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.”
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.
Take A Peek
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
General 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).
Vice 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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice 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.
Vice 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.
Vice 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).
Vice 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.
Executive 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.
Director 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.
Director 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.
Director 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.
“We thought there was a real opening in Chicago for a place like Virgin Hotels. Soho House is nice, but I thought we could create something just as nice without being private.” – Sir Richard Branson
Virgin Hotels Chicago opened on January 16, 2015. This 27-story hotel is located in the old Dearborn Bank building in the famous and lively Chicago Loop area. Perfect for those in the “creative class” we mentioned previously, the newly renovated space retains some of its historic charm while providing guests with the modern amenities and accommodations they expect. It features 250 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a rooftop bar and lounge, wellness facility, meeting rooms and pre-function spaces and the Virgin Hotels Commons Club.
“At long last, the city that never sleeps will get a beautiful and irresistible Virgin Hotel to play, eat, work, mingle, and yes, even to sleep.” — Sir Richard Branson
Virgin Hotels is also making a new home in the Big Apple. Virgin Hotels New York will be located on the northwest corner of 29th Street and Broadway in the NoMad neighborhood, close to many famous NYC attractions. This is a new build that is expected to open in 2019 with 500 guest rooms, meeting spaces, and multiple food and beverage venues. The Lam Group will develop New York addition, incorporating expertise from their work with numerous clients like Aloft, Sheraton, Fairfield, Wyndham, Ascend and Hampton.
Nashville’s time is now, and we want to be part of that excitement,” – Sir Richard Branson
Branded as “Music City” and historically nicknamed “The Athens of the South,” Nashville has experienced explosive economic growth and broad appeal far beyond its star-studded cultural arts and music scene. In 2013, Nashville was the second strongest performing market of the top 25 in the US in terms of RevPAR growth, and is projected to be the strongest performing market in 2014.
Virgin Hotels Nashville will feature 240 guest rooms, multiple concept suites, food and beverage outlets, meeting/event spaces and fitting for Music City, a cutting edge recording studio.
“I could not have found a more perfect hotel for the Design District and everything it offers to the City of Dallas than Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels. It will be the heartbeat of the hottest entertainment district and the biggest jewel in our crown.” – Bill Hutchinson- President Dunhill Partners
Virgin Hotels is heading south to Dallas, where it will build a new home in the Design District. The neighborhood has been coming to life over the last few years, transitioning from an endless scene of warehouses to chic stores, eclectic galleries, upscale restaurants and in 2019, Virgin Hotels Dallas will join the neighborhood and offer a new lifestyle option. The new build will feature over 200 Chambers including Grand Chamber Suites, along with multiple dining and drinking outlets, a rooftop terrace with a pool, gym and spa, plus numerous meeting spaces.
“Virgin is not just a hotel, but a new and completely different experience – one that can be enjoyed not only by our visitors, but by everyone in the community,” added Michael Braun of Wessman Development. “The addition of Virgin Hotels Palm Springs will positively impact downtown revitalization and will benefit all of Palm Springs’ existing restaurants, hotels and shops for the next twenty years and beyond.”
Located in the heart of downtown, Virgin Hotels Palm Springs will feature 150 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites; multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s flagship space, The Commons Club; numerous meeting spaces; and a rooftop terrace and pool overlooking the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains as well as a new outdoor public event space from the Palm Springs Art Museum, offering guests complimentary VIP seats to concerts, movies and other cultural performances.
Virgin Hotels Palm Springs will be a new build designed by local architect Chris Pardo. Located in the heart of downtown at Main Street & Palm Springs Canyon Drive, the hotel will be surrounded by historic desert modern architecture and within walking distance to an array of art galleries, vintage shopping and top-notch restaurants. Other nearby attractions include the Indian Canyons Reservation, Tram Way, Joshua Tree, and miles of dedicated trails located in the scenic surroundings of the San Jacinto Mountain.
“Our move into Silicon Valley is the perfect example of this, given our dedication to thoughtful technology within our guest experience,” says Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels.
Virgin Hotels Silicon Valley will complement The Fields, a development community comprising more than 1,100 residential units and 150,000 square feet of retail space. Named after the “fields of science” that are deeply engrained within the local tech community, this development is a large factor in the city of Milpitas’ transformation into a major tech-hub and residential area.
“Perfectly positioned in the tech capital of the world, we’re pushing the boundaries of style and convenience in modern living, creating an environment uniquely suited to today’s residents and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs” says Lyon Living CEO, Frank T. Suryan, Jr. “From the Virgin hotel, to the world-class training facility, art installations, pop-up shops, upscale retail & restaurants, and sustainability-driven grocery store, we’re redefining Silicon Valley living”.
Virgin Hotels Silicon Valley, anticipated to open Fall 2019, will feature 200 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites; multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s flagship space, The Commons Club; a coffee shop; numerous meeting spaces; and a rooftop bar and live music venue. Strategically located between the I-680 and I-880 freeways, the development is also adjacent to Milpitas’ Great Mall, which is currently undergoing a $20 million renovation.
Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has announced plans to open and operate a new hotel in the Warehouse District of New Orleans. Expected to break ground in April 2017 and open its doors in early 2019, Virgin Hotels New Orleans will be developed by Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital.
Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels, commented, “New Orleans is an incredibly special city and one Virgin Hotels has had an eye on from the beginning. The history, the food, the music, the spirit – they all work together to make it a one-of-a-kind destination for both business and leisure travelers. We’re excited to bring the Virgin experience to the Big Easy because it’s a perfect fit in terms of our values and our emphasis on creating unique and immersive experiences for our guests.”
Virgin Hotels New Orleans is situated in the city’s Warehouse District at 550 Baronne Street. The up-and-coming area sits directly next to the Central Business District and is home to a growing number of new restaurants, galleries and shops. The new-build hotel will feature 225 chambers, the brand’s flagship space, The Commons Club, a rooftop pool and lounge, gym, and dedicated meeting and event spaces.
Gatehouse Capital has chosen RTKL Architects, Mathes Brierre Architects, and Broadmoor Construction to complete the hotel. Virgin Hotels’ Vice President of Design Teddy Mayer has also tapped a local design firm to bring an authentic New Orleans flair to the project.
“Gatehouse Capital, whom we are currently working with to develop our Virgin Hotels Dallas property, is an outstanding example of a partner that understands the Virgin vision and can help bring it to life,” said Leal.
Adds Marty Collins, CEO of Gatehouse Capital: “We’re happy to be working with Virgin Hotels once again and are excited to see how the Virgin brand will provide a fresh new hotel option for people who come from all over the world to experience such a culturally and historically rich place as New Orleans.”
Miami, FL (February 27, 2017) — Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, has announced plans to open and operate a new hotel in San Francisco, California. Expected to open in the Summer of 2017, the San Francisco property will be managed by Virgin Hotels and developed by Paradigm Hotels Group.
Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal commented, “San Francisco is a dynamic, forward-thinking city that embodies so much of what Virgin Hotels stands for, and is already home to many fans of the Virgin brand. As a top domestic and international travel hub for both business and leisure alike, San Francisco is an ideal location for our next Virgin Hotel.”
Located South of Market just steps from Yerba Buena Gardens, Virgin Hotels San Francisco will feature 196 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites; multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s flagship space, The Commons Club; a coffee shop; numerous meeting spaces; and a rooftop bar.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Virgin Hotels as it continues its expansion around the world,” added Jay Singh, Owner of Paradigm Hotels Group. “Virgin Hotels is a brand that knows what travelers want and it’s exciting to bring this specific level of service to San Francisco.”
Virgin Hotels San Francisco is a new build located at 250 Fourth Street, serving as neighbor to many cultural attractions within the area, as well as the Moscone Center. The hotel will also be in close proximity to the new Central Subway Station, which upon opening in 2019 will connect South of Market with Union Square and Chinatown.
Virgin Hotels Chicago opened in 2015, and the brand recently announced plans to open additional properties in New Orleans, Silicon Valley, Nashville, and Palm Springs. Hotels in Dallas and New York City are currently under construction, slated to open in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
For more information about Virgin Hotels, please contact Amanda Caskey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-340-1723.