Simon Rhatigan, one of the UK's leading independent hoteliers, has been appointed managing director of the Devonshire Hotels group, owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
As owner and managing director of the Feversham Arms Hotel and Verbena Spa in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, Rhatigan carried off the Catey for Independent Hotel of the Year in 2011. He and his wife Jill then sold the business following their divorce.
Before buying the Faversham Arms in 2003. Rhatigan was managing director of Tom's Companies, where he was responsible for Seaham Hall in County Durham and the Samling in Cumbria, and general manager of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire.
In his new role, Rhatigan will be responsible for the running of the four-red-AA-star, 40 bedroom Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel, Devonshire Arms Health Barn and the Cavendish Pavilion café, all in Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire; the Devonshire Fell restaurant with 12-bedrooms at Burnsall, North Yorkshire; and two pubs on the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire.
"I am here to develop the business as a whole and move certain areas forward and, in particular, explore and increase the spa opportunities at Bolton Abbey," he said. "The Devonshire Fell is a gem of a business; a popular exclusive use wedding venue and short break destination and I shall be looking at how to expand its potential. Likewise, there are opportunities for growth at the two Devonshire Arms at Chatsworth."
One of Rhatigan's first tasks was to confirm the appointment of Adam Smith, new head chef for the Burlington restaurant at the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey. Smith, the 2012 Roux Scholar, will join the hotel from the Ritz hotel in London, in July.
Rhatigan added: "I am keen to develop the market-leading position enjoyed by the Devonshire Arms with improvements to customer experience at both the Devonshire Brasserie and the fine dining Burlington. Adam is key to these developments and there is no doubt exciting times are ahead."