Preferred Hotels Resorts – the world’s largest independent hotel brand with more than 650 unique member hotels, resorts, and residences across 85 countries – recently kicked off its Asia Pacific series of 50th Anniversary celebrations at The Leela Palace New Delhi with a specially curated afternoon luncheon presentation at Le Cirque, hosted by CEO Lindsey Ueberroth and Executive Vice President Saurabh Rai. Here’s what Lindsey Ueberroth had to share about the successful journey of the Preferred Hotels Resorts, and what are the celebrations lined up for the future.
What’s on your mind as you celebrate the 50 years of Preferred Hotels Resorts?
As we commemorate the Preferred brand’s 50-year legacy of inspiring travel, we are more committed than ever to providing travelers with even more opportunities to embrace the spirit of independence and to making our pineapple logo synonymous with the ultimate hallmark in world-class hospitality. It is so exciting and humbling to see how far we have come as a company, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate this major milestone with our associates, partners, and friends from around the world.
Tell us about the presence of the Preferred brand in India, and its association so far?
As the region’s largest independent hotel brand, Preferred Hotels & Resorts is entering its 16th year in India, and we are focused on continuing to build on the foundation of our company’s 50-year legacy of championing the independent hotel space. We are committed to forging ahead with more innovative and strategic consumer-focused initiatives to foster greater engagement in this market.
What are the noted developments Preferred with reference to India?
The company exceeded their hotel development goals in the South Asian region and welcomed 18 new hotel members since the rebranding in 2015, including 7 in India last year. These include The Chedi Mumbai, Turyaa Chennai, WelcomeHotel Coimbatore, Shahpura House, Shahpura Haveli, Fortune Inn Promenade, and the Feathers-A Radha Hotel. Looking ahead, Preferred Hotels & Resorts is aiming to grow their portfolio in the South Asian region by 10, to make it 50 hotel members by the year 2020.
There is much talk about residences and a shift has been seen in residential-style holidays; what’s your say about these?
In light of ever-growing consumer appeal for residential-style vacation alternatives, the company will place a concerted focus on growing its Preferred Residences collection, which now stands at 70 members globally, with a goal of reaching 100 destinations by the year’s end. To support this, the company will re-launch the Preferred brand website (PreferredHotels.com), offering travelers a more intuitive way to book independent hotels and residences. The new website will feature a dedicated section on Preferred Residences to enhance engagement with family, corporate, and leisure travelers, and drive direct more direct bookings to the properties in the collection.
What are the latest additions made to the list of properties under the Preferred brand?
Preferred Hotels & Resorts will welcome 13 new independent hotel openings this year, each offering a variety of unique experiences that will deliver the promise of #ThePreferredLife. From the Asia Pacific there are – The Middle House (Shanghai, China), The Primus Hotel Shanghai Hongqiao (Shanghai, China), and the Sherwood Suites (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).
From the Americas there is the Bobby Hotel (Nashville, Tennessee, USA), The Post Oak Hotel (Houston, Texas, USA), Hotel Bennett, Charleston (South Carolina, USA), Hotel Monville (Montreal, Canada), Hotel Sophy (Chicago, USA), Montage Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico), and the Garza Blanca Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico).
From Europe, there is the Carrossa Hotel Spa Villas (Mallorca, Spain), PhilsPlace Vienna (Vienna, Austria) and the Pestana Amsterdam Riverside (Amsterdam, Holland).
What are the special offerings that mark the celebratory year?
On 29 January, the day we completed the 50 years, the company launched a variety of initiatives to support its 50th-anniversary celebration, including A year-long Golden Anniversary package, offering unique 50th anniversary-themed activities, amenities, or services to guests staying at nearly 300 participating hotels worldwide.
We’ve also introduced an exclusive Golden Anniversary microsite and social media hashtag #PreferredCelebrates50 for its online travel community. Travelers sharing their most memorable experiences with the hashtag have a chance to get featured on the brand’s social media accounts @PreferredHotels and microsite.
We’ve introduced our first-ever dynamic consumer video series, entitled Inspiring Travel for 50 Years. Each month, up to two vignettes will be released via various digital and social media channels, with every video showcasing the rich meaning of #ThePreferredLife.