The growth of “soft brands” in hotel industry that bring together collections of hotels with differing design standards appears to be responding to the feedback from travellers who are looking for authentic rather than a “cookie-cutter” experience. Brands such as The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), provide the flexibility for hotels with unique selling points and representation to a wider market with properties selected for qualities unique to a destination as well as service and facilities.
The comeback of a landmark in New York of the Knickerbocker (which will be part of The Leading Hotels of the World) will have 330 rooms and 40 suites. While luxury inventory during the past 20 years in New York has expanded beyond Midtown, Central Park and the Upper East Side, The Knickerbocker is still in a relatively area close to the World Times Square hub. The Knickerbocker returns to the southeast corner of 42nd Street overlooking Times Square, between Broadway and Bryant Park, revealing an elegant, luxury lifestyle hotel.
With an emphasis on luxury and unique locations, The Leading Hotels of the World are seeing a return of demands for incentives. Properties that offer a combination of meeting facilities and access to incentive opportunities for delegates will be the winners in a time of rising room rates and event planners looking for added value.
During an interview with Mr Andy Potsides, Director of Travel Trade Sales for The Leading Hotels of The World (LHW) told MICExchange, “[when talking about] our meetings and incentives business, we have noticed in 2014 compared to 2013 a big increase already, so the MICE market is very much back on the agenda. “. “ … people are wanting to meet – to conduct business but they are not wanting just a corporate setup.” This change in demand favours brands such as LHW with its diversified collection.
While such collections are nothing new for the hotel industry, there is increasing adoption by the multi-brand hotel companies in recent years and even Hilton Worldwide, plans to launch this summer a brand to aggregate four-plus-star urban hotels and iconic resort hotels.
The LHW brand is welcoming six new hotels into its prestigeous portfolio; The Sport Hotel Hermitage & Spa within the exclusive ski area of Soldeu, Andorra – The Conservatorium Hotel in the heart of Amsterdam’s museum district – The Golden Savoy on the spectacular Bodrum coast with the Aegean Sea – The Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa located inside Argentina’s Reserva Natural Cerro Alarken – The Casa San Agustin which is a luxury boutique hotel ideally located inside Cartagena’s colonial walled city designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and the The Hermitage in the heart if the Jakarta’s most prestigious district of Menteng.