An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Our partners are handpicked to provide relevant, contemporary support to owners and operators across the Hospitality and Tourism sector.
A conversation with a wise man is better than a decade of study.
Our panel of experts are recognised leaders in their fields of expertise, and have been mutually selected to join Hospitality Experts. They have been chosen on merit, and are neither paid to contribute, nor have paid to participate.
Our like-minded experts have the opportunity to give something back to their industry, to help develop businesses and industry leaders for the next generation.
As hoteliers and managers, you can benefit from the accumulated years of experience of our experts in the sector generally, and in various niche aspects. You’re welcome to call on our advisors for constructive advice and opinions, whether for long term projects or individual issues that face your business.
Explore the sectors described below, to find out how we can help you to achieve more for your hospitality business.
Recruitment & Education
Food & Beverage
Architecture & Interiors
Sales & Marketing
Spa & Leisure Development
Property Acquisition & Project Feasability
None of us are as smart as all of us.
MD Exclusive Hotels and Venues
Danny was voted “Hotelier of the Year 2014” by The Caterer. This accolade reflects his expertise and experience in the industry and the citation reads, “for achieving the highest standards of hotel keeping in running a group of four hotels, two venues and two golf clubs which hold an unprecedented 20 AA stars and four Michelin stars. The judges were particularly impressed by Danny’s passion and commitment in being a hands-on hotelier and driving the business through mentoring and development of people, whilst continually achieving culinary excellence across all the properties.”
Described by Dominic Walsh in The Times as “a restless innovator”, Danny invests much of his time in being thoroughly acquainted with the people and processes that drive his hospitality businesses to success.
Danny has been instrumental in doubling the turnover of the Exclusive Hotels and Venues group since he took over the running of the enterprise from his father in 1997. He has increased the group’s holdings to include hotels and golf clubs of great note and bring them under the brand’s umbrella and philosophy.
The portfolio he manages includes Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa in Bagshot, Surrey; South Lodge, an Exclusive Hotel and Mannings Heath, an Exclusive Golf Club in Lower Beeding, West Sussex; The Manor House, an Exclusive Hotel & Golf Club in Castle Combe, Wiltshire; Lainston House, an Exclusive Hotel near Winchester, Hampshire; Fanhams Hall, an Exclusive Venue in Ware, Hertfordshire; and Royal Berkshire, an Exclusive Venue in Ascot, Berkshire.
Danny might not have been in the hospitality industry at all, describing his early ambitions as, “to be a miner” but his first job, making sandwiches at the age of five, set him on course for a career where he has scaled the heights and nurtured the businesses he controls to great achievements. His early training was in the kitchens and waiting at The Savoy; on front office duties at the Four Seasons, Park Lane and in Sales and Marketing at the Sheraton, Washington DC. This early grounding in the fundamentals of hospitality stood him in good stead and led to his people-centred approach to the business.
A great ambassador for the sector, when asked, “What advice would you give to somebody thinking about joining the hospitality industry?” Danny replied, “Join now! Work hard, stay focused and enjoy the challenges thrown at you.”
Chairman The Bespoke Hotel Group
Robin Sheppard is a classically trained hotelier, with extensive experience in some of the UK’s household name hotels, who has gone on to create his own business, The Bespoke Hotel Group with associate Haydn Fentum. The group now owns or has formed a management service partnership with a growing number of independently owned hotels, representing a total of 4,800 hotel rooms, 2,850 employees and £480 million of assets. He prides himself on finding the ideal solution for each property, drawing on his vast knowledge and expertise to take into account their character, location and circumstances and guide the business to profitability through beneficial innovations.
After obtaining his bachelor degree in hospitality administration and management, Robin rose to be General Manager of Bodysgallen Hall in Wales by the age of 27, later taking responsibility for outstanding hotels including The Lygon Arms, The Royal Berkshire and the Bath Spa. He also designed the iconic Bristol blue Ty-Nant mineral water brand before joining forces with Haydn to pool their skills and create the Bespoke Hotel Group.
Robin’s innovative approach to marketing has broadened the customer base of all Bespoke Hotels and led to several awards and accolades – most notably ‘The RAC Hotel of the Year Award’ and the Caterer and Hotelkeeper ‘Hotel of the Year Award’. Along the way, he has helped and guided others at various stages in their hospitality careers.
Robin is in demand for his advice and opinions on turning round failing hotels based on his experience of guiding over 50 hotels in the Bespoke Hotel Group to profitability, even during the recession.
CEO The Farncombe Estate
At Farncombe I am responsible for the day to day operation and the strategic direction of three award-winning hotels (Dormy House, Foxhill Manor and The Fish Hotel) on one 400 acre estate. I am a Director on the main Farncombe Board and we employ 280 staff all year round.
For many years the Farncombe Estate was home to G4 and latterly G4S, when they moved in June 2013 we needed to carry out extensive redevelopment to attract new tenants.
I joined in September 2012 specifically to manage the refurbishment of the Dormy House Hotel. Once Phase One was completed and the hotel re-opened (August 2013) we then focused on the development of the House Spa with opened in February 2014. With the immediate success of the Dormy House Hotel we then decided to redevelop the Grade 2 listed Foxhill Manor into an exclusive 8 bedrooms venue for Weddings and corporate events. Our newest creation, the Fish, came to life in March 2018 and has joined the Dormy House and Foxhill Manor as best in class businesses.
My family had a large hospitality business based in the Midlands and so I started working at the age of 14. I headed to the bright lights of London in 1980 and joined the Hilton Groups as a management trainee. I graduated in 1983 and later became the youngest HOD managing the much-loved Roof Bar at the Park Lane Hilton. Since then I have managed corporate and leisure four and five star hotels in the UK, Channel Islands and Canada. In Canada I ran four hotels in Niagara on the Lake ranging from 3 to 5 diamond and planned to stay permanently but the 9/11 attacks put an end to that particular plan.
Before Farncombe I spent 4 years at Goodwood as MD reporting into Lord March. I managed the Kennels, Hotel, Golf, Goodwood House and the Motor Circuit. The value that always resonates with me is “Create a buzz” which I have tried to do and will continue to do over the coming years.
My favourite hobby is flying, I learnt to fly in Canada in a 1972 Cessna 172 which although was falling apart I adored! I am fascinated anything to do with aviation but hospitality is my day job.