City Girl / ON THE RECORD

We blogged about the upcoming opening of Eccleston Square Hotel quite some time ago – read the full post here – and now we’ve tracked down Olivia Byrne, who will take on the role of Company Director once she graduates (all in good time for the grand opening, we’re told!). Having acquired a taste for the good life early on while living in Paris with her father (and tasked with the role of pain au chocolat-taster at his group of hotels, no less), Olivia is the perfect woman for the job; add to that a four-year course at Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne and six months in the kitchen at Michelin-starred eatery Joel Robuchon, and Olivia certainly has the credentials to take on such a challenge . Set to be London‘s most technologically-advanced hotel, all eyes will be on Eccleston Square Hotel when it opens this June – and we, for one, can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about. We chat to Olivia about the hotly-anticipated property, about the city she now calls home, and about her favourite local hangouts.
SITE: ecclestonsquarehotel.com
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Name: Olivia Byrne.
Job: Company Director of Eccleston
Are you a hedonist? Yes, I am a hedonist when it comes to the pleasure and happiness of our guests.
Where are you from? Hard question to answer! My mum is French, my dad is English. I was born in France, lived in England when I was 11, moved to Switzerland when I was 14, and now I am a fresh graduate from Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland, and I have officially moved London.
What do you do? Whatever the business requires of me. Typical small business answer, but absolutely true. From doing sales calls, to recruiting new staff to developing our delicious bar food menu.
What will be your challenge as the Company Director for Eccleston Square Hotel? Standards, standards, standards. Providing consistent quality to all of our guests.
What sets it apart from other London hotels? We are using a fusion of tehnology, wellbeing and value themes to reinvent the city-centre hotel room. For example, we are the first hotel in Europe to have iPads in every room which will be used to control different aspects of the room such as temperature, lighting, curtains, etc.
What makes London the perfect choice for this property? London is a fast-moving, global city and a perfect location for this sophisticated high-tech hotel.
In London, what’s your favourite…
Hotel (aside from Eccleston Square)? Claridge’s.
Restaurant? Heston Blumenthal, as well as Zaika, which is an Indian fusion restaurant located at 1 Kensignton High Street.
Bar? Thomas Cobbit, Elizabeth Street, SW1
Club? You’re joking! I don’t have time for clubs.
Shop? Selfridges food court.
Cultural must-see? The Tate Gallery.
Architectural landmark? Houses of Parliament.
Spa? The award-winning Glow Spa, Pimlico Green.
If you weren’t living in London, what city would you be living in? I was born in Paris, and so far have lived in England, Switzerland, Monaco and Miami. My spiritual home is Switzerland. and I hope to return there often for holidays, but apart from that I cannot imagine myself being anywhere
except London.
What’s next for you? Opening of the hotel in June 2011, which is a big challenge as it is, especially if we want to offer the best possible service on day one!

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Hg2 | A Hedonist's Guide is a luxury city guide series coveted by travellers who value both style and substance when it comes to soaking up a city. Irreverent, inspired, and, above all, intelligent.

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