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Hotels’ Ability to Offer ‘Experiences’ Remains a Core Part of
Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s Selection Process
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Brand Expands to More than 440 Hotels in Over 70 Countries
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February 7, 2008 - With product alone no longer sufficient to attract discerning travellers, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has continued in its quest to identify hotels that have the ability to offer guests a truly unique and memorable experience.  From a majestic Indian palace, which is home to the world’s first gold spa, a sun-drenched private island in the Seychelles with just 16 intimate villas, to the only hotel in Turkey designed around the principles of Feng Shui, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has once again sought out the very finest and most unique of experiences. 
 
The luxury brand of independent hotels has added 74 properties to its already impressive portfolio, with first-time additions in Bulgaria, Dutch Caribbean, Grenada, Guatemala, Mongolia, Mozambique, Chicago, Shanghai, Geneva and Istanbul. From heritage hotels, to destination spas, eco resorts, coffee plantations, chic safari lodges and dynamic city centre hotels, the choice is more diverse than ever.
 
“The challenge that every luxury hotel brand faces in today’s increasingly competitive climate is how to inject that element of surprise and deliver beyond travellers’ expectations; whether it be a stunning and unexpected location, exceptional service or the vast array of experiences that guests encounter,” commented Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. “I believe that with the sheer diversity of hotels it adds to its portfolio every year, Small Luxury Hotels of the World more than meets this challenge,” he added.
 
EMEA Remains Strongest Region of Development 

In 2008, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has continued to penetrate new markets, both in terms of the countries and the range of cities that it has a presence in.  Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remains the strongest region of development for the brand with the addition of 38 hotels.  Italy saw a further nine hotels added to its previous portfolio of 36, giving a total of 45 and placing it on par with France as the European country with the largest concentration of Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties.  France saw the addition of six hotels in 2008, bringing its total level with that of Italy, at 45.  
 
There are also several firsts for the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand in EMEA in 2008: Hôtel Les Ottomans is the brand’s first hotel in Istanbul – one of the last remaining Yali’s on the edge of the Bosphorus, this all-suite hotel is the epitome of luxury; while in Geneva, Eastwest with its open-sky patio is an unexpected peaceful haven in the centre of the city.  In Africa, Azura marks the brand’s entry into Mozambique – set on an island within the stunning scenery of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, this luxury eco-retreat is simply breathtaking.
 
Notable Additions in Asia Pacific and the Americas 

In Asia Pacific, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has made some notable additions to its portfolio, with the inclusion of over 20 new hotels.  In particular, there has been significant growth in China with a further three hotels added, as well as the addition of another four hotels in Australia. 
 
The Americas has seen the addition of 15 new hotels, including fascinating locations such as an old coffee plantation in Guatemala (Filadelfia Coffee Resort & Spa) or set within the serenity of eight-and-a-half acres of lush tropical gardens in Grenada (Spice Island Beach Resort).  All have helped to add to the depth and breadth of Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s offering. 
 
Unique Experiences Are Key

Hotels’ ability to offer ‘experiences’ remains a core part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s selection process. Whether it is the unmatched location of Qualia, nestled into the secluded northern tip of Australia’s Hamilton Island, surrounded by the unsurpassed beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, or the unique insight guests will gain of Mongolia’s natural environment and graceful hospitality when they camp out overnight, as an optional and inimitable part of their stay at Terelj Hotel.  Alternatively, The Lodge at Woodloch, which, set in 75 private acres of rolling, northeast Pennsylvania woodland, is where uplifting experiences are said to recharge guests’ energy and focus. 
 


Terelj International Resort and Spa Hotel
Gorkhi-Terelj National Park
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

The Lodge at Woodloch
109 River Birch Lane
Hawley, Pennsylvania

City Centre Hotels Still Reign Strong 

The expansion of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand however, has not focused purely on the leisure traveller. A number of key additions have been made in strategic city centres around the world, leaving business travellers and city enthusiasts safe in the knowledge that they can still enjoy the standards of excellence that Small Luxury Hotels of the World demands of its hotels.   Whether it is the seclusion of The Mansion Hotel, Shanghai’s only heritage boutique hotel in the historic French Concession area, or the former 18th century limestone residence, which is now home to Casanova Hotel in Barcelona, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has something to suit every travellers’ need.  Major business hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Milan, Moscow and Atlanta have seen the addition of The Luxe Manor, Naumi Hotel, Petit Palais Hôtel de Charme, Pokrovka Suite Hotel and The Glenn Hotel, respectively.
 
Demand to be Part of the Brand Remains High 

Applications to be part of the brand of Small Luxury Hotels of the World remain as strong as ever as the growth of the luxury boutique market, especially in Asia, has been spurred by an increase in consumer demand.   In spite of this, Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s selection criteria remain strict and on average only 5% of applications are successful.  Hotels interested in applying to be part of the brand can find full details on www.joinslh.com.
 
About Small Luxury Hotels of the World 
Small Luxury Hotels of the World is an exclusive brand of more than 440 independent, luxury hotels offering an infinite variety of memorable experiences in 70 countries. Whether guests are seeking a blissful spa retreat, the rustic charm of a country villa, a secluded beachside resort, the refined splendour of an old English country house or a sanctuary hidden amid the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling city centre, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best.  Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotel of the World by calling toll-free 800 525 4800 or via www.slh.com.  Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.
 
Hotels interested in applying to be part of the brand of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ may visit www.joinslh.com for further information and details.  

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Contact:

Lanny Grossman
Director of Communications
Small Luxury Hotels of the World
www.slh.com
 lanny.grossman@slh.com

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Also See: Small Luxury Hotels of the World Adds 15 Properties; SLH Portfolio Reaches 374 Hotels in 60 Countries / May 2006
Small Luxury Hotels of the World Adds 59 New Member Hotels in 2005 / December 2005
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