This December, Hotel Designs is profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We continue by referencing part one of The Brit List Hoteliers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…
The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.
Barry Sternlicht, CEO – Treehouse Hotels/Starwood Capital Group
The original founder of W Hotels, and Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, Barry Sternlicht makes his debut on The Brit List as a result of his announcement to launch a new hotel brand in London.
Described as “the little brother of 1 Hotels”, Treehouse is a less serious, more torn-jeans and t-shirts, kind of hotel brand. Featuring 95 keys, the first Treehouse in London is situated streets away from the BBC Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus. All hotels to open in the Treehouse portfolio will embrace sustainable protocols.
Charlie Rosier, Director – Cuckooz
Cuckooz was founded by Charlie Rosier and Fabienne O’Neill. The pair collaborated with designers and sleep experts this year to launch the sleeping experience like no other in their design-led serviced apartments… in the womb.
The nine-month project, which resulted in The Zed Room being opened, was inspired by the safety and ‘snugness’ of the womb and comes complete with muted lighting, soft-pink walls and a high-tech mattress.
Conor O’Leary, Joint Managing Director – Gleneagles Hotel
Crowned Hotelier of The Year at The Brit List 2018, Conor O’Leary is a leading hotelier with a difference. His hands-on approach has led the hotel to become not only a prestigious property but also one that feels like a home-from-home.
The hotel’s latest renovation of The Strathearn F&B area has opened up new opportunities for afternoon teas and day guests, as well as servicing those staying overnight.
Dimitris Manikis, President and Managing Director (EMEA) – Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after becoming president andmanaging director of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts (EMEA), DimitrisManikis is an unconventional leader who has become a breath of fresh air for the hotel group’s management team. Based in the group’s Londonof ces, Manikis is responsible for the development of all Wyndham Hotel Group’s brands in the EMEA region as well as maximising the performance of all new and existing franchise and managed hotels.
Guillaume Marly, Managing Director – Hotel Café Royal
For more than two years, Guillaume Marly has been the managing director of Hotel Café Royal following on from stints as hotel manager at The Ritz, The Connought and senior positions at Claridge’s.
Constantly referred to as London’s “modern grand hotel”, the property straddles the elegance of Mayfair and the energy of Soho. This year, Hotel Café Royal was voted the #4 hotel in London by Conde Nast Traveler readers.
Harry Cragoe, Owner – The Gallivant
The Gallivant, led by Harry Cragoe, is positioned on the beach in Rye, Sussex with a core focus on wellness and wellbeing.
Last year, the 20-key boutique hotel transformed its F&B offering from a conventional space into a multi-room ‘beach house’ atmosphere, and inthe process, it expanded ground oor space with a £1m investment.
Hasham Soliman, Opening General Manager – The Dixon
Hasham Soliman was appointed as opening General Manager in 2018 following a proven track-record in launching successful London-based luxury hotels to the market. In addition to The Dixon, Solimean has opened five other hotels, including InterContinental London – The 02 andThe Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.
Ian Fletcher, General Manager – Hard Rock Hotel London
Drawing on the legacy of the guests who stayed there in decades past – and an inspiration to those who are yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London at Hyde Park stands alone as a haven for music lovers and cultural explorers everywhere. Located on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane, the hotel shelters tribute to former residents such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly with an incredible memorabilia collection and original artwork in every bedroom. Ian Fletcher is the man who is ensuring that the brand’s values and images are appropriately represented throughout the hotel.
Keshav Suri, Executive Director – LaLiT Suri Hospitality Group
Keshav Suri is a keen activist within the LGBTQIA community, particularly in India where he was instrumental in the movement to decriminalise homosexuality. He has strived to carry this message of diversity across all hotels.
The London hotel, which opened in 2017, recently hosted a Drag Reading Hour event, whereby children were invited to listen to a reading by a drag queen of new children’s book, Elphie & The Peacock. The story, written by Suri, follows Elphie’s journey through life, learning the power of being true to yourself, and celebrating individuality.
Laura Sharpe, General Manager – Ham Yard Hotel
Laura Sharpe is an experienced, passionate and dedicated hospitality professional. She has been working as the general manager at Ham Yard Hotel since pre-opening, following a variety of other roles at Firmdale Hotels, including hotel manager, deputy general manager and front-of- house manager.
Firmdale hotels, which is rapidly expanding, is a group of nine boutique hotels in London and a further two in New York.
Marco Novella, Managing Director – The Lanesborough
Marco Novella was interviewed on-stage at Hotel Summit this year by editor Hamish Kilburn, where he openly spoke about the challenges of operating one of London’s most illustrious hotels.
Novella succeeded Geoffrey Gelardi as the Managing Director of The Lanesborough last year, and brings with him a modern and sensitive approach to running the hotel. The hotel is owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and, since its relaunch in 2015, has been managed by the German-based Oetker Collection.
Prior to his position at The Lanesborough, Novella was the managing director of Brown’s Hotel London for nearly two years. His previous roles also include managing director of Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy, and general manager of Marriott’s Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection hotel, in Venice.
Mario Ovsenjak, Cluster General Manager – Hotel Gotham/Bespoke Hotels
Since 2012, Mario Ovsenjak has led teams at a range of country house properties, including The Lambert Arms in Oxfordshire, Shaftesbury’s Grosvenor Arms, as well as the Prince Regent Hotel.
Prior to this, he held positions at several London establishments, including the Corus Hyde Park Hotel, The Royal Trafalgar and Piccadilly Hotels, as well as the Colonnade and Hotel Xenia. His recent role has seen him lead The Brooklyn project with the aim to open a new kind of luxury hotel in Manchester, which will become the sister property of Hotel Gotham.
Michael Bonsor, Managing Director – Rosewood London
Michael Bonsor is at the helm of one of London’s most successful hospitality establishments, which has collected an eclectic mix of awards for design, service and management. Bonsor’s more than 18 years’ experience of hotel management within the luxury sector – along with his naturally warm charisma and his unparelled dedication to become an international ambassador for the brand – makes him one of the leading hoteliers in the world. His arrival at Rosewood London followed a period at Claridge’s London, where he began as the F&B manager before later becoming hotel operations manager.
Nick Davies, Owner – Cottage In The Woods
Nick Davies left Shoreditch in London in 2015 to take on the ownership and management of the 30-key hotel in the Malvern Hills. Together with wife Julia, Davis is managing a three-phase refurbishment of the hotel,which began in January 2017.
Since owning the property, revenue has increased by more than 40 per cent in both F&B and overnight stays, largely down to a complete overhaul of the structure of the business. Earlier this year, Davis secured £2.1 million from The Cumberland Building Society enabling thecomplete refurbishment of the entire property by 2020, two years ahead of schedule.
Olivia Byrne, Director – Eccleston Square Hotel
At the age of just 23, Parisian born Olivia Byrne graduated from L’Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and went straight onto becoming the youngest hotelier in London. Operating one of the capital’s most dynamic and tech-driven hotels, which the former presenter of The Gadget Show Jason Bradbury reviewed for Hotel Designs last year, Byrne recently led an extensive renovation. The newly refurbished 39-key hotel, which nowshelters arti cial intelligence and 3D television, has now entered a newtech era.