June 2010: Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which recently opened its Asia Pacific Regional Office in Singapore, has seen strong positive growth in the first half of 2010. Indicators of success include an increase in reservations of 16 per cent year to date compared to the same period last year, an increase in revenue of 14 per cent and the addition of over 30 hotels since September 2009 which means the brand’s portfolio now exceeds 500 properties worldwide.
The upward trend across all areas of business is reflected in positive feedback from members of The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Over 7,000 Club members have already responded to a survey which is currently underway. The research, which is being conducted by the brand and coordinated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, was designed to give a snapshot of consumer sentiment and to gain insights into travel behaviour patterns following the recent economic downturn. Initial findings* indicate that average disposable incomes will increase this year with one in three Club members who responded to the survey saying that they expect to be better off in 2010 than last year. Corporate travel looks set to pick up again this year with 23 per cent of respondents anticipating an increase in business travel and for leisure, more short breaks are planned over the next 12 months. When asked about researching hotels, over 80 per cent of Club members use the Small Luxury Hotels of the World website slh.com over any other method.
Paul Kerr, CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, said: “We have always maintained that discerning travellers will never compromise on luxury. Whilst we have seen a shift in behaviour over the past 24 months, current travel patterns indicate that consumer confidence is returning and we are seeing encouraging numbers of advance bookings. What has been interesting is that demand from hotels wanting to join the brand has never been higher throughout this period. It is during difficult economic times that the benefits of being part of a brand like Small Luxury Hotels of the World become increasingly evident. We have continued to innovate with new initiatives like mobile marketing to add value for our loyal guests and for hotels which are part of the brand.”
Small Luxury Hotels of the World now offers guests a choice of over 500 hotels in more than 70 countries worldwide but, despite this recent growth, it has maintained a strict standard of excellence. Before being accepted into the brand, each property has to demonstrate that they are the best of the best hotels in their area and then each hotel undergoes a rigorous inspection process before being personally approved by Paul Kerr and the Board of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Properties are then inspected by mystery guests at least once every two years to ensure standards are consistently maintained.
Since it was established in 1991, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has gone from strength to strength with the number of rooms across the brand increasing from under 5,000 in the first year to over 25,000 today. One of the brand’s attributes is the diversity of properties in its portfolio. Nearly 40 per cent its properties are city centre sanctuaries, just over 33 per cent are resorts and 30 per cent are country houses. The average number of rooms at each property has decreased from 65 in 1991 to 50 in 2010 which is testament to the fact that, despite the steady growth and extended global reach, the brand is focused on its original proposition of offering unique, intimate hotels and highly personalised service.
The luxury hotel brand has added over 30 properties in the first half of the year including hotels in new destinations such as Megève, Monte Carlo, Split, Rioja, Pamplona, Acapulco, Belize and the Netherland Antilles. The brand has expanded its portfolio in the Asia Pacific region where its portfolio now stands at 112. New additions to the brand include two hotels in India, three island resorts in Malaysia, a harbourfront hotel in Japan, three new city centre hotels in Bangkok and two properties in China. Recent additions in the Americas boost the brand’s regional portfolio there to approximately 90 properties and the brand includes over 300 hotels across Europe. The brand’s presence in Central and South America has doubled over the past year.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties offer a diverse range of experiences – from the cultural to the adventurous to the indulgent – and the latest additions to the brand are no exception. Formula One enthusiasts can now enjoy views of the Grand Prix track in Monaco from Port Palace, Film Festival junkies can escape from the action at Le Grand Hotel Cannes on the Croisette and thrill seekers can join the ‘running of the bulls’ festival in Pamplona every July.
As well as offering greater choice and diversity than ever before, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has continued to roll out initiatives to add value for loyal guests. Global marketing programmes including Ski, Beach Escapes, Country Retreats, Golf, Spa and Honeymoon have generated over $8million in revenue for hotels in the brand over the past 12 months. The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World was recently re-launched to offer members added benefits including a complimentary room upgrade at check-in subject to availability, continental breakfast and late check-out.
To support key source markets around the world Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s website is now available in Japanese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Russian. Multi-lingual reservations agents are also on hand to help with bookings and enquiries via the brand’s toll free reservation numbers. For a full list of toll free numbers go to slh.com.
The brand continues to maintain its position as a leader in technological innovation in the hotel industry. As well as its award-winning website, Small Luxury Hotels of the World launched its first iPhone app in February 2010. The app is free to download from iTunes. Nearly 21,000 travellers around the world have downloaded the app since its launch four months ago. Travellers can ‘Discover, Share and Enjoy’ all of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties using the app. The brand has a strong presence on social media networks with nearly 10,000 fans on Facebook and over 1,500 followers on Twitter.
Key appointments in 2010 to date include Mark Wong as Area Director and Brandon Chan as Director of Sales for the Asia Pacific region, Carsten Lima, Director of Sales EMEA, Carmen Munguia, Partnership Marketing Manager EMEA, Helen Argent, Marketing Communications Manager, Carla Severn, Cluster Marketing Manager, Kurt Allen, Head of Online and Ande Lund, Partnership Marketing Manager for the Americas.
Reservations at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling one of the toll free numbers which can be found at the SLH website or via the new iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.
*(Results as per 8 June 2010)
About Small Luxury Hotels of the World
The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 500 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property by calling one of the toll free numbers which can be found online at slh.com, the new iPhone app available as a free download from the Apple Apps store or via slh.com. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.
Ph: +65 6632 7288