Oddfellows Hotels has appointed Paul Cookson as general manager of the Chester design-led boutique hotel.

Paul Cookson will manage the Chester site, whilst assisting in the development of the new Oddfellows site in Manchester. He will then take on the role of general manager at Oddfellows On The Park, Manchester, in Spring 2016.

Paul previously worked at The Chester Grosvenor for 11 years as both director of events and director of operations prior to becoming general manager in 2014.

He has more than 20 years experience in the hotel industry holding positions with Forte, Moat House Hotels and The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington.

Oddfellows Hotels has appointed Paul Cookson as General Manager of the Chester design-led boutique hotel

Paul said: “This is a new direction for me and a very welcome one. I will be leaving the five star sector to join one of the new breed of hotels; those that aren’t defined by stars or corporations. Oddfellows is a truly independent hotel group, both in spirit and ownership, and celebrates personality and individuality. I’m working with a fantastic, enthusiastic and talented team and I can’t wait for the adventure to begin.”

Cookson replaces Sarah Dougherty who has held the helm at Oddfellows since 2012. Sarah will be leaving to join Dougherty and Allen, an outside catering business, working alongside her husband Phil Dougherty.

She said: “Oddfellows has been a wonderful journey. I started as general manager when Jonathan Slater was masterminding the refurbishment and addition of 14 new bedrooms. I’ve never worked with a more dedicated team and I’ll miss the people hugely.”

Jonathan Slater said: “Sarah has accomplished a great deal over the past three years and she has done an outstanding job. We have worked together, alongside our owner, to take the hotel where it deserves to be – running at a high occupancy with happy guests.”

He added: “I’m thrilled Paul Cookson has come aboard. I’m looking forward to continuing an extremely successful working relationship as the Oddfellows family of hotels grows.”