Resort Co-Developer, Resort Finance Facilitator, Resort Project Evaluator
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Global hotel and resort operator of luxury properties with several major international brands and operators. Official voice of the hotel and restaurant industry, enthusiastic leader of the team re-inventing hospitality with Cirque du Soleil, junior cook at Maxim's in Paris and a member of the Distinguished Alumni of the Waldorf Astoria. Sometimes a cynical observer of the hospitality industry changes and shortcomings. Co-Developer of a limited number of luxury resort properties.


  • Dr Gerry Allison, Wimberley Allison Tong & Goo (WATG)
    Dr David McMillan ,The cloak of Doctorship is not a one size fits all type of garment. Only someone who has proven to be exceptional in his field is fit to wear it. You, David, are most certainly the right size. I am honoured to be your tailor. Congratulations and thank you for your wisdom and friendship.
  • Linked In. Top 1% searched in 2012 amongst the 200 million members
    David McMillan is amongst the Top 1% searched in the 200 million member Linked In Network. Now if he can just get his Twitter Followers to ramp it up at @hoteldeveloper he can start to lay claim to really being connected!!
  • Jeff Weinstein, Editor In Chief, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc
    “David is a seasoned and affable hotel professional with outstanding contacts around the world. He has a very strong grasp of both the operational and investment side of the hotel business and was a great ambassador for the business while president of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association.”
  • Camille Ducharme, Director of Operations and Assistant Manager, Commonwealth Hospitality Ltd.
    “An authority in the hospitality industry, David is a natural leader who relentlessly achieves target objectives through strong personal relationships without compromise. His vast global experience in all aspects of the industry make him, without doubt, a business partner of choice.”
  • Gary Dodds, Regional VP Human Resources - United Kongdom, Ireland, Middle East & Africa's 82 hotels, Marriott Hotels International
    “I had the pleasure for a number of years recently to serve on the International Hotel Associations HR committee, which David chaired. He was a passionate, direct leader and adept at getting the best out of people for the association and industry; encouraging support for those in other countries most needing help. He was also a powerful advocate of the industry's opinions with government bodies in each country, with global associations who could effect our industry and on consultation committees who could impact our industry. Great focus and professionalism.”
  • Alan Orlob, Vice President, Marriott International
    “David was extremely helpful in organizing a task force to deal with crisis management in the hotel industry when it was most needed. His organization and public diplomacy skills were assets that helped to bring a diverse group of people together. I am happy to recommend him.”
  • Hiran Cooray, Managing Director, Jetwing Hotels
    “Within a very short period of time, David was able to win the hearts and minds of members of our association with his focus on reaching out to all of them. He had patience and the skills to handle the many demands of the members, while having his long term plan to take IH@RA to greater heights. I wish he was allowed to stay on for a few more years”
  • Paul Moxness, VP Corporate Safety and Security, Rezidor Hotel Group
    “David facilitated the creation of a global council for safety, security and crisis management for the hospitality industry that brought together a panel that cooperated on these important issues at a critical period in time. I found David to be an excellent communicator who was well-connected, well-organized and an extremely pleasant person to work with. I highly recommend him.”
  • Michael Hirst. CB Richard Ellis. Former President Hilton International
    "I do believe your stewardship of the IH&RA has made a considerable impact on its good standing and substantial progress achieved to make it a meaningful and influential organisation."
  • Peter Yesawich
    "You represented the Association in a very professional and persuasive manner, and I suspect your talents will be missed greatly."
  • Ruud J. Reuland, General Director, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne
    "I thank you personally for all your efforts to bring education and industry together: you had in my opinion a great vision."
  • Santoso Hanitijo, Vice President Jardin Sinomonde
    "I was most impressed with their ability to work with owners of different nationalities while maintaining a high standard of hotel management."
  • Mr Curt R. Strand, Senior Consultant, American Express Bank
    "I have the highest regard for your qualifications in large, upscale hotel operations. I can also attest to your high ethical standards and professionalism."
  • Juergen Bartels, Chairman WESTIN Hotels & Resorts
    "It is unusual when people of this high calibre get together to form a management company. Westin Hotels & Resorts would be very pleased to work with them to manage a high quality Westin Hotel or Resort"
  • Ken Hine, Former Pres & CEO, AH&LA and IH&RA
    "It is rare to fine this blend of experience and focused skills brought together in one company. The combination presents a set of resources which are hard to duplicate"

Posts categorized "STUDENTS" Feed


MY FIRST DECADE of six (1958-1968)

The confusion, the uncertainty, the fascination, the friends, the huge opportunities, the travel.


I am 15 years old, sitting in the family dentist chair with both of his hands in my mouth, he asks 'Well what are you going to do when you leave school?" Without any opportunity to respond coherently, he continued. 'I have a young patient just like you who went into the hotel industry. He started at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne and he absolutely loves his job'. On my return home, my parents asked how did it go? What did Dr Evans talk about today. I told them and so my story began.

I knew that my schooling was coming to an end since I was not able to attend University because there was not sufficient space. The military draft had been eliminated and all those kids leaving high school were joining those soldiers who were decommissioned and all together were far too many for the few spaces in the universities in the UK in 1958.

The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne sounded like a great idea and an interview with Richard Beattie, the General Manager was set up. My Dad accompanied me on the drive down there from Walton on Thames in Surrey but was stopped at the door to Mr Beattie's office because the interview was to be .......with me alone!!

Grand EastbourneMy sports accomplishments were impressive. My academic accomplishments were not. Neither mattered.

"Do you like people" Mr Beattie asked. "Yes I do, sir" I replied. 'Well that will change in this business', Beattie retorted.

"Do you like sports" Mr Beattie asked, " "Yes I do, sir" I replied. 'Well there's no time for that in this business, Beattie continued, trying to dissuade me from the industry.

"Do you like weekends?" "Yes sir" I replied. "Well that will change because we work seven days a week" Beattie retorted.

After a few more similar type questions and conclusions, I was offered the job as a Trainee Manager, living-in in a shared room with a young chap, Charles who became a lifelong friend. My Dad and I returned home, I packed a few days later and I left home for Eastbourne.

My first job was in the cellar making ice cubes by hand for the bar with an ice-pick from a large ice block three feet long, eighteen inches wide and twelve inches thick. Only once did the ice pick pass through the ice so easily that it continued into my leg bone and stuck. No blood because the pick was ice cold! It didn't happen again.

My second job was as a busboy in the huge dining room of this gracious seafront property for which I was taken to the uniform room to get my white cotton jacket. Buttons came separately with hairpin like clips. It took me an hour to figure those out and an hour to find my way back through the endless Back of House corridors to find the Dining Room with what seemed like dozens of employees running in all directions.

My third job was as vegetable peeler in the kitchen where the Irish Sous Chef took great pleasure in screaming at me for whatever he needed referring to me as a 'bloody Tory' because of my private school education and clipped English accent.

A month later he promoted me to my fourth job as 'Aboyeur' where I acted as the 'caller' of all food orders presented by the waiters to the different prep stations in the kitchen, testing the dishes for presentation and temperature before releasing them to the waiters. I had gained my confidence, become hooked on the business and obtained dozens of new friends, including one from Ireland!

My fifth job was in the reception where I learned the processes for registration, cashiers, night audit and how to manage sleep when shifts changed from morning to night to evenings and split shifts.

After about eighteen months of induction into the industry, I was encouraged to travel to Europe, expand my outlook and advance my skills in French. I was sent to visit Miss Jackson in London who was in charge of exchange at the BHA (British Hotel Association) that arranged for British boys and girls to work in European hotels and restaurants and Europeans to work in British hotels and restaurants while learning English. She was a wizard! She moved young hoteliers-to-be around the world. She was to become a friend. One of the oldest people I knew.


A week later I boarded the train for Villars-sur-Ollon in Switzerland with my passport, my introduFullsizeoutput_96d0ctory letter from Miss Jackson and the address of the Villars Palace Hotel at the foot of the massive Ski Resort on the slopes of the Swiss Alps, my first experience of real snow and the great sport of skiing, ready for my job as a Stagiaire in this famous Swiss Hostelry. On arrival in Villars, I was instructed to report to the police station where I showed my introduction letter to the hotel and surrendered my passport that I would only get back on completing my commitment to the hotel at the end of the season.

Ready to absorb everything I could in French, I joined the exuberant crowd of waiters.........all of whom were Italian. Thirty five Italians and one Englishman.

My bed was in a dormitory within the red roof rafters of this hotel with about a dozen other chaps, none of whom had much knowledge of English, but we got by handsomely. Meals were an experience that would forever effect my ability to eat spaghetti with nothing but a fork. It was essential for my survival because spaghetti lunches and dinners were served to us daily in one dish per table of eight with eight forks. If one knew how to use it, one could eat. If not, you went hungry. Everyone ate from the same dish. By the third day I was starting to understand Italian and twirl spaghetti.

My first job in the Villars Palace dining room was not in the Dining Room, it was in the pantry. The pantry was just outside the dining room on the way to the kitchen where dirty glasses were dropped off, washed, dried and polished. I started as the polisher. It started in the morning at 6.30AM. It ended after dinner at about 11.000PM. That's when we went out to party!

The break came after lunch when everybody took off for the ski slopes where I learned the hard way with newly bought second hand or third hand, lace-up leather ski boots and a second or third hand set of wooden skis and bamboo poles, the skis so long that I could not reach the tips even though I was over 6 feet tall. My Swiss-born friend and teacher was a great skier. I would ride up with him, see him momentarily at the top of the ski lift as he shot off into the distance.

My second job in the dining room was as a Commis Waiter (Busboy), responsible for setting the tables, clearing the tables and fetching the food and drinks from the kitchen and service bar. All the serving and guest interaction was done by the Waiters and the Captains, usually one of whom spoke English or French, Italian not a problem except from the one English Stagiaire whose Italian was improving........ but only in the Cafeteria.

My third job there was as a Room Service Waiter where I learned to carry a full tray of everything over my shoulder and deliver it (eventually) accident-free to its destination. My school French was sufficient for most customers, although all knew that I was struggling heroically, and humoured me. One such client and I were enthusiastically exchanging pleasantries about ski conditions, the weather etc in French when I realised she was English. We changed to English and I realised that I was talking with and serving the very famous and lovely Debbie Reynolds.



My next job at the end of the winter season, thanks to Miss Jackson in London, was to be in Paris at the prestigious Hotel Meurice starting in April 1961, living out. The train ride to Paris was uneventful and rewarding. We had celebrated the end of the season in true Italian style with lots of wine and song. The bars and dance halls of Villars-sur-Ollon were crowded with boys and girls who had toiled hard and long for the season and were now celebrating the end of the season in style.

I found a room in Paris on the Rue St Roch, a ten-minute walk from the Meurice, on the fourth floor of a rooming house with a sink, a window and a huge double bed. It is now, 60 years later, a luxury Boutique Hotel!! The stairwell was lit with a switch that shone for twelve seconds before reverting to full darkness, sufficient to get up four floors at a full sprint but not on arrival with a full suitcase...... and a hangover.

My first job in Paris at the Meurice was as a Stagiaire (Busboy) in the Dining Room, now known as 'Le Meurice Alain Ducasse'. Under the stern direction of my Captain, Guy. My job was to fetch the food from the kitchen with the hot empty plates to be served by him and his Waiter and to clear the dirty dishes from the 'gueridan' (sideboard), both of which were down a very long staircase into the kitchen. We all did it two at a time.

The system for pick up involved first picking up the hot plates from the heater cabinet and taking them to the kitchen where the food was assembled by the 'explosive' Chef de Cuisine. He had one famous move for each order. Without looking, he would reach across the hot plate counter and touch the plates you had selected. If they were not hot enough, he would, in a flash, pick up the top plate and break it over your head. This would only happen once!! Everyone had to learn that one!

My French skills improved!

The biggest setback to this assignment was that there were no free employee meals at the Meurice. This lead to an oft-told story about my first month in Paris. Running short of money having overspent my final payment in Switzerland on wine, I stooped to the local delicious habit of buying a baguette and some cheeses that often went unfinished and remained in my room, more specifically on the windowsill where it was cooler. When my money ran out, I reverted to the stale baguettes.

My second job in Paris was on loan from the Meurice to their associates at Maxims where I was assigned a job as a Waiter. The major challenge at this historic location was the circular service staircase between the kitchen and the four floors of the restaurant. Not only were the floors worn into a 45 degree slant but the width of the circle was so tight that the tray over the shoulder was not a feasible option, it had to be MaximsRestaurant carried over the head. In addition the ovens were all coal fired and our coal-carrying Algerian co-workers were using the stair also to bring coal sacks to the stoves, over their heads.

My jobs at Maxims came frequently and I enjoyed the change in scenery. I do not remember being paid by Maxims but I suspect that my Meurice salary did not change and the book-keeping was handled between the two. My day started at 7.00AM and finished at 11.00PM, when we all went out to party, every night!

My efforts to move into the Reception were thwarted. I am not sure why but I have no regrets. My French was sufficiently good to be asked by the General Manager to translate some French promotional text from French to English involving the hotel's sister relationship with two other legendary Paris hotels. All that I remember from those days was the palatial design of the General Manager's Office where the results of my translations were reviewed.


My return to England came 'out of the blue' perhaps through the influence of Miss Jackson.

It lead to my first job in management as Assistant Manager at the Mitre Hotel in Oxford, a 45 room Inn with a famous Dining Room, a huge reputation for afternoon teas and three bars in a special section that resembled an old, rambling British Pub. Not out of character because the Inn dated back to about the 12th or 13th century when the religious orders started their lectures and educational efforts in the cellars of the Mitre that ultimately spun out to become Oxford University through its many distinct colleges. The job was very focused on the food & beverage operations which were humming.

Two or three interesting anecdotes came from my 18 months in this position. First was a very loyal guest in the dining room who gave regular speeches at the Colleges and returned to the hotel for all his meals. Winston Churchill became that most favourite of our regulars, always preferring one table in the corner that was private and 'out of the way'. No-one bothered him ever. He did however arrange for me to visit his gardeners at his home, Bleinheim Palace, where we made an arrangement to buy vegetables from their expansive gardens on a regular basis. Margaret Rutherford was also a frequent guest and there was often a time when Margaret was at her favourite table facing Winston over at his corner.

Anecdote. The Front Desk called me to ask if they could extend credit to a small group of guys that had a 'gig' in town, would share rooms and would pay us tomorrow. I approved and they did pay the next day. They later became more successful than me as a group called, The Beatles' 

The opening of the London Hilton was organised by a famous City 'mover and shaker' who was, by my good fortune, my Mum's best friend. We received invitations for the family where I was introduced, as a budding hotelier, to the Hilton senior executives from New York whose loose offer was most welcome. Simply put, it was 'whenever you get over to the US, let us know and we will find something for you'.

In the meantime, another opportunity arose. I still believe that Miss Jackson was behind this new seasonal opportunity.

My first job in a resort was at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel in North Devon as the Assistant Manager. A similar set of responsibilities mostly focused on the food and beverage operation but with wider responsibilities for recruitment and training. It was a seasonal post and it coincided well with my plans to move to the USA where the big opportunities seemed to abound. IMG_2824










My first major mistake was to attend a meeting in the fancy lounge bar area with the Owner and his wife. I was a little late because of some staff shortages in the kitchen so I ran the short distance to the staircase that led down to the lounge bar. I tripped and fell down the stairs with sufficient speed that propelled me spreadeagled across the polished wood floor of the lounge bar to the feet of the Owner and his wife who were standing at the bar.

It was an interesting assignment that took every bit of 24 hours a day to cover for the major staff shortages that we suffered as a single season resort many miles from anywhere except the gorgeous ocean and the magnificent surrounding hills.



The fare to the USA was steep but it was a one-way trip by sea. The German ship SS Bremen docked in Bremerhaven was the cheapest way to the USA at that time so I sold my bug-eyed Austin Healey Sprite and headed to Bremen and then to New York City and a meeting with the Senior Vice President Hilton Hotels who I had met briefly at the London Hilton opening. Referred SavoyPlaza immediately to the Savoy Hilton at Fifth Avenue & 59th St to meet their GM, Mr Tony Carpenter, a charming, elegant gentleman who put me to work immediately.

My first job in New York, I was told, was to buy a pair of shoes to replace my suede shoes, a British style that I had not shed yet! The real job however was at Reception of the Savoy Hilton, the 1200 room wedding-cake building at the corner of Central Park and 59th St on Fifth Avenue opposite the Plaza Hotel. Almost permanent residents there at the time were Judy Garland and Peter Lawford, both of whom seemed to consume rather more alcohol than they could reasonably handle.

One afternoon, I was arranging a party from the back office in our Upper-West Side apartment with friends when a guest overheard me and asked if she could join us at the party. Who could refuse Zsa Zsa Gabor? She was a great hit and my reputation went through the roof......for that evening.

After about a year at this great hotel, the hotel was sold and the new lady owner, Mrs Benatar was the first to order a ladder so that she could climb up the wall and personally dislodge the portrait of Conrad Hilton and dramatically smash his picture and frame onto the lobby floor. Hilton was out and major changes were to be made to the management. I was delighted to be informed by senior management that I would be one of the very few to be transferred to the Waldorf Astoria.

My second job in New York was as Assistant Manager at the Waldorf Astoria, a position that was held by about six of us located prominently in the lobby of the Waldorf close to the famous Waldorf Clock. It was here that we met and dealt with the hundreds of over-bookings that were the rule rather than the exception during the New York World's Fair of 1962. It was here that I met briefly with Conrad Hilton who toured the hotel and met me and everyone else for a few seconds as he did his rounds.

WaldorfNYCOne of the curved balls that came my way in my early days at the Waldorf. I received notice from the authorities that I was drafted into the US Army with the ultimate destination of Vietnam. I was required to proceed to the testing centre for a medical examination and other tests. This blip in my career path was brought to the attention of senior management who leaned on a local Senator who arranged for a deferment for a year, and one year later, another deferment until the Senator concluded, 'Get him out of here!!". I was then transferred to a Commonwealth country where Brits were welcome and the Flagship of Hilton International, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. My French skills assisted in this transfer.

Anecdote. My French skills were based on my French Grammar from school and my experiences in Paris that were of limited use to me in French Canada where the accent in Canadian films requires French subtitles in France. I needed to adjust my accent that I am still doing to this day. 


I arrived a the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and met the future president of Hilton Canada who was Personnel Manager at that time. He briefed me on where I would go and said go find a room somewhere. I found a room in the stuQEMontrealdent sector of downtown Montreal where thousands of students enliven life in this great city. I bought a bed and a dining set and made a wooden frame for the bed so that it resembled a sofa.

My third job with Hilton was a temporary step backwards from Assistant Manager at the Waldorf to Room Clerk or Receptionist at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel Montreal. Time would correct that but I was there because of my US military Draft Status, not a promotion. The promotion came quickly. In the meantime, my French was 'Canadianized' and I grew to love Canada and the Montreal ladies.

My fourth job with Hilton was as Assistant Front Office Manager at the newly opened Montreal Airport Hilton. That worked out well and I was soon moved to a new position toward a new area of our profession.

My fifth job with Hilton was as Assistant Sales Manager at the Airport property that sounds impressive but was far from Airportmtleasy. The sales function required direct sales calls to multiple commercial and office buildings along Airport Road where buildings were spaced out 50-100 yards apart and the only way for a young assistant sales manager with no car to accomplish this was by foot. In summer sweating, in winter, nose running...... through huge snowdrifts. But that is where I learned where past complaints could be rectified.

My sixth job with Hilton came when I was transferred back to the Queen Elizabeth as Assistant Manager, somewhat similar to the position at the Waldorf but a lot closer to my apartment in Downtown Montreal, and at the centre of the action in this bustling, successful hotel with a couple of dozen F & B outlets and a huge convention business, connected to Union Station and the underground shopping trails that snake under the city for miles.


After about a year, Out of the Blue I was summoned to the office of the President of Hilton Canada and invited to accept a position as Front Office Manager at the Jamaica Hilton and to report to the Hilton International VP Personnel at their offices in the Waldorf Astoria as soon as I could wrap up my affairs in Canada. This involved breaking my lease, updating my passport in Ottawa, settling my income taxes and Canada, severing some precious relationships and packing. WiJamaicathin a week, I took off for New York City and my meeting with Hilton International's senior executives.

Anecdote. At a business lunch with the VP HR at the Peacock Alley off the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria, I was 'knocked over' by Conrad Hilton who was dining there at that time, who tapped me on the shoulder and said....'Aren't you David McMillan that used to work here?'. I was speechless I think. I have never forgotten that........... and actually never will.

My flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica was uneventful and the two hour trip to the hotel was highlighted by the darkness that permeated the poorer areas of the country on the gorgeous country roads. On later trips between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay to pick up VIPs, I was amazed and shocked, after the rainstorms, to experience oceans of crabs crossing the coastal road and cracking under the wheels of the car. The subsequent construction of a highway connecting Montego Bay with Ocho Rios has eliminated this experience as well as the charming routes along the ocean and through the picturesque villages and sugar plantations of the gorgeous North Coast.

The property is located on a white sand beach protected by a magnificent coral reef that runs along much of the North Coast about two kilometres from Ocho Rios with the spectacular Dunns River Falls 'en route'.

My seventh job with Hilton was as Front Office Manager at the Jamaica Hilton in Mammee Bay in November 1966 started in the height of the winter booking season in which pressure for rooms from Christmas to Easter was astronomic at a time when technology had not kept pace. Reservations from Hilton Reservations Service (HRS) were communicated by mail and the lag time was +/-one week during which +/- 100-200 reservations could be taken, confirmed and deposits deposited. No system existed to track this avalanche of confirmed reservations and deposits that had started before my arrival. A senior experienced colleague from our Trinidad property was seconded to assist us to dig-out. In the meantime, over-bookings filled every hotel and villa on the island plus hotels on neighbouring islands.............. aside from those furious guests that were sent home. This was perhaps the most painful experience of my whole career. My second and third high season were paradise compared to that first one.

My eighth job with Hilton was as Rooms Division & Project Manager at this property. It was basically the same as Front Office/Rooms Division Manager but, in addition they put me in charge of the renovation of all the guest rooms and corridors. A job that was hugely rewarding since, as anyone knows who has done this kind of work, nothing goes as planned and creativity is at the source of all solutions. My weekly trips to Kingston through Fern Gully were awe-inspiring and my meetings there with the contractor who was re-building the existing case goods that were shipped out, a half of a floor at a time and loaded back up to the floors with a rope lift we constructed over the room balconies.

Anecdote. Martin Luther King was a daily lunch client whom we got to know well. He was writing a book in a neighbouring house and he enjoyed taking a break and visiting the property and socialising easily with us and our guests. Harry Belafonte, one of my favourites from earlier years visited but was a very difficult client, also not liked at all by our Jamaican employees.  

After two great years in Jamaica, my Canadian sweetheart and I married and, shortly after, Jose 'Pepe' Menendez, Hilton's Area VP for the Caribbean and Latin America, who also was my Best Man at our wedding, offered me a new challenge in their newly opened Curacao Hilton as Rooms Division and Sales Manager with the charming Peter Howard, the GM, a previous colleague from our days at the Savoy Hilton in New York. 




What we can do for you

  • Co-Development
    The capacity and resources, the expertise and imagination to provide the Pre-Planning of a Resort Project in 6 months followed by a period of facilitating the Financing in 3-4 months.
  • Global Hotel & Resort Financing
    Financing, re-financing, equity or loans, construction loans, Mez-financing for major, credible hotel & resort projects between $50 and $300 million +. We work with credible sponsors anywhere in the world.
  • Brand Selection & Contract Negotiation
    Assistance to owners who are suspicious of hotel operators selfishly selling their own brands! Providing independent, un-biased help to determine what is best for the property and the owner.
  • Cuba Hospitality Advisor
    Strategic, practical advice on how it works regardless of which Castro is in the driving seat. How the system works now and where are the obstacles. Where do they have to make changes? Where must we adjust?
  • New Hotel/Resort Development
    Conceptualise, Business Plan, Pre-Opening Prep & Open. Done it a few times. Should be fun. Definitely save you money. Will do it anywhere!! Well, almost!!
  • Manage or Plan Pre-Opening & Opening
    In a bind with the manager tripping over construction, architects, management company, brand, designers and equipment suppliers. Call us and we'll put order back into the day and save you money.
  • Space Planning
    Assist the Architect and Interior Designer to create cost-effective, user friendly, inter-active spaces in the FOH and BOH areas. The result......great savings.
  • Manage Your Hotel or Resort
    Could mean takeover the management for a short time or a long term. Might involve managing the 'status quo' or making some improvements in quality or profits.
  • Development for Dummies
    Assistance in taking your idea for a hotel or resort and making it a reality, if feasible.... or not.
  • Cuba Resort Specialist
    Strategic & basic down to earth advice on Management Opportunities, Joint Ventures as well as Resort Operations & Development.
  • Profit Engineering or Break-even Analysis
    Have never forgotten this lesson Q(P-V)=F+ Profit desired..... which has helped me re-build restaurant profits, re-position failing assets and energise supervisors, staff and management. Works for the cornerstore as well. It's fun too!
  • Should you develop....or not!
    Too many projects go forward with support from those who will benefit without risk. The fortune that you save may be your own.
  • Design Resolutions
    Off the Cuff resolutions that have saved 'big-time'.....from a beach solution on a rocky coastline, an innovative new design for a banquet dish to a carnival menu for a travelling circus.

Some of our Great Clients

  • InterContinental Dhaka Bangladesh
    Assisted the government Owners of the former Sheraton Dhaka to re-position, recruit and select a new Brand/Operator. Assignment required that the iconic hotel project be rejuvenated, rooms enlarged & totally brought up to a competitive Five Star position. InterContinental was elected and the project successfully completed.
  • Le Meridien Hotel & Conference Centre, Oran, Algeria
    Assisted Sonatrach, the largest company in Africa develop, design, brand, build and open Le Meridien in Oran Algeria through Canada's Genivar (now WSP Group) that supported the developer in architecture, engineering and project management.
  • Marriott Chateau Champlain, Montreal, Canada
    Strategic Planning and consulting on ownership, management and strategic direction of two major full-service branded hotels in Canada including the iconic Chateau Champlain.
  • WSP Group Canada (formerly GENIVAR)
    One of Canada's largest engineering, architectural and project management companies. About 5,000 employees, more than a hundred offices. Great hospitality builds, renovations, restorations, resorts' master-planning, re-positioning and re-branding.
  • University of Western Ontario (Canada)
    Analysis and develepment of a Strategic Plan for the operation and financial turnaround of Spencer Hall, a hotel & conference facility co-owned by the prestigious Richard Ivey Business School and the Bank of Nova Scotia.
  • Hospitality Investors Group (Canada)
    Takeover and management of the Hotel Constellation in Toronto. Redevelopment and planning for the repositioning and re-branding of the hotel and its convention and public space, the largest of its kind in Canada.
  • WHS Resources (Malaysia)
    Feasibility and planning for the development of a mid-scale hotel in Shah Alam Malaysia, development of a Master Franchise for a major European chain and evaluation of resort opportunities in Malaysia.
  • Villa Bellevue (Mont Tremblant)
    Development of plans for the owner for the renovation, expansion and re-positioning of the Villa Bellevue under a plan that involved both hotel and restaurant brands and franchises.
  • Thibault Messier Savard & Assocs (Canada)
    Strategic Planning and consulting on ownership, management and potential opportunities of two major full-service branded hotels in Canada.
  • Red Deer Holdings
    The pre-opening, opening, management and performance reviews of the 690 room El Senador Resort in Cayo Coco, Cuba. A strategic review and three year plan was developed & implemented.

Some Interesting People I've Met

  • Barry Sternlicht
    The ultimate Industry leader, bright, brilliant and the founder of Starwood Hotels, Starwood Capital and, I believe, the Heavenly Bed. Decisive, incisive, innovative and probably impatient. Did it all (almost) straight out of University!!
  • Disco Sally
    In Acapulco's disco-crazy days, Disco Sally was a a great presence with a late night party girl reputation to match. Famous from her days (and nights) at Studio 54, she became a friend and occasional dance partner.
  • HE Dr. Chakib Khelil, President of OPEC
    A brilliant, multi-lingual businessman and charming leader. It was a priviledge to observe him in action, wasting no time at all in listening carefully and then making a well-considered conclusion.
  • Conrad Hilton
    Introduced amongst many others on his tour of the Waldorf Astoria, where I was an Assistant Manager. Some five years later he crossed the restaurant to shake my hand and incredibly remembered my name. WOW, what a lesson!
  • Martin Luther King
    Writing a book in the neighbourhood of Jamaica where I was a middle manager at the Jamaica Hilton, a favourite of his for a periodic lunch break....such a charming, magnetic gentleman.
  • The Beatles
    "Sir....these boys have no money and no credit cards. Can I give them a couple of rooms". "We have a gig here tonight and we'll pay you tomorrow". I okayed the credit. They were to become regulars at my Oxford hotel in the early sixties. Scraggy hair but nice chaps. They did better than I did.
  • John Kennedy Jr
    The young John was a frequent visitor to the Dominican Republic where we ran the Hotel Santo Domingo. John often visited me in the office when he needed the limo to get over to Casa de Campo.
  • Presidente Jose Lopez Portillo
    During our time at the Hyatt Regency Acapulco, the Lopez Portillos were our regular guests, most often his first wife, Carmen Romano who ordered the suite and all rooms on that floor often with little more notice than 24 hours, or else! Some high level people were thrown out with little more than sincere apologies from management.
  • Uri Geller
    The world's most famous paranormalist was our dinner guest every night for weeks when he was a judge at the Miss Universe Pageant in the Dominican Republic. The hotel lost a few bent spoons during that stay but we loved every minute of it. He even produced his girl friend's ring from her hotel room across town which magically dropped from our suite's ceiling over cocktails.
  • Presidente Anastasio Somoza Debayle
    Although I was able to meet the 45th President of Nicaragua and shake his hand on arrival at the Hotel Santo Domingo, there were so many people around him, I did not actually meet more than his hand. Perhaps the most protected person I ever almost met.
  • Bob Barker
    The Price is Right's famous host was the Host for the Miss Universe Pageant at the Hotel Santo Domingo. He was a lot of fun and always very professional. Heard that Bob has just retired after 50 years. Enjoy it Bob, you earned a bit!
  • Cher
    Wow, invited to her house party in Beverley Hills while I was trying to kick-start Frenchman's Cove hotel in Jamaica. She lives the life of her Show at home too!!
  • Julie Andrews
    Friend of the family, in fact married my cousin, Tony. Such a wonderful, warm person who I caught up with again last year in a Disney event at the World Travel & Tourism Council conference in Washington DC. My Chinese dinner companions nearly 'wet themselves' with joy!!
  • Peter Lawford
    Member of the Sinatra ratpack and periodic and regular resident of the Savoy Hilton where I got to know him well. Reputed to polish off his full-bar that had a $600 value in the early 60s in his first night. Doesn't sound like much now!!
  • Isadore (Issie) Sharp
    A more gracious individual I am unlikely to meet. He called me virtually every day (in the mid 70s)! I had opened the first purpose-built Four Seasons in the world and he was interested in our progress each and every day. His personal taste drove the standards of design and service and I imagine still does, strongly supported by his wife, Rosie.
  • David Ben-Gurion
    Israel's founding father and First Prime Minister and First Defence Minister of the State of Israel...... a great guest at the Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown and so easy to talk with.
  • John Scarne
    Casino co-operator at the Curacao Hilton where he became a close friend. Wrote the book to which Casino Managers stick closely. The greatest card manipulator in the world, advisor to the US Government and the the same time. Author of "the Odds Against Me".
  • Sammy Davis Jr
    Invited backstage to his Philadelphia pre-Broadway Show, " where I also met the late James Brown. Sammy was the same off-stage as he was absolute unadulterated scream!!
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor
    Permanent Resident of the Savoy Hilton New York who begged to attend one of my parties that she heard me organising from the back office while she played with her safety deposit box. Needless to say my guest was a great hit!!
  • Wayne Gretzky
    The Great One.....Fun-loving Prince Charming who hosted an annual Charity Tennis Tournament to which we were invited every year.
  • Osmani Cienfuegos
    Architect and illustrious Former Minister of Tourism of Cuba and brother of Camilo, friend of Fidel and one of the most interesting dinner-time storytellers of my career.
  • Ambajador (Capitan) Jose Sandino
    Nicaraguan Ambassador to the DR and permanent resident of the Hotel Santo Domingo. We spent most free evenings with Jose. He loved his "Something Special" scotch and his tempestuous route to becoming 'persona non grata' in Nicaragua was fascinating.
  • Harry Belafonte
    At the Jamaica Hilton in the mid 60s, he spent an interesting few days when he gained a dubious reputation from the Jamaican staff for being stand-offish!!
  • T.H.White
    Famous British novelist and friend of the family. Spent several wonderful days with him in New York sightseeing while he prepared his US Tour for the "The Once and Future King" from whence came "Camelot". Always dressed spectacularly in tweed cape and Sherlock Holmes style hat, he walked so fast, I needed to jog to keep up!!
  • Fidel Castro
    Such a powerful communicator whose eyes seemed to penetrate mine and burn the back of my skull as we spoke. I will never forget the experience. I imagine that he has!!
  • Peter Sellers
    His Mum stayed with us at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel arriving with her chauffeur in high style. Peter came a couple of days later and was a wonderful guest and so human and easy to talk to.
  • Tony Roche
    Was our travelling celebrity tennis pro at the Hotel Santo Domingo/Casa de Campo. I played a demonstration game which he played with his 'other hand', right instead of left. I hardly made one point!! Such a real sport!
  • Margaret Rutherford
    A very regular client for lunch in the Mitre Hotel Oxford when I was Assistant Manager, often at the same time as Winston Churchill. Margaret always tipped me 'half a crown' on leaving which I promptly turned over to the Restaurant Manager.
  • Bob Evans
    The Hotel Santo Domingo...a Charles Bluhdorn, Gulf+Western/Paramount connection of which Bob was the President. One of the most unreasonable clients in my career.
  • Oscar de la Renta
    Designer and stylist for the new Hotel Santo Domingo which I opened. Decisive and a perfectionist. His paint colours and towel choices were as great as his 'haute couture' designs. Perhaps one of the first to see the connection between hospitality and design.
  • Julio Iglesias
    A regular with us at the Hyatt Regency Acapulco to get away from the spotlight, becoming a close friend and fun dinner companion. Absolutely charming and according to Venice......."very good looking!!"
  • Petula Clark
    As a Room Service waiter at the Villars Palace, I delivered her dinner every evening during her engagement. We politely struggled through in French until we both realised we were both English. It became easier instantly for both of us!!
  • Winston Churchill
    Sitting alone at his table in the Mitre Hotel Oxford for lunch regularly, a true gentleman with everyone and a few social words for me on departure every time.