Claridge's hotel gets new general manager

02 March 2006
Claridge's hotel gets new general manager

Three of London's top hotels will all have new general managers after a flurry of departures and appointments in recent weeks.

Claridge's appointed Sylvain Ercoli from Hotel Martinez in Cannes as its new general manager on Friday last week following the departure of Michael Hoffmann.

Christoph Mares has recently been named as the new boss of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, following the recent promotion of Liam Lambert to director of operations Europe.

And Nicholas Rettie, the Great Eastern hotel's general manager, and a former Caterer and Hotelkeeper Hotelier of the Year, has just announced he is to leave after seven years at the helm, following Hyatt's takeover of the hotel. His replacement has yet to be named.

But finding suitable replacements is not an easy task and the skill requirements of general managers has changed, according to Andrea Blattner, senior recruitment consultant at Lister Charles.

"There is no generic skill set needed for general managers any more. Some hotel groups are looking for business managers, others traditional GMs. It is causing a headache for some clients who want very particular skills," she explained.

However, Stuart Howie, divisional director of Portfolio, said recruitment for the top positions had always been difficult.

"It's all about putting square pegs in square holes," he said. "When recruiting for the top positions, the pool is much smaller and can make it much harder to recruit."

Amanda Scott, general manager at London's Waldorf Hilton, stressed the importance of promoting from within, to minimise recruitment problems.

"There are lots of fantastic people out there at number two and number three levels. I'm a great proponent of recruiting from within and we need to give people a chance to prove themselves," she said.

By Emily Manson

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