Launching in May 2018, Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment is the first luxury hotel to open in the Albert Embankment area.

This exciting new hotel positions itself at the forefront of a new way of doing business – with design-led, culturally-relevant and technology-enabled solutions at the heart of its philosophy.
Along with investment in the hotel itself, the owner has also made a commitment to bringing on board the best and brightest of the hospitality industry. The stellar team, headed up by Fabio Gallo, formerly launch General Manager at ME London, is dedicated to warm and attentive service, with a stylish and contemporary home away from home experience, whether for business or leisure.

The high-calibre of staff, each with a strong and varied background in the industry, have been brought in to make this exciting new hotel a success. The new hotel’s staff is comprised of the below key team members.


Fabio Gallo, General Manager

He established himself in the commercial area at companies including Forte & Le Meridien, The Grosvenor House, and The London Hilton on Park Lane. From there he conducted, as GM, the opening of The Baglioni London. He then continued to The Cadogan, where in five years he tripled profitability, increased staff retention and significantly improved service levels. In 2011 The Cadogan was awarded Best UK Boutique Hotel at the International Luxury Hotels Awards, under Fabio’s general management in true testament to his skills.

Gallo left The Cadogan to launch ME London. Under his watch, the property won a number of industry awards including “Best New Opening of the Year 2013”, “Best Hotel Suite of the Year” and “Overall Winner of Best Hotel of The Year 2013” at the European Hospitality Awards. During his time at ME London the property was delivering the best service within the ME brand. Fabio then joined IHG where he worked as General Manager at the Crowne Plaza London – The City and from there he joined the Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment.

Ivan Drinkwater, Director of Finance

Previously at Splendid Hospitality Group, where Ivan was working as Cluster Director of Finance for the Conrad Hilton St James’ and the Hilton Bankside, Ivan joined the CPL-AE team in late 2017. During most of his career Ivan worked with the Four Seasons Group occupying various positions within the area of Finance both in London and Hampshire.

David Gale, HR Director

David Gale, has joined from the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. David started out as a Training Manager for Forte Hotels and he grew within that company, occupying very senior positions before joining IHG in 2001. Since then, he has occupied senior roles on property and at a regional level. David brings incredible experience with training and recruitment to the CPL-AE team.

Commercial Team

Kirsten Cameron, Director of Revenue & Reservations

Kirsten joined the CPL-AE team on 22nd January from The Trafalgar St James where she had been working as Director of Revenue. Kirsten has a wealth of experience having worked for the Radisson Edwardian Hotel Group and the Thistle Hotel Group. For six years, she was at the Crowne Plaza Docklands, prior to joining The Trafalgar St James in May 2016. During her career, Kirsten was nominated for a number of awards and was shortlisted as ‘Revenue Manager of the Year’ at the 2015 Hotel Cateys as well as being nominated for a ‘Special Achievement’ award at the RBH awards in 2014. Crowne Plaza Docklands Manager of the year 2013. Short listed as Revenue Driving Employee at the BDL awards 2011. Nominated for an IHG Star Revenue Award 2011.

Ben Wilmot-Smith, Director of Sales

Ben has a BSc Hons Degree from Oxford Brookes University in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Ben’s career began with Hilton working in central London and then moving onto the pre-opening sales team of London Syon Park A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Followed by joining major hotel groups IHG and then onto Marriott where he worked within the National sales team. Prior to joining, he was Director of Sales at the Holiday Inn London Heathrow M4 Jct4.

Marco Orru’, Assistant Director of Sales

Joining CPL-AE team from Small Luxury Hotels of the World, where he was working as Director of Corporate Global Sales EMEA. Marco has Master’s degree in Philology – Foreign languages and literatures (Italian, French, English, Spanish), specialised in Italy in Tourism Marketing and finance studies and awarded an associate degree in Hotel management (London – International Master). Marco worked for Eurostars Hotels, for the Strand Palace Hotel and at the ME London, with a considerable experience as Account Director UK&I and US Markets prior to joining Small Luxury Hotels of The World for the leading role in the EMEA corporate market.

Guest Services

Fabrizio Russo, Director of Food & Beverage

Fabrizio joined CPL-AE from The Milestone Hotel, where he spent the last five years as Director of Food & Beverage. Fabrizio began his career as a chef in Calabria and then moved on to the sector. During his career he has worked with Radisson Edwardian Hotels, occupying various positions within the areas of F&B for over seven years. Prior to that, he was the Director and Owner of his own restaurant, Lock, for five years before selling the restaurant and joining the Mercer Street Hotel as F&B Manager, before moving to The Milestone Hotel, where he established himself at the top end of the service delivery market.

Hannah Stettler, Front of House Manager

Hannah has joined Crowne Plaza London – Albert Embankment (CPL-AE) from the Trafalgar St James where she was the Front of House Manager. Hannah began her career in hospitality at the Trafalgar Hilton as Front Office Supervisor, and later joined the InterContinental Westminster prior to their opening. She played a key role in the rebranding of the property into Conrad London St James and was promoted several times before moving to Trafalgar St. James, and now taking on this new position at CPL-AE.

Maike Landsberg, Executive Housekeeper

Maike joined the CPL-AE team in January and holds a degree in Hotel Management from the Management School of Southern Wine Street in Ludwigshafen – Germany. She began her career at the InterContinental Cologne in Germany and also worked at the Grand Hotel Schloss Bensberg, before moving to London to join the InterContinental Park Lane. She later joined the Park Plaza County Hall team, where she worked as Deputy Executive Housekeeper. Prior to joining CPL-AE from the Union Jack Club London, Maike held the role of Executive Housekeeper at the Jumeirah Lowndes and as Executive Housekeeper also worked at the opening of The Ampersand Hotel.

Dillon Lingard, Chief Engineer

Dillon joined CPL-AE in January from the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes, where he was driving a full refurbishment of the Baker Street property. He developed professionally through the rankings of the Park Plaza Hotel Group where he held a number of positions within different areas of maintenance. He also was a key player in the opening of the Park Plaza County Hall as Assistant Chief Engineer before being promoted to Chief Engineer at the Park Plaza Victoria.

Fabio Gallo, General Manager of the new hotel said of the launch: “We are thrilled to be leading the way as part of Crowne Plaza’s pioneering new concept, offering a premium and innovative service for the modern business traveller.”

He continues, “Essential to delivering this personalised experience are the people, behind it. We have carefully curated a team of talented individuals, all experts from across the service and hospitality industry, whose passion and dedication for service delivery, is key to driving our success.”