General Manager appointed at voco Zeal Exeter Science Park

June 13, 2024


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

The four-star, 142-bedroom property, which is currently under construction, is due to open in January 2025.

voco Zeal Exeter Science Park will be located adjacent to J29 of the M5 Motorway and less than a mile away from Exeter airport. The hotel will be operated by Valor Hospitality and will join IHG’s network as the group’s first ever net zero carbon hotel.

The building, which achieved the BREEAM Outstanding rating at the design stage, is currently on schedule in 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, including at the Holiday Inn Guildford, where the hotel was awarded hotel of the year in 2015.

Kean said: “I am excited to start working at this groundbreaking property and being part of the process of creating a more sustainable hotel sector.

“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 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.
“The voco Zeal Hotel Exeter Science Park is being constructed using 50% less carbon, will be 100% electric and outshines the 2050 net zero energy target set. The design ensures it will consume 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, said: “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. Now that we have Barnaby to lead the team, we will be continuing to recruit for roles right across the hotel as we ramp up preparation for the launch.”

Barnaby Kean, General Manager, voco Zeal Exeter Science Park