W London has announced two major appointments following the loss of its general manager and executive chef within eight months of the opening of the 192-bedroom hotel in Leicester Square.
Ian Ciappara has taken over as the hotel's general manager following the departure of Kevin Rockey, who has rejoined the Morgans Hotel Group as general manager of the Sanderson hotel.
Prior to joining W London - four months before the hotel's opening in February - Rockey had been general hotel manager at St Martins Lane, sister hotel to the Sanderson. He originally joined the Morgans Hotel Group in 2000 as spa membership manager at the Sanderson.
Ciappara joins W London from Costa Navarino in Greece, where he was complex director of sales and marketing and was responsible for two hotels - the Westin Costa Navarino and the Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort. Both hotels, like W London, are operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Maltese-born Ciappara began his career with Starwood in 1998 as director of sales and marketing at the Westin Dragonara Resort in Malta. He studied in the UK, achieving a BSc in hotel and catering management from the Dorset Institute for Higher Education and a masters in international tourism marketing from the University of Surrey.
Meanwhile, Peter Lloyd has been appointed executive chef W London, which includes running the hotel's restaurant Spice Market. He replaces Tim Tolley, the US-born executive chef who left just weeks after the hotel opened following a spate of negative reviews.
Lloyd will oversee all aspects of the hotel's food offering, working with New York-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who devised the Spice market concept.
After training at the Dorchester hotel, Lloyd went on to work at Suka, the Malaysian restaurant at the Sanderson hotel, and at Bank restaurant and bar.
"The pairing of Spice Market with the W brand has been one of the most exciting launches on the London hotel and restaurant scene this year," said Lloyd. "It is a privilege to be involved at such a senior level."
Vongerichten with his company, Culinary Concepts, operates four Spice Market restaurants - in Atlanta, New York and Doha, as well as London.
By Janet Harmer
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