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Preferred Hotels & Resorts set to expand in Australia

March 16, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Preferred Hotels & Resorts, “world’s largest independent hotel brand”, is expanding fast and expects to increase its presence in Australia, where it has just one hotel.

On her first visit to Australia in 10 years, Preferred’s president and chief executive, Lindsey Ueberroth, said this week that despite having only one hotel in Australia (the privately owned and operated five-star Lyall Hotel and Spa in Melbourne) “this is a rather critical market for us. We have very, very aggressive plans.”

Saurabh Rai

Sydney is an obvious target but Preferred, headquartered in Chicago with an executive office in Newport Beach, California, is also eyeing other Australian cities like Brisbane. A day or two ago, Ueberroth was reconnoitring Sydney from a motorcycle and sidecar combo.

Preferred executives accompanying Ueberroth on her Australian visit this week were: vice president, corporate communications and public relations, Caroline Michaud; executive vice president, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Australasia, Saurabh Rai; and Singapore-based senior manager, public relations (Asia Pacific), Arlene Benger-Tan. Preferred’s Sydney-based director global sales, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Carolyn Holmes, was there as well.

Preferred, which uses a Pineapple (symbol of welcome and hospitality) as its logo, represents more than 650 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and hotel groups across 85 countries. It’s a privately owned family company, with the ownership thus: John Ueberroth, executive chairman; Gail Ueberroth, chief creative officer and vice-chair; Lindsey Ueberroth, president and chief executive; Casey Ueberroth, chief marketing officer.

Preferred has 26 new properties scheduled to open in 2017. The list ranges from city locations to resorts in laid-back locations. In Asia alone, properties include: in Bali the Grand Summit Pecatu Hotel & Resort; in the Maldives the Coco Privé Kuda Hithi and Biyadhoo Island Resort South Male Atoll; in South Korea the Shilla Stay Haeundae Busan and the Shilla Stay Seocho Seoul.

Caroline Michaud

Other destinations with properties scheduled to join this year span the planet: among them, Mykonos, Rome, Mallorca, Istanbul, Cape Town, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta , Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Savannah and New Orleans.

Preferred operates nearly 40 offices worldwide. It styles itself “a collection of independent hotels and experiences” which brings “strategic advantage” to hotel owners, operators, and management companies through brand prestige and global operating scale.

Services include group, corporate, and leisure sales, integrated marketing, comprehensive revenue management, global connectivity through reservations services, progressive distribution technology, and guest support.

All properties in the portfolio are required to maintain “the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program”, a company statement says.

There are five global collections – Legend, LVX, Lifestyle, Connect, and Preferred Residences.

Lindsey Ueberroth

The iPrefer hotel rewards program awards members points, status, and special benefits upon eligible stays at hundreds of participating hotels worldwide. In addition to receiving 10 points for every USD 1 spent on net room reservations booked through eligible channels, members receive additional benefits based on their tier status, which is determined by points earned during a 12-month period.

Preferred Hotels Association was founded in 1968 by 12 independent North American hoteliers as a referral organisation for hotels with similar services and top-quality standards. The first European hotels joined Preferred Hotels Association as affiliate members in 1972.

By 1975 the company had grown to 25 member hotels, changing its name six years later from Preferred Hotels Association to Preferred Hotels Worldwide to denote its increasingly international scope. In 1990 the name changed again to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, to better reflect the composition of its membership.

The rest, as they say, is history. As for the future, the company is growing fast. Watch this space!

Written by Peter Needham

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