Justin Pinchbeck is leaving his position as hotel director at the five-star country house hotel Lime Wood in the New Forest to become the new general manager of London's five-star Berkeley hotel.
He is expected to take up his new role within three months, replacing Klaus Kabelitz, who left the Berkeley last month to become general manager of the Dorchester Collection's Le Richemond hotel in Geneva.
Pinchbeck, whose has previously worked in London at Grosvenor House, for Firmdale Hotels and as general manger of the Zetter, said he had always wanted to manage one of the capital's iconic hotels, but the opportunity to do so had come sooner than he imagined.
"You can't always plan these things and I hadn't intended to leave Lime Wood just yet, but when the opportunity to go to the Berkeley came about, I felt drawn by the buzz, glitz and sophistication of the hotel."
Pinchbeck, who joined Lime Wood three years ago, has been instrumental in establishing the property as one of the UK's leading country house hotels with five red AA stars and a plethora of awards.
"I am immensely proud of what the whole team has achieved at Lime Wood and would like to thank them for helping to create what has become a market leader among luxury hotels in the country," he said.
For Lime Wood's chairman, Robin Hutson, the departure of Pinchbeck has created a double blow as Pinchbeck's wife, Sharon, will also be leaving her role as spa director of the hotel's Herb House Spa, to move to London.
"It is a big loss for us, but Justin has done a fantastic job at Lime Wood and he moves on to a brilliant job at the Berkeley - he goes with our blessing," said Hutson, who has now begun the process to search for Pinchbeck's replacement.
Stephen Alden, chief executive of the Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns the Berkeley, alongside Claridge's and the Connaught hotels, said he was delighted to welcome Pinchbeck to the Berkeley. "Justin is an experienced and accomplished hotelier who is very respected in the marketplace," he said. "His background, and the Berkeley's strong positioning within the luxury set in London, complement each other perfectly.
By Janet Harmer
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