Justin Pinchbeck is to leave London's Berkeley hotel, where he has been general manager for three years, to take up the role of chief operating officer of a new luxury country house hotel and golf resort in the former Surrey home of media magnate Lord Beaverbrook.
He will take up his new position at Beaverbrook, previously known as Cherkley Court, near Leatherhead, in the spring. The property was acquired by Longshot, headed by Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors, in 2011.
The golf course, which is being designed by five times Open winner Tom Watson and architect David McLay Kidd will open in the summer, alongside the Garden House restaurant and cookery school, while the 40-bedroom hotel and spa is expected to launch next year.
Pinchbeck, who was named Manager of the Year at the 2012 Catey Awards, said he believed that Beaverbrook will be a very special place. "I am excited by the challenge to establish Beaverbrook as one of the very best estates and country house hotels in the UK. I aim to establish the property as a market leader, best in class, pushing the boundaries of the typical country house experience."
Regarding his time at the Berkeley, Pinchbeck said that the hotel "consistently delivers at the top of its game and that's down to the team. I am indebted to them for the continued success achieved and I sincerely thank each and every one of them for their support and professionalism."
Plans for the development of Beaverbrook have been a protracted process since the acquisition by Longshot of the grade II-listed French château-style mansion.
The decision by Mole Valley Council to grant planning permission for the scheme was challenged by environmental campaigners until 2014 when a High Court judge turned down a request for a second judicial review.
Dating back to 1894, the hotel will sit within a 380-acre estate, incorporating the new golf course. It will incorporate two restaurants, a health club, spa, cookery school, and activities for children. Membership of the exclusive golf club will be by invitation only.
Prior to joining the five-red-AA-star, 210-bedroom Berkeley hotel, Pinchbeck was hotel director of Lime Wood in the New Forest, which he helped to launch in 2009. He was also the opening general manager at the Zetter in London, having worked for Firmdale Hotels and Grosvenor House earlier in his career.
Pinchbeck's departure from the Berkeley will mark the third general manager to leave the Maybourne Hotel Group since its holding company Coroin was acquired by Constellation Hotels, owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding in April 2015.
Natalie Seiler-Hayez left the Connaught in July to join the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland, as general manager. She was replaced in October by Massimiliano Binda, formerly hotel manager at the Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai, China. Meanwhile, Paul Jackson, general manager at the Mandarin Oriental Sanya, China, will arrive as general manager at Claridge's on 25 January, following the departure of Thomas Kochs in November.