Doyle hotel chain appoints Drake as new group chief executive

Gordon Drake appointed to lead group with properties in Dublin, Cork, London, Bristol and Washington DC.

The Irish-owned Doyle Collection hotel group has appointed Gordon Drake as its new chief executive. He succeeds Pat King (52), who had been in the role for 11 years having joined the board of the company in 2006.

Mr Drake will take on this position having been senior vice-president at Westmont Hospitality Group in the UK. He also previously held senior financial roles with Six Senses, Kingdom Hotels (owners of Four Seasons, George V Hotel in Paris, and The Savoy Hotel in London) and Rocco Forte Hotels.

The Doyle Collection is owned by members of the Doyle and Beatty families and traces its roots back to a company founded by well-known Irish hotelier PV Doyle. It operates a portfolio of eight hotels in Dublin, Cork, London, Bristol and Washington DC, including the five-star Westbury Hotel off Grafton Street in Dublin.

Over the past four years, the group has invested €65 million across its portfolio with the extensive refurbishment of bedrooms, suites, and upgrades to its bars and restaurants.

Commenting on Mr Drake’s appointment, Bernie Gallagher, chair of The Doyle Collection, said: “Throughout the years we have transformed The Doyle Collection into an international luxury group competing at the highest level in which Pat King played a seminal role. The appointment of Gordon as CEO will strengthen the team and will facilitate our vision to push the boundaries of luxury Irish hospitality and hotel design.

“We are conscious that the hotel industry has had a difficult time and has an uncertain immediate recovery due to macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, but I believe that the strongest returns will be in the leisure sector in the near term, and we are well positioned in each of our markets in this regard.”

Latest accounts for Doyle Hotels (Holdings) Ltd show it made an after-tax loss of just under €70 million in 2020, as turnover reduced to €34 million from €148 million a year earlier due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. The group booked an impairment charge on the value of its hotels of €46 million during the year.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times