Luxury hotel group Belmond appoints Maria Kuhn from rival Kempinski to head comms

Belmond, the luxury hotel and travel adventure operator, has hired Maria Kuhn from rival hotel group Kempinski to the role of corporate director of comms.

Maria Kuhn: Joins Belmond from rival hotel group Kempinski
Maria Kuhn: Joins Belmond from rival hotel group Kempinski

She was previously vice-president of public relations at Kempinski, whose director of corporate comms Kerstin Heinen told PRWeek that her position would not be replaced. Kuhn replaces Vicky Legg, who left Belmond at the end of 2014 after 17 years to become director of Thrive Communications.

Kuhn's appointment follows a 2014 rebrand for Belmond and its first advertising campaign, alongside a series of product launches and refurbishments.

Belmond said Kuhn will be responsible for developing the company’s global comms strategy, guiding and supervising the global PR team, and building Belmond’s brand reputation worldwide. She will oversee PR campaigns for the upcoming launches of Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland’s first luxury touring train; and Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Knightsbridge, the company’s first London hotel.

Kuhn, who will be based at Belmond’s London office, previously held senior PR roles at luxury hotel groups Shangri-La and Four Seasons in Europe and Asia.

Ralph Aruzza, chief sales and marketing officer at Belmond, said: "Maria’s specialised expertise will help us build our global brand presence and further our communications strategy across all markets."

Belmond owns and operates 46 hotel, rail and river cruise operations, including the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara. Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, three river cruises and New York restaurant 21.

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