Louis Sailer has been appointed general manager of the five-star, 159-bedroom Café Royal hotel in Regent Street, London, which is set to welcome its first guests in June.
Previously general manager of the capital's Millenium Mayfair hotel, Austrian-born Sailer, arrived in the UK in 2010 from Singapore, where he was general manager of the Fullerton hotel.
Earlier in his career he worked for Raffles International in Singapore, St Vincent and the Grenadines and China; for Hilton International in Singapore and Japan; and Ritz Carlton in the USA.
Sailer described the Café Royal as a luxury hotel for the 21st century, true to the glamorous spirit of the original property. Dating from 1864 when it opened as a restaurant and series of banqueting rooms, the Grade I listed building was at one time home to the National Sporting Club.
The property was bought in 2008 on a 125-year lease from the Crown Estate by Israeli company Alrov Properties, run by property and design entrepreneurs Alfred and Gerorgi Akirov.
Over the past three years, David Chipperfield Architects has undertaken a major restoration of the original interiors, dating from the 1860s and 1930s, to create a contemporary hotel.
Once open, the hotel will encompass a myriad of food and beverage outlets including what Sailer described as the "very theatrical Domino and Grill Rooms" and a spa. Five of the original rooms are being converted to VIP suites, including one under the copper dome at the apex of Piccadilly Circus and Glasshouse Street.
The Café Royal has been incorporated into the Akirovs' new collection of luxury hotels called The Set, which also includes the Conservatorium hotel in Amsterdam and the Lutetia in Paris. In the future The Set is expected to develop and open hotels in other major destinations worldwide.
By Janet Harmer
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