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We’ve Got A Rep For Creating A Ruckus

Richard Branson brings the iconic Virgin brand into new markets around the world to shake up the status quo. Now, with new levels of service and quality, we’re taking on hospitality with the innovative Virgin Hotels. As Virgin’s latest hospitality venture, our properties offer Virgin Hotels developers a unique real estate investment that targets a creative, high-income audience. Backed by our team of industry mavericks with a focus on the boutique hotel lifestyle, we’re here to do some good in the luxury hotel market — and have fun doing it.

“I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their heads and making sure those industries would never be the same because Virgin took them on.”

— Sir Richard Branson

With more than 25 years in the travel sector and a reputation for delivering unforgettable experiences to millions of fans, Virgin is a perfect fit for the luxury hotel business. Virgin is a leader in design and hospitality and has transformed businesses ranging from airlines and fitness clubs to super luxury retreats and even space tourism. Our customers expect innovation and excellence and our new 4-star hotels will deliver exactly that.

Boutique Hotel Development
in The World’s Most Dynamic Cities

Capitalizing on the Virgin brand’s international appeal and cosmopolitan fan base, we’re looking to expand our love and hotel development opportunities to major cities across the globe. San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, London, Paris, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Mexico City — our ambitions are as large as our hearts. From small, boutique hotel development to large, luxury hotel acquisitions up to 400 rooms, we’re keen to discover modern lifestyle hotel opportunities in neighborhoods as vibrant and cultural as the creative class we serve.

Once ready for business, Virgin Hotels properties will feature our charismatic and contemporary style alongside innovative functionality, ample communal space and a signature restaurant, all wrapped in an efficient, personalized experience.

Changing Business For Good

The Concept

Membership without dues

Designed to be your place in the city, Virgin Hotels offer a uniquely individual yet undoubtedly global appeal. We invite guests to discover the benefits of exclusivity with a charm and authenticity that’s open to all.

Chamber Not Just A Room. Chambers — A better guestroom experience.
With everything in its right place, plenty of plugs, great lighting, thoughtful shower design and new twist on the bed and service delivery, our rooms are a matchless experience developed for today’s traveler. Each evolves into two Chambers with a sliding privacy door, addressing the dynamic needs of our guest with a focus on female travelers and their comfort.

Surprise! No hidden fees. No nickel and diming.
We look to delight guests at every turn by giving them more without giving them the runaround. Common sense features like free WiFi, hassle free late checkout, no cancellation fees and our two-chamber guestroom experience make even the ordinary feel like an upgrade.

The Common Club The Commons Club
From one-of-kind pop-up events to our nightly Social Hour with complimentary cocktails for guests, the Commons Club is designed to feel like a “members only” experience that’s open to all—hotel guest or local. With a strong emphasis on zones, food culture, social gigs and hospitality, each space achieves its own sense of exclusivity with an inviting vibe.

Get in The Know
Who doesn’t want a mini fridge stocked with your favorite chasers, or a Chicago-style dog treat for your puppy? We’ve tossed aside the typical hotel rewards game to give you exactly what you want—all you need to do is tell us. Join The Know. We’ll take it from there.Lucy

Meet Lucy, your mobile comfort concierge
Lucy makes things happen. Ask for anything—extra pillows, spa reservations, laundry pick-ups, turndown service, valet—she’ll get it done without you having to talk to anyone. If that’s what you’re into.

BRAND POSITIONING

Virgin Hotels is positioned as the much-needed bridge between the current landscape of lifestyle and legacy hotels. With a focus on the fantastic, we’re creating a global hotel lifestyle brand that combines comfort and innovation with a unique mix of cultural influences, from fashion to music and everything in between.

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Savvy Experience
Innovation and technology that puts the consumer in control

Delivering Desire
A hotel focused on understanding consumer preferences and delivering above and beyond

Irresistible Charm
A business with a heavy emphasis on training, service and an efficient operating infrastructure

People & Planet
What’s the point of profit if it comes at a big cost to the environment, the global community or the welfare of our staff? Instead, we let our conscience be our guide, choosing to focus our business on both people and planet

OUR AUDIENCE

The Virgin Hotels audience cuts across business and leisure, including men and women spanning gen Y, X, and savvy boomers comfortable with tech. They demand style and substance and are willing to pay a premium for the Virgin experience. They are uber-impatient and value streamlined experiences. They want to un-wind and have a case of wanderlust. They like to go “native”, expect to be recognized and occasionally rock out.

The Virgin Hotels Opportunity

Partner With Virgin For hotel investment Opportunities

With a highly differentiated hotel proposition, Virgin Hotels offer property owners and developers unique venture capitalist opportunities that tap into evolving trends in consumer tastes. As a leading global brand, our aim to re-define the customer journey from pre-arrival to check-out is built on extensive customer research, creating hospitality investment opportunities targeted toward a valuable audience of high income, well-educated, metropolitan professional.

By leveraging millions of Virgin flyers, we significantly enhance our marketing, sales and distribution with a built-in audience of loyalty members through Virgin America Elevate™, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club™ and Virgin Australia Velocity Club™. In addition, having built large scale, highly profitable businesses, we bring proven operational expertise to all our hospitality investment opportunities.

At Virgin Hotels, we remain flexible as partners, operating as a third-party manager, partner with ownership or by acquiring properties directly.

 Virgin Hotels seeks attractive boutique hotel development in the world’s most dynamic cities.

Capitalizing on the Virgin brand’s global appeal and cosmopolitan fan base, Virgin Hotels’ target list includes major global cities (e.g. Chicago, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, London, Paris, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Mexico City). We are keen to discover properties ranging from smaller boutique hotels to larger, high-quality, luxury hotels with up to 400 rooms in appealing neighborhoods that will meet the expectations of travelers in the “creative class” – a culture and mindset that represent the values of our target guests.

Hotel Conversions Made Simple

Virgin Hotels is an ideal brand option for your unencumbered hotel when it’s time to step up your game. Here’s what it takes.

– The ideal hotel has over 150 keys, 6k to 10k square feet of meeting space, and suitable for a rooftop bar and Commons Club. Click here to learn more about the Virgin Hotels Food and Beverage concept.

– Timeline to convert your hotel is approximately 18 months.

– Cost to convert your hotel is similar to any branded four star hotel product

– Virgin Hotels Operations team is experienced and equipped to take over hotel operations on day one! Click here to learn more about Our Operations Team

– Virgin Hotels experienced design and technical service team will provide developers and owners with a clear process which helps ensure a conversion that is on brand, on time, and on budget. Click here to learn more about our Design & Technical Service Team

Operational Philosophy

INVEST IN LIFESTYLE HOTEL PROPERTIES WITH OPERATION METHODS PROVEN TO WORK

Our commitment to thoroughly fulfilling our operational methods ensures your lifestyle hotel investment with Virgin Hotels is a safe one. With a focus on operational discipline, all our departments are in constant sync with one another to achieve the company’s goals.

Creating innovative lifestyle hotels requires a dedicated team that understands the complexities of the industry. Success in modern hotel development requires executing key details that mold design, culture and technology to create a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience for consumers, employees and associates alike. From leadership to culture and process, this is the Virgin Hotels way.

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Leadership
The leadership team at Virgin Hotels brings many years of experience in the luxury hotel sector from across some of the strongest lifestyle management companies in the industry. Many of our team members also bring considerable experience from traditional brand and management companies, allowing us to understand the competitive landscape in any market.

Culture
There’s something magically indescribable about our Virgin Culture. It’s what sets us apart from our competitors and makes the Virgin Brand so unique. Our Brand Purpose states what we stand for while our culture defines who we are. Together, they make Virgin one of the most desirable places to work. The way we naturally behave, every day, is the way the brand is experienced. Virgin is a human culture led by our hearts and our heads. We hunt for talent that genuinely cares about people, the planet and profit. This caring is plain to see in the authentic and approachable way we relate to others. Internally our culture never forces talent to shrink to fit but encourages you to think individually, to take positive risks and to achieve much more than expected.

Operations Process
The operations process within Virgin Hotels has a simple philosophy: Keep it simple and free up our talent to provide brilliant service! Operations Put Simply, or OPS, is our version of Standard Operating Procedures, and encapsulate the process and the essence of the brand in simple to read and understand documents. This data is all housed within a comprehensive “Intranet Portal” which also serves as a medium of communication for our teams, investors and corresponding vendor/partners. The “Cycle of Operations” as we call it, ties culture, process and measurement together in a seamless manner that creates an environment of accountability and enhanced profits.

Marketing Virgin Hotels

Virgin Hotels’ marketing efforts are strongly rooted in digital, CRM and public relations. Leveraging Virgin’s global brand awareness to create collaborative marketing strategies with our sister companies allows us to quickly garner brand awareness throughout the boutique hotel industry in a fraction of the time it would take another hotel brand.

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Digital Marketing
Digital is at the core of our marketing strategy as it achieves the most optimal revenue results while providing the highest ROI. We place a large amount of resources against creating the best-in-class websites, SEO and SEM, email and mobile marketing and social media alongside visually engaging, emotional and valuable content.

Understanding Our Customer – The Know Program 
Knowing our core audience all the way through is vital to our marketing campaigns as we strive to provide meaningful, and contextual offers while personalizing a consumers stay by knowing their exact preferences. The Know, our customer preferences program, helps us to create those meaningful relationships based on loyalty beyond points which means more to your bottom line.

Customer Relationship Management
Our CRM centers on creating new ambassadors for the Virgin Hotels brand while introducing luxury hotel experience to 50+ million Virgin consumers worldwide.

Virgin Airlines Customer Base
By aligning ourselves with the over 9 million Virgin Atlantic, America and Australia members, we’re converting frequent flyers into frequent hotel guests through preferred offers and status.

Earned Media/Public Relations
We value the importance of earned media/public relations and what that means to the hotels bottom line so our efforts are focused on providing exciting and relevant content that will be picked up by our targeted digital and traditional media outlets. Richard Branson and Virgin have prided themselves on creating one of the most powerful PR machines in business.

Direct Sales

The property sales force, working in tandem with the sales force for Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic, make a winning combination in achieving our topline goals. Ours sales teams consist of the most tenacious and value driven professionals, providing revenue building in several key market segments.

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Groups — Meetings, incentive trips, conferences and exhibition (MICE), from corporations, associations and social organizations

Entertainment — Television, movie and music

Travel — Travel management companies (TMC), consortia, tour and wholesale

Corporate Transient — Business travel (managed and unmanaged)

DISTRIBUTION & REVENUE MANAGEMENT

Virgin Hotels provides a powerful and cost-effective distribution channel system along with best-in-class technology resulting in exceptional top and bottom line results. Our distribution channel system is fully integrated with our revenue management, customer relationship and property management systems. This allows for real-time revenue management strategies to take place and provide market-share premiums in any city a Virgin Hotel calls home.

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Central Reservation System
Sabre Hospitality Solutions industry-leading SynXis CRS powers our distribution. Its next-generation application framework combines state-of-the-art technology with advanced user features to deliver the most flexible and easy-to-use reservation and distribution solution.

Revenue Management System
Duetto provides a cutting-edge hotel revenue management system to optimize demand, maximize rate and minimize cost. Powered by leading Silicon Valley technologists and hospitality industry veterans, the hotel revenue management platform incorporates big data together with booking data, online customer activity and a powerful algorithm to give the best price recommendations for each customer.

People Powered

A strong culture and purpose drives profits, and Virgin Hotels understand this better than anyone, relying on the Virgin culture to create a best-in-class workplace environment for all.

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Infrastructure

  • Global HR support from Virgin Group
  • Virgin “Open Door and Fair Treatment Policies” promoting fairness, stability, and low turnover
  • Succession planning program with other Virgin companies
  • Ongoing organizational climate surveys
  • Virgin packaging of workman’s compensation, national health, safety, and comprehensive loss/risk management services and materials

Proactive Hiring & Training

  • Simple job descriptions to minimize ambiguity
  • Tough screening processes coupled with exceptional orientations
  • Training intertwined with everyday work activities and meetings to reduce costs
  • Supplementary online training. Virgin University
  • Daily pre-shift meetings focusing on “Service Standards of the Day”
  • Internal social media programs aimed at spreading the culture

Safety

  • Compliance with applicable regulatory mandates
  • Progressive safety programs
  • Reduced costs through reduced claims

Recognition & Improvement

  • Performance-based compensation with incentives to exceed targets
  • Over-the-top recognition and celebrations
  • Twice-a-year Associate Opinion Survey independently managed with results posed online
  • Internal company newsletter focused on associates
  • Interactive and social intranet housing all forms, documents, standards, awards, and recognition such as posted service stories

Have Your People

Meet Our People

The POV

Is Sustainablity still a “Buzz Word” ?
We Think Not

At Virgin Hotels we believe that “Doing Good for People and Planet is Good for Business.” For one of the first times in our industry, Virgin who is known as an innovator and disruptor and has a track record of success in leading every business sector it enters and doing it responsibly, only has everything to gain in regards to the partnership with our developers.

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Meet the brightest minds and smiles behind the Virgin Hotels. As leaders in the hotel development industry, our team strives to shakeup the industry with every guest experience and each and every stay.

Raul Leal

CEO

Raul LealCEO

Raul leads Virgin Hotels and is responsible for the company’s overall expansion, customer experience and culture. In a career that spans 30 years, Raul has held top management positions for Interstate Hotels, Lane Hotels and the Continental companies and is one of the few hospitality industry executives that understand both the lifestyle and branded hotels segments. In between 1996 and 2010, Raul was President and Partner at Tecton Hospitality which owned and operated over 35 full branded hotels and was named a “Preferred Hotel Management Company” by most of the major brands. In 2002 he launched Desires Hotels, a management company focused on the growing lifestyle hotel segment. Desires Hotels had 20 award winning modern boutique hotels located in urban and resort locations domestically and internationally. Desires Hotels was named “Best Management Company of the Year” by Lodging Hospitality in 2008 and consistently achieved high levels of REVPAR and profitability as well as social media rankings and owner satisfaction.

Raul also serves on the Boards for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Cornell University.

Raul’s Blog Post – Read More

Allie Hope

Head of Development & Acquisitions

Allie HopeHead of Development & Acquisitions

Allie is responsible for setting and implementing Virgin Hotels’ global growth strategy. Allie’s primary responsibilities include identifying properties in key markets, and structuring transactions that work for Virgin Hotels and our Owner/Developer partners. Prior to joining Virgin, Allie worked on acquisitions, dispositions and asset management at Sunstone Hotel Investors where she was on a team that completed over $1 billion of hotel transactions. Allie was previously a partner at HMR Analytics, a hospitality asset management firm based in California, and a consultant with PKF Consulting, one of the top advisory services firms in the hospitality industry. Other experiences include hotel operations with Interstate Hotels and Resorts and spa development at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Allie is a graduate of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration where she received the Dean’s Baccalaureate Service Award, is a guest lecturer at Cornell Hotel School Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, Columbia University and NYU, was named Southern California Real Estate “Woman of Influence” in 2007, and is the co-chair of the Dean’s Young Advisory Board for Cornell Hotel School.

Allie’s Blog Post – Read More

Dan Mathewes

CFO

Dan MathewesCFO

Dan is responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial disciplines. Prior to joining Virgin Hotels, Dan served as CFO for The World, the largest privately owned yacht in the world with 165 Residences. From 2008 until 2014, he served as SVP of Finance and Treasury with Kerzner International Holdings Limited, which operated The Atlantis resorts in Nassau and Dubai, the One&Only luxury hotels, and Mazagan Beach Resort in Morocco. During his tenure at Kerzner, he played a critical role in completing in excess of $1 billion of financing amendments in a post 2008 environment and successfully completing a global restructuring of the company in 2012. Prior to these assignments, Dan served as VP of Corporate and Capital Planning for Norwegian Cruise Lines; AVP and Head of Investor Relations for Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, and as a Senior Associate for PwC LLP on their Advisory Services team.

Dan received his Bachelors of Science in accounting and economics from Florida State University, graduating summa cum laude.

Thayer Thompson

General Counsel & VP Commercial

Thayer ThompsonGeneral Counsel & VP Commercial

Thayer is responsible for legal matters and assisting with strategic and commercial transactions.

From 2008 to 2015, he was the Assistant General Counsel at Virgin Management USA, Inc., the corporate development and investment management division of the Virgin Group. Thayer has served as the acting general counsel of Virgin Hotels since its 2010 inception. Before Virgin Management, he was a senior associate in the Corporate Department of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC and an associate in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Thayer is a graduate of Duke University (BA, 1996), where he was a member of the Duke University Swim Team, and the University of Minnesota Law School (JD, magna cum laude, 1999).

Doug Carrillo

Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Doug CarrilloVice President of Sales & Marketing

In his role Doug leads the brand marketing, sales and revenue management for Virgin Hotels. Doug has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry.His background includes senior executive level Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management positions with Morgan’s Hotels Group, Desires Hotels, and Carnival Hotels and Casino.

In his capacity at Morgan Hotels Group he was directly responsible for overseeing the sales, marketing and revenue management disciplines for Delano, Shore Club and Mondrian South Beach. Prior to joining Morgan’s Hotel Group, Doug was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and a partner at Desires Hotels. Throughout his tenure, he developed a robust sales and marketing platform and solutions for e-commerce and revenue management that led to significant REVPAR premiums across the portfolio. In 2002, he co-developed Desires Hotels, and helped grow the portfolio from 4 to 35 modern boutique hotels. In 2009 he received the prestigious “Adrian Award” from HSMAI for website design and was honored as one of the “Top Twenty Five Sales & Marketing Minds”.

Doug graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.

Doug’s Blog Post – Read More

Clio Knowles

Vice President of People

Clio KnowlesVice President of People

Clio Knowles is the VP of People for Virgin Hotels, which launched its first property to great acclaim in Chicago in 2015. Clio’s primary focus has been to develop a company culture that focuses on the Virgin Hotels brand values and celebrates their people. This incorporates not just employee engagement and communication, but also focuses on the Virgin Hotels purpose, that everyone leaves feeling better. Virgin Hotels believe that their teammates are the key to an amazing customer experience and believe in recognizing and rewarding that in all teammates. Previously, Clio held the role of VP, Global Human Resources at Kerzner International, which at the time owned and operated the Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas; Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai; Mazagan Resort in Morocco and seven luxury resorts globally, under the One&Only brand.

Clio is passionate about people and creating an environment where teammates work hard but also have fun. She is a Global Professional of Human Resources, SHRM and has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Barry University, Miami, Florida.

Clio’s Blog Post – Read More

David Moth

Vice President of Operations

David MothVice President of Operations

David Moth started his hospitality career in Australia sorting linen in the basement of a hotel – as part of his high school work experience program – and immediately fell in love with the hotel business. After graduating from Ryde College in Sydney, David left Australia to broaden his horizons. That ongoing adventure has had him working in the UK for Trusthouse Forte, Virgin, and Malmaison; the Caribbean where he was Assistant Manager at Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Resident Manager at Rosewood’s Little Dix Bay, Resident Manager at Jalousie Plantation Resort and Spa, and General Manager of Nisbet Plantation Beach Club.

In 2001, David moved to the United States to manage the famed Tides Hotel in Miami Beach before spending over six years with Desires Hotels/Trust Hospitality in several General Manager roles including the Sagamore, the Strand and the Betsy hotels in Miami Beach, then becoming Vice President of Operations overseeing all hotels in the Trust Hospitality portfolio until coming back to the Virgin family as VP of Operations at Virgin Hotels.

David’s Blog Post – Read More

 

Jay Wetzel

Vice President of Food & Beverage

Jay WetzelVice President of Food & Beverage

Jay Wetzel, VP of Food & Beverage, oversees the overall direction of food & beverage for the company, working on the various restaurant and bar concepts within the hotels while strengthening culinary partnerships across the brand. Food and beverage experiences at Virgin Hotels is a key component of the overall offering starting with the signature concept, the Commons Club, which Jay will be instrumental in shaping at the various locations.

Jay brings more than 20 years of experience as a chef and culinary executive to the Virgin Hotels team. Most recently, he worked as the senior corporate director of food & beverage at Rosewood Hotel Group, overseeing both food & beverage operations and project-related developments for the brand. Wetzel has also served as an executive chef with Hyatt International.

Korollan King

Vice President of Accounting

Korollan KingVice President of Accounting

Korollan King, VP of Accounting, oversees the brand’s accounting and financial operations and is responsible for creating and implementing the accounting and finance tactics used to structure and support the brand’s growth. She also implements, directs, and evaluates the financial operations activities of all Virgin Hotels to ensure compliance with applicable laws, policies, standards and procedures.

Korollan served as the Corporate Director of Finance & FP&A at Nikki Beach International, where she oversaw financial statement preparation, budgeting, internal controls, process improvement, and cash management for the brand. She has also held several senior accounting positions at Ernst & Young, where she developed detailed audit plans and identified risks for the various business processes.

She is a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor in Business Management with a concentration in Accounting.

Teddy Mayer

Vice President of Design

Teddy MayerVice President of Design

As Vice President of Design Teddy oversees the vision and execution for how the Virgin Hotels brand comes to life in the hospitality design environment. Teddy spent seven years as the senior director of design and development at Morgans Hotel Group where he focused on the expansion of the Delano, Mondrian and Hudson Hotel brands. On the agency side he began his design career at Skidmore Owings & Merrill in New York where he focused on hospitality interiors projects for brands such as W Hotels and Resorts, Capella and The James to name a few. Most recently Teddy worked for Gensler in New York as the regional director of hospitality interiors. He was responsible for establishing a hospitality interiors studio and developing the regional practice. Teddy has a Masters of Architecture, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the University of Idaho.

Alex Andjel

Vice President of Development - Europe

Alex AndjelVice President of Development - Europe

Alex oversees Virgin Hotels expansion in Europe and will work closely with capital partners and strategic investors to acquire new and existing properties in cities across Europe. Hoping to acquire two or three properties per year, the brand is keeping options open, targeting cities from London, Paris and Rome to less-predictable locations like Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Alex’s most recently served as Vice President of Development for YOTEL, focusing on Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to this, he was Director of Montpelier Hotels Ltd., a hospitality investment and corporate finance advisory firm and Director of Development for Bridgehouse Capital, a private equity company with total assets in excess of $1 billion. More recently, he spent five years with Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. where he managed more than $500 million of acquisition, financing and dispositions of non-core assets. He successfully executed third party hotel management agreements for OEH in London and North American (Cadogan Hotel, Durley House and The Inn at Perry Cabin).

Rani Gharbié

Vice President of Development - North America

Rani GharbiéVice President of Development - North America

Rani oversees Virgin Hotels growth in North America and works closely with capital partners and strategic investors to increase management agreements and equity positions for new and existing properties.

Rani was most recently the Principal at Cedar Funds, a New York City based hotel and real estate development and investment firm with a focus on progressive hotel assets. Prior to launching Cedar Funds, he worked in key positions in the hotel and real estate industries for over 19 years. He was regional Director of Development MEA, with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he was responsible for actively expanding IHG’s premier hotel brands, including InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, and Holiday Inn. In this position, he oversaw and contributed to the growth of 19 hotels worth over $1.8 B in real estate value. Prior to IHG, Mr. Gharbié worked for Jones Lang LaSalle where he advised key clients on real estate investment and development projects valued at $4.2 B.

Rani is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Master in Real Estate program in New York. He holds a Master degree from that program, an MBA from the HEC Business School in Montréal, a Bachelor degree in Hotel Management from the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, and a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in New York.

Blake Smith

Executive Director of Entertainment

Blake SmithExecutive Director of Entertainment

Blake Smith, Executive Director of Entertainment, will oversee entertainment initiatives brand-wide, including facilitating partnerships, booking talent for the various venues at upcoming Virgin Hotels, and organizing major music activations.

Blake brings over a decade of experience in music programming and recording to his role at Virgin. He previously was an artist at three different major labels: Polygram, Island Def Jam and EMI. As a writer for Universal, he contributed music to several well-known films and TV shows including Charlie’s Angels, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and CSI:NY. Most recently, Blake served as Global Marketing Director of Hard Rock International.

Jefferson Thomas

Director of Architecture & Technical Services

Jefferson ThomasDirector of Architecture & Technical Services

As the Director of Architecture and Technical Services for Virgin Hotels, Jefferson is tasked to ensure that Virgin Hotel standards of quality, related to the physical product, and sustainability are achieved at each and every property. Jefferson delivers design and technical services to hotel owners in conjunction with the rollout of Virgin Hotels.

Jefferson’s extensive hospitality experience includes 16 years with Marriott International in a variety of corporate capacities in design, construction, architecture and sustainability. He brings 28 years of architectural experience. At Marriott, Jefferson was responsible for the development of Marriott’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) volume program, working in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the development of several Marriott brands. A LEED accredited professional, registered architect and certified project manager; Jefferson has provided change management expertise to companies, owners and franchisees in the hospitality industry and other commercial building types. He holds a Masters in Business Administration, a Master’s degree in Project Management, as well as a Bachelors degree of Architecture from Virginia Tech. He has been a LEED Accredited Professional since 2006 and is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the Project Management Institute.

Rick Cano

Director of Information Technology

Rick CanoDirector of Information Technology

As the Director of Information Technology, Rick is responsible for Virgin Hotels technology platforms for its hotels as well as the home office and to make sure that they are of the highest quality to ensure guest, teammate and ownership/investor satisfaction.

Rick joined Virgin Hotels with more than 10 years experience in every realm of the hospitality industry. Before making the switch into IT, Cano held positions in everything from Front Desk Manager to Housekeeping Manager. Upon enrolling in IT classes and changing course in his career, he began working as a technician and administrator for the Renaissance Blackstone before moving to Marriott International, where he managed all aspects of technology development for four properties and was awarded the 2014 Hosting Brilliantly Award by the company. He joined Virgin Hotels in 2014 and was promoted to Director of IT in 2016.

Ana Lanzas

Director of Communications & Social Media

Ana LanzasDirector of Communications & Social Media

As the Director of Communications & Social Media for Virgin Hotels, Ana’s primary focus is to oversee and develop public relations and social media campaigns for the Virgin Hotels brand.

Ana has amassed a wealth of experience in hospitality, lifestyle, beauty, food & beverage, special events, and entertainment. During her most recent position as Director of Public Relations & Social Media for Fontainebleau Miami Beach, she managed highly successful media relations programs and projects, including the opening of various signature restaurants and numerous A-list concerts. Prior to Fontainebleau, Ana was the Public Relations Manager at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, where she oversaw all publicity activity for the hotel and casino, Hard Rock Live concert arena, celebrity appearances and broadcast productions.

Before joining the PR field, she worked on crafting news stories as the News Assignment Editor for WFOR-TV CBS4 News for Miami-Dade and Broward County. Ana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Business & Film from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

Where We’re Going

CANADA

  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

Contact Virgin Hotels

USA

  • Aspen
  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Napa
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Silicon Valley
  • Seattle
  • Washington DC

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MEXICO

  • Cabo
  • Mexico City

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SOUTH AMERICA

  • Bogota
  • Buenos Aires
  • Cartagena
  • Lima
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Santiago
  • Sao Paulo

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EUROPE

  • Amsterdam
  • Barcelona
  • Berlin
  • Edinburgh
  • Istanbul
  • London
  • Madrid
  • Paris
  • Prague
  • Rome

Contact Virgin Hotels

Where We Are / Where We’re Going
Where We Are / Where We’re Going
Where We Are
Click on any location to learn more
Chicago
Now Open
New York
Opening 2019
Nashville
Opening 2019
Dallas
Opening 2019
Palm Springs
Opening 2020
Silicon Valley
Opening 2019
New Orleans
Opening 2019
San Francisco
Opening 2017

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