overseen some of its greatest and exciting periods of transformation.

    This year, Morgan-Hewitt was named Top General Manager of the Year Worldwide by Luxury Travel Advisor. In addition to leading the hotel
    forward, he also sits on the Executive Committee of the Master Innholders and is an Honorary Catering Advisor to the Army.

    Debrah Dhugga – Dukes Hotel London

    Whilst the hotel’s interiors boast a home-away-from-home feel, it is DUKES LONDON’s impeccable service which truly makes it one of the best boutique hotels in London. Debrah Dhugga, Managing Director of DUKES COLLECTION, ensures that each team member offers a five-star guest experience, helping to create lasting memories throughout the stay within an iconic, yet chic environment. The Mission Statement for DUKES LONDON’s team is: “A hidden gem where we create personalised experiences with passion. It is somewhere rather special”.

    The intimate and exclusive hotel has been welcoming guests for 110 years and features 90 rooms, including 11 suites and one Penthouse Suite. DUKES LONDON boasts a Drawing Room and Conservatory, the signature restaurant GBR, the renowned DUKES Bar, a gym and health club, a Cognac & Cigar Garden, as well as three well-appointed meeting rooms and elegant wedding facilities. Dhugga is, as far as we could find, the only female hotel Managing Director in London.

    Hamish Kilburn / 24.12.2018


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