|Dorchester Collection Ltd|
|Founded||June 11, 1981London, United Kingdomin|
|Headquarters||3 Tilney Street, London, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|Christopher Cowdray, (CEO)
François Delahaye, (COO)
Helen Smith, (VP Sales and Marketing)
|Total assets||£1.893 billion GBP (2014)|
|Total equity||£879 million GBP (2014)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Brunei Investment Agency|
|Website||Dorchester Collection Website|
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
The United Kingdom:
- The Dorchester (London, England), purchased in 1986
- 45 Park Lane (London, England), acquired in 2011, it is the smallest hotel of the collection at 45 rooms
- Coworth Park (Ascot, Berkshire, England), refurbished in 2008 and reopened in 2010
The United States:
- The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA), purchased in 1995
- Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles, CA), acquired in 2008, closed for two years for renovations, opened again in 2011
- Le Meurice (Paris), purchased in 1997
- The Plaza Athénée (Paris), also purchased in 1997, both the Plaza and Meurice are listed with palace distinction
- Alain Ducasse and China Tang at The Dorchester
- Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée
- Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse
- La Terrazza at Hotel Eden
- Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
- Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel
- Restaurant Coworth Park at Coworth Park
- Le Jardin at Le Richemond
- CUT at 45 Park Lane
- Acanto at Hotel Principe di Savoia
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)
- Coworth Park – The Spa at Coworth Park (including Carol Joy London, Kerstin Florian and Aromatherapy Associates)
- The Beverly Hills Hotel – The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie
- Hotel Bel-Air – Spa by La Prairie
- Le Meurice – Spa Valmont
- Le Richemond – Le Spa by Sisley
- Hotel Principe di Savoia – Club 10 (Comfort Zone, Thalgo and Kanebo)
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. None are exempted from the Sharia Law regardless the classes they in and the laws only apply in Brunei's border. Brunei has a complex legal system that consists of two parts which involve separate courts and legislation for Islamic and non-Islamic citizens. Sharia law exists alongside other normative systems and has been adopted by many other Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia which has major investments in the global hospitality industry, including stakes in the luxury hotel and resort operators Four Seasons and Fairmont, based in Toronto, Canada.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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." As of May 2014, "more than $2 million worth of events have been canceled at the Beverly Hills Hotel by dozens of groups." 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.
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