Dorchester Collection

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Dorchester Collection
Industry Hospitality
Tourism
Founded 1996
Headquarters London
Number of locations 10
Key people Christopher Cowdray, (CEO)
François Delahaye, (COO)
Helen Smith, (VP Sales and Marketing)
Employees 3,500
Parent Brunei Investment Agency (BIA)
Website www.dorchestercollection.com

Dorchester Collection is a luxury hotel operator owned by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), an arm of the Ministry of Finance of Brunei. Dorchester Collection owns and manages 10 luxury five star hotels, The Dorchester, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Plaza Athénée, Hotel Meurice, Principe di Savoia, Hotel Bel-Air, Coworth Park, 45 Park Lane, Le Richemond and Hotel Eden.

History[edit]

In 1987, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, bought the Dorchester Hotel and the Beverly Hills Hotel and then transferred the ownership to the Brunei Investment Agency in 1991.[1] The Audley Group, owned by the BIA, was established in 1996 to manage the hotels under one company. Later, the Audley Group became the Dorchester Group Limited.[1][2] The Dorchester Group Ltd. owns the Dorchester Collection which was established in 2006 to manage several luxury hotels in Europe and the United States. The Dorchester Collection manages 10 luxury hotels.[3][4][5] The hotels are a mix of wholly owned and part-owned hotels as the Dorchester Collection acquires them and manages them on behalf of third party owners.[3][6]

Hotels[edit]

The United Kingdom:

  • The Dorchester (London, England), purchased in 1986[7]
  • 45 Park Lane (London, England), acquired in 2011, it is the smallest hotel of the collection at 45 rooms[7]
  • Coworth Park (Ascot, Berkshire, England), refurbished in 2008 and reopened in 2010[8]

The United States:

France:

Switzerland:

Italy:

Restaurants[edit]

Spas[edit]

Dorchester Collection partners with third-party brands for each hotel’s spa. The spas are listed below.

  • The Dorchester – The Dorchester Spa (Carol Joy London, Kerstin Florian and Aromatherapy Associates)[21]
  • Coworth Park – The Spa at Coworth Park (including Carol Joy London, Kerstin Florian and Aromatherapy Associates)[22]
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel – The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie[23]
  • Hotel Bel-Air – Spa by La Prairie[24]
  • Le Meurice – Spa Valmont[25]
  • Le Richemond – Le Spa by Sisley[26]
  • Hotel Principe di Savoia – Club 10 (Comfort Zone, Thalgo and Kanebo)[27]

Controversy[edit]

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, via his Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) owning the Dorchester Collection hotels, raised concern abroad in April 2014 by implementing the Sharia law penal code that includes death by stoning, the severing of limbs, and flogging for crimes in Brunei such as abortions, adultery, and homosexual acts. The Sultan himself, together with his family members are exempted from the Sharia Law and the laws only apply within the country's borders.[28] Brunei has a complex legal system that consists of two parts which involve separate courts and legislation for Islamic and non-Islamic citizens.[29] Sharia law exists alongside other normative systems and has been adopted by many other Muslim countries,[30] including Saudi Arabia which has major investments in the American hospitality industry, including the Four Seasons and Fairmont hotels.[31][32]

In protest, a United States national LGBT advocacy organization, the Gill Action Fund, canceled its reservation to hold a conference of major donors at the hotel and demanded a refund of its deposit. The hotel management responded by issuing a statement asserting that it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.[33] Fashion designers Brian Atwood and Peter Som subsequently called for wider protests, urging the fashion industry to boycott all of the hotels owned by the Dorchester Collection.[34]

The nearby Bel-Air Hotel is also a BIA Dorchester Collection property. Fashion designers Brian Atwood and Peter Som have called for wider protests, urging the fashion industry to boycott all of the hotels owned by the Dorchester Collection. The Beverly Hills Hotel, long a popular spot for celebrity functions, has been rejected by much of Hollywood over the controversy.[35] HR Magazine said that the protests are "misguided" and will not affect the government policy of Brunei when the Dorchester Collection's annual revenue is $300 million while the BIA has over $30 billion in assets from oil and gas.[36]

Chief executive officer Christopher Cowdray asked the public to consider the issue at hand in a broader perspective, citing the fact that many brands are backed by foreign investors.[31] The U.S. national advertising-industry newspaper Adweek declared that "the bad press and protests have tarnished the glamorous image of the Beverly Hills Hotel, one of the most famous hotels in the world" and added that "such extreme brand damage will be difficult to repair."[37] As of May 2014, "more than $2 million worth of events have been canceled at the Beverly Hills Hotel by dozens of groups."[38] There have also been people speaking out in opposition of the protests and boycott of the hotel. Russell Crowe and Kim Kardashian have spoken out against the boycott, despite disapproval of the new laws in Brunei, citing how it is unfair to punish the hardworking employees and workers at the hotel.[39][40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dorchester Group". The Caterer. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Dorchester Group Limited". Companies in the UK. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Hotel Bel-Air". Dorchester Collection. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dorchester Collection". Hospitality Net. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Patti Pietschmann (June 6, 2012). "Tasty treats spice up summer at Dorchester Collection hotels from London to LA". Examiner. 
  6. ^ "Dorchester Collection". Hospitality Net. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Ultra-luxury Dorchester Collection looks to grow in N.Y., elsewhere". USA Today. October 22, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Coworth Park, A Dorchester Collection Hotel". Ampersand. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  9. ^ "In Conversation With Christopher Cowdray, CEO, Dorchester Collection". Luxury Society. May 10, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ Janet Harmer (June 29, 2011). "Dorchester Collection takes over management of Le Richemond from Rocco Forte". The Caterer. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Hotels that Speak to History". LEADERS Magazine. January 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Szu Ping Chan (September 18, 2013). "Luxury Rome hotel snapped up by Dorchester owner". The Telegraph. 
  13. ^ "Restaurants & Bars". The Dorchester. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Dorchester Collection to Manage Rome’s Iconic Hotel Eden". Hospitality Net. September 18, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  15. ^ Forbes Travel Guide (January 13, 2012). "An Inside Look At Wolfgang Puck's New Restaurant At Hotel Bel-Air". Forbes. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  16. ^ Eric Rosen. "See and Be Seen at The Polo Lounge". Los Angeles Confidential. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Gourmet Hotels in the UK". Condé Nest Traveller. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Le Richemond joined Dorchester Collection". Swiss Deluxe Hotels. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ Amol Rajan (November 13, 2011). "Cut at 45 Park Lane, London W1". The Independent. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ Valerio M. Visintin (October 15, 2013). "Acanto dell'Hotel Principe di Savoia". VivaMilano. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Spa". The Dorchester. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Coworth Spa Park Membership". The Dorchester. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Spa & Fitness". The Beverly Hills Hotel. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Hotel Bel-Air Spa & Fitness". Hotel Bel-Air. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Le Spa Valmont for Hotel Le Meurice". Le Meurice. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Le Spa by Sisley". Le Richmond. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Spa and Fitness". Hotel Principe di Savoia. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  28. ^ The Sultan of Brunei Intends to Stone Adulterers (Wait, What Century Is This?) by Charlie Campbell March 7, 2014 Time magazine
  29. ^ Brunei Darussalam (Report). Yale Law School. November 2005. http://www.law.yale.edu/rcw/rcw/jurisdictions/asse/bruneidarussalam/frontpage.pdf.
  30. ^ Jan Michiel Otto, ed. (2010). SHARIA INCORPORATED:A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present (Report). Leiden University. http://dare.uva.nl/document/221087.
  31. ^ a b ELAINE GLUSAC (May 27, 2014). "Can a Hotel Boycott Change a Sultan’s Policy?". The New York Times. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  32. ^ Kate Pickert (May 15, 2014). "Moral Outrage Checking In at The Beverly Hills Hotel". Time Magazine. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Beverly Hills Hotel Boycotted by LGBT Group Over Sultan of Brunei Ownership (Report)". The Hollywood Reporter. April 19, 2014. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  34. ^ "How A Stay At This Iconic Los Angeles Hotel Supports The Stoning To Death Of Gays In Brunei". Queerty. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  35. ^ Brunei Ownership Casts a Shadow on a Beverly Hills Hotel, The New York Times, May 10, 2014.
  36. ^ Arvind Hickman (May 19, 2014). "Why the Dorchester Collection protest is wrong". HR Magazine. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  37. ^ Christopher Heine (May 6, 2014). "Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott Gathers Steam". Adweek. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  38. ^ Jared Sichel (May 21, 2014). "What’s a boycott worth?". Jewish Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  39. ^ Curtis M. Wong (May 27, 2014). "Russell Crowe Defends Brunei-Owned Hotel Chain While Stressing Support For Gay Rights". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  40. ^ Cavan Sieczkowski (June 24, 2014). "Kim Kardashian Weighs In On Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2014.