Grace Leo

Development & Design

Hotel Beauchamp, Paris, Champs-Elysées Vidago Palace, Douro Valley, Portugal Royal Riviera, St. Jean Cap Ferrat, France Vidago Palace, Douro Valley, Portugal Hotel Place d'Armes, Luxembourg Hotel Jules, Paris

Branding and Positioning

  • Identity and USP assessment
  • Creation of corporate identity
  • Hotel affiliation and partnership recommendation
  • Public and press relation leadership

Design Leadership

  • Interior concept and design briefs
  • Design competition
  • Design charrette
  • Design development

Project Management

  • Project cost estimate
  • Technical assistance
  • Project coordination
  • FF&E and OS&E budget and procurement

Operation Consultancy

  • Integration of leading hotels standards of quality
  • Front and back of house requirements and layout
  • FF&E and OS&E requirements
  • Evaluation of product and service strengths and weaknesses

When I begin a new project, I draw inspirations from the future hotel’s locality to capture a sense of place, architecture, history, and energy …. this allows me to establish a theme, a concept, and a story board for the design and creative process.

Grace Leo

Grace Leo

With a distinctive style all her own, Grace Leo stepped out front in Europe’s designer hotel movement and made her name synonymous with refinement, artistic flair, and perfect attention to detail.

The daughter of a Hong Kong hotelier, Grace Leo has been involved in the hotel world all her life. After completing her hotel education at Stanford and Cornell Universities in 1977, Grace Leo launched her career at Inter-Continental Hotels and Sheraton Group. In 1981, she moved to Paris to join Warwick International Hotels, as Vice President she was responsible for the group's expansion in North America and Europe which grew from 2 to 14 hotels in five years.

By 1985 Grace had decided to start her own company. Identifying the small luxury independent hotel sector as an area of huge potential growth, she set up G.L.A. Hotels to offer professional consulting services to this sector. Over the last twenty seven years Grace Leo and her company have prospered working on many projects across the world.

Her first major independent project, The Guanahani Hotel at St. Barthélémy was acclaimed as one of the world's great luxury hideaways, whilst the Hotel Montalembert, opened in late 1989, was one of the seminal properties in the design hotel movement of the current decade. The same inimitable combination of design flair and management expertise have also been applied to the chic Château de Noirieux in the Loire valley and, in conjunction with the rock band U2, to the stylish and quintessentially Irish Clarence hotel in Dublin.

In January 1999, following the purchase of The Royal Riviera in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Hotel Montalembert in Paris, the Westmont/Alliance and Goldman Sachs’ hotel fund appointed Grace Leo as management consultant for these two properties, to strengthen their foothold in the luxury hotel sector. Subsequently they purchased the 115 room Hotel Bel Ami in January 2000 which was sold in 2004 for a record price after being fully renovated and repositioned by G.L.A. Hotels.

Arguably one of Grace’s most exciting projects was the complete repositioning of Hotel Lancaster in Paris. An institution for over 50 years, this under-performing hotel was purchased by Grace and her husband Stephane Andrieu, from The Savoy Group in late 1995 and reopened under G.L.A. management in September 1996 with an immediate return-on-investment to the owners. The result speaks volumes for Grace Leo's expertise, flair and perfectionism as well as the battalion of designers and crafts people she sought from around the world to undertake the work.

In 2007 Grace Leo collaborated again with Westmont Hospitality with the acquisition of 2 Parisian properties each with 100 rooms, in need of upgrade and positioning. One is located behind the Champs-Elysées on rue Ponthieu, rebranded as Hotel Beauchamps, while the second property located on rue La Fayette nearby the Opera, was re-named Hotel Jules. Both hotels out-performed their competitive sets and have been sold in 2013.

She has recently streamlined her Paris operations and moved her base to New York, and launched Grace Leo Consultancy to develop exceptional hospitality and residential properties.


Opened 1989

Hotel Montalembert


56 rooms

Introduction of the first design-led Boutique Hotel concept in an ultra conservative European hotel environment, setting new standards.


Renovation 2012

One UN

New York

435 rooms

Complete renovation and repositioning of the 154-room West Tower of this 1980's landmark hotel at One United Nations.


Opening late 2013

The Hermitage


88 units

Jakarta's foremost luxury boutique hotel is a conversion from a Dutch colonial mansion in upscale tree-lined Menteng district.

Opening late 2013

Hotel Cayena


45 units

Creation of the first exclusive boutique hotel in tree-lined Castellana adjacent the buzzing business district in downtown Caracas.

The successful new lifestyle hotel should focus on providing a memorable experience to customers by fulfilling the need for individuality, staff recognition, and customized consistent delivery of service for each guest.

Grace Leo
  • 2010

    Vidago Palace


    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: Unicer Group

  • 2009

    Villa Nyaman


    Tandem Bali

  • 2009



    Westbridge Fund

  • 2008



    Westbridge Fund

  • 2004

    The Bairro Alto


    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: Emparque

  • 2003

    The Cadogan


    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: LHW and private investors

  • 2000

    The Bel-Ami


    Design Hotels | Owner: Goldman Sachs

  • 2000

    The Royal Riviera

    Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, France

    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: Westmont Hospitality Group

  • 1998

    The Cotton House

    Mustique, Grenadine Islands

    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: The Mustique Company

  • 1996

    The Lancaster


    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: Private owner

  • 1992

    Le Toiny

    Saint Barthelemy, French West Indies

    Relais & Châteaux | Owner: Private owner

  • 1992

    The Clarence


    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: Bono and the Edge from U2

  • 1991

    Château de Noirieux

    Loire Valley, France

    Relais & Châteaux | Owner: Private owner

  • 1990

    The Montalembert

    Paris Left Bank

    Preferred Hotels | Owner: Goldman Sachs

  • 1987

    The Guanahani

    Saint Barthelemy, French West Indies

    Leading Hotels of the World | Owner: Axa Insurance



Board Member

Leading Hotels of the World Executive Committee

Grace is the first woman to serve on this board since its creation 80 years ago.



Best Hotelier

Harpers and Queen "Harpers Abroad" Travel Awards



The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World

Prestigious Recognition



Leader's Club Award

The Lancaster, Paris


2004, 2002

Commitment to Quality Award

The Cotton House, Mustique



Outstanding Achievement Award

The European Hotel Design Awards and Conference

Grace Leo

Development & Design

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