The boss of luxury operator Elegant Resorts is to step down from after more than two decades with the company.

Michelle Sephton is leaving the business to take “some time out and re-think her future career aspirations”.

She will remain in the business until the end of September and continue to advise Elegant Resorts until February.

Redmond Walsh, UK and Europe vice president of Elegant Resorts’ parent Portman Travel Group will assume day-to-day control while he completes the search for a permanent replacement.

Walsh is a previous chief operating officer at Stella Travel Group managing director of Abercrombie & Kent. Senior management at Elegant Resorts will report in to him until he appoints a permanent successor to Sephton.

Sephton has led Elegant Resorts since 2009, after originally joining as a part-time finance assistant in 1992.

During that time, the business has grown to employ 120 staff at its Chester base.

Portman Travel Group, formerly Mawasem Travel and Tourism, acquired Elegant Resorts in 2014, Clarity Travel Management in 2014 and Portman Travel in 2016.

Walsh said: “These are exciting times ahead for Elegant Resorts. We are looking at potential acquisitions in the luxury sector and are investing in our technology to improve our consumer booking channels.”

He added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Michelle, she’s one of the best. She’s been at the forefront of developing client and supplier relationships, promoting the Elegant Resorts brand and leading her team with a wonderful, collaborative style.

“Michelle has made a significant contribution to the business over two decades and she will be missed by everyone. We wish her well.”

Sephton said: “I’ve worked in every department of this business and am immensely proud of its success over the past two decades, but it’s simply time for me to try something new.

“The passion, attention to detail and expertise of the staff at Elegant Resorts will ensure that the company continues to grow. Even though I’m leaving the company, I’ll never stop travelling – it’s given me the best experiences of my life.”