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. Our mission is to be the most irresistible hotel brand in the world.
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.
Commons Club From one-of-kind pop-up events to cocktails that embolden a palate-pleasing culinary menu, 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, cocktail and 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 their favorite chasers, or a Chicago-style dog treat for your puppy? We’ve also added member only rates, upgrades and special offers and events in Commons Club to drive direct bookings and loyalty. We’ve tossed aside the typical hotel rewards game to give exactly what today’s guests want. Join The Know. We’ll take it from there.
Meet Lucy, your mobile comfort concierge Lucy makes things happen. Ask for anything—extra pillows, 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 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. Read more about our culture from Forbes.
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. Read more about our digital marketing from Tnooz.
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. We’ve recently added Member Only Rates, Upgrades and special offers and events in the Commons Club to drive more direct bookings. Read more about The Know program from Mashable.
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. Cendyn, our CRM solution, provides marketing automation and guest intelligence for our hotels. The Know, our loyalty and preferences program uses Cendyn to leverage real-time data to provide personalized one-to-one communications and service to our members.
Virgin Airlines Customer Base By aligning ourselves with the over 4 million Virgin Atlantic, 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 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. Read more about our people from Virgin.
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
Unleashing the Secret Weapon
Years ago when I was younger and perhaps a little less wiser, I was seduced by a profession laced with intrigue, mired in scandal, obscenely labor intensive, yet amazingly satisfying. I was not training to be a covert operative, a rock star or a politician though…
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.
Harris is responsible for the brand’s financial impact as it relates to growth investments and new management contracts. Additionally, White helps to set the growth agenda and outline the financial vision for the Virgin Hotels brand. Before joining Virgin Hotels, White held a leadership role at Sage Hospitality, where he oversaw all aspects of finance, accounting and technology functions for Sage Hospitality’s 75 hotels and 12 restaurant concepts nationwide. White has worked with a number of established brands such as The Wellbridge Company, Morgan Keegan & Company, and more. He earned his dual Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management.
Senior Vice President of Operations
Rick is a seasoned hospitality industry veteran with a diverse background in branded and lifestyle hotels. Rick assumes direct oversight responsibilities for Virgin Hotels’ existing and forthcoming properties, while working with the corporate leadership team on broader strategic initiatives.
Colangelo built his hotel career working for various paramount hotel brands in the industry, specializing in the lifestyle sector and facilitating over 50 new properties. Colangelo worked for Hyatt Hotels Corporation as Senior Vice President of Field Operations for the brand’s Two Roads Hospitality Lifestyle Portfolio. Prior to that Colangelo served as Executive Vice President of Operations, overseeing the sales, revenue, restaurants, bars and nightlife of Two Roads Hospitality’s, Thompson and JdV portfolio of 35 hotels and resorts, as well as their 15 properties in development. He was also pivotal to the integration of the two companies, establishing quality standards and new sales and revenue systems and enhancements, while continuing to add value to existing properties. Additional experience includes a 11-year tenure as Vice President of Operations for Kimpton Hotels in the Northeast and Southeast where he helped to expand the growth of as the company expanded into these new areas.
Chief Marketing Officer
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.
Owen Deignan, who was based in Chicago, brings over 24 years of experience to the brand, and is responsible for the food & beverage operations of all Virgin Hotels. Deignan works closely with the senior leadership team to develop and execute Virgin’s strategic plan to drive growth and profitability in the culinary space, largely focusing on the evolution of the Commons Club concept and developing individual dining destinations in future Virgin Hotels. Prior to joining Virgin Hotels Chicago, Deignan served in partnership with Jean-George as Food & Beverage Director at PUBLIC Chicago an Ian Schrager Hotel.
Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Deignan is a graduate of Kendall College with an AAS in Culinary Arts. After graduating from culinary school, Deignan moved to Colorado to pursue a career in the Food & Beverage industry. Deignan developed and operated four Burger King and six Qdoba franchise locations in Denver and Las Vegas, shortly after he sold his equity in the partnership and went to work for MGM Resorts International. There, he began his journey into haute cuisine as General Manager of Fleur de Lys with Chef Hubert Keller. Later, he joined Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten as General Manager of his name sake restaurant with MGM before moving back to his Chicago roots.
Vice President of Entertainment & Brand Partnerships
Blake Smith, Vice President of Entertainment & Brand Partnerships, oversees brand-wide entertainment initiatives and partnerships, booking talent for the various venues at upcoming Virgin Hotels, and organizing major music activations and cultural experiences.
Blake brings over a decade of experience in music programming and recording to his role at Virgin Hotels. 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.
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.
As the Vice President of Information Technology, Denise primary focus is to oversee Virgin Hotels technology platforms for all its hotels ensuring brand-wide technology innovation is provided. A seasoned Senior Global IT Leader and Operations Executive, she brings 15 years of experience in corporate operations management from a global company. Walker has successfully developed and led an accomplished, talented team of IT leaders and professionals to support, evolve and transform, IT infrastructure and business solutions one of the most highly-recognized, brands in the hospitality industry, Brookfield Hospitality.
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.
Guy Lindsey brings extensive experience with strategic lodging development and renovation projects to the role of Vice President of Construction for Virgin Hotels, where by he will support current efforts in the design area and streamline opening processes as the brand continues to grow.
In a career that has spanned more than 35 years, Guy has been involved in all phases of construction management, including hotels, residential, mixed use and office building projects. In addition to serving as one of the industry’s most valued consultants, Lindsey previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Design & Construction at Park Hotels and Resorts, a company born out of Hilton Worldwide, where he developed and supervised the internal and external project management and engineering team. He also served as Senior Vice President of Design & Construction at Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., where he worked on projects that include the Marriott Wailea and Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Throughout his career, Lindsey has had direct experience with $3 billion worth of renovation, conversation and repositioning projects across all major brands and property types. A graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Building Science, Lindsey will be based in Miami, FL.
Vice President of Sales
Leslie will be responsible for ensuring that all sales opportunities are being executed and that each strategy is being met. Before joining Virgin Hotels, Kaminski served as Vice President of Global Sales at Two Roads Hospitality where she oversaw a team of sales directors responsible for transient sales and new hotel business development in nine countries and across five lifestyle brands. Previously, Kaminski served as Senior Director of Global Luxury Sales at Two Roads Hospitality, as well as worked in sales for Destination Hotels, Gaylord Texan, and Hilton.
Vice President of Finance
Rory will work directly with senior leaders to drive profitability at Virgin Hotels and provide financial leadership for all forthcoming openings. Prior to joining Virgin Hotels, Rory worked for Two Roads Hospitality, where he previously served as Vice President of Finance overseeing Canada and the Eastern and Central United States. Prior to his years with Two Roads Hospitality, Lowe held several finance and food & beverage leadership roles with both Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Marriott International. Lowe holds an MBA from Cornell University.
Chief Development Officer
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.
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).
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).
“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 2020 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, and meeting/event spaces.
“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 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 October 2018 and open its doors in late 2020.
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.
RTKL Architects, Mathes Brierre Architects, and Broadmoor Construction will 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.
“Edinburgh is such an iconic city and we’re thrilled to be able to say it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotel in the UK and across Europe.” Sir Richard Branson
The new lifestyle hotel is slated to open in 2022. Located in the landmark India Buildings in Edinburgh’s Old Town near The Royal Mile, the space itself will feature 222 Chambers and multiple dining and drinking outlets. The property will be a stunning mix of old and new reflecting the city’s eclectic and energetic style, while remaining true to its historic heritage. Edinburgh has so much to offer as a top travel destination in the UK and internationally. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh will be completed in partnership with owner Flemyn and asset managed by Siggis Capital.
A re-conceptualized and revitalized property, the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, is estimated to open in late fall of 2020. The Virgin Hotels brand’s entrance into the entertainment capital of the world is an exciting development – one that will see innovative design fused with irresistible amenities in order to give guests experiences that will surprise and delight.
“Las Vegas has always held a special place in my heart,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have enjoyed flying many passengers and holiday makers to Las Vegas over the years and, I’ve always felt that Virgin Hotels will thrive there as well. I’m looking forward to Virgin Hotels painting the town red.”
“Las Vegas is a dynamic city – the people, the excitement, the entertainment. To me, it’s always been the perfect city for our next Virgin Hotel,” said Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal. “We are dedicated to delivering the best in design, entertainment, heartfelt service and culinary excellence and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to what is sure to be an awe-inspiring Las Vegas experience.”
The hotel will feature 1504 well-appointed Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites; a 60,000 square foot, fully-renovated casino, multiple pools over five acres, world-class restaurants, lounges and bars, including new nightlife venues and the brand’s flagship space, the Commons Club, as well as numerous meeting and convention spaces.
Located just off the famous Las Vegas Strip, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be a destination for locals and guests alike, offering premier food, beverage, and entertainment experiences.
Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, announces plans to open and operate a new hotel in Miami, Florida. Virgin Hotels Miami will be managed by Virgin Hotels, developed by Blue Jay Capital with BLUR Workshop as the architect, and is slated to open in 2023. In the heart of Downtown Miami’s Financial District, the hotel will be located at 1040 S. Miami Avenue in the Brickell neighborhood – a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.
“I’m personally very passionate about this property, as it brings Virgin Hotels into a city that holds a great deal of significance for us. In addition to being my home, Miami is the headquarters of Virgin Hotels, so this is a milestone that has been a long time coming,” comments Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal. “Miami is one of our nation’s premier vacation and nightlife destinations and a major cultural hub. Our team cannot wait to make our mark here by bringing the Virgin Hotels experience to this lively city.”
The 40-story new-build hotel will feature close to 250 chambers; a spa; over 15,000 square-feet of meeting and event space; and multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s signature culinary experience Commons Club, a restaurant, bar and modern social club; a beer garden live music venue; and Funny Library Coffee Shop, a communal work space that will house an assortment of whimsical and funny books and games.