The Café Royal, which reopened 10 months ago as a luxury 159-bedroom hotel in London, has appointed Anthony Lee as general manager.
Lee, who is currently general manager at the five-star, 406-bedroom May Fair hotel, will replace Louis Sailer, who joined the property last year from the Millenium Mayfair hotel.
He will take over the helm of the iconic property - which has undergone a multimillion-pound transformation since being acquired in 2008 by Israeli company Alrov Properties - following a difficult opening which has seen a succession of disparaging reviews. Earlier this month Fiona Duncan of The Sunday Telegraph described the hotel as "lifeless" with design features in its Ten Room restaurant reminiscent of a Communist era cemetery in Lithuania.
"I intend to slap it on the bottom and let it cry," Lee told Caterer and Hotelkeeper. "Tweaks will be made and the hotel will be warmed up. A new restaurant and private members' club will open during the first quarter of next year.
"It is not unusual for a new hotel not to get everything right the first time, but I have absolutely no doubt that the Café Royal is part of a new breed of ultra-luxury hotels in London, such as the Connaught, the Bulgari and the Lanesborough following its forthcoming refurbishment, which are set to take a prominent place on the world's stage."
The Café Royal is still not fully operational, with around 10 bedrooms yet to open and the spa to be completed.
Lee will join the Café Royal in January. He joined the May Fair hotel just over three years ago, having previously spent 31 years at the Connaught, joining as a receptionist and departing as general manager. Lee said he will be leaving the May Fair in very good shape having created a new senior management team and repositioned the property.