Beppo entered the family business in 1992, which had been created by his parents in 20 years earlier initially for a 6 month period but he became hooked on the hotel industry. In 1999 Beppo he formed an independent company and took over the hotel operations from his parents and set about developing The Isle of Eriska into a 5 star resort. The greatest challenge was to transform Eriska from a seasonal property with employees on temporary contracts to a year round business employing a team of over 55 on a full time basis. In 2016 the Isle of Eriska was successfully sold to an overseas investor. Now working in Scotland and overseas Beppo uses his experience of transferring family businesses between generations and creating 5 star experiences to help other hospitality and tourism operations develop and reach their full potential.
Richard Baker commenced his management career at the Cumberland Hotel, Eastbourne, in 1974 and joined De Vere Hotels, working at both the Queen’s Hotel and The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne in 1976. He became General Manager of the Queen’s Hotel, Eastbourne in 1982 and in 1985 was responsible during the rebuilding and reopening of The Grand, Brighton, in 1986. He moved to the Mansion House, Luton Hoo in 2008 to open this fine new hotel. Richard is now a consultant, based in Sussex.
Willy Bauer has been active in the hotel and leisure industry since 1960. Educated in Germany and Switzerland, he attended the Hotel School Heidelberg where he was awarded a Diploma in Hotel Management. After various management positions in the UK he was appointed General Manager of the Hyde Park Hotel in 1975, became Executive Director and General Manager of Grosvenor House in 1980, General Manager and Managing Director of The Savoy, London and also Managing Director of the Savoy Management Company from 1982-89. He was Chief Executive of the Wentworth Group from 1989-2000, Director of Moulton Brown and Wiltons Restaurant. He now works as an advisor to various boards in the Hotel, Restaurant and Leisure industry. He is also Chairman of A.B. Hotels.
David has over 40 years’experience in the industry. After graduating from the College of Food and Domestic Arts in Birmingham, he started his working life at Grosvenor House, Park Lane. He has worked for British Airways, Sheraton and Holiday Inn in a number of international locations between 1967 and 1982. Since then David has been with the Whitbread Hotel Company, and has managed several of their properties, including Dalmahoy in Edinburgh, and St. Pierre in South Wales, and the Marriott at Goodwood Park, the estate of the Dukes of Richmond. Prior to his retirement in April 2005 he was Regional Operations Director for Southern England for the Whitbread Hotel Company
Alan Blenkinsopp has been involved in the hospitality industry since 1961 when he undertook a City and Guilds course. He began his skills training in London at the Savoy and the Dorchester and then worked for Swallow Hotels from 1965 to 1990.Following his time with Swallow Hotels he worked for various establishments including Linden Hall in Morpeth Northumberland, a period of time with James Gulliver in his hotel operations and Managing Director of Waveney Inns.He joined Nike Group Hotels in 1992 to open Coppid Beech Hotel, Bracknell where he is Managing Director. He has a life objective to champion the development of young people in the industry and is a great supporter of tourism in its broadest sense. Alan retired to France in 2010.
David joined the Savoy Hotel as a trainee manager in 1974 working at The Savoy and Claridge’s. He ran Drakes Restaurant in Chelsea before moving to the Dormy House Hotel, Broadway. He later became General Manager of The Close at Tetbury before returning to The Savoy Group as Banqueting Manager of Claridge’s, Manager of The Savoy and then back to Resident Manager of Claridge’s. He joined Pennyhill Park Hotel as General Manager in 2002. He has been Secretary to the Travellers Club since March 2008.
David was raised in his family’s hotel in Torquay and spent forty eight years gaining experience in many aspects of the industry. After three years at the Acton Hotel School, he served as a Flying Officer in the Catering Branch of the RAF and went on to manage such prestigious hotels as Chewton Glen and Crabwall Manor. After six years as Secretary and General Manager of the Phyllis Court Club at Henley-on-Thames, David was appointed General Manager of the Basil Street Hotel in July 1995. He retired in March 2001.
Previously General Manager of the Royal Garden, Athenaeum, Compleat Angler and Westbury Hotels, James was until recently Chief Executive of the Academy of Food and Wine Service. His hotel career began when, after graduation at the Hotel and Catering School in Acton (now Thames Valley University), he took up his position as trainee manager with Grand Metropolitan Hotels in 1962. From there in 1966 he moved to the QE2 liner development then the Holiday Inn, Southampton. In 1973 he opened the 600 room Post House, Heathrow (now the Holiday Inn) at London Heathrow Airport.James was involved in the Academy of Food and Wine’s National Network of Catering Colleges and also in bringing many European and UK initiatives, to do with Craft Training, before Waiters, Wine Waiters and Bar Assistants as their Professional Body.
Educated at Rugby and then at The Hotel School, Lausanne. Barry’s experience includes work at The Sacher Hotel, Vienna, Chateau Louis XIII, Cannes, and The Savoy and Claridges, London. In 1985 he took over as Managing Director at The Osborne Hotel and continued the development of one of Europe’s most acclaimed timeshare and hotel resorts. He left in 1995 and was Managing Director of the Riviera International Conference Centre until 2012. Throughout his career he has held membership and chairmanship of various committees associated with the industry. He is past Chairman of the Southern Advisory Board to Devon & Cornwall TEC.
A founder member of Small Luxury Hotels, Christopher was responsible for changing a private house in Wiltshire into Lucknam Park, a 42 bedroom luxury hotel which won the Hotel of the Year award in 1991. He opened and managed the Selfridge Hotel from 1973-82 and subsequently was Director of Development for Thistle Hotels for five years. A past student of South Devon College with a Diploma in Hotel Management Studies, Christopher has been in the industry for 35 years.
Stephen launched Cromlix House, which was recognized as Hotel of the Year. In 1985 he launched One Devonshire Gardens and afterwards The Royal Scotsman luxury touring train, considered one of the world’s greatest travel experiences. As an operational consultant for luxury boat, train and villa projects in France, Ireland, India, Canada and South Africa, he was subsequently appointed General Manager for the exclusive Loch Lomond Golf Club. Now based in Franschhoek, he works on a range of hotel and commercial property based projects. He is a founder member of Pride of Britain and Connoisseurs Scotland.
William has been in the industry for over 35 years and began his career working in Switzerland and Germany as well as London. He joined the Goring Hotel in 1969 and became Director and General Manager in 1991. He was subsequently appointed Managing Director. William is actively involved with training colleges and schools and was closely connected with Guildford Technical College for 9 years.
Richard, an Ealing Hotel School Graduate, developed his career at the Connaught, followed by Rank Hotels and EMI Hotels. As Managing Director of Dukes Hotel, St James’s, he re-engineered and re-positioned this property to create one of Europe’s leading Town House Hotels. Following this, he was responsible for turning around Brown’s Hotel in London. Richard has worked as an independent management consultant and was a board member of Hotel Development Associates, a company which specialized in hotel development and corporate rescues.
Christopher has been in the industry since 1970 training at both Westminster Hotel School and Hollings College. In 1975 he joined THF as a Post Graduate Trainee working in Post Houses Division. In 1978 he was appointed Conference and Banqueting Manager at The Selsdon Park Hotel and in 1981 he moved to The Chester Grosvenor as Deputy and then Hotel Manager.
In 1983 he bought his first business in Cumbria and then in 1989 The Rose and Crown at Romaldkirk in Co. Durham which he sold in 2012 on retirement. Regionally Christopher was involved in establishing the Co Durham Tourism Partnership and was its first Chairman; he was Vice-Chairman of the Co Durham Economic Partnership and a Council member of the North East Chamber of Commerce. He was an active member of the British Hospitality Association for many years serving as both regional and national Chairman.
Richard’s career began in 1959 when he was a management trainee at the Hyde Park Hotel, London, before moving on to France and Switzerland. In 1966 he became Banqueting Manager at the Hyde Park Hotel, a General Manager with Trust Houses in 1969. He was promoted to Area Director in 1973 but left the company to manage the Chester Grosvenor in 1976. He returned to THF in 1986 as Managing Director of the Classic Division. In 1990 he formed MSI, a quality management consultancy specialising in hotels, leisure and tourism. In 1994 Richard sold MSI to become Chief Executive at Phyllis Court Club, the private members’club on the banks of the Thames in Henley. He retired in 2004 and now divides his time between Henley on Thames and the South of France.
Patrick’s career has taken in a broad mix of countries and cultures , involving city centre hotels as well as resorts, from busy year-round operations to seasonally influenced properties. His time abroad has been spent with Mandarin International Hotels and Orient Express Hotels (South Africa), with a spell as Resident Manager at the Gleneagles Hotel. In October 1994 he took up the position of General Manager at the Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, returning to Gleneagles in 1999 as Director and General Manager. He was promoted to Managing Director in 2007.
A Chartered Engineer, Trevor Forecast completed a five year engineering apprenticeship with Hawker Siddeley Aircraft and was Marketing Manager for the Polymer Corporation. His career in the hotel industry began in 1972, when he became the Managing Director and Proprietor of the Crown Hotel, Downham Market Ltd. Trevor and his wife Christine then created Congham Hall Country House Hotel in 1982, which they ran as full time working proprietors until their retirement sale in October 1999. During this time Congham Hall received many awards including Johansens Hotel of the Year 1993, RAC Gold Ribbon award 1998, AA Red Stars since 1985 and two rosettes for the restaurant. Trevor has sat on various committees connected with the industry as well as being past Chairman of the British Hospitality Association, past Chairman of Pride of Britain Hotels and a past Director of the Norfolk and Waveney TEC, representing the Hospitality Industry. He now also has time to become more involved with his favourite charity, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Educated at Florence Hotel School in Italy and in the UK with a BA in Arts and Social Sciences, Franco’s career progressed through the Continent and Britain. General Management positions have included Dunkeld House in Perthshire, the Marine Hotel in Troon and the Carlton Hotel in Edinburgh.In 1996 he was appointed to the Board of Scottish Highland Hotels plc, a position he held until the end of 1999 when the Group was sold to Paramount Hotels. Thereafter followed a period of consultancies and projects assignments, directorship of a leisure division of London based Taylor Clark plc. and a role as Divisional Managing Director of Crerar Hotels.Franco still retains links with the Industry through occasional consultancies and being Number 2 to his lovely wife Lynne in a couple of small scale hospitality ventures.
In addition to owning the 5 AA Red Star Goring Hotel, London where he was born, until recently George also owned The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells and he owns Le Manoir de Lezurec in France. Educated at Cheltenham College, He holds the Lausanne Certificate and a Diploma from Westminster College where he was a Governor for 20 years until 1998. George is interested in equestrian sports, having once held a jockey licence. He was voted Hotelier of the Year in 1990, and received the OBE in 1992 for services to the Hotel Industry.
After Francis trained at the Cafe Royal, he moved to the Waldorf where he worked his way up to become Deputy General Manager. He was appointed General Manager of Quaglino’s and Hotel Maurice at the tender age of 25. When the hotel closed in 1980 for redevelopment he was appointed Conference and Banqueting Manager at Grosvenor House where he spent the entire 1980’s, masterminding all the great events in the Great Room and persuading the Forte plc board to move out of their plush offices to create a magnificent suite of meeting rooms. He then joined the Royal Lancaster and was Hotel Manager there until he transferred to the Landmark, which he opened in the mid nineties. The hotel won countless awards and accolades in its first decade of trading. Francis is heavily involved with many hotel-schools, offering internships and placements, particularly with Lausanne, Glion, Bournemouth, Leeds and Portsmouth.
After 25 years with Trust House Hotels, many as an area director, Tony Green with his wife Valerie bought the Crown Hotel, Lyndhurst in 1984, which they managed until their retirement sale in February 2001.Now that they have given up the day (and night) job, they can spend a more appropriate amount of time keeping up with friends, horticulture, furniture-making and some serious grand-parenting.
Ronald Jones retired as Director and General Manager of Claridge’s. During his tenure the hotel won a host of international awards.
His hotel management career spans over 50 years and includes Gleneagles and Turnberry in Scotland, the Midland Manchester, and the Royal Garden and Athenaeum Hotels in London. Voted Hotelier of the Year in 1987, he received the O.B.E. from Her Majesty the Queen the following year.
In retirement Ron spent several years as a hospitality consultant, and a director of Dormy House Hotel. He has co-authored several books including ‘Grand Hotelier: Inside the Best Hotels’; and ‘The World on a Plate’ (relating his experiences as a guest lecturer on cruise ships, and of ‘accidentally’ managing a plantation house hotel in Louisiana).
John graduated with Honours from Shannon College of Hotel Management in 1972 and joined the Trust House Forte Graduate Development Programme, spending time at Cornell University, New York. After appointments in London, he moved to Doha, Qatar with Gulf Hotels and then Manila, Philippines as Food & Beverage Manager. He subsequently joined Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation, working in various functions in Asia, Middle East and Europe. In 1989 he was appointed General Manager of the Athenaeum Inter-Continental Hotel in Athens, and Regional Vice President for Operations in the Mediterranean. In 1995 he took up his last appointment at the Hotel Inter-Continental London, responsible for Bass Plc’s hotels in Central London. He retired in 2002.
Graduating with a degree from the Institute of Hotel Studies in Madrid, Ramon served with the Spanish Navy after working in The Hotel Ritz in Barcelona. His work then took him to England, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Canary Islands. In 1970 he opened the Inn on the Park as Executive Assistant Manager in charge of Food and Beverage. In 1972 he left to work in America, returning to the Inn on the Park in 1975 where he held the position of Vice President and General Manager. In 1994 he took up the position of Managing Director of the Savoy Group. He stepped down from this position at the end of 1999.
Peter Taylor owns and leads the very successful Town House Company in Edinburgh. Started by Peter in 1990 with the redevelopment of 5 town houses into the 46 room Channings, the company now owns 3 further boutique hotels The Howard, the 18 room 5 star luxury Hotel; The Bonham, 48 room traditional town house with a contemporary twist, which has recently celebrated its 5th birthday; and his latest acquisition, The Edinburgh Residence the most distinguished collection of luxury hotel suites in Edinburgh.A former student of the Scottish Hotel School, Peter worked his way through Strand, Forte, Thistle and Stakis hotels to Director positions before finally going out on his own in 1984. In addition to his work with the British Hospitality Association and The Scottish Tourism Forum, Peter works with Scottish Business in the Community, chairing a business support group. Peter has been honoured with a number of awards, most recently in 2001 The Silver Thistle Award for Outstanding Achievement, which recognises his outstanding contribution to the development of tourism in Scotland.
For many years Martin owned The Miller of Mansfield in Goring-on-Thames. He was a student at Portsmouth College and Cornell University where he obtained a National Diploma and a Cornell Management Diploma. Martin has over 30 years experience working in Bermuda, Jamaica, the USA and Canada.
RETIRED, living in Heathfield, East Sussex
David Wilkinson graduated from the Shannon College of Hotel Management in 1975, joining Hilton International where he spent 13 years in Brussels, London and Seoul.
In 1988 David joined the Dorchester, where he was Deputy General Manager for nine years until becoming General Manager in 1997, a position he held until leaving the hotel to set up his own consultancy business in 2003.
He was responsible for Shangri-la joining the Shard of Glass project at London Bridge in 2004, also being involved in the Shangri-la project in Paris.
He consultancy clients included the Goodwood Estate, Bowood Estate, Failte Ireland, the Ruia Group, and the Sellar Property Group.
In 2010 David became Chief Executive and Secretary of the Royal Automobile Club, a position he held until his retirement in 2013.
David now spends time supporting the charity DEBRA UK.