Lee Kelly took the biggest step of his career late last year when he was appointed general manager at one of the country’s most hotly anticipated new hotels for 2018. Not only is the conversion of the Monkey Island Estate a big project to see through to completion, but for Kelly it will also mark his debut role as GM.
Former F&B director of the Savoy in London, Kelly joined the new luxury hotel in December 2017 ahead of its launch set for June this year. The Grade-I listed property dates back over 800 years and has been undergoing a transformation since June 2017, and alongside the 27 bedrooms and three deluxe suites, will be home to a brasserie, a luxury spa, plus a monkey lounge with a secret staircase leading up to a whiskey snug.
Once open, the Monkey Island Estate will be the fifth UK property for Malaysian hotel company YTL, joining the likes of 2017 AA Hotel of the Year Gainsborough Bath Spa, The Glasshouse in Edinburgh and The Threadneedles Hotel in London.
Kelly told BH that the property will aim to target a range of clientele, with leisure driving the weekend business, and corporate guests being the focus mid-week. He also said the hotel is looking to work with activities companies, as well as looking at ideas such as shepherd huts.
While his experience as hotel head honcho may be not be vast, Kelly’s industry knowledge cannot be underestimated. Prior to being recruited for Monkey Island Estate, Kelly spent 12 years working for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts after kickstarting his career working for Anton Mosimann’s Party Service.