The Dorchester Collection is to take over the management of the 109-bedroom Le Richemond hotel in Switzerland from Rocco Forte Hotels.
Set on the banks of Lake Geneva, the property will become the luxury group's first management contract. It will remain open during a forthcoming refurbishment of its restaurant, bar and suites.
Rocco Forte and Family (Luxury Hotels), a company jointly owned by Rocco Forte and Family and the Bank of Scotland, sold the hotel to an investment-holding company represented by Cedar Capital Partners, for an undisclosed sum in December 2010. At the time, Rocco Forte Hotels announced that it would continue to operate the hotel under a management contract until at least the summer of 2011, with the potential for a longer-term arrangement.
Christopher Cowdray, chief executive of the Dorchester Collection, said the excellent situation of Le Richemond will complement the group's existing locations in London, Paris, Milan and Los Angeles. "We set out our vision to grow our portfolio of luxury hotels and to seek management agreements, so this being our first third-party management agreement is an exciting strategic addition," he said.
Francois Delahaye, the group's chief operating officer, will be responsible for the property and oversee the integration of the hotel into the Dorchester Collection brand. "‘We are looking forward to positioning Le Richemond at the centre of Geneva society and playing an active role in the local community, as well as welcoming the hotel's staff to our company," he said.
Le Richemond will be Dorchester Collection's eighth hotel when the management agreement starts in August. The group recently announced the forthcoming sale on 12 July of New York Palace, which has 813 bedrooms and 86 suites, to Northwood Investors. It decided to offload the property because its large number of rooms means that it not strategically aligned with the Dorchester Collection's brand.
In September 2011 the group will open its ninth hotel, 45 Park Lane, London, and in October 2011 the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angles, which has been closed for a major renovation, will re-open.
By Neil Gerrard
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