Chris Ward, commercial director at the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds, has left his position to set up a new hospitality consultancy to champion independent hotels.
Ward had been at the Estate since June 2013 and was a key driving force in relaunching the three properties, Dormy House Hotel, boutique hotel The Fish and private house hotel, Foxhill Manor, which make up the 400-acre Estate.
The latest major investment was a £4m redevelopment of The Fish, which reopened in March this year with a new restaurant, new-look bedrooms and new facilities after a three-month project.
Now Ward has set up Hotel Makers, a new hospitality consultancy business, to work with independent properties of all shapes and sizes to help them achieve their business goals.
With a number of clients already on board, Ward helps venues to improve income, innovate their product, create new experiences, improve efficiency and ultimately help their bottom line.
Speaking to Boutique Hotelier, Ward says: “I have worked in hospitality for over 20 years and have been fortunate enough to spend time in, and in some cases help create, a few of the most recognised and well-respected names in the industry, including the likes of Chewton Glen, Cliveden House, Dormy House, The Fish Hotel and Foxhill Manor.
“The unique challenges the industry provides and the variety and creativity that is required to be successful is why I love hospitality. My passion has always been in helping properties I have been involved with grow by taking an innovative and at times disruptive approach. It is why I decided to set up Hotel Makers,” he adds.
He still retains an involvement at Farncombe, helping CEO Andrew Grahame on the strategic development of the business, with nobody confirmed to replace his role within the business.