Grace Hotels eyes expansion in EMEA, the Americas and Asia
Having entered its second decade, privately-owned Grace Hotels is now planning a significant period of growth. The award-winning luxury boutique hotel brand aims to have 30 more hotels open or under development in the next 10 years.
Since first opening in Greece’s Cyclades Islands in 2007, the richly diverse collection of properties now consists of six hotels and five further hotels under development. From idyllic Grace Mykonos and Grace Santorini with stunning sea views, to Grace Cafayate, a ranch-style property high in the wine growing region of Argentina, each experience is truly unique. Grace Mayflower Inn & Spa, Grace Vanderbilt and Grace White Barn Inn & Spa form a collection of historic, landmark hotels in New England. Further new additions will include Grace Marrakech, Grace St. Moritz, Grace Kalamata and Grace Kea in Greece, and La Dolfina Grace in Argentina.
Appointed as Chief Executive Officer in September 2016, Robert Swade has focused on consolidating the group and cementing brand foundations for the next stage of expansion. To define the growth strategy, a comprehensive brand positioning and target market assessment was undertaken to highlight primary focus areas for opportunities to develop and manage hotels and mixed-use developments. A 10-year resource plan has been developed to sustain the projected number of deal signings.
Since Mr. Swade joined Grace Hotels, significant investment in leadership has been made in order to guide the group into its next decade. Recent appointments include Group Commercial Director, Alison Styles, who joined with a rich experience across luxury brands including Mandarin Oriental and Fairmont Raffles; Tim Williams as Group HR Director who joined from the Aman Group; and Mike O’Mahoney as Group Finance Director, a commercially driven CFO with over 25 years’ experience in the hospitality sector. These newly-created global roles are pivotal in optimising the performance of the existing portfolio of properties and supporting the global expansion of Grace Hotels.
The development of Grace Hotels will continue under the leadership of Mr. Swade and the executive team, who are committed to strengthening the brand. A robust development strategy is in place, and having firmly established its foundations, Grace Hotels is now focusing on further expanding the collection within the EMEA region and North America principally, both in key gateway cities as well as leading leisure destinations. Discussions are already underway for the management of properties in Europe and the Caribbean.
Speaking at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Mr. Swade commented: "Our strategy is to seek out outstanding, brand-consistent destinations, and curate culturally integrated authentic local properties as part of our continued commitment to further enriching our guests’ experience”.
A strong pipeline, together with a dynamic executive team, will propel the brand forward and enable it to continue to set the benchmark in luxury boutique hotels. With its uncompromisingly bespoke approach, passionate and innovative team, as well as hallmark superior service, Grace Hotels will continue to strive to deliver exceptional experiences which create lasting memories for its discerning clientele.