By James Wilkinson
Despite the ongoing global economic crisis, Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has bucked the trend with the addition of 25 hotels in the first quarter of 2009.
New SLH member: Taunovo Bay Resort, Fiji
This follows close on the heels of the addition of 66 hotels at the end of last year, which represented a net growth of 10 per cent over the previous year and SLH now comprises over 500 of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels in more than 70 countries.
“Contrary to what you would expect in an economic downturn, we have received an unprecedented increase in the number of enquiries from luxury hotels wanting to be part of the SLH brand,” said Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
“We believe that part of this is due to the fact that hotels look towards a brand like SLH to provide them with a safe haven when conditions are challenging. In spite of the large number of enquiries, standards of excellence remain core to SLH’s success and our selection criteria therefore remain as strict as ever,” he said.
In terms of the geographic spread of the news hotels, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remains the strongest area of development with an intake so far of 13 hotels across seven countries. In the Asia-Pacific region, eight new hotels joined the brand across seven countries, while the Americas added another four hotels in four countries in the first three months of 2009.
In this region, the newest addition is Taunovo Bay Resort and Spa on Fiji’s Coral Coast. The property is nestled on a two-mile stretch of white sand and surrounded by lush tropical gardens.