Bruce Ryde Kimpton Margot
Kimpton Margot Sydney General Manager, Bruce Ryde.

Several promotions at Pro-invest Group

Pro-invest Group has made a number of management appointments across its hotels in Sydney and Melbourne. 

Experienced hotelier Bruce Ryde has been promoted to Cluster General Manager – Pro-invest Hotels, in addition to his position as General Manager of Kimpton Margot Sydney.

In this expanded role, he will oversee operations for the soon-to-open Hotel Indigo Sydney Potts Point and the recently unveiled Hotel Indigo Melbourne on Flinders,

Ryde joined Pro-invest Group in 2021 to open Kimpton Margot Sydney and has been instrumental in the success of the hotel. He brings expertise in operating luxury hotels and leading brand strategy across Asia Pacific for global hospitality giants IHG and Marriott as well as experience launching Hotel Indigo properties in Asia.

Shihalini Rajaratnam

Within its Holiday Inn Express portfolio, Pro-invest Group has promoted Shihalini Rajaratnam to the position of Cluster Hotel Manager – Holiday Inn Express Melbourne.

She takes responsibility for two Melbourne properties owned and operated by the company – Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Little Collins and Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank.

Rajaratnam has a strong hotel operations background and is an advocate for developing next generation hoteliers and female leaders in the hospitality industry.

Rajaratnam’s appointment paved the way for Klarisa Dzambo’s promotion to Hotel Manger – Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank.

Having first started at the property as Food and Beverage Supervisor in the pre-opening team, Dzambo progressed to Food and Beverage Duty Manager and further to front desk roles, Duty Manager and Assistant Hotel Manager.

Klarisa Dzambo

“It’s particularly rewarding to nurture talent and promote from within – and with Shihalini and Klarisa’s well-deserved moves we are expanding our leadership cadre and paving the way for those working with them too,” said Pro-invest Group’s Chief Operating Officer for Hotels, Shantha de Silva.

“Bruce is an industry veteran and these broader responsibilities put our two newest hotels in the very best hands. His luxury and lifestyle expertise is an incredible asset to the company and he will ensure our luxury and lifestyle portfolio delivers on both guest needs and investor returns.”

The Star Brisbane names first GM

The Star Brisbane, which is scheduled to open in April 2024, has appointed its first General Manager Hotels, a former engineer, Rikesh Rajakulasingham.

A former Director of Hotels The Star Sydney, and Director of Hotels at Treasury Brisbane for the past three years, Rajakulasingham will take control of 340-keys hotel The Star Grand – the dual tower in the UA$3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane precinct.

Having started his hospitality career over two decades ago in the housekeeping department before moving into reception, front office operations and working his way to senior leadership, Rajakulasingham brings hands-on experience across every facet of hotels and resorts, including with major international hotel chains.

“I’m so proud to be able to draw on all my experiences and be part of the team bringing such a city-changing hotel to life,” Rajakulasingham said.

Rikesh Rajakulasingham

“Building a five-star hotel from the ground up is a rare, once in a lifetime career opportunity.

“With the help of our design team we are doing everything from scratch – ordering soap dishes and clothes hangers to choosing bedding, sheets, bathrobes towels, hotel cutlery and crockery.

“We’re even road-testing pillows to ensure they are neither too firm or too soft and making sure they are allergy free.

“We’ve commissioned a local supplier for tailor-made microfibre bedding toppers, duvets and mattress protectors.

“We have also designed custom-made room attendant trolleys and will soon begin measuring existing team members for their new uniforms.”

The Star Entertainment Group CEO and Managing Director Robbie Cooke said Rajakulasingham is the ideal choice to open the luxury hotel.

“He is passionate about the industry and living proof of how to build a long-term career with an unwavering focus on creating superior guest experiences,” Cooke said.

New General Manager appointed at Outrigger Kona

Outrigger Hospitality Group has appointed Geoff Pearson as General Manager of Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa on Hawai‘i Island.

Pearson is charged with overseeing the daily operations and management of the resort, including the integration of cultural elements into guest experiences, the cultivation of a positive work environment and engagement with the Kailua-Kona community.

Having joined Outrigger earlier this year as Director of Sales and Marketing, Pearson has worked closely with the resort and its team as well as Outrigger’s corporate and global sales and revenue teams.

Geoff Pearson

He brings a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, including as Hotel Manager of the Outrigger Reef Lanais in 1988, Director of Sales And Marketing for Halekulani and Halepuna Waikiki, Director of Rooms at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, and Front Office Manager at the St. Regis Princeville Resort on Kaua‘i and the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

“Since joining Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa, Geoff has consistently exhibited exceptional leadership, prowess in sales and marketing and a profound understanding of the hospitality industry,” said Outrigger’s Senior Vice President of Operations for The Americas, Mike Shaff.

“His adept management of expectations during the resort’s substantial UA$60 million renovation has been commendable. We are eagerly anticipating his leadership in guiding this enhanced offering, making his appointment richly deserved.”