Grace Hotels Aims for 30-Plus Hotel Expansion

LONDON—Having entered its second decade, privately owned Grace Hotels is now planning a significant period of growth. The luxury boutique hotel brand aims to have 30 more hotels open or under development in the next 10 years. The collection of properties now consists of six hotels and five further hotels under development.

Appointed as CEO 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 Swade joined Grace Hotels, significant investment in leadership has been made in order to guide the group into its next decade, according to the company. Recent appointments include Group Commercial Director Alison Styles, who joined with 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 more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality sector.

A development strategy is now in place, 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, 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.”