Le Cheval Blanc Courchevel, the first Cheval Blanc hotel opened by LVMH in 2006

PARIS — Christian Boyens, former general manager of the Ritz Paris, is joining the hotel and management division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Effective April 1, Boyens will oversee urban operations for the luxury group’s hotel division throughout the world, but his main project will be the opening of the Cheval Blanc Paris, set for the first half of 2020 as part of the long-delayed renovation of landmark Paris department store La Samaritaine.

He will report to Olivier Lefebvre, head of hotel activities at LVMH and chief executive officer of Cheval Blanc.

After seven years at The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Boyens was named general manager of the Ritz in 2011, where he oversaw the historic hotel’s titanic renovation from 2012 to 2016.

The five-star hotel, located on Place Vendôme, is one of the most prestigious establishments in the world, despite not being one of the 25 French hotels to have received the official “Palace” distinction delivered by the French Ministry of Tourism.

Christian Boyens.

Christian Boyens  Courtesy

Founded by Swiss hotelier César Ritz in 1898, and now owned by Egyptian business magnate Mohamed Al-Fayed, it has hosted celebrities ranging from Coco Chanel to Ernest Hemingway, after whom the Bar Hemingway is named. A successor for Boyens has yet to be named.

LVMH opened the first Cheval Blanc hotel in 2006, located in the ski resort of Courchevel in the French Alps. Three other hotels complete the roster: Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in the Caribbean, Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives and the recently acquired Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez, set to open in May 2019. The Cheval Blanc Paris will be the first time the concept is applied to a city.

In December, the luxury giant bought Belmond for $2.6 billion, bulking up its hospitality operations globally and positioning it as much of a leading player in experiential luxury as it is in fashion, leather goods and prestige wines and spirits.

LVMH also owns the six Bulgari hotels, with plans to open three more destinations in Paris in 2020, Moscow in 2021 and Tokyo in 2022.

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