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Smart Hospitality Solutions

Smart Hospitality Solutions (SHS) is a specialist in hotel and resort management company poised to be an industry innovator and game changer in hospitality management. The founders of SHS are industry veterans who have successfully opened and operated over 200 hotels across the world with internationally recognized brands.

The SHS portfolio encompasses three distinct brands: Blazon Hotels, Contempera Hotels, and a wellness brand Softouch Hotels. Today, as the industry’s youngest yet most dynamic hotel management company, SHS operates four distinct hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa with another 9 hotels in the immediate pipeline.

Softouch Spa

The three Rs – Relaxation, Refreshment and Renewal – lie at the heart of the Softouch Spa philosophy. From its early beginnings in Kerala India, the traditional home of Ayurveda, Softouch Spa has drawn both inspiration and knowledge of age-old Ayurvedic remedies from the South Indian state's lush storehouse of Nature. Guests at every Softouch Spa benefit from the collective experience of a highly trained team of therapists, certified Ayurvedic practitioners, medical doctors, beauticians, researchers and academicians who together create the highly sought-after holistic Softouch Spa experience.

Global Hotel Trading (GHT)

Global Hotel Trading was founded with the specific intention of providing a comprehensive and cost effective procurement solution, primarily for the Hospitality industry. The company philosophy is to provide a bespoke service in a timely and cost effective manner whilst observing the principles of trust, integrity, respect, transparency and kindness to our clients, associates and colleagues. The company is Dubai based with offices in Europe and in the near future an office in Asia thus enabling Global Hotel Trading to source the finest products from around the world at the best prices for our clients.

Management Board
Reto Wittwer
Founder, Chairman, Smart Hospitality Solutions, Chairman of Advisory Board, World Tourism Forum Lucerne

A global hotelier with 40+ years’ experience Reto Wittwer is an undisputable and preeminent leader in luxury hospitality industry. Before founding Smart Hospitality Solutions, Reto Wittwer was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kempinski hotel group, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel management company, between 1995 and 2014. Wittwer previously held the position of President and C.E.O. of Ciga S.p.A. and prior to that, he was President and CEO of Swissair Nestlé Swissôtel Ltd. Reto Wittwer is a Swiss national and a graduate of Ecolè Hoteliere de Lausanne.

He started his hotel career at the Palace Hotel in Madrid. The following six years he worked for Inter- Continental Hotels in Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva and Tehran. In 1976 he was appointed to Director of Food & Beverage of the Mandarin Singapore International. Two years later Wittwer moved to the Peninsula Group in Hong Kong as Resident Manager. In March 1979 Wittwer joined Hyatt International in the capacity of General Manager and worked in Canada, Mexico and Indonesia. In 1982 Wittwer returned to Paris as General Manager of the Le Méridien Montparnasse. During his five years with Swissôtel he was promoted to Senior VP Operations and then appointed President & CEO. In 1992, Wittwer joined CIGA S.p.A. as President & CEO.

He is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of World Tourism Forum Lucerne a highly focused strategic body that brings together selected leaders around the world to reflect on the big challenges facing the industry. Wittwer has received many honours for his contribution to the Industry, including the “Freedom of the City of Paris” and the title “Knight of Honour of France”

Ulrich Eckhardt
Co-Founder, Vice Chairman Smart Hospitality Solutions

Ulrich Eckhardt is a seasoned hotelier with a career that has extended over 50 years in the hospitality industry. During these years, he has been a true citizen of the world - active in five continents working and establishing many premium luxury brands worldwide.

Before founding SHS, he was the President of Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean with Kempinski Hotels having joined the company in 1995 as Senior Vice President Latin America & Caribbean. He spearheaded Kempinski group's impressive expansion in the Middle East and Africa, which allowed the group's portfolio to evolve from a “one hotel” presence when it opened its first hotel in Ajman in 1998 to a regional presence that spanned India, the Middle East, and Africa. Simultaneously he orchestrated successfully Kempinski’s re-entry into the Americas, starting off in the Caribbean including Cuba, Panama and some of the Leeward Islands of that region.

A German national and a graduate of Heidelberg Hotel School, Ulrich Eckhardt speaks five languages. His hospitality career began in Germany and extended out through Europe when he joined Intercontinental Hotels during the 60’s. After nearly 10 years, in the early 70’s, he moved to join ITT Sheraton (today Starwood Hotels) in the Caribbean, South America and North America when he advanced to Senior Vice President and Director of Operations for Sheraton Hotels in Latin America. A highly successful stint ensued for over 23 years before he was actively head hunted by Kempinski group. Since his retirement from Kempinski in May 2015, he has been a Hospitality Advisor to companies like Solidere International and Meydan Group LLC.

Avsar Koc
Chief Operating Officer Smart Hospitality Solutions

Avsar Koc is a commercial and hotel operations specialist as well as a brand strategist who orchestrated to launch multiple hotel brands globally in the recent years. Prior to Smart Hospitality Solutions, Avsar Koc spearheaded Kempinski Hotels India, Middle East & Africa commercial operations with annual revenues crossing EUR 420 million. With 9 hotel openings in 5 years in diverse markets, he is an expert at launching new properties with excellent performance achievements as well as re-branding existing hotels. Before Kempinski Hotels, Avsar Koc held senior positions at Jumeirah including sales and marketing leadership of the company’s iconic hotels such as Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Avsar Koc also gained huge experience in marketing, sales, as well as revenue and distribution during his 15 years’ tenure with Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International in various parts of the world. A passionate hotelier and traveller himself, Avsar Koc is regarded highly in the industry by peers.

Hotel Development

SHS has a unique proposition that is designed to fit the needs of the customer it is looking to attract. The brands of SHS are not cookie-cutter in terms of design or experience, and they display distinct characteristics of the target market. Differentiation of SHS comes from truly understanding its guest and ability to deliver services offering a distinctive taste of hospitality. SHS would organise the portfolio under four business lines: trophy hotel properties in gateway cities; mid-market hotels in high quality assets, a pool of dynamic spa and wellness centred resorts and interest in mixed use developments with retail, commercial or residential elements.

To explore more please contact the development team.

Why Blazon?

A Hotel that delivers a promise ‘an effective 24-hour service, craftsmanship in service skills that consistently delivers excellence, satisfied customers, unique sustainable experiences, creating a brand that is rich in service and clientele, matching the well traveled higher expectations, a Brand and a Hotel that has a lasting memorable experience.

Owners & Investors

Owner Centric and Market Relevant. Build a Profitable Portfolio using Value Discipline and Market Timing.