The St James's Hotel and Club in London's Mayfair has replaced its general manager just nine months after reopening following a major 18-month refurbishment.
Henrik Muehle, who has been general manager of the Capital and Levin hotels in Knightsbridge for seven years, will join as managing director of the luxury five-star, 60-bedroom hotel in June, taking on general manager duties.
Muehle, who is also assistant managing director of the Capital Group, will replace Tim Pettifer, who left St James's last month, with his future shrouded in mystery.
"Tim Pettifer successfully launched St James's Hotel and Club and, following a year as general manager at the hotel, felt it was time to move on," a spokeswoman for the hotel said. "He left in April. We believe he is currently on holiday and are unaware of any details of future roles."
Muehle told Caterer he was "delighted" to join the hotel and expressed his ambition to gain a Michelin star at its restaurant.
"After seven years at the Capital I feel it's time to do something new and this is an opportunity to launch one of the best new products in London," he said. "I'm bringing my experience of running a two-Michelin-starred restaurant at the Capital and I'd like to establish this restaurant as a destination one and to gain a Michelin star next year. I will be putting a named Michelin-starred chef into the kitchen, too."
Three-Michelin-starred German chef Dieter Muller was executive chef at the hotel when it launched, but returned to Germany after three months, leaving protégé Philipp Vogel to head the kitchen.
St James's is part of the Germany-based Althoff Collection, which also operates six luxury hotels in Germany and France. The Capital is expected to announce a replacement for Muehle in the "next four weeks".
By Gemma Sharkey
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