Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas announces that Darren Darwin has been appointed to the role of Cluster General Manager. In this position Darren will oversee Anantara Kalutara Resort and AVANI Kalutara Resort in Sri Lanka.
Darren, who is a British National, brings to his new role 30 years of varied and diverse experience in the luxury hospitality industry. His career has taken him across the world from the UK and Eastern Europe, to the Middle East and Caribbean.
Darren began his hospitality journey at the InterContinental Hotel Group, commencing his learning in the front of house and Sales and Marketing department, then moving over to his specialisation and greatest passion, Food and Beverage. Darren then held various General Manager Roles all over England, finishing with a six-year tenure in London. He then decided to embark on his first Expat role as Resident Manager in Barbados for the five-star renowned 500 Key Almond Beach Village.
From here Darren moved into his first international and pre-opening role as General Manager, overseeing the pre-opening of the Intercontinental in Sofia. He then continued to immerse himself in more openings with Global brands such as Wyndham and Rezidor in Oman and Russia respectively. Darren holds an MBA with renowned Swiss Hospitality School Glion, in addition to Executive Leadership, Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management Diplomas with Cornell University.
Darren is no stranger to Anantara, having joined the luxury brand in December 2014, returning to Oman as General Manager of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort. Here he led the opening of this highly successful and iconic resort, which rapidly established itself as one of the flagships of the Anantara brand, indeed establishing itself as a World Class Resort in its first operating year. During his Oman tenure, Darren was named General Manager of the Year 2017 at the highly competitive and prestigious Hotelier Middle East Awards. Darren and his team also secured a huge amount of media attention from across the world, winning over 80 Media Awards and Accolades, and securing an episode of the acclaimed BBC series Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby.
As a seasoned, award winning leader of multi-national hotel teams, Darren will be responsible in ensuring that Anantara’s brand standards and ethos are reflected within the resort, providing discerning travellers with extraordinary, authentic and indigenous experiences, allowing them to immerse themselves into Sri Lanka’s rich culture, heritage and natural beauty, whilst firmly establishing the Resorts footprint in the Global MICE market.
Opened late in 2016, Anantara Kalutara Resort is the brand’s second property in Sri Lanka. Located in a bay, surrounded by the Indian Ocean and Kalu River and Lagoon along the southwest coast of this beautiful island, Anantara Kalutara is the only five-star resort to be fully enclosed by water, a truly unique offering in South East Asia. Approximately an hour’s drive from the capital, Colombo, Anantara Kalutara is a heavenly getaway for international visitors to the island who wish to embark on long adventures and relaxing escapes, and for locals looking for that short break. The resort offers luxurious accommodation, inspirational dining and unique experiences, plus an impressive state-of-the-art conference centre, which can host a sit-down banquet for 500 with floor to ceiling beautiful views of the Indian Ocean.