The Career and Life of CEO, Christopher Cowdray

Christopher Cowdray is a native Zimbabwean, which is located in Eastern Africa. He earned a degree in hotel management in his own country before attending Columbia University in New York City. Once he graduated from the Columbia Business Schools Executive Program, Mr. Cowday went on to manage hotels in Africa, Asia, Australia, Middle East and the United Kingdom. At one time, he even served as the director of London’s Claridges.

In 2004, he was the general manager of The Dorchester, owned by Dochester Group Ltd, and he then became collections chief executive (CEO), later in 2007.

The Luxury Hotel was operator-owned by the Brunel Investment Agency (BIA). But then in 1987, the Sultan Burnel Hassami Balkia bought the Dorchester, along with the Beverly Hills Hotel, and then it was transferred over to the Brunel Investment Agency later on in 1991. Afterwards, the Audley Group, owned by BIA was established in 1996 to manage hotels that were under one company.

Once Mr. Cowdry was appointed to CEO in 2008, he added Hotel Bel-Air and New York Palace Hotel to the Dorchester Group. Even though the New York Palace was eventually sold, the Dorchester Collection was able to expand–having additions of Le Richemond in Geneva, Coworth Park, 45 Park Lane in England, and Hotel Elen in Rome. Information can be found on Bloomberg.

In the year 2013, Cowdray was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the
European Hospitality Awards for his many achievements in the hotel community in regards to the Dorchester Collection.

Cowdray has worked in the hospitality industry for more than thirty years. He also has a position at Thames Vallen University–occasionally serving as an honorary professor, where he can be found lecturing about the hospitality industry as well as the ins-and-outs of managing a major hotel empire.

His look into the future includes expanding into other markets, US cities, European cities, and far Eastern Cities.