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Christopher Cowdray: Selflessness in Hotel Service

January 22, 2015 - Author: steph - No Comments

A native Zimbabwean and currently the CEO of the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels, it was the vision of Christopher Cowdray to create a hotel chain that reached both U.S. and European soil. He earned his first degree in hotel management in Zimbabwe before continuing his education in Columbia University. Cowdray and his team now have over 30 years of experience in the hotel business. In 2013, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award by the European Hospitality Awards. Overtime, Cowdray and his team have built an outstanding reputation with both the hotel and the travel industries.

The Dorchester Collection started out with just five personified hotels and Cowdray has held several managerial positions throughout the world. A couple of them included Claridge’s in London and the Dorchester Hotel east of Hyde Park. He was named as the CEO of the Collection in 2007 according to this link. Cowdray oversaw the additions of Hotel Bel-Air and New York Palace Hotel during the following year. The latter has since been sold to another party but the Dorchester Collection has since seen at least three additions.
In his interview with Leaders Magazine, Cowdray remarked that he and his team’s secret is planning out exactly where they want hotels to be built in the various countries. Simultaneously, they also stay open to any unforeseen opportunities.

Cowdray stated that when it comes to designing hotels that they always do so especially with the culture of the local clientele in mind. He says that this is also the secret to designing and building the hotels’ restaurants. As far as the spas are concerned, some of the hotels work with providers such as Dior while others have their own brand.

Cowdray has stated that the overall goal is to make the guests feel as if they are being provided for on a personal basis and to give them the experience in a very holistic way. He also ensures that his fellow hotel leaders are properly trained in training employees and in developing an eye for the right ones.

Cowdray’s work has brought back old-fashioned values coupled with an embrace of the current cultures of the different areas and countries. His work is an example of focusing on providing the best service for all rather than just on the monetary aspect of it. It is this kind of selflessness that has made Cowdray the success that he and his team are today.

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