Hotelbeds Expands Luxury Portfolio with The Leading Hotels of the World Alliance

Hotelbeds has collaborated with The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), expanding its luxury collection across the group’s more than 400 properties.

The new preferred vendor agreement gives Hotelbeds’ clients access to a significant luxury portfolio for the first time, which offers properties in more than 80 countries around the world. In turn, the agreement opens up Hotelbeds’ 195-country distribution system to LHW’s hotels providing a wealth of benefits, including increased revenue streams and its industry-leading ability to ensure rate parity across all of its channels.

“This new agreement opens up The Leading Hotels of the World to our vast roster of booking platforms including 64,000 retail travel agents, while also expanding our range of high-end properties,” said Paul Anthony, Hotelbeds’ Digital Commercialisation Director. “We have seen increased demand for high-end properties this year and this new alliance will help us to meet this growing sector.”

Hotelbeds has become part of LHW’s Leading Strategic Sourcing (LSS) program, spearheaded by LHW and DayBlink GPO. The initiative offers a strategic group purchasing program for LHW’s portfolio of global independent hotels, which serves members by helping them capture new demand, access innovative sales, marketing and technology solutions to empower their success, and drive value to hotels in other strategically important categories.

Over the past year, Hotelbeds has seen an increase in luxury bookings with many destinations experiencing growth above 50%.

“We are excited to be collaborating with one of the largest global hotel inventory distributors to support our hotels’ innovative distribution strategies,” said Phil Koserowski, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for The Leading Hotels of the World. “Hotelbeds is a valued addition to the Leading Strategic Sourcing program, and a key component to our optimized distribution efforts in 2023 and beyond.”

Marriott International Marks Another Year of Strong Acceleration in Signings

At the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles, Marriott International, Inc. announced that the company’s deal signings accelerated again in 2022. The company signed an average of two deals a day, for a total of 726 management and franchise agreements, an increase of 21 percent over 2021 signings, representing nearly 108,000 rooms. In addition, Marriott’s City Express transaction, announced in October 2022, is expected to add around 17,000 rooms.

Conversions helped drive signings activity, contributing a robust 20,500 rooms, or approximately 20 percent of rooms signed during the year. Half of the 2022 rooms signed were in international markets, including key growth markets such as India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the Caribbean. The company’s industry-leading global development pipeline totaled over 3,000 properties representing more than 496,000 hotel rooms at the end of the year, excluding the City Express rooms.

During the year, the company added 394 properties, representing more than 65,000 rooms on a gross basis, growing the system 4.4 percent. Including deletions of 1.3 percent, net rooms increased 3.1 percent. Excluding the impact of the company’s exit from Russia, the deletion rate was 0.8 percent and net rooms increased 3.6 percent. At the end of 2022, Marriott’s worldwide system consisted of nearly 8,300 properties and roughly 1.5 million rooms in 138 countries and territories.

“We were pleased with the accelerating pace of development activity in 2022 as the global recovery continued,” said Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International. “The proven resilience of travel is powerful and energizing. Given the attractiveness of our portfolio of global brands, top-ranked Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, momentum around conversions, and commitment to innovation, we are excited to continue to help lead in the growth of travel.”

Extending Marriott’s Lead in Luxury

With an unparalleled portfolio of nearly 500 luxury hotels and resorts in 69 countries and territories, Marriott is poised to extend its lead in luxury with a record 42 luxury hotel agreements signed last year, representing nearly 8,000 rooms. In 2022, Marriott opened a number of notable luxury properties around the world in locations including Madrid (The Madrid EDITION), New York City (The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad), Greece (W Costa Navarino), and Australia (The Tasman in Hobart, a Luxury Collection Resort).

Conversions Continue to Contribute Meaningfully to Growth

Marriott continues to see strong momentum from conversions, including multi-unit conversion opportunities. In June, Marriott announced a strategic agreement with Vinpearl, to convert and develop 2,200 rooms across eight hotels in Vietnam. Of the eight hotels, six are conversions that have already been added to Marriott’s system. Thanks to a robust portfolio of conversion-friendly brands, the company added more than 80 conversion properties in 2022 in locations around the world including Brazil (JW Marriott Hotel São Paulo) and India (The St. Regis Goa). In the U.S. and Canada region, the company signed 56 conversion deals, representing nearly 8,000 rooms, including a record 34 select-service deals representing nearly 4,000 rooms. The company’s collection brands, including Autograph Collection Hotels, The Luxury Collection, and Tribute Portfolio, represented 30 percent of global conversion rooms signed, with over 6,000 rooms signed in 2022.

“We continue to see conversions provide meaningful growth for our system, reinforcing the value of Marriott’s brands as owners look to reposition assets and maximize returns,” said Noah Silverman, Global Development Officer for U.S. & Canada for Marriott International.

Marriott Jumps into Affordable Midscale

Among the major highlights of 2022, Marriott announced its planned entry into the popular affordable midscale segment. Under an agreement with Hoteles City Express, S.A.B. de C.V., Marriott plans to acquire the highly regarded City Express brand portfolio. As of October 19, 2022, the portfolio was comprised of 152 hotels, including around 17,000 rooms across 75 cities in Mexico and three additional countries in Latin America, and five under-construction projects, representing an additional 676 rooms. Upon closing, the transaction is expected to make Marriott the largest hotel company in the Caribbean and Latin America. Given the high-growth nature of the affordable midscale segment, the company sees opportunities to further expand the City Express by Marriott brand in the Caribbean and Latin America region, as well as in other locations. Marriott expects the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, could close in the first half of 2023.

All-In on All-Inclusive in New Segments and Markets

As a top player in the high growth all‐inclusive space, Marriott continues to focus on expanding its all-inclusive platform to meet rising guest demand. In 2022, the company added three all-inclusive conversion properties – the Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun in Mexico, the Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic and the Westin Porto de Galinhas in Brazil. In addition, the company recently announced the signing of three luxury all-inclusive properties in Mexico: Almare, a Luxury Collection All-Inclusive Resort on Isla Mujeres, and a JW Marriott All-Inclusive and W Hotel All-Inclusive in Costa Mujeres. Today, the All-Inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy portfolio includes 33 properties in the Caribbean and Latin America, located across Mexico – Riviera Nayarit & Cancun, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Brazil. The company anticipates that Southeast Asia and resort markets in Europe and the Middle East could provide additional all-inclusive opportunities in the future.

“We have seen a tremendous year of growth in our international regions,” said Carlton Ervin, Global Development Officer, International, for Marriott International. “In the Middle East, we saw a record number of room signings. With rising momentum in our all-inclusive offerings and our planned expansion into the midscale market, we remain focused on providing consumers with more offerings to meet their needs.”

Select Service Growth Stays Strong Globally

Select service development opportunities continue to be a key growth driver for Marriott, representing three-quarters of global deal signings and nearly half of signings across international regions. Marriott’s select service portfolio provides an array of brands including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott and Moxy Hotels. In 2022, the company signed 523 select service deals. In addition, the company added 216 select service hotels around the world, including in Greece (Moxy Athens City), Australia (AC Hotel Melbourne Southbank) and Japan (Courtyard by Marriott Nagoya).

Increasing Popularity of Longer Stays

With growing consumer travel preferences for more space driven by the blending of work and leisure trips, the longer stay segment is a highly attractive option for both guests and hotel developers. In 2022, the extended stay category, comprised of the Residence Inn by Marriott, Element by Westin, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott brands, accounted for a record 30 percent of the company’s signings.

“The select service and extended stay segments continue to generate significant growth for the company, particularly in the U.S. and Canada,” said Silverman. “We see exceptional opportunity to propel growth further among our select service and extended stay brands, particularly in underserved secondary and tertiary markets.”

Marriott’s Bridging The Gap Program Tackles Barriers to Entry

In the U.S. and Canada, the company announced in 2022 the launch of Marriott’s Bridging The Gap, a multi-year development program that aims to address the barriers to entry that historically underrepresented hotel owners and developers. As part of the program, Marriott has allocated $50 million to offer financial and other incentives to qualified historically underrepresented owners and franchisees that will have a controlling equity interest in select branded projects. To date, Marriott’s Bridging the Gap has resulted in nine signed deals in locations including Jackson, Mississippi and St. Louis, Missouri.

Launch of Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy

To meet the growing demand and changing consumer travel preferences for more room and longer stays, Marriott announced its further expansion into the serviced-apartments segment in November 2022. Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy is a residential soft brand with an independent, local design aesthetic. Intended to be introduced in the upper-upscale and luxury segments, Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy will feature a separate living room and bedroom, full kitchen, and in-unit laundry, but will be differentiated from hotel product by not typically offering certain traditional hotel services such as food and beverage and meeting spaces. Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy is anticipated to offer developers the flexibility to build new properties or convert existing properties, with a design approach similar to the company’s Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio brands.

Aspen Skiing Company’s Hospitality Division Announces Rebrand

ASPEN, Colo. – Three years ago, Aspen Skiing Company, a leading operator of ski resorts in North America, introduced its hospitality division, The Little Nell Hotel Group. Today, the group has been rebranded as Aspen Hospitality to reflect the scale and breadth of this growing division.

The Colorado-based company, is expanding The Little Nell and Limelight Hotel brands, which are currently located in mountain resort communities, into new urban and resort communities. Aspen Hospitality is bolstered by the Aspen Snowmass brand, which brings decades of unmatched experience operating in the ski and hospitality industries. In tandem, Alinio Azevedo has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Aspen Hospitality, from his most recent leadership role as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Company. Azevedo specializes in the development, financing, operation and asset management of the hotels and clubs that make up Aspen Hospitality’s portfolio. Under Alinio’s leadership, Aspen Hospitality will continue to pursue opportunities for further expansion into new markets including coastal and urban destinations.

Aspen Hospitality’s current list of owned and operated hotels, residences and private clubs includes:
● The Little Nell – Aspen, Colo (Aspen’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel)
● Residences at The Little Nell – Aspen, Colo.
● Limelight Hotel Aspen – Aspen, Colo.
● Limelight Hotel Snowmass – Snowmass, Colo.
● Limelight Hotel Ketchum – Near Sun Valley, Idaho
● The ASPENX Mountain Club – Summit of Aspen Mountain, Aspen, Colo.
● The Snowmass Mountain Club – Base Village, Snowmass, Colo.

Aspen Hospitality will open several new properties in the coming years with the following properties currently under development:
● Limelight Hotel & Residences Mammoth – Mammoth, Calif. – estimated opening – late 2024
● Limelight Hotel Boulder – Boulder, Colo. – estimated opening – early 2025

Additional properties in the pipeline will to be announced soon.

“Over the years, our family has invested a great deal of thought and research into the expansion of the company’s hospitality division, exploring markets throughout the U.S.,” said Jim Crown, Owner and Managing Partner for Aspen Skiing Company. “Our first property, The Little Nell, has been one of the most celebrated luxury hotels in the country since opening in 1989 and we are actively pursuing opportunities to introduce additional Little Nell properties in the near future.

Since the opening of Limelight Hotel Aspen more than a decade ago, Limelight Hotels have redefined the concept of elevated casual services and amenities in ski resorts and towns. We are now expanding the Limelight portfolio to also include urban destinations, creating basecamps in the places our guests want to explore. We look forward to continuing to grow the Limelight brand and expanding our offerings to new markets and guests.”

“I am truly honored to take on my new role of Chief Executive Officer of Aspen Hospitality as we usher in a new era,” says Azevedo. “Our focus has been on carefully growing our coveted brands into supply-constrained markets where we can make a difference with our experience in connecting our hotels and private clubs to the communities where they operate. The next few years will bring many new opportunities for our guests and team members and I could not be more thrilled to lead the team on this journey.”

For development and/or acquisition opportunities related to Aspen Hospitality, please contact Andy Reed, Vice President Investment for Aspen Hospitality – areed@aspenhospitality.co.

About Aspen Skiing Company

Established in 1946, Aspen Skiing Company, also known as Aspen Snowmass, owns and operates four mountains—Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk—creating premium, sustainable and transformative experiences in recreation, culture, and nature. In addition, the company runs the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass, Four Mountain Sports rental and retail shops, and a collection of sustainably-sourced on-mountain food & beverage outlets. Aspen Snowmass works to drive positive social change through climate, community, and minority group advocacy and investment. For more information about Aspen Snowmass, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

About Aspen Hospitality

Aspen Hospitality is a division of Aspen Skiing Company with a portfolio of owned and operated hotels and residences that currently consists of The Little Nell, Aspen’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel; and its affiliated Residences at The Little Nell, both of which are located at the base of Aspen Mountain; as well as the Limelight Hotel Aspen and Limelight Hotel Snowmass in Colorado; and the Limelight Hotel Ketchum near Sun Valley in Idaho. Currently in development are two additional Limelight Hotels in Mammoth, California, and Boulder, Colorado, slated to open in 2024 and 2025, respectively. The company also owns and operates the ASPENX Mountain Club and the Snowmass Mountain Club.

About The Little Nell

The Little Nell, Aspen’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel, offers luxury services and unparalleled access to America’s most famous mountain town. Guests of The Little Nell – a Relais & Châteaux – enjoy a cosmopolitan yet intimate ambience, haute cuisine, superior wine and exclusive adventures and amenities designed to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. 675 East Durant Avenue, Aspen, Colo., 970.920.4600, www.thelittlenell.com.

About Limelight Hotels

Limelight Hotels are contemporary properties set in the heart of authentic mountain communities. The Limelight Hotel Aspen, in downtown Aspen, Colorado, is just steps from the slopes and the downtown core. The Limelight Hotel Ketchum is situated in Ketchum, Idaho, near the base of Sun Valley’s famed ski area, Bald Mountain, and walking distance to the town’s shops and restaurants. The Limelight Hotel Snowmass in Snowmass, Colorado, is the only ski-in/ski-out property, and is located adjacent to the Elk Camp Gondola with access to 3,362 acres of terrain. All Limelight properties are designed around the communities and activities where they are located. www.limelighthotels.com

About ASPENX

ASPENX is a contemporary retail and experience brand, conceptualized by artist Paula Crown. The flagship store, located in the heart of Aspen, Colorado, offers bespoke retail, elevated rental equipment, and exceptional food and wine experiences both on- and off-mountain. www.ASPENX.com. Connect with us on Instagram: @ASPENX

EKN Development Group Joins Forces with Appellation to Open First Experiential Boutique Hotel in Petaluma, California

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. – Experienced developer EKN Development Group partners with culinary-first hotel brand Appellation – co-founded by luxury hospitality veteran Christopher Hunsberger and celebrated American chef Charlie Palmer – to launch Appellation Petaluma, California’s first experiential boutique hotel. Debuting in 2026, the 93-room property will set a new standard for hospitality in the destination, while embracing Petaluma’s local place, culture and rich history.

The Downtown Petaluma property will bring renowned local James Beard award-winning chef Charlie Palmer, who has spent three decades immersed in the community and continues to play an integral part in elevating the region’s food scene.

“From the beginning, we intentionally designed this hotel to pay homage to the integral role that food and wine play in Petaluma,” said Ebbie Nakhjavani, CEO of EKN Development Group. “We chose Appellation to bring this project to life because they uniquely put the culinary experience at the forefront of the guest experience and can offer a local Sonoma County perspective. Under Charlie and Christopher’s leadership, we know they will deliver the best in the industry.”

As with all Appellation properties, the culinary experience will go well beyond the hotel’s food and beverage venues. Food-focused amenities and programming will be blended into every aspect of the hotel, many of which will embrace the destination’s burgeoning culinary scene. The five-story Appellation Petaluma will also be crowned with the only rooftop bar in town, with spectacular views of Petaluma River.

“Chris and I are lucky to call Sonoma County our home, and over the years, we’ve had our eye on Petaluma as an emerging culinary destination in the region,” says Appellation co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Charlie Palmer. “With its bohemian, metropolitan setting, Petaluma will offer our future guests a different experience in Wine Country compared to other Sonoma County counterparts like Healdsburg, where we will be opening our first hotel next year.”

Beyond award-winning vintages coming out of the Petaluma Gap, the destination is often referenced as ‘Wine Country’s best kept secret,’ brimming with historic buildings, boutiques, art galleries and eateries.

“Petaluma is characterized by traditions that have been passed down for generations by local farmers, vintners, and artists. The town has an energy unlike any other in Wine Country with such an emphasis on history, art and culture,” said Nakhiavani. “Honoring Petaluma’s rich arts scene, we will invest over $500,000 in art including specifically commissioned signature pieces from local artists that will be accessible to everyone in the community.”

“We are committed to building hotels that connect, engage and serve our local communities, and a big part of that is spotlighting local makers and craftspeople,” says Appellation co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Christopher Hunsberger.

Appellation Petaluma will host a full calendar of activities for guests and locals via Crafted at Appellation, the brand’s experiential learning program in partnership with community makers and artisans. Ahead of Appellation Petaluma’s opening, Crafted at Appellation will begin hosting programming in 2023, which will be available to book by Petaluma residents and visitors.

For more information, please visit appellationhotels.com/petaluma.

About Appellation

Appellation, meaning “to give a name to a place,” crafts unparalleled culinary-centered places of hospitality that immerse guests in the uniquely local aspects of exceptional destinations. The first hotel brand born from the merger of culinary and hospitality, Appellation is about comfort and connection over formality and extravagance – perfectly blending luxury amenities with real world experiences born of this place. The company is the vision of co-founders Charlie Palmer, one of America’s best-known chefs who arguably created the successful hotel restaurant model, and Christopher Hunsberger, who spent over 30 years in strategic leadership roles with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. When the first Appellation hotels open in Sun Valley (ID), Healdsburg (CA) and Pacific Grove (CA), they will set a new standard for immersion in culinary, culture and community that can only be found “here.” To learn more, visit www.appellationhotels.com.

About EKN Development Group

EKN Development specializes in developing timeless projects that capture the essence of the local community and personifies the spirit of each location. EKN believes in creating transformative places that provide a location for human connection and enrichment. Guided by our creative vision and decades of experience, we deliver human-centric, state-of-the-art resorts and projects that transcend materiality. To deliver on our vision, we capitalize on our distinct expertise to pursue unique locations with diverse demand drivers and high barriers-to-entry. EKN is dedicated to creating the outstanding spaces of tomorrow that draw visitors and locals together, encourage economic growth, and stand the test of time. To learn more, visit www.ekndevelopment.com.