Luis Cobas – stalwart of the Royal Garden hotel for 45 years – dies

12 June 2015 by
Luis Cobas – stalwart of the Royal Garden hotel for 45 years – dies

Luis Cobas, bar manager and longest-serving member of staff at the Royal Garden hotel, London, has died at the age of 63.

He passed away on 7 June after battling an advanced and aggressive cancer since the beginning of the year.

Born in Lugo, north west Spain, Cobas arrived in the UK in the late 1960s and initially worked at a small hotel in Surrey.

He joined the five-red-AA-star, 394-bedroom Royal Garden hotel as a commis waiter of the Royal Roof restaurant in 1970, five years after the hotel opened. Soon after, he was appointed a barman of the hotel's Bulldog Bar and Chophouse, where he remained for 12 years, eventually graduating to manager. Cobas then transferred to the Lobby bar and later the Gallery bar.

During the closure of the Royal Garden in 1994 for an extensive refurbishment, Cobas went to work at the Royal Lancaster hotel. He returned to the Royal Garden in 1996 as bar manager of the newly named Bertie's bar, a position he held until his death.

Jonathan Lowrey, general manager, of the hotel, described Cobas as one of the property's "most remarkable" employees.

"Luis's character had the ability to bring warmth, kindness and a genuine care to all his customers and work," he said. "This was also found in his advice to all newcomers of the hotel saying ‘try your hardest, to be fair, be loyal and then you will get your reward'. Luis will be sadly missed by all and remembered fondly."

Cobas leaves a wife, Susie, and two daughters.

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