The Balmoral, the Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh, has appointed Richard Cooke as its new general manager.
Cooke will be responsible for the day to day operations and strategic direction of the 168-room and 20-suite hotel and its Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One. He will also oversee the hotel's Hadrian's Brasserie, afternoon tea lounge Palm Court, Scotch whisky bar, the Balmoral bar and spa and the hotel's meeting and conferencing offerings.
Cooke has more than 23 years of experience in hospitality management across a variety of hotels in Canada, USA, South East Asia and China. He joins the Balmoral from the Shangri-La hotels in Toronto and Vancouver, where he was area general manager and opened the Shangri-La Toronto.
Prior to this he spent 10 years in management positions with Shangri-La hotels, including general manager positions at Traders hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the Shangri-La hotel in Singapore and the Pudong Shangri-La in Shanghai. Cooke started his hospitality career in the UK before moving to New Zealand and the Regent hotel in Auckland.
He subsequently moved to the US where he was executive assistant manager at the Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan, and in San Francisco, before moving to Rosewood hotels and resorts in Dallas as director of food and beverage.
Cooke said: "I am delighted on so many levels to take up this position. I get the chance to work with legendary hotelier Sir Rocco Forte. My dream has been to manage an iconic hotel, which the Balmoral without question is and I fulfil this in a city I have fallen in love with over the past few years."
Chairman and chief executive Sir Rocco Forte added: "I met Richard Cooke when staying at the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto. He was the general manager there and he immediately impressed me with the strength of his personality and his obvious command of the detail of the hotel. So I am very pleased indeed that he has joined Rocco Forte hotels, bringing with him a considerable experience of the industry and a high level of skills. He will be able to continue with the development of the Balmoral and further enhance his already illustrious reputation."