A true pioneer

David Levin’s sale of his properties The Levin and The Capital marks the closing of a chapter in a remarkable hospitality career.

When Glaswegian-born Levin first expressed his desire to work in hotels, he got a less than warm reception. “Everyone thought I was insane,” he said. “They just couldn’t understand why anyone could possibly take a ‘job’ – because nobody considered at that point that it was a career. Hotels were considered a drop-out industry. But it was always my dream – from 16 years of age – to own my own hotel.”

After a globetrotting hotel career, Levin did just that, taking two years to create The Capital, considered by many to be London’s first boutique hotel. In the 45 years that followed its opening, the plaudits and awards have been numerous, including an MBE and a Hotelier of the Year title.

As well as being a pioneer, Levin had a great knack for spotting up-and-coming chefs, nurturing the careers of Brian Turner, Gary Rhodes, Richard Shepherd, Paul Merrett, Jerome Ponchelle and Nathan Outlaw.

Levin is not undergoing a total withdrawal from his passion  though – he is staying on as a consultant to the new owners, and his daughter Kate, an accomplished hotelier in her own right, will remain as general manager of the two properties. It’s very fitting that the family will still exert a strong influence over two of London’s finest boutique hotels.

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