A record number of 44 hotels have joined the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand for…
A record number of 44 hotels have joined the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand for 2004, bringing the total member hotels to over 300 for the first time in the membership`s 12 year history. SLH currently offers 17,000 rooms across 50 countries, including over 2000 suites, with the average expenditure per room per night reaching roughly $300 pr/nt worldwide.
In total, Small Luxury Hotels of the World now offers a choice of hotels in 27 capital cities, on 38 islands, in over 90 castles and chateaux, and around 30 big game lodges and eco-habitats. Over 100 have dedicated spas or health centres, and more than 40 feature their own golf course or are adjacent to one.
SLH member hotel expansion coincides with a predicted 5% growth in central reservations this year, expected to reach $55 million worldwide; a figure that is now within 10% of the peak year for bookings prior to 9/11.
Besides the addition of 44 hotels, the number of hotels that were not accepted speaks more to SLH`s standards for and dedication to luxury travel. 2004 marks a year with the highest number of properties that were not accepted into SLH membership, totalling around 150. In some cases hotels were rejected because although appearing pretty and upscale, they were found to represent `fake luxury`, with imitative decor or under-trained staff. Others lacked the necessary all-round quality of experience, and several could not demonstrate the intended provision of investment necessary to maintain high standards. SLH Global Spokesman Brian Mills, commented, No matter how superficially beautiful a property is, if the staff quality and ratio aren`t high and the owner`s attitude toward the property is short-term, it won`t meet our criteria or be accepted.
A five-star golf resort in the Canary Islands, two Tuscany hideaway hotels, one a 10th century fortress, the other a 15th century palace, and a health resort in Singapore with a 6000sq.m. tropical garden spa are among the 44 hotels and resorts which have newly joined the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand for 2004.
The repertoire is further expanded with properties such as a lake resort in India that features 22 `heritage cottages` transplanted from their original village settings and a baroque 19th century `castle` overlooking the Hudson River in New York. Diversifying the collection even more are safari lodges in Botswana and South Africa; country houses in Andalucia, the Dordogne and Hungary; as well as a wilderness retreat in New Zealand set within its own 2500-acre estate. Waterfront hotels, ski resorts, hotels in major cities like Paris, Perth, Taipei and Warsaw, along with sought-after European holiday destinations such as St. Tropez, Heidelberg and Florence have also been added.
SLH`s Global Spokesman, Brian Mills, commented: There is a new definition of luxury today that takes professional service, fine food, and indulgent comfort for granted. The additional focus for the world`s richest people is on finding privacy, originality and exclusivity. We aim to satisfy those needs and wishes with the addition of the best of the best in different sectors.
Mr. Mills further comments: The wealthiest 5% want to reserve private beaches and swimming pools, the top suites and have their own chefs to prepare personalized menus. Their chosen hotels and resorts have to be innovative in design, concept and facilities, and the whole experience should be summed up as scarce and rare.
New members for 2004:
Elk Mountain Resort, Colorado
Hotel Commonwealth, Boston, Massachusetts
Marquis Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
The Castle on the Hudson, Tarrytown, New York WaterColor Inn Resort, Seagrove Beach, Florida
Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala, India
Les Suites Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Mollies, Auckland, New Zealand
Moonlight Head Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Pimalai Resort & Spa, Krabi, Thailand
Saman Villas, Bentota, Sri Lanka
The Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore
Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua, New Zealand
EUROPE AND AFRICA
1909 Sigtuna Stads Hotell, Sigtuna, Sweden
Belvedere Hotel, Mykonos, Greece
Borgo Di Colleoli, Western Tuscany, Italy
Castello di Velona, Siena, Italy
Chromata Hotel, Santorini, Greece
Die Hirschgasse Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Eagles Palace, Halkidiki, Greece
Ekland Safaris, Trichardt, South Africa
Elba Estepona & Spa, Estepona, Malaga
Elba Palace Golf Hotel, Fuerteventura, Spain
Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites, Crete, Greece
Grof Degenfeld Castle Hotel, Tarcal, Hungary
Hotel – Restaurant De Beukenhof, Oegstgeest, Netherlands
Hotel Cortijo Soto Real, Seville, Spain
Hotel des Neiges, Courchevel, France
Hotel Vernet, Paris, France
Hotel Villa Jerez, Jerez, Spain
Hotel Villa Michelangelo, Arcugnano (Vicenza), Italy
JK Place, Florence, Italy
Karlaby Kro, Simrishamn, Sweden
Khwai River Lodge, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
La Tartane, St Tropez, France
Le Manoir de Bellerive, Le Buisson de Cadouin, France
Le Regina, Warsaw, Poland
Liassidi Palace, Venice, Italy
Mar Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
Notos Therme & Spa, Santorini, Greece
Park Hotel Mignon, Merano, Italy
Posta Zirm Hotel, Bolzano, Italy
Santorini Kastelli Resort, Santorini, Greece
Thalassa, Paphos, Cyprus
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.