Michael Grange, 61, managed the Macdonald Randolph for the last 12 years and was one of the best-known business figures in Oxford.
Donald Macdonald, founder and executive chairman of Macdonald Hotels Group, paid tribute to Grange, who had previously managed the company’s Bath Spa Hotel for eight years during 39 years’ service with the company.
Macdonald said: “This is truly devastating news. Michael was a universally popular and greatly admired hotelier and his many friends and colleagues will be in shock.
“He was the complete professional, with a unique combination of warmth, attention to detail and charm. He guided the careers of many, many hospitality professionals over the decades and leaves behind him a lasting legacy in the industry in Britain.”
He added: “The five-star status of the Randolph was something of which he was enormously proud and over the past eight years he had built up a tremendously professional and attentive team, setting standards not just for Oxford, but for the UK as a whole.
“He played an instrumental and inspirational role in ensuring the hotel quickly returned to normality after the major fire at the Randolph in 2015. He loved the city and will be terribly missed by everyone who knew him – colleagues and guests alike.”