Christopher Cowdray and Dorchester Collection
Christopher Cowdray is the CEO of the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. A native of Zimbabwe, He became the CEO of Dorchester Collection in 2007 after 30 years of experience managing luxury hotels. Since becoming CEO, he has expanded the number of Dorchester hotels and integrated their functioning while simultaneously retaining their individual charms. Cowdray was responsible for adding both the Hotel Bel Air and the New York Palace Hotel to the collection.
He earned a degree from Columbia University and is now a highly regarded figure in the luxury hotel industry. In 2013, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the European Hospitality Awards.
The Dorchester Collection of hotels was founded in 1996 and is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. The original hotel in the collection is the Dorchester in London. The collection expanded over the years and is now comprised of ten hotels in London, Berkshire, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Paris, Geneva, Milan and Rome. All hotels in the collection are very high end luxury hotels.
Philosophies and Policies of Luxury Hotel Management
Cowdray follows a policy of having each hotel in the collection under his management have a distinct style and character. All of the Dorchester collection hotels are different but also the same in that they provide the highest level of service.
He believes that employee satisfaction is extremely important to staff going out of their way to provide the best hotel service. He has spoken with pride of the 90% satisfaction rate on employee surveys, one of the highest in the industries. His philosophy is basically that treating employees like family will result in them treating guests like family.
Cowdray believes that because the Dorchester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency and not traded on the stock exchange, he is better able to implement changes that will lead to the a better guest experience all around.
Cowdray has worked extensively to provide Dorchester guests with the latest technology at the lowest price. Providing high speed Internet for the varying needs of all guests has been one challenge he has met. A popular implementation he made was having iPads made available in hotel rooms to replace the traditional print lists of calling codes, international numbers, etc.
In conclusion, Cowdray is an expert at creating a hotel experience which satisfies the diverse needs of luxury travelers.