Joanne Taylor-Stagg to join the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences as GM

13 December 2018 by
Joanne Taylor-Stagg to join the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences as GM

Taylor-Stagg, who left the Capital hotel in Knightsbridge, London, last month, will take up her new role on 4 February next year. She was previously general manager of the Trafalgar St James, London, for two years.

Originally from South Africa, Taylor-Stagg has also worked as a divisional director for RBH (formerly Redefine|BDL Hotels) and general manager of the Crowne Plaza London Docklands.

Taylor-Stagg said that she was "very excited" to be joining the Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, which is the formal name of the property.

"The hotel has a real story behind it, going back to the days when it was owned by the Rank Organisation. All the stars of the day would stay there when filming in the UK."

The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences was built as a private residence in 1849 and bought in 1971 by the Rank Organisation, which converted the building into a hotel.

During the 1970s and 1980s Hollywood stars such as Marlon Brando, Lauren Bacall and Elizabeth Taylor were among its frequent guests when legendary sales manager the late Sally Bulloch, a former actress, was at the hotel. Ron Jones was general manager of the Athenaeum from 1971 to 1984 when he moved to Claridge's and went on to be named Hotelier of the Year in 1988. Nicholas Rettie, another former Hotelier of the Year from 1998, was general manager from 1984 to 1991.

The hotel was bought by family-owned Ralph Trustees in 1992, which also owns and operates the Grove hotel in Hertfordshire and the Runnymede hotel & spa in Windsor. Ralph Trustees, which is today headed by Daniel and Stuart Levy, continues to operate the Athenaeum under a long-term management agreement after selling its leasehold interest to the freeholder, Sir Richard Sutton Estates, in 2016.

Earlier this year, the Athenaeum completed a major renovation led by interior designer Martin Hulbert and now incorporates the View, an executive lounge for residents on the top floor which was previously occupied by the penthouse suite. The hotel also features the Galvin at the Athenaeum restaurant from brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin.

On Taylor-Stagg's arrival at the hotel, Bernard Murphy, the current interim general manager, will join Ralph Trustees as managing director to oversee the Athenaeum and two sister properties. Murphy was the managing director of Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Perthshire, until April this year.

Murphy said: "We have breathed new life into the art deco walls of the Athenaeum, but respectfully retained all of the English quirks and oddities that made her great."

Joanne Taylor-Stagg steps down as GM of the Capital hotel >>

Bernard Murphy leaves Gleneagles "for a new challenge" >>

Athenaeum owner to develop lifestyle hotel in Soho >>

British-focused design to match Galvin brothers' menu at the Athenaeum >>

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