Jan-Paul Kroese, a hotelier from Holland, has been appointed general manager at Raymond Blanc's Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire.
He will replace Philip Newman-Hall, who retires today following a second six year-stint at the hotel as managing director. After taking holiday, Newman-Hall, who previously spent five years at the hotel as general manager from 1999, intends to remain active in some capacity within the hospitality industry.
Prior to a 14-month career break travelling in Africa with his young family in 2010 to 2011, Kroese oversaw the pre-opening of Sankara Nairobi in Kenya. He has also worked for InterContinental Hotels Group in Holland, Mandarin Oriental in New York and the Okura Garden Hotel in Shangai.
Kroese said he was thrilled to join Belmond's "unique collection" of hotels, trains and river cruises. "I look forward to developing Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons' position as a world-renowned luxury travel experience and maintaining this iconic hotel-restaurant's reputation for offering outstanding service and Michelin-star cuisine."
Newman Hall, who won the Catey award for Manager of the Year in 2011, said it had been "an honour and a pleasure" to lead the team at Le Manoir on behalf of Raymond Blanc and by turn Virgin, Orient-Express then Belmond.
"Le Manoir has always set out to be not only a restaurant and a hotel, but also a training academy where anyone can join. We will do our best to develop their potential and try and create a career path for them within the industry. If I have one legacy more important than any award we have ever won, it is the team members who have gone on to have great careers themselves.
"Le Manoir will continue to prosper long after me and I wish RB, Belmond and all the team the greatest of success for the future."
Paul Shanahan, operations manager at Le Manoir, will head the team at the hotel as acting general manager until the arrival of Kroese.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons was founded in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, by Blanc in 1984. Richard Branson, who one time held a majority shareholding in Le Manoir, sold out to Orient Express Hotels in 2002. Orient Express was rebranded as Belmond last year.