General Manager appointed at voco Zeal Exeter Science Park

by: Felicity Cousins | June 13, 2024

UK: Barnaby Kean has been appointed as general manager overseeing the opening of the voco Zeal Exeter Science Park.

The four-star, 142-bedroom property, is under construction but slated to open in January next year.

The hotel will be operated by Valor Hospitality and will join IHG’s network as the group’s first net zero carbon hotel.

The building, which achieved the BREEAM Outstanding rating at the design stage, is on schedule at week 49 of a 75-week construction programme.

Kean joins the group from Klarent Hospitality, where he was a general manager. He has previously worked with the Zeal Hotels team and has extensive experience with IHG brands.

Barnaby Kean
Barnaby Kean GM voco Zeal Exeter Science Park and Tim Wheeldon, MD, Zeal Hotels on site at Exeter Science Park on 12th June

Kean said: “We want to be a beacon of sustainability fit for 2050 set out by the Paris agreement and to be the leading hotel in Exeter and the UK using a circular economy from start to finish in all that we do [with] particular focus on the local use of food and beverage. We aim to be the leaders in sustainable hospitality and we want to be the first sustainable generation.”

Tim Wheeldon, managing director, Zeal Hotels, said: “We are delighted to welcome Barnaby back into ‘Team Zeal’. He demonstrated his enthusiasm for sustainable operation as well as hands-on management and team building in 2019, when we opened our first hotel, the Holiday Inn Express in Bridgwater.

Wheeldon said the new hotel “outshines the 2050 net zero energy target set,” as it’s being constructed using 50 per cent less carbon and will be 100 per cent electric and the design means it consumes a third of the energy used by similar hotels and the solar panels create more energy than it will use, every year.

Brian McCarthy, president, Valor Hospitality UK & Europe, added: “Barnaby was the perfect fit for leading the opening of this innovative new hotel. He understands our ambitions and aligns with our values, not just in regard to creating a truly sustainable operation at voco Zeal Exeter Science Park, but also in wanting to put people at the heart of everything we do.”

Image supplied