Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ Roars into the Year of the Tiger With the Opening its New Regional Office in Singapore

Small Luxury Hotels of the World announces the official opening of its Asia Pacific Regional Office in Singapore. The addition of the new office will strengthen the luxury hotel brand's network in the Asia Pacific region, complementing the existing offices in Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Paul Kerr, CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World said: "The opening of the Singapore office is a key strategic move for us as a brand. We are investing in this region to fuel growth – both in terms of growing reservations through the SLH channels, particularly www.slh.com, and building our portfolio which currently stands at 100 properties in this region.

Since establishing the brand in 1991 with 70 hotels in 12 countries we have built a very strong base of loyal guests in Europe and the US where brand awareness is high. We want to mirror this success in the Asia Pacific region which holds huge potential for us as a global brand. With over 500 independently-owned hotels in 75 countries worldwide, we are in an excellent position to cater for the demand from discerning travellers in this region."

Mr Kerr continued: "Adding new properties helps to reinforce the brand awareness of Small Luxury Hotels of the World in local markets and increases understanding of our proposition to both consumers and hoteliers.

Our hotels are amongst the best of the best in each area and have such an excellent reputation locally that this helps demonstrate the quality of all the hotels in our portfolio. However, as well as adding new hotels our main priority is to maintain the quality of hotels in our portfolio and the emphasis is on monitoring standards at existing hotels. We are keen to grow but we remain extremely selective - only five per cent of hotels applying to join are accepted."

Small Luxury Hotels of the World has already established its core team in Singapore with the key appointments of Mark Wong as Area Director and Brandon Chan as Director of Sales. Mark Wong will oversee all areas of operation in the region, reporting directly to Paul Kerr. Bryony Gammon, PR Manager for the Asia Pacific region, has relocated to Singapore from the Sydney office. Anita Chan, Director of Development, Asia Pacific, is based in Hong Kong.

With 508 hotels in the portfolio with an average of 49 rooms at each hotel, SLH has over 25,290 rooms in total worldwide. Despite the global recession over 65 hotels were accepted into the brand in 2009. The brand recently added two properties in Japan where it previously did not have a presence - Hoshinoya Karuizawa (www.slh.com/hoshinoyakaruizawa) and Hoshinoya Kyoto (www.slh.com/hoshinoyakyoto). The brand is also committed to strengthening its presence in markets where demand is high. For example, in Malaysia Small Luxury Hotels of the World has just welcomed three new properties in the Sari Pacifica Resort & Spa family - Redang Island, Lang Tengah Island and Sibu Island.

Other new hotels include Crystal Resort Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan and Serene Pavilions in Sri Lanka. The development team will be focusing on China, India and Japan over the next 12 months.

As well as building its portfolio of hotels, Small Luxury Hotels of the World is committed to ensuring that the brand is accessible to key markets within the region. Within the next two months the corporate pages of www.slh.com will appear in Simplified Chinese and Japanese. An iPhone application will be launched by April 2010. The long-term goal is to offer a completely multi-lingual end-to-end website and booking solution.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World provides toll-free numbers for key markets in the Asia Pacific region and guests are assisted by highly trained reservation agents who are fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World was recently relaunched with additional benefits for members including complimentary upgrades, late check-out, breakfast and access to a Club Concierge. Guests are invited to join The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World at www.clubslh.com.

Overall, 65 per cent of bookings through the Small Luxury Hotels of the World reservation channels are made through the GDS which means that travel agents are critical to the brand's success. Small Luxury Hotels of the World recently launched a dedicated website for travel agents – www.slh.com/travelagents. The brand will be increasing its presence at key trade shows this year including ALTM in Shanghai, ITB Asia in Singapore and Blossom in Tokyo. Brandon Chan will be responsible for building relationships with key agents in the region.

To make a reservation at any one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties go to www.slh.com or call +65 6232 5060. For a list of toll-free numbers go to http://www.slh.com/reservationnumbers.html. Hotels interested in joining the brand can apply online at www.joinslh.com.

About Small Luxury Hotels of the World
The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world's finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 500 hotels in more than 75 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property by calling +65 6232 5060 or via www.slh.com. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.

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