Robert has led the development of a number of lifestyle hotel brands in the UK and Europe, having spent nine years as CEO of Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin, building these critically acclaimed brands. Following his time at Malmaison, Robert held senior executive positions as COO at Macdonald Hotels and Resorts and CEO of De Vere Hotels Resorts and Village Urban Resorts. Among his other achievements, Robert has most recently been awarded the coveted invitation to join the Worshipful Company of Innholders as a Master Innholder.
An acclaimed figure in the hospitality industry, Robert has a deep understanding of the luxury consumer market in the UK and Europe, which will help grow Virgin Active’s business, particularly as it looks to upgrade more of its London clubs into its high-end Collection portfolio.
Paul Woolf, Chief Executive of Virgin Active Group commented:
“We are delighted that Robert has joined us as Virgin Active’s new UK Managing Director. Robert has stand-out experience for the role, having run a number of renowned luxury hotel groups. He brings significant operational experience, a natural customer and people-focused leadership style, together with a fresh perspective that will help us set a new benchmark for the sector in the UK.
“He joins at a very exciting time for the business as we accelerate our strategy to focus on prime clubs in key metropolitan areas, organised around three core proposition pillars: high-end Collection clubs, big family clubs and racquets clubs.”
Commenting on the appointment, Robert Cook said:
"I am truly delighted to be joining the Virgin Active team and to have the opportunity to lead the UK business. This is a hugely exciting time in the evolution of the brand, which was a key influence in my decision to join Paul and the team.
“I firmly believe my many years leading some of the best known UK lifestyle brands will help me to add real value to the next step of Virgin Active’s journey."