The Polizzis' Star in Alfriston hotel is set to open on 14 June and has announced its senior team, with Edward Johnson as general manager, Tim Kensett taking the role of head chef and Monika Korzeniowska as head housekeeper.
Following significant delays to the refurbishment of the East Sussex property caused by Covid-19 and several major structural issues, the 30-bedroom, 16th-century, Grade II-listed property will begin taking bookings from next month with a starting room rate of £190.
Johnson will be undertaking his first general manager role at the property, having joined from the Berkeley in London where he was reception manager after working his way up from duty manager over four years.
He studied International Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University and began his career at Rocco Forte's Brown's hotel in London in the housekeeping department.
Head housekeeper Korzeniowska joins the team from her role as housekeeper manager at the 104-bedroom East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa. Prior to this, she worked at the Claremont Lions and Albany Lions hotels in Eastbourne.
Chef Kensett used to work as executive chef at the Fife Arms in Aberdeenshire and is developing an all-day dining offering for the Inn at the Star, which will offer local ales in an oak-beamed room with an open fire, and a menu for the 60-cover dining room. The Star will also cater for small weddings and events.
He also previously spent four years as senior sous chef at the River Café in London. A move to New York to work as executive chef of Storico restaurant was followed by two years in Jamaica as executive head chef of GoldenEye Villa & Spa.
The Polizzi Collection was created last year to bring together Olga Polizzi's Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, Cornwall; Hotel Endsleigh, near Tavistock, Devon; and the Star. The acquisition of the latter in October 2019 marked the first time that Polizzi has gone into partnership with her daughter Alex, best known as Channel 5's Hotel Inspector.
The Star was once owned by Olga's father and Alex's grandfather, Lord Forte, who created the Trust House Forte group.