London's Beaumont hotel has announced the appointment of Sir Nicholas Soames as its chairman and Duncan Palmer (pictured) as its new managing director.
Sir Nicholas Soames has been on the board of the five-AA-star, 73-bedroom Mayfair hotel since April 2020 and will take on the role of chairman on 21 April. Palmer will also join the team on 21 April and replace general manager Jannes Soerensen, who is leaving after more than five years in the role.
Sir Nicholas was an MP for more than 25 years, representing both Mid Sussex and Crawley. He served as a junior minister at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and from 1994-97 he was Minister of State for the Armed Forces. Between November 2003 and May 2005 he served in the shadow cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.
Palmer was most recently managing director at the Murray in Hong Kong. He previously spent 11 years at Langham Hospitality Group, where he oversaw the creation of its flagship property, the Langham, London. Other roles included regional vice-president, Europe; regional director of operations in Indonesia; and vice-president of design for the group worldwide out of Hong Kong. His previous 15 years in general manager positions were at the Sukhothai, Bangkok; the Connaught and the Savoy in London; and the Mandarin Oriental in Jakarta.
The Beaumont is reopening this summer following the refurbishment of its ground-floor areas and spa. Along with a new bar, Le Magritte, an all-day dining Library and an alfresco dining terrace, the Beaumont's art deco public interiors have been enhanced by international designer, the Office of Thierry Despont, and architects ReardonSmith. As part of the project, a new two-bedroom Mayfair Suite has been created on the first floor overlooking the Brown Hart Gardens.
Sir Nicholas Soames said: "I am delighted to be taking on the role of chairman of the Beaumont, and am very much looking forward to helping the team achieve the huge potential that we see for this outstanding hotel.
"We are also absolutely thrilled to have someone of Duncan's experience and calibre joining the Beaumont in the role of managing director. He is a renowned figure in the luxury hotel world, and has an extraordinary track record of achieving fantastic results for some of the best-known brands and properties in the industry. He is the ideal person to steer the Beaumont into an exciting new chapter as it prepares to welcome guests back this summer.
"On behalf of entire team, I would also like to thank Jannes for his outstanding professionalism, dedication and loyalty to the Beaumont, and to wish him all the very best for the future."
Palmer said: "I have been a big admirer of the Beaumont's unique style and impeccable service since it opened in 2014, and am delighted to be joining at this exciting moment in its short but distinguished history. I have already been hugely impressed with the vision and ambition for the hotel, and with the obvious quality of its team. I cannot wait to get started."
Ellerman Hotel Company, which is owned by the Barclay family, bought the leasehold of the property in 2018, four years after the hotel was opened by restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. Grosvenor is the freeholder of the building.