This December, Hotel Designs has profiled the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We conclude by referencing part two 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.
Following from The Brit List Designers and Architects of 2019 in Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five, here are the final 10 individuals that made it as The Brit List Hoteliers of 2019…
Olivia Richli, General Manager – Heckfield Place (Winner: The Eco Award 2019)
Olivia Richli who recently sat on a panel with editor Hamish Kilburn to put sustainability under the spotlight, is an inspirational general manager with a real drive to operate a consious luxury hotel. She was plucked from semi-retirement at her beachfront home in Sri Lanka by Boston’s Gerald Chan, who had bought Heckfield Place almost twenty years before. Richli’s youth spent among the farms and gardens of the British countryside, combined with her unique career in developing and operating eclectic luxury hotels within historic precincts, stood her inperfect stead to guide Heckfield Place into a grand new era.
Heckfield’s sense of responsibility and sustainable stance has inspired Richli onto the next level of stewardship, one that quietly leads by example and endeavors to establish an estate that will thrive and guide all those who visit.
Pat King, CEO – The Doyle Collection
Pat King, CEO of The Doyle Collection, has been with the company for more than 20 years, and became the CEO in 2012.
The company currently owns eight luxury properties, which include TheWestbury, The Marylebone, The Bloomsbury, The Kensington, The Croke Park, The River Lee, and The Bristol, and has recently of cially relaunched The Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, D.C.
Robert Alam, Area General Manager – Nadler Hotels
Robert Alam has worked at Nadler Hotels for more than three years, and has been the area general manager since October 2018.
During this time, he has overseen the launch of Nadler Covent Garden, which is the brand’s latest hotel to arrive on the London scene. Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key hotelopened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in the capital.
Robin Hutson, Chairman and Chief Executive – Lime Wood Group & Home Grown Hotels (The Pig)
Robin Hutson is known as an innovative and entrepreneurial hotelier with 40 years’ experience in some of the world’s most famous hotel brands, including Hotel du Vin and Soho House.
He was non-exec director, then executive chairman alongside Nick Jones at Soho House Group for 14 years until 2008 when the group wassuccessfully sold for £105m. Hutson is now CEO & Chairman of Lime WoodGroup Ltd & Home Grown Hotels Ltd; his latest venture The Pig in its short existence has already been much lauded as a mold breaker in the country house sector, transforming English rural areas and enhancing comunities for the better.
Robin Sheppard, Chairman – Bespoke Hotels
With more than 40 years’ experience as a hotelier, Robin Sheppard was The Brit List 2018’s winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry. In 2004, just four years after co-founding Bespoke Hotels, Sheppard was left completely paralysed from the neck down as a result of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
This life-altering event made Sheppard realise how inaccessible many hotels were. As a result, he launched the Bespoke Access Awards (now known as the Blue Badge Access Awards) to shine the spotlight on hotels which do offer stylish accommodation that is accessible to all.
Sandeep Bhalla, General Manager – The Connaught Hotel
Sandeep Bhalla was recently appointed as the new general manager of the Connaught Hotel. Indian-born Bhalla previously held the position of hotel manager of the five-red-AA-star, Maybourne Hotel Groupproperty, which he joined as hotel manager in 2018. Before arriving at the Connaught Hotel, he worked at the sister hotel, The Berkeley in Knighstbridge, where he joined in 2007 as director of food and beverage,and was later promoted to hotel manager in 2012.
Prior to his position at Maybourne Hotel Group, Bhalla was part of the pre-opening team of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
Sholto Smith, General Manager – Great Scotland Yard Hotel
Sholto Smith joined Great Scotland Yard Hotel from the same role at the Hyatt Regency Perth in Australia.
Sholto, who has been part of the Hyatt family for more than 20 years, was the general manager of the Park Hyatt Siem Reap in Cambodia and director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill before being promoted in 2008 to area director of sales UK &Ireland at Hyatt’s worldwide sales office in London.
Stephen Baker, Joint Owner – Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate (Highly Commended: Hotelier of the Year 2019)
Joint-owned by Stephen and Jose Baker, Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate is a luxurious coastal retreat with a privately owned 25-acre Blue Flag beach,impeccable service, fine food, superb spa facilities and breathtaking viewsacross one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Central to everything is the main house, a white-walled landmark designed by the celebrated Cornish architect, Silvanus Trevail, and erected in 1894. Inside, gilt mirrors and chandeliers are complemented by modern, chic interior touches inside 45 individually furnished rooms and sea-facing suites.
Thomas Kochs, Managing Director – Corinthia London (Winner: Hotelier of the Year 2019)
Thomas Kochs became the managing director of Corinthia London in May 2017. Kochs is responsible for managing the group’s agshipproperty, which opened its doors in 2011. In six years, the property hasachieved international acclaim as one of the world’s leading luxury five-star hotels.
Kochs was the face of the two-part TV series, A Hotel for the Super Rich & Famous, which documented the operations behind the hotel, including the behind-the-scenes of significant changes to service and design, with the launch of Kerridge’s Bar and Grill.
Will Ashworth, Managing Director – Watergate Bay Hotel
Born and having grown up in Cornwall, Will Ashworth has worked withinthe hospitality industry in Kenya, Switzerland and North America before returning to Cornwall in 2000 to take over the running of the family hotelat Watergate Bay.
Under Ashworth’s management, the hotel has been transformed from a traditional seasonal seaside hotel into a vibrant, sustainable year-round holiday destination. In addition to managing the hotel, Ashworth also sits on the Visit Cornwall CIC board. Ashworth was once again on stage at the Independent Hotel Show this year, where he delivered an insightful talk on hotel dynasties.