Boston hotel owner, operator Jeffrey Saunders dies

Brown joins AccorHotels from Resense Spas where he most recently held the position of global design director.
Jeffrey Saunders was involved in several hotel deals and hospitality real estate funds, including the Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences, slated to open in 2022. Photo credit: Accor
Jeffrey Saunders. Photo credit: Saunders Hotel Group

Jeffrey Glenn Saunders, president, CEO and co-owner of his family’s hotel company Saunders Hotel Group for several decades, has died. He was 62.

Saunders began working at the family business—previously led by his grandfather Irving and his father Roger—40 years ago, holding positions as GM and managing director at the Boston Park Plaza hotel, the Copley Square Hotel and The Lenox Hotel. As president/CEO, he helped lead several major Boston projects, including the redevelopment of what is now the Loews Boston, the ground-up development of the Comfort Inn & Suites Logan Airport and the Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences project, which is scheduled to open in 2022.

Saunders participated in several hospitality, civic and philanthropic organizations over his life. He was a supporter and board member of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and The Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit and had previously served as president of the Massachusetts Lodging Association and the New England Chapter of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen. Additionally, he had served as a delegate at the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, sat on the Board of Advisors of the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and was the founder and past chair of the New England Hotel Lodging Roundtable.

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Saunders is survived by his wife of 39 years, Debra, and his children, Stephanie and Alexander.

A service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 31 at  Temple Israel in Boston. Burial and shiva will be private.

In lieu of flowers, Saunders’ family said remembrances in his memory may be made to the Adult Brain Tumor Research Fund, c/o Dr. Patrick Wen, Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.

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