Desmond leads the L+R Hotels team and all activities related to Hotel Development & Acquisitions, Asset Management, Operations, Construction and Design.
Since joining L+R, Desmond Taljaard has led the acquisition of a number of hotels, including the Fairmont Barbados, Meridien Barcelona and the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. He also led the acquisition of the Atlas Hotels Portfolio of 48 IHG and Hilton branded limited service hotels, together with a portfolio of resort hotels in Spain and the Balearics.
Desmond served from October 2006 to March 2013 as COO Europe for Starwood Capital, with responsibility for Asset Management, leading all hospitality acquisitions. These included the Golden Tulip Group, comprising 200 managed and franchised hotels worldwide, and the £300m+ acquisition of the Principal Hayley Group. Desmond also co-chaired the Starman JV which re-positioned 32 service Le Meridien hotels across Europe.
Previously, Desmond was M&A and Development Director for Whitbread Group plc, driving the exit from the UK Marriott business for c£1,000m, and the creation of a JV with Emirates Airlines to roll out Premier Inn in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Desmond is a Chartered Accountant and holds a BSc (Econ) Honours degree from LSE.
Speaking at The AHC Reimagined