Hotel Eden Rome, La Terrazza, Sommelier, Stefania Ruggeri with wine glasses
Art and culture

Celebrating International Women’s Month

March 07, 2021

March marks International Women’s Month, so we’re celebrating by showcasing some of the remarkable women at Dorchester Collection whose achievements, talent and dedication to excellence make our hotels so legendary.
Portrait of Helen Smith, chief customer experience officer for Dorchester Collection
Dorchester Collection

Helen Smith

Each Dorchester Collection property has a unique personality, yet at the heart of each is the distinctive culture of our brand. As chief customer experience officer for Dorchester Collection, Helen Smith’s role is to ensure this culture shapes every guest experience. Helen joined Dorchester Collection as director of sales and marketing at The Dorchester in 2004, before being promoted in 2007 to vice president sales and marketing for the entire collection, playing a central role in creating and developing the brand. In 2017, Helen was promoted to her current role to implement the overall strategy of customer experience. This specialist role showcases Dorchester Collection’s commitment to customer loyalty and nurturing talent from within.

Let Dorchester Collection take care of you.

Le Meurice, Paris

Franka Holtmann

German by birth, French at heart, Franka Holtmann is a leading visionary in the luxury hotel industry, and general manager of Le Meurice. When she arrived at Le Meurice, the oldest palace hotel in Paris, Franka developed an ambitious action plan for this legendary address including creating the Meurice Prize for contemporary art and enlisting world-famous designer Philippe Starck to restore the hotel’s flair. In 2008, Franka was named ‘Best Hotelier of the Year’ at the Virtuoso Awards; in 2010 she was awarded the ‘Légion of Honor’, France’s highest order; and in 2015 she was named ‘Best General Manager in France’ at the World Luxury Travel Awards.

See Franka’s passion in action at Le Meurice.

Portrait of Franka Holtmann, general manager of Le Meurice
Portrait of Niamh Larkin, executive pastry chef at the 45 Park Lane Hotel
45 Park Lane, London

Niamh Larkin

A proud member of 45 Park Lane since the hotel began welcoming guests to Mayfair in 2011, executive pastry chef Niamh Larkin leads a team responsible for making freshly-baked goodies and sweet finishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner at CUT at 45 Park Lane. She also played an instrumental role in creating the hotel’s delightful CUTcakes & Tea experience. This popular American twist on traditional English afternoon tea features her own spin on favourite treats from across the pond.

Niamh shares one of her favourite recipes with you.

Hotel Eden, Rome

Stefania Ruggeri

Stefania Ruggeri is maître sommelier and ‘professional wine lover’ at La Terrazza, the fine dining restaurant on the rooftop of Hotel Eden in the heart of the Eternal City. Stefania brings professionalism, passion and impressive knowledge to her role, overseeing the hotel’s wine collection and guiding guests to the perfect bottle to enhance their meal. In 2017 she earned a Masters from the Italian Sommelier Association.

Meet Stefania when you visit La Terrazza.

Stefania Ruggeri Head Sommelier of Michelin starred restaurant La Terrazza Hotel Eden Rome
Portrait of Lucia Montanielli, head bartender at The Dorchester Bar
The Dorchester, London

Lucia Montanelli

Lucia Montanelli really knows how to shake and stir things up behind the bar for The Grill at The Dorchester. A key player in the team and a talented experimental alchemist, Lucia has received several industry accolades, not least winning first place in the ‘Tio Pepe Challenge González Byass’ competition for her signature sherry cocktail, as well as her take on a classic Sherry Cobbler. In 2015, she became the first-ever female winner of the UK Bartender’s Guild ‘National Cocktail Challenge’, and represented the UK at the International Bartender’s Association ‘World Cocktail Championship’.

Taste Lucia’s latest cocktails at The Grill.

Coworth Park, Ascot

Zoe Jenkins

General manager of Coworth Park, Zoe Jenkins’ many achievements show her passion for hospitality. After various management positions in banqueting at luxury hotels in London, she joined The Dorchester in 1994 and worked her way up to food and beverage director. She was honoured with a prestigious Catey Award as ‘Manager of the Year’ in 1999, and was heavily involved with the 2007 introduction of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, the only UK hotel restaurant to hold three Michelin stars. In 2010, Zoe become general manager and opened Coworth Park in Ascot, our first-ever country house hotel. In 2012, she was one of 30 industry role models recognised at ‘The Shine Awards’ and ‘Women 1st Top 100 Club’.

Zoe’s dedication at Coworth Park is obvious at every turn.

Portrait of a member of Zoe Jenkins, general manager of Coworth Park
Portrait of Kenia Machado, executive housekeeper and laundry manager at the Hotel Principe Di Savoia
Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan

Kenia Machado

Originally from Cuba, Kenia Machado began her career as a tour guide at age 18, before working in luxury hotels as a housekeeper. Here she found her passion for luxury hotels and moved to Milan to work as a maid and supervisor in the heart of the city. Finally, she joined Hotel Principe di Savoia as executive housekeeper and became part of the team that won ‘Team of the Year Dorchester Collection 2018’. Through her hard work and passion for the role, in 2019 Kenia gained the additional title of laundry manager.

Le Meurice, Paris

Estelle Niveau

It was in secondary school that Estelle Niveau decided she wanted to work in the hospitality sector. She excelled in languages and wanted a career where she could meet interesting people. She graduated from CMH Paris, a luxury hospitality management school, and after several internships at five-star hotels, landed a role as receptionist at Le Meurice. In January 2019, 22-year-old Estelle won the coveted title of ‘International Receptionist of the Year’, which opened up a world of exciting new opportunities and added both self-confidence and credibility to her career. In recognition of her success, Estelle received a well-deserved promotion in 2020 to chef de brigade/shift leader.

Estelle’s warm welcome awaits you at Le Meurice.

Portrait of Estelle Niveau, voted best receptionist in Paris 2018 for Le Meurice
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