Renowned hotelier and owner of one of London’s original boutiques David Levin has been recognised in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year 2016 Honours List.
His MBE has been awarded to him for his services to hospitality and youth training.
Levin remains the owner and managing proprietor of the five-star Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, which he opened in 1971 as a blueprint for the ‘boutique hotel’ concept.
He has clearly passed down his passion for hospitality as his daughter Kate Levin is general manager of the luxury hotel, which is also part of Pride of Britain Hotels.
Speaking on his newest achievement, Levin said: “It’s a huge honour to be recognised in this way for my work in an industry I have been so passionate about for more than 60 years. Youth training for the hospitality sector has never been more important and I will continue to create and support opportunities where I can.”
Born and educated in Glasgow, Levin is a pioneer of the gastropub and visiting professor and benefactor of the Hospitality department at Oxford Brookes University. Among many awards over the years, he was voted Restaurateur of the Year in 1991 and Hotelier of the Year in 1994.
Levin started out in the industry as a commis waiter at the Central Hotel’s Malmaison Restaurant in 1952.
His first managerial role was at Hotel Lochalsh in Kyle and in 1965 he bought his first property, the seven bedroom Royal Oak at Yattendon in Berkshire, which he developed as an early gastropub.
He went on to open The Capital in 1971 and its restaurant was one of only four hotel restaurant to be awarded a star in the first UK Michelin Guide published in 1974.
Today, The Capital is home to Nathan Outlaw’s Michelin-starred London restaurant, Outlaw’s at The Capital.
Levin’s business has evolved and expanded to include two London hotels, luxury apartments, The Metro Bistro, The London Bakery and the LEVIN Vineyard in the Loire Valley.
His career has included key industry positions: chairman of the British hospitality association, vice chairman of the London Tourist Board, and committee member of the British Tourism Authority.