The new brand of urban lifestyle hotels being created by the Starwood Capital Group has announced two key appointments to join chief operating officer David Taylor.
Sean Wheeler, currently director of human resources at the Dorchester Collection, has been appointed director of people development, while Simon Willis, former director of communications for Sir Terence Conran, will become brand director.
Led by Taylor, Wheeler and Willis will help to oversee the launch of the brand - as yet unnamed - which is being created from a collection of city centre hotels acquired by American private investment firm Starwood over the past two years.
The Principal Hayley Group of 22 four-AA-star hotels, which Starwood bought in 2013 for £356m was later joined by De Vere Venues (acquired for £231m), Four Pillars (around £90m) and the Town House Collection, comprising Blythswood Square in Glasgow and the Bonham in Edinburgh.
Tony Troy, chief executive of the UK portfolio of Starwood, said he was delighted to have attracted "such industry-leading talent" to the group to develop a growth strategy for around 10 city centre properties.
"We have already commenced the renovation at some of the most iconic hotels in the UK, including the George hotel in Edinburgh, the Royal York and the Palace hotel in Manchester, with further plans to follow for Hotel Russell in London. David, Sean and Simon will provide the support to our team to execute these substantial redevelopment projects and realise Starwood Capital Group's vision for the City portfolio."
Cody Bradshaw, head of European hotels at Starwood Capital Group, added: "We are excited to have begun these revitalisation efforts and to be enhancing the management team in our UK hotel portfolio. The group is performing well and, in addition to the significant investment in the City division, we are planning further value-enhancing capital investments in our core country conference-focused properties such as Wokefield Park, Wotton House, Tortworth Court and Oxford Thames, where a new bedroom and leisure extension project has already commenced."