September 2015 – One&Only Resorts has announced the appointment of established industry leader Richard Lyon as General Manager, One&Only Cape Town in South Africa, effective 7 September 2015. In his new role, Mr. Lyon is responsible for the entire operation of One&Only Cape Town and its continued strategic development.
“I am thrilled to have Richard join One&Only Resorts and build on the continued success of One&Only Cape Town,” commented Mark DeCocinis, President/Chief Operating Officer, One&Only Resorts. “His focus on mentorship and team development make him perfect for this role. The leadership he has provided in this area is in line with our ethos of developing committed, passionate people. I know he will provide excellent guidance to the team to ensure continued service excellence and innovation.”
Mr. Lyon joins One&Only with over 40 years experience in the hospitality industry, including key positions at Virgin Active, The Landings in St. Lucia, Marriott International, as well as his own hospitality consultancy business. He started his career in the Management Operations Training Programme at the Savoy Hotel Group, spending extensive time at both The Savoy in London and Hotel de Crillon in Paris. From there, he was the Sales and Marketing Director for two hotels in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Swiss International Hotels, globally positioning the brand which went on to establish over 100 hotels.
In 1981, Richard joined Marriott International, the beginning of a career that would span over 25 years with the brand. During his tenure, he held key leadership roles in a variety of global posts, including: Riyadh, London, Charlotte, Warsaw, Amman, Budapest and finally, Mumbai. He consistently increased guest and employee satisfaction, often leading the destination, and reliably increased occupancy and rate to record levels as well. The hotels under his leadership won a number of awards, including Top Five Business Hotels in London (Conde Nast Traveller), Best Business Hotel (Business Traveller Magazine), Best New Spa in Asia for Quan Mumbai (Spa Magazine) and Marriott Hotel of the Year. Mr. Lyon also introduced new product elements including the first hotel-branded Executive Apartments in Budapest and the £1 million refurbishment and subsequent awards by Pearl Restaurant at the Renaissance Chancery Hotel. Due to his impactful results, owners often invested in additional properties throughout Marriott.
Following his noteworthy career at Marriott, Richard set-up his own Consultancy, providing management services for the hospitality industry, including a group of luxury game camps in Masai Mara in Kenya, a top vineyard, a hotel in Cape Town, plus several small luxury hotels in the Western Cape.
As Managing Director of The Landings in St. Lucia, Mr. Lyon was responsible for the successful opening of the luxury apartments of the resort. This role saw him dealing with construction and development, owner management and operations of the luxury resort. In addition, Richard developed the team to ensure outstanding product and service.
Richard then joined Virgin Active in South Africa as People Director. A member of the Executive Committee, he was responsible for all Human Resources, Training and Development, and Corporate Social Responsibility. In the role, Mr. Lyon was the leader in taking the business to become the winner of Deloitte’s “Best Company to Work For” in the large business category in 2012.