Founder of QHotels Michael Purtill dies aged 69

Michael Purtill, the founder and former managing director of QHotels, has died.

He passed away on Monday 15 June, aged 69, and according to the hotel group was a “well-known and highly respected” figure in the hospitality sector – with over 30 years’ experience in the hotel industry.

QHotels said that through his “inspirational and visionary leadership” he founded and built the brand to a portfolio of 26 full service hotels and resorts, employing over 5,000 employees by the time of his exit in 2017.

The group said he will be “sadly missed by all those whose lives he touched from his immediate family and the wider QHotels family”.

Purtill, originally a qualified chartered accountant, entered the high-end residential property world acting on major acquisition and development opportunities.

However, when the portfolio of British Transport Hotels came to market in 1982, Purtill secured eight of these hotels on behalf of a private client. He subsequently successfully built and exited the Principal Hotel Group 1984-1994 and Paramount Hotel Group 1994-2004.

A statement by the group read: “As a leader in the industry he will be remembered for building exceptionally engaged, committed and high performing teams, with an enviable reputation for delivering on service and commercial performance.

“Michael’s genuine passion for the industry, his belief in building trust, open lines of communication and encouraging his teams to embrace a continual drive for improvement has helped and motivated many to build their own successful hospitality careers. This will be his legacy.”

His wife, Trudi Purtill, said: “It has been heart-warming to receive so many tributes to Michael and his sterling qualities from our former colleagues, we are very touched, moved and grateful and plan to include them in the private service being held for him. A memorial service in the future will be held once circumstances allow.”

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