The Interview

How Gareth Banner built The Ned

Five years ago, The Ned threw open the doors to its first outpost in the heart of the City of London – a former bank originally designed by legendary architect Sir Edwin 'Ned' Lutyens in 1924, reimagined as a next-generation member's club featuring 10 restaurants, 17 bars and 250 bedrooms, not to mention a rooftop pool and a late-night lounge in the original vault. Today, the brand is not only famous in the British capital, but is also world-renowned thanks to recent international openings in New York and Doha. As The Ned's driving force from the start, Group Managing Director Gareth Banner has overseen this period of exceptional brand-building and expansion. Here, he speaks to us about what he's learned about hospitality and his brand over the past five years, and how he keeps his high net worth customers across the globe coming back for more...
18th Oct 2022
The Interview How Gareth Banner built The Ned

You’ve been at the helm of The Ned since it opened five years ago. What has been your highlight during that time?

Gareth Banner: It’s been a real journey and there have been many proud moments. My highlight this year has been the expansion of The Ned overseas with the opening of The Ned NoMad in New York [pictured below]. It’s really exciting to see guests enjoying The Ned experience on an international level.

What’s something that you’ve learned about hospitality since working at The Ned?

The importance of innovation and trying new things to remain relevant. Hotels are no longer just about offering a bed for the night and at The Ned we are constantly evolving to give our guests the most memorable experiences.

 

What is the core brand character of The Ned?

The Ned has an offering like no other property in Europe, but perhaps the most unique feature of The Ned is the fusion of hospitality and entertainment. The Nickel Stage, which sits in the centre of the ground floor of The Ned in London [pictured below], has a daily programme of music from 3pm until midnight and sees 120 acts perform every month. Performers range from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Beverly Knight and Rudimental, to upcoming bands like Masego and Paradisa.

You are now opening outposts across the world, including a beachside property in Doha – a very different vibe to a building in the heart of the City of London. What are the key characteristics of The Ned’s properties that make it feel like one unified brand?

Everything we do is driven by our guests and members and whilst we have adapted to a different region, there are common threads which are very recognisable. We have a strong design aesthetic which we will bring to new regions as well as our own restaurants concepts and touches that we are well known for.

 
 

What has been a challenge of establishing The Ned and how did you tackle it?

We had to develop The Ned as a multi-faceted business - bedrooms, food & beverage, membership, private events, and wellbeing - yet, at the same time, still make it feel like a cohesive guest and member experience. One of the things that distinguishes The Ned is the sheer scale of the operation and the number of moving parts. I’m lucky to have a brilliant team around me who each bring their own areas of expertise to every aspect of what we do.

The success of a member’s club relies on the attentiveness of its staff and exceptional customer service. How do you ensure this?

My team are at the heart of everything we do at The Ned. We have extensive monthly training programmes to ensure staff are always developing their knowledge and skills which helps keep them motivated. There is a great sense of pride amongst the employees too which I do not take for granted as I know this comes through in both the physical product and service we deliver.

What has surprised you about the past five years at The Ned?

We celebrated The Ned London’s fifth birthday in May this year and looking back it’s been quite an incredible period. From the highs of the launch party to the lows of lockdown, it has been a test of endurance and resilience. The loyalty that people have shown us has been remarkable and has given us the confidence to take the brand overseas.

The Ned is a long-time member of Walpole. What is the definition of luxury, for you?  

Luxury for me is about making people feel enriched through memorable experiences.

To find out more about The Ned, visit its Walpole Member Profile or thened.com

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