The former chief operating officer of Corinthia Hotels has been appointed chief executive of Hand Picked Hotels.
Ignace Bauwens will be taking over from current CEO Julia Hands on 1 December. Hands will remain as chairman of the 21-strong hotel group, which has properties in the UK and the Channel Islands.
She first became CEO in 2001, when the group was founded with 16 hotels in its collection.
Bauwens has over 30 years' experience in the industry, including as chief operating officer of Roya International in Dubai and as regional vice-president of the Middle East, Eurasia and Africa at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
He has also held roles at IHG Hotels & Resorts and Accor after started his career in food and beverage.
At Hand Picked Hotels, Bauwens will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business as well as its long-term growth strategy.
He said: "I am thrilled to be joining Hand Picked Hotels. The business has tremendous potential to become the leading destination hotel group in the UK, and it will be part of my responsibility to harness its existing talent and drive the ongoing initiatives. I look forward to working with Julia and the team to take Hand Picked Hotels to the next level."
Hands added: "I am delighted to welcome Ignace, who brings with him a wealth of leadership experience in the hospitality sector. I am confident that he will guide the business in its ambitious objectives to provide an elevated, upscale service offering, as we continue to transform Hand Picked Hotels into an exceptional hotel group."
Hand Picked Hotels was originally part of the Virgin group and now features properties such as Audleys Wood hotel in Hampshire, Bailbrook House hotel in Bath and Fermain Valley hotel in Guernsey.