New Pilot Hotels brand launches in U.S., France

Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé, Loire Valley, France. Photo credit: Pilot Hotels(Image: Pilot Hotels)

American private investor Marcy Holthus has launched luxury hotel brand Pilot Hotels. 

The new brand will debut in Park City, Utah at the 12-room Washington School House Hotel and France's Loire Valley at Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé, which is opening soon. 

The company describes the new Pilot Hotels brand as design-driven and intuitive. 

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“The hotels themselves are works of art. The design team starts with an incredible property saturated in history that transcends centuries. Awe-inspiring spaces for the modern luxury traveler are created, while preserving and restoring authenticity,” Marcy Holthus, founder and CEO of Pilot Hotels, said in a statement.

Holthus promoted Michael Gregory as the managing director of the brand. Gregory has worked with the brand since the development of the original concept for Washington School House Hotel in 2011.The Pilot Hotels' management team also includes Michael Elliott, director of real estate; Megan Witt, director of sales and marketing; Paul and Shannon Wehsener of Paul Allen Design Group as creative directors; and Benoit Dussault as project manager.
 
Holthus built the Washington School House Hotel for her and her family. She restored the school house, which was one of the three original schools in Park City. 

The limestone schoolhouse is named after President George Washington. The property survived the city's great fire in 1898 and became a hall for social events until the 1950s after the original school closed in 1929. It became the Washington School Inn bed and breakfast in1984.

American interior designer Timothy Corrigan acquired the Château du Grand-Lucé in 2003 from the French government, and renovated it to be used as his private residence before he sold it in 2017 to be converted into a Pilot hotel. 

The property also served as French government tourism offices, a shelter for paintings from the Louvre during World War II, a hospital for wounded British officers during World War I and the summer palace of Baron Pineau de Viennay III–a confidant of King Louis X. Architect Mathieu de Bayeux designed the palace in 1760.