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Small Luxury Hotels of the World adds 59 new members for 2006

2006 represents a year of significant growth and several firsts for…

2006 represents a year of significant growth and several firsts for Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) as the luxury brand adds 59 new member hotels to its growing portfolio; representing the largest expansion since the brand was first established in 1991. The total collection now stands at 359 hotels in 59 countries, and for the first time includes a presence in South Korea, Laos, St Lucia, Russia and Estonia.

With the latest additions to the portfolio, SLH now offers over rooms and suites in nearly 30 capital cities and on 40 islands. The collection also includes more than 90 castles and country houses, as well as around 30 game lodges and properties devoted to responsible tourism practices. Over 100 SLH hotels have dedicated spas or health centres and more than 40 feature their own golf course or are adjacent to one.

Despite the growth in hotel membership, the average number of rooms at an SLH property remains consistent at 55 rooms, thus allowing the individual hotels to deliver the expected level of privacy and personalised service that is synonymous with the brand.

It is not just about adding more hotels to our portfolio, commented Paul Kerr, Joint Managing Director of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. We have made a concerted effort to seek out the very best and most exclusive properties in emerging and exciting luxury destinations in order to meet the needs of our demanding clientele.

As the luxury traveller becomes more discerning they want to experience new and unexplored destinations. SLH has continued to capitalise on this trend with a visible growth, in particular, in its membership in the Asia Pacific region. Most notable are the brand`s first two properties in the Chungnam Province of South Korea, and a newly built retreat in Laos.

A foundation for this expansion in the Asia Pacific region has been the growth of hotels in Thailand where SLH has increased its total presence to 17 resorts and spas with the addition of five new members, including D2hotel, the group`s first property in the ancient city of Chiang Mai. Thailand now has the largest concentration of hotels in the Asia Pacific region for the luxury brand.

The brand`s presence in China has also grown with the addition of two new properties in 2006 – the Banyan Tree located in the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site of Lijiang, in southwest China and the Fuchun Resort located just outside Shanghai. Also of interest are the two new beach front properties in Sri Lanka; The Fortress and The Beach Negombo.

In addition to SLH`s expansion in the Asia Pacific region, 2006 brings exciting new developments in Europe with 11 new member hotels in Italy, including SLH`s first entry into Milan with Townhouse 12, an retreat featuring Italy`s first Glacial Ice Bar. Other firsts in Europe are Padaste Manor on Muhu Island in Estonia and Savoy Moscow in Russia. Germany also continues to play an important role in SLH`s growth, with 2006 seeing the first of the group`s member hotels in the city of Berlin.

Beach resorts and charming inns seem to be the trend in The Americas with the addition of new properties such as Discovery at Marigot Bay in St. Lucia, Gaia Hotel & Reserve in Costa Rica and Sivory Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Other hotels in The Americas are, the Inn at the Five Graces in Sante Fe, Goodstone Inn & Estate in Virginia and the Castle Hill Resort & Spa in Vermont.

Through a team of dedicated New Business Development specialists and mystery inspectors, Small Luxury Hotels of the World continues to find properties in desired locations that deliver experiences to a very discerning clientele.

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