Hilton Manchester Deansgate appoints new GM

Hilton Hotels has appointed Adam Reckert as general manager of its Manchester Deansgate site.

Reckert joins Hilton Manchester Deansgate, after starting his career in hospitality with Hilton as part of its Elevator Graduate Programme. He has since held a number of positions within Hilton at various hotels around the world, including Hiltons in Abuja, Barcelona, Seychelles and Abu Dhabi, most recently working as general manager of the Radisson Blu Liverpool.

The newly appointed general manager will oversee all departments of the 279-room, 23-floor hotel, and is responsible for all elements of the organisation.

Reckert said: “I’m thrilled to be appointed as general manager of Hilton Manchester Deansgate. It’s one of the most iconic hotels in the North West, and with the wonderful team we have in place, we’re capable of delivering some truly exceptional experiences for our guests. I applied for the position of front office manager at the hotel’s pre-opening stage when I was just 25, but was unsuccessful. I promised myself I’d come back to the property as general manager – for me it’s the best job in the city.

“I believe with the exposure the hotel has, and the power of the Hilton brand name behind it, we have an opportunity to do something really special for our guests and our team and, to support the many wonderful charities that work tirelessly in and around the city, including the continuation of our own annual Star Ball.”

The Hilton Manchester Deansgate is home to the city’s highest bar, Cloud23, situated on the 23rd floor of the hotel. The hotel also has a number of events and conference spaces to hire, including Cloud23, and Podium, its ground floor restaurant.

Reckert continued: “2019 is going to be a really exciting year; we’re on the verge of launching our new menu in Cloud23 and re-positioning Cloud23 not just as the city’s highest afternoon tea destination and cocktail bar, but also as one of the most iconic event destinations in the city. We’re really trying to reach out to new customers who might never have thought to use Cloud23 before for private dinners, events space, birthday parties, you name it.

“Meanwhile, in Podium, we’re going to be engaging with our guests at every opportunity, opening up a new entrance into our bar and re-shaping the image of the restaurant to really focus on guest engagement, I’m a huge believer in hospitality being all about the experience and I can’t wait to work with the team here to deliver that experience!”

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Careys Manor appoints new general manager

The Careys Manor hotel in the New Forest, Brockenhurst, has appointed Steve Woodrow as its new general manager.

He comes to Careys Manor from the Solent Hotel and Spa in Fareham, where he was general manager for five years, overseeing a 117-bedroom hotel, 13 meeting rooms, and a one rosette restaurant and bar and spa.

Woodrow has over 25 years’ experience in the hotel industry, having worked for premier four-star and five-star hotels both in the UK and abroad.

Woodrow, who takes over from Sunil Kanjanghat, said: “I am delighted to be part of the team at Careys Manor. This is a fabulous hotel, with a rich history and in a stunning location. In my few weeks at the property I already know we have a fantastic group of committed and hardworking people.

“I have had some amazing experiences in my years in hotels, working with many talented and super people. I know that if you have good people around you, who enjoy what they do and thrive on giving our guests a fabulous experience whilst working together as a team, we will achieve great things.”

James Hiley-Jones,managing director of Greenclose Hotels, which runs both Careys Manor and its sister hotel The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu, added: “We are delighted to welcome Steve to Careys Manor.

“Steve is a motivated and astute general manager with a wide range of experience and skills and a fantastic track record. He has a clear vision for developing the team here at Careys Manor and I know there are exciting times ahead.”

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Senior team members appointed at Holiday lnn Bridgewater

Holiday Inn Express Bridgwater has appointed two new senior team members to the 138-room property.

Eresh Shrestha and Caroline Mullan will join recently appointed general manager, Barnaby Kean at the hotel which is due to open its doors in the coming months.

Shrestha will take up the position of deputy general manager whilst Mullan steps into the role of director of sales. Together with GM Barnaby, they will lead the team at the hotel, which will be run by the UK’s independent hotel management company, RBH.

Shrestha studied in Nepal before moving to Cardiff to complete his masters degree. He most recently held the role of guest relations manager for Holiday Inn London – Regents Park.

Mullan, who was previously a youth worker before moving into the hotel industry, most recently worked as sales manager at Taunton’s Castle Hotel.

Shrestha said: “I am looking forward to supporting Barnaby with leading the team on this exciting new venture.The hotel is really starting to take shape and we can’t wait to welcome our first guests when the hotel opens in the spring.”

Mullan added: “I am delighted to join the team at Holiday Inn Express Bridgwater, particularly at such an exciting stage in the pre-opening phase. Not only is the hotel itself coming together, but our team is too. They’re getting geared up to deliver first class service to each and every guest who walks through the doors when we open.”

Holiday Inn Express Bridgwater is set to be the biggest hotel in the area, located in the Regional Rural Business Centre on the outskirts of the Somerset town.

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Amba Hotel Charing Cross appoints new hotel manager

Amba Hotel Charing Cross has appointed Thoralf Kretzschmar as its new hotel manager, a former front of house manager at the Royal Lancaster London.

He has over 15 years of hospitality experience, and during his career he helped the team at the Royal Lancaster London through the disruption of a four year £80m hotel refurbishment, reintroduced the concierge service and elevated the hotel from a four star to a five star establishment.

Kretzschmar said he is now “ready to take on his next challenge” at Amba Hotel Charing Cross and will work alongside general manager Pedro da Silva, overseeing the entire operation with a primary focus on housekeeping, engineering, concierge and front of house.

Commenting on his appointment, Kretzschmar said: “I am thrilled to be joining such a beautiful and historic hotel and I can’t wait to get stuck in to some new and exciting projects. The hotel’s excellent reputation is what attracted me and I am looking forward to working with the team.

“It is also very important for me to change the perception of hospitality for young people and promote this incredible and rewarding industry to students thinking about careers – and glh Hotels is supporting me in this endeavour.”

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New GM to lead Leonardo Hotels Southampton

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland has appointed Barry Watson as general manager at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Southampton Grand Harbour.

Watson joins the newly opened Leonardo Royal property, formerly known as The Grand Harbour Hotel, with a “wealth” of hotel experience spanning over 25 years. He most recently held the position of GM at The Ivy in the Lanes, Brighton, before taking his post in Southampton in January 2019.

According to the hotel brand, Watson’s experience has a “strong focus on food and beverage”, having previously held senior management positions with both branded and independent hotels including Swire Hotels, The Big Sleep Hotels and Queens Moat House Hotels before being recruited by The Ivy Collection to open its new Brighton brasserie.

A statement by the group read: “As general manager at Leonardo Royal Hotel Southampton Grand Harbour, Barry will build on the hotels success with business and leisure guests as well as locals and will focus on improving the product and service offering while retaining the timeless character and ambiance of the classic waterfront property.

“His excellent eye for detail, keen managerial skills and strategic prowess will prove incredibly valuable as the newest Leonardo Hotels property continues to grow its profile in Southampton and beyond.”

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Yoo Hotels & Resorts appoints new head of operations and development

Yoo Hotels & Resorts has appointed David Grossniklaus as head of operations and development, effective March 2019, to lead the Yoo Collection and Yoo2 growth and operations strategy.

Based in Yoo’s London head office, Grossniklaus will focus on Yoo’s opportunity pipeline as well as manage the relationships with the hotel group’s partners to secure new developments and conversion opportunities globally.

Yoo Hotels & Resorts operates the Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro and currently has four hotels under development, with two more properties set to launch in the next 18 months.

Jagdish Johal, managing partner of Yoo, said: ”David has an extraordinary wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and he will be a real asset to the team. David joins Yoo Hotels at an exciting time of growth as we are expanding our hotel portfolio internationally.

“With four hotels under development, we are keen to pursue further development and management opportunities globally to expand our hotel offering. This expansion in key markets will ensure even more travellers can experience our unique designs and guest experiences.”

On his appointment, Grossniklaus added: “I am thrilled to be joining Yoo Hotels & Resorts, leading the hotel expansion of extraordinary design hotels, working with our partners, owners and investors globally to deliver exciting lifestyle experiences with both the Yoo Collection and Yoo2 brands.

“Expanding on our Yoo2 property in Rio de Janeiro, which perfectly showcases our concept of creating a unique collection of lifestyle experiences paired with operations that reflect the local soul of each destination, will be an exciting opportunity.”

Grossniklaus has held a number of varied roles in hotel operation and hotel development, most recently with Belmond in Dubai as senior director development for the Middle East, Africa and India.

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LSH appoints two new hotel and leisure directors

National commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has made two new senior level appointments to strengthen its hotel and leisure team.

David Creamore and Martin Davis both join LSH from commercial real estate agency GVA, and bring sector knowledge and experience to their new roles, which will focus on driving hotel transactional business across the UK and developing LSH’s advisory platform.

According to the firm, Creamore, who will be based in London, is a “well-known hotel agent” and has conducted a wide variety of client work on behalf of private operators, investors and corporate clients, including the Portman Estate, the Grosvenor Estate and the Howard de Walden Estate.

The group said he is a “key player” in the London market, where he has been at the forefront of many noteworthy hotel transactions across the capital and South East. Prior to GVA, Creamore held a director level role at Christie & Co for 15 years.

Davis has more than 30 years’ experience in the property market and has worked with most large operators in the hotel and licensed leisure industry sectors. Before joining LSH, Davis was also a director at Christie & Co, before going on to head up GVA’s hotel and leisure team in the North of England. He will be based at LSH’s Manchester office.

Commenting on his new role, Creamore said: “My main priority will be to drive hotel transactional business with a particular focus on the London market, which remains one of the most highly-regarded and highly-sought-after hotel markets in the world.

“Demand for quality assets in the capital continues to outstrip supply and hotel values outperform the wider UK market. My aim is for owners, banks, private equity and insolvency practitioners to work with us because they recognise our ability to provide valuable advice and facilitate deals.”

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Arora Group appoints new group strategy director

Hotel operations and management firm Arora Group has appointed Sanjay Arora as its new group strategy director.

Arora joins from within the group, having previously held the position of director, overseeing all new acquisitions and hotel developments for the group. He began his career in corporate finance at KPMG in 2013. He holds an MBA from Regents Business School in London and a degree in Business Management from Royal Holloway, University of London.

In his new role, Arora will focus on setting the vision and wider strategic initiatives for the group and driving communication throughout the business, alongside the founder and chairman, Surinder Arora, and CFO, Carlton Brown.

Brown said: “I am delighted to announce Sanjay as our new group strategy director. Sanjay has been in the business for several years and has a thorough understanding of our culture, personalities and wider strategic goals. His skills, experience and drive will be pivotal in helping us achieve our ambitious targets for the future.”

Arora added: “I am very excited to be taking this next step in my career. I am naturally passionate about the Arora Group. It’s a thriving company with fantastic people and a growing pipeline of new developments across the UK, including a new luxury country spa hotel in Windsor and the Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow Terminal 2, amongst many others.

“I’m very much looking forward to helping steer the company’s future growth, alongside senior management, to ensure its continued success.”

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Heather Laverne joins Hilton from American Express

Hilton has appointed Heather Laverne as vice president – customer engagement, loyalty and partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).  

Based in Watford, UK, at Hilton’s European head office, the Canadian-born Laverne will lead a team focused on creating and growing “direct relationships” with customers through “delivering exceptional branded experiences”.

She joins Hilton from American Express where she served in leadership roles for more than 13 years. Most recently, she served as VP, international premium products where she owned the product strategy for American Express’ iconic portfolio of charge products including Centurion, Platinum, Gold and Green cards, across 90 countries.

Mark Weinstein, global head, customer engagement, loyalty and partnerships, Hilton, said: “Serving guests has been the bedrock of our business for nearly 100 years. As we look ahead to the next 100 years, Heather and her team will play a crucial role in shaping our customer experiences and creating ever-more meaningful relationships with our guests.”

Laverne added: “I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to join Hilton and be part of one of the world’s most iconic brands.

“I look forward to working alongside the fantastic global team to help shape the future of customer engagement and continue to look for new and unique ways to surprise and delight guests across the world.”

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Grosvenor Hotel appoints Natasha Ludlow as GM

Natasha Ludlow has been appointed general manager of The Grosvenor Hotel, in London, and will see the hotel through its refurbishment to Amba Hotel Victoria Hotel later this year.

With a career at Glh Hotels spanning more than 20 years, Ludlow started as a reservation agent at The Tower Hotel, and then moved to the Grosvenor Hotel to become the revenue manager, before taking up her most recent role as the general manager of Thistle Holborn – The Kingsley & Thistle Bloomsbury Park.

According to the hotel, Ludlow‘s management has always been “very hands on” and she is “passionate about team engagement and making sure all staff feel supported and motivated”.

Commenting on her appointment, Ludlow said: “I am incredibly excited about returning to The Grosvenor Hotel and I never expected to have come this far. I have grown up as part of glh Hotels and I am ready to tackle my biggest task yet; relaunching the hotel as the Amba Hotel Victoria.

“The relaunched venues – the Tea Lounge and the Grosvenor Arms – have both already been huge successes, so I am excited for our guests to experience the rest of the refurbishment. It is a true privilege to work in a hotel that you can truly be proud of.”

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A recent survey from hotel solutions provider HRS has found that the demand for innovative technology in hotels is on the rise


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