Peter de Savary, universally known as PdeS passed away unexpectedly on Sunday the 30th of October, following a remarkable career that spanned six decades and four continents.
PdeS first rose to prominence in the 1980’s as both a keen yachtsman leading the British challenge for the America’s Cup in 1983 and as a visionary entrepreneur who at one point owned both the most southern and northern points of the UK; Land’s End & John O’Groats.
A cigar-smoking aficionado, he was a true buccaneering entrepreneur who succeeded in an eclectic range of businesses and industries.
Having started out with nothing when he left school at 16, his entrepreneurial spirit, creative vision and the wonderful friendships he made throughout his career helped the many successes he had. He forged partnerships based on friendship across the world, working with local partners from the offset of his career, starting in the 1960s when he established an import/export business in Nigeria, then in the Middle East in the 1970s where he collaborated on projects ranging from oil contracts with the national oil company, to the creation of a royal camel milking parlour for the King of Saudi Arabia.
His ensuing business interests were equally diverse, from his development of the worldwide St James’ Clubs and The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, to shipyards and the regeneration of industrial wasteland in both the US & UK. His vision brought to life over 60 hotels, resorts and hospitality projects, including 7 championship golf courses and 3 world-class marinas.
He will also be remembered as a passionate philanthropist, particularly focused on initiatives that supported animals and disadvantaged children. He was especially committed to his work as a Patron and board member of the British Teenage Cancer Trust.
In recent years, he spent his time developing a portfolio of award-winning boutique hotels with his wife Lana, who will continue to remain as Chairman, providing continuity of leadership and direction along with the existing management team.
Their ethos has been to create unique hotels that provide a warm and friendly experience with great service and delicious food. With his typically quirky flair, he pioneered the reinvention of quintessentially British spaces into luxury places to stay, enabling his memory to live on in features such as his beach huts at The Cary Arms, potting shed rooms at the Eastbury Hotel and shepherds huts at The Dittisham Hideaway.
He was a man of tremendous vision with boundless energy, enthusiasm and attention to detail and he inspired tremendous loyalty from all those who worked with him. He was at his happiest smoking a large Cuban cigar, on a vintage sailboat with his trusty chihuahua by his side, and despite all his many achievements and successes, he always maintained the most important thing in life was family.
He leaves behind his wife Lana and daughters Lisa, Nicola, Tara, Amber and Savannah.
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