Chris Penn, managing director of the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, has resigned from his role to set up his own business. He leaves the cutting edge hotel at the beginning of September.
Penn, who won the Extra Mile Catey award after he swam the English Channel last summer in aid of Hospitality Action, is hoping to raise investment so that he can build his own hotel.
He told The Caterer: "Having worked for others for 20 years, I am going to take a shot at building a business myself. There are high barriers to entry due to the large capital requirement of building a hotel, but I have an idea that I believe in that I think offers a new and unique space in the hotel industry and I have decided that it is the right time in my life to take the leap and the risk."
Penn said that the rest of the year will see him raising capital to get his idea off the ground and he will be reassessing his plans at the end of 2016.
"I have always believed that we only get one shot at life and I, for one, am going to try to make the most of every single second that I have on the planet. I do not want to be someone who says ‘what if?'
"In order to achieve incredible things in life, you have to accept the potential failure. If I fail to get investment, then at least I know that the investment is not there for what I am proposing, but until that point, I stand with belief and ambition and will persevere to make something very special and unique."
Penn joined the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch in 2013 from the role of general manager at Flemings Mayfair. Prior to that, he worked at the Cavendish and the Stafford, both in London, and Historic House Hotels' Hartwell House near Aylesbury.
"I'm the same person, but with a renewed sense of energy and a belief that I should continue to challenge myself, my mind and my body. Life is short and I will always want to challenge myself."
Latest video from The Caterer