Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Jonathan Raggett, Red Carnation Hotels
Overall ranking: 39 (NEW ENTRY)
Hotelier ranking: 8 (NEW ENTRY)
Jonathan Raggett is the managing director of Red Carnation Hotels, having originally joined the company as general manager of The Rubens at the Palace and Hotel 41 back in 1998. The 14-strong hotel group is privately owned by the Tollman family and has properties in London, Dorset, Guernsey, South Africa, USA and Switzerland.
Jonathan Raggett - Career guide
Having completed an HND in Hotel Management at Westminster College, Raggett's first position was as a management trainee with Norfolk Capital Hotels. After a two-year stage, he moved to The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate as conference and banqueting manager. Experience in front of house was gained at The Highcliffe Hotel and in 1988 he was appointed deputy general manager of The Londonderry Hotel (now The Metropolitan).
In 1990 he moved to South Africa as hotel manager at The Maharani Hotel in Durban for three years before moving to the St Pierre Park Hotel in Guernsey as director and general manager.
In 1998 he joined the then fledgling company Red Carnation Hotels - founded by Beatrice Tollman - as general manager of The Rubens at the Palace. Within two years, having been responsible for the opening of London's first all-inclusive hotel, Hotel 41, he was appointed managing director of RCH, which at that stage comprised six hotels.
Since 2000, the collection has grown to 14 properties in London, Dorset, Guernsey, South Africa, Palm Beach, USA and Geneva, Switzerland and employs over 1,500 people. The group comprises The Milestone, Hotel 41, The Egerton House Hotel, The Chesterfield Mayfair, The Montague on the Gardens, The Rubens at the Palace all in London; Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Dorset; The Old Government House Hotel and The Duke of Richmond in Guernsey; Hotel d'Angleterre in Switzerland; The Chesterfield in Palm Beach, USA; and The Twelve Apostles Hotel, Bushmans Kloof, and The Oyster Box in South Africa.
Raggett is responsible for the group's day to day operations as well as budgets, forecasts and strategic development. He is also a regular mentor for Oxford Brookes' hospitality students and is a supporter of Springboard, a member of the ARK Foundation committee, a trustee for Hospitality Action and a Master Innholder. In 2009 he was named Caterer and Hotelkeeper's Hotelier of the Year.
Jonathan Raggett - What we think
From small acorns, mighty oak trees grow, so the saying goes, and from a portfolio that few initially noticed, Raggett has slowly but surely developed a hotel group that comprises top notch properties serviced by well trained staff.
This year Raggett was responsible for reopening the refurbished Duke of Richmond Hotel in Guernsey as a glamorous four star property, while behind the scenes every hotel's website has been fully revamped.
This year alone the group was recognised on a number of different levels; from founder Beatrice Tollman being named as Hotelier of the Year in the European Hospitality Awards, to receiving TripAdvisor's Awards of Excellence for every hotel in the collection and Hotel 41 and The Milestone hotel being listed as numbers 1 and 2 in the Conde Nast Traveler (US) Readers Choice Awards for Hotels in the British Isles.
Previously the company has achieved Caterer and Hotelkeeper's Best Companies to Work for Accreditation and this year scooped the Excellence in Recruitment and Retention award at the HR in Hospitality awards as well as making a debut appearance in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For (at no. 71). These accolades reflect Raggett's quiet determination, passion and commitment to nurturing staff, which he has done consistently throughout his time at RCH. He has ensured the group prides itself on its dedication to comprehensive staff training and development and its 'home grown' managers.
Under Raggett, the RCH group is going from strength to strength and, at 14-strong with some of the industry's top awards under its belt - is perhaps best described as the mouse that roared. Now it has our full attention, we will all be sure to watch its continued progression with interest.
Jonathan Raggett Hotelier of the Year >>RCH Best Places to Work >>
RCH founder wins Hotelier of the Year >>