The South Africa-based Leeu Collection has appointed Christophe Mercier as its first UK & Europe area general manager.
Mercier will be based in London and his first focus will be the re-opening of the four-AA-star, 30-bedroom Linthwaite House in Windermere, Cumbria, in March following an extensive refurbishment and extension. He will then oversee the launch of a 100-bedroom London property on Newman Street in 2020 and the opening of Leeu's Villa Querce in Florence in 2021.
The appointment follows the resignation of Carrie Wicks, who stepped down as chief executive of the company last year.
Mercier has held several senior management positions at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, including resident manager at the Hotel Danieli in Venice and general manager of the W Paris Opera. Most recently he was general manager of the San Clemente Palace Kempinski in Venice.
He said: "We already have solid foundations in South Africa's Franschhoek on which we can build, creating more Leeu properties with exceptional selling points in the United Kingdom and Italy, while seeking other opportunities to grow our portfolio."
Leeu Collection operates three hotels in Franschhoek, South Africa.
Owner and founder of the Leeu Collection Analjit Singh added: "I am delighted to welcome an hotelier as seasoned as Christophe to the Leeu family and I very much look forward to working closely with him as we grow the brand over the coming years."
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