Industry Update
Press Release 5 May 2014

Benchmark Hospitality Bids Farewell to Retiring James Simkins, COO, Personal Luxury

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Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels

Benchmark Hospitality International®, a leading U.S.-based hospitality management company, has announced the retirement of James Simkins, Chief Operating Officer, Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® collection. Mr. Simkins made the announcement himself.


“Following 42 years in the world that we refer to as hospitality, my active participation

has come to an end,” said Mr. Simkins. “I welcome the opportunity to move on to attend to many areas of interest which have been in the background for a long time. This move has been motivated some years earlier than I had intended due to recent health challenges I’ve encountered.”

Commenting on the retirement of his friend and colleague, Burt Cabañas, Benchmark’s

Founder & Chairman, stated, “James Simkins is a consummate hotelier of the world. He came up through the ranks like so many of us, was mentored by hotel executives who became legends in the industry, and left an indelible mark on the concepts in today’s hotels, and more importantly, how service is anticipated and delivered to guests. He had a transformative effect on Benchmark Hospitality’s new Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels brand and on our company at multiple levels. I’m grateful for his remarkable commitment to the industry, and his leadership, which I value as a friend.”

A Career Epilogue

Mr. Simkins recently reflected on his decision to retire and on his career trajectory filled

with opportunities, professional milestones, and on the joy of the people he met along the way. “As I reflect on this difficult decision to retire, I realize just how fortunate I have been in my career. This sense is very definitely underpinned by the quality and diversity of the hotels for which I have expended my best efforts over the years. Without exception these hotels have been at the top of their game in terms of quality, complexity, innovation, challenge, destinations … how lucky I’ve been!”

James Simkins has appreciated the opportunity over the years to manage in the style

he loves. The most significant element of his career, though, has been the people he’s encountered along the way. “I was really fortunate to spend the early formative years of my career learning from many of the finest hoteliers from around the world, and learn I did! As time progressed I found myself surrounded by fellow professionals and other very special people who shared and contributed to what I had to offer and have in turn done well, developing global careers and lives, many of great note.”

Sharing the center stage of his life is his family, which, according to Simkins, was

instrumental in enabling his professional life of travel, adventure and opportunity. “I was lucky enough to have a family that grasped the opportunities of living in multiple countries on multiple continents and who used this global platform to demonstrate and actualize their own unique and special talents. This was essential to our common sense of personal and professional well-being and happiness.”
Related Brand

Personal Luxury

Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels® includes unique hand-picked properties in spectacular U.S. destinations coast to coast. Each hotel and resort delivers personal luxury in a spirit true to its own distinctive locale, yet in keeping with the collection’s shared mission.
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