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May 8, 2018

Relais de Chambord – Chambord, France

55 rooms from USD 197 per night including breakfast

www.slh.com/chambord

Opened March 16, 2018

Offering breath-taking views of the awe-inspiring Château de Chambord, the newly opened Relais de Chambord combines heritage and wellbeing within a notable historic setting. Surrounded by private gardens designed by Christian Fournet, the country hotel brings together natural elements and warm atmosphere less than two hours from Paris. The house offers six categories of rooms overlooking the Château, Le Cosson River, Place Saint Louis or the forest of Domaine National and are adorned with lush velvet, wood and ceramics. Enjoy the grounds with a walk to the château, take a boat ride on the river or relax in the private spa.

SLH Insider Tip: Take a seat in Le Grand Saint Michel restaurant (or on the terrace in warmer weather) to savor classic French cuisine. Then retire to the library, with a snooker table and classic board games to enjoy.

The Sukhothai Shanghai – Shanghai, China

201 rooms from USD 330 including daily breakfast, in-room refreshments a credit of USD 47 on food & beverage consumption and WIFI access

www.slh.com/sukhothai

Opened April 28, 2018

Situated in the heart of vibrant Shanghai, this contemporary luxury hotel was designed by internationally-acclaimed Neri & Hu Design and Research Office. With some of the largest rooms and suites in the city, the floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of the bustling landscape while natural furnishings create a sense of calm and warmth. La Scala restaurant, led by Michelin-starred guest chef Theodor Falser, serves fresh-to-order contemporary Italian cuisine from an open theatre kitchen. For a moment of relaxation, The Spa Retreat provides Southeast Asian healing therapies and signature wellness programs, along with a Fitness Studio, 25-metre heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room. Seamlessly connected to the HKRI retail mall, the neighborhood is also easy to explore on foot or by bamboo bicycles provided on property with People’s Square, Grand Theatre and Shanghai Natural Museum all nearby.

SLH Insider Tip: Head up to the URBAN Café & Lounge for a tipple where guests can create personalized gin cocktails. Call over the trolley to select herbs and locally sourced spices to blend with any one of the 300 types of gin available.

Canaves Oia Epitome – Santorini, Greece

24 villas from USD 596 per night including breakfast

www.slh.com/epitome

Opening May 15, 2018

This boutique hotel has carved out a peaceful spot just outside the main town, giving it the feel of a secret piece of paradise. Each private villa offers Classic Cycladic design and is perfectly positioned for soaking up the best sunset views on the island. Spend the day relaxing by your private terrace and pool, then savor an evening by the private fire pit. Muted natural tones and a minimalist design add to the sense of peace, which is complemented by activities including daily yoga classes. Yet with a hotel shuttle, the buzz of Oia is never far away – and popular Katharos Beach is within walking distance.

SLH Insider Tip: Book an Aqua Retreat Villa for its unique see-through glass wall pool view from the lower level bedroom.

akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok – Bangkok, Thailand

46 rooms from USD 132 per night including breakfast

www.slh.com/akyrasukhumvit

Opening May 12, 2018

An innovative new hotel with serious style credentials, the hotel offers guests re-imagined urban accommodation in the heart of Bangkok. The hotel is ideally located on Sukhumvit Soi 20, an area of Bangkok known for its buzzing atmosphere, high-end retail, green spaces and fine dining. With understated interiors and personalized service, this boutique retreat beckons visitors to discover a cosmopolitan city lifestyle. With natural wooden floors, crisp white linens and neutral color schemes, the 46 rooms and suites are refreshing and relaxing in equal measure. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto spacious balconies in most rooms, seamlessly merging indoors with outdoors. Unwind with a long soak in the bath before a night out. Or plan an evening in, and have dinner served in your room. 

SLH Insider Tip: This property is set to become the first new hotel in Asia to launch without single-use plastic in its rooms or food and beverage outlets. The hotel will extend the eco-friendly initiative for guests on the go with stylish akyra stainless steel water bottles and reusable shopping bags presented on arrival.

Fendi Private Suites – Rome, Italy

7 rooms from USD 596 per night including breakfast

www.slh.com/fendi

Dominating the buzzing Via dei Condotti, this sumptuous palazzo originally belonged to a noble family and has been the prestigious headquarters of Fendi since 2005 - and the world’s very first Fendi hotel. Comprised of just seven impeccably designed suites, the hotel epitomizes the ultimate in elegance. With exclusive access and immersion into the Fendi world, it redefines luxury for sophisticated travelers who are looking for privacy as well as a unique experience in the heart of Rome. The bedrooms at Fendi are exclusive galleries to luxury style, with every element carefully chosen to create a sleek, peaceful space in which to unwind. Relax on furniture sourced from classic designers such as Hans J Wegner and FENDI Casa. Take in the views of city life outside or of local landmarks in photographs taken by Karl Lagerfeld. With so many beautiful things to enjoy, these rooms were made to inspire.

SLH Insider Tip: After a day of shopping, return to Fendi Private Suites and join fellow fashionistas for cocktails at Zuma Lounge, followed by contemporary Japanese cuisine at Zuma restaurant located on the rooftop.

And in other news...

Hotel Infante Sagres: the most historic luxury hotel in the city of Porto reopens

www.slh.com/infantesagres

After five months of intensive restoration and renovation, the Infante Sagres, which was Portugal’s first ever five-star hotel, has reopened with 75 luxurious rooms, 10 suites and a new Vogue Café. During the refurbishment, specialist teams of restorers were brought in to work on the iconic original features such as the 5-story stained glass window and the impressive chandeliers in the dining room. The hotel is at the epicenter of the bustling energy that runs throughout the city and is reborn, ready to offer its visitors an experience of luxury and refinement.

Gran Hotel Son Net welcomes guests for a 20th Anniversary celebration offer

www.slh.com/granhotelsonnet

In April 1998, almost 300 hundred years since the Son Next estate was first established, the estate became Mallorca’s first luxury 5* boutique hotel and has since welcomed many returning guests every year. Many travelers fall in love with Son Net and return to indulge in its beauty, to relax or feel at home. The special celebration offer includes a dinner for two featuring an ‘inauguration menu’ from 1998, one bottle of Son Net Cava, Petit Fours, a cabana, free WiFi, 100 Euros Resort Credit per room, an upgrade and even early check-in/late check-out (subject to availability).

Internationally Renowned Fitness Expert in Residency at The Sanchaya

www.slh.com/sanchaya

With an elite clientele including A-list celebrities, f i t n e s s a r t z founder Artur Zolkiewicz is taking ten days to complete a residency at one of Southeast Asia’s most prestigious hotels, The Sanchaya. From 14th – 24th August, UK-based Artur will host morning and afternoon classes on the exclusive estate, in addition to personal training and Q&A sessions. Zolkiewicz’s time at The Sanchaya is a highlight of the hotel’s ongoing programme of visiting specialists, which has also included artists in residence and a series of wine dinners hosted by French winemakers. Zolkiewicz’s fitness schedule will be complemented by a delicious menu of healthy post-workout breakfasts and vegan pea protein powder smoothies. Classes will be available for hotel guests only.

 
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Hotels in the U.S. posted a 1.8 percent year-on-year increase in profit per room in Q1 2018. This marks the third consecutive year of GOPPAR growth for the period, according to the latest poll of full-service hotels in the U.S. from HotStats.

The growth in profit was driven by a 2.2 percent increase in TrevPAR as hotels delivered record revenue increases across all departments.

The 2018 over 2017 Q1 TrevPAR growth contributed to the CAGR increase of +5.0 percent per annum over the last four years, to $259.68 in Q1 2018, an uplift of almost $20 from Q1 2015.

However, amongst the positive growth story, hotels in the U.S. find themselves wrestling with rising costs.

The key cost increase has been labor, which has grown to 35.8 percent of total revenue in Q1 2018 from 33.4 percent in Q1 2015.

Even though GOPPAR reflects a CAGR of +2.9 percent per annum over the last four years, the froth may be coming off profit conversion. GOP as a proportion of total revenue fell to 37.2 percent in Q1 2018, from 37.3 percent in Q1 2017.  Moreover, flow through in the last two years has fallen from 51 percent in Q1 2017 to 31 percent in Q1 2018.

 
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Washington, D.C. – May 3, 2018As Americans begin gearing up for the busy summer travel season, new research from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) suggests that online booking scams and fraudulent and misleading travel websites and companies continue to mislead and confuse consumers. That’s why AHLA is encouraging consumers to Avoid Shady Deals and Have a Sunny Stay by searching smarter for their hotel stays through the launch of their summer “Search Smarter” education and awareness campaign.

In a new survey commissioned by AHLA, in partnership with Morning Consult, 23 percent of consumers report being misled by third-party traveler resellers on the phone or online – translating to 28.5 million hotel stays and $5.2 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions in 2017.

These third-party travel resellers use a variety of marketing tactics to mimic hotel websites and call centers but are not, in fact, affiliated with the hotel. These fraudulent and misleading transactions can cost consumers time and money, resulting in lost reservations and additional fees.

With 39 percent of travelers reporting that they most often book their hotel rooms through a third-party website, AHLA urges consumers to be cautious when booking travel.

“It’s easy and convenient to make travel arrangements online. Unfortunately, as online bookings have surged, so too have scams and deceptive behaviors,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA. “That’s why we encourage consumers to look before you book, slow down, and search smarter. Taking a few extra seconds to book directly with a hotel or a trusted travel agent can save time and money in the long run, and lead to a better travel experience overall.”

Among the 23 percent of consumers who say they have been misled by third-party traveler resellers, 46 percent say they were charged extra fees on their credit card; 34 percent had their reservation lost and had to book another room, losing the cost of their original reservation; and 44 percent made a special room request that was not relayed to the hotel.

In December, the Federal Trade Commission settled a federal lawsuit with Reservation Counter, LLC, a third-party hotel booking reseller accused of using call centers and websites to mislead consumers into believing they were booking, and speaking, directly with a hotel. Reservation Counter also did not disclose that a traveler’s credit card would be charged immediately instead of upon check-in. The settlement resulted in Reservation Counter no longer being able to mislead consumers through these types of practices. Seven in ten (70%) survey respondents support the FTC’s enforcement action against Reservation Counter. Seventy-two percent (72%) believe the government should make it a higher priority to enforce consumer protection laws against third-party hotel resellers.

“We applaud the Federal Trade Commission for issuing an enforcement action against Reservation Counter,” said Lugar. “Unfortunately, the fact that nearly one in four consumers report being misled by third-party resellers—and the constant flow of new companies entering the online travel market—suggests we need to do more to protect consumers. That’s why we are asking Congress to pass the Stop Online Booking Scams Act, a bill that would protect consumers by increasing the transparency and security of the online booking process.”

To reach consumers booking their travel online, AHLA will be launching an online campaign featuring educational materials and video, which can all be viewed here. AHLA will also be hosting an educational day on Capitol Hill where staff will learn about misleading marketing tactics and fraudulent third-party travel resellers and the benefits of booking direct.

When booking travel online, AHLA encourages consumers to book directly through the hotel website or mobile app. In addition to helping consumers avoid scams, direct booking often results in the best deal and more travel perks and benefits. AHLA is a national partner of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which offers a tips page to educate consumers on how to avoid costly and painful scams when booking hotels online. The tips page on the BBB website is https://www.bbb.org/en/us/article/tips/14155-bbb-tip-booking-a-hotel-room.

For more on AHLA’s Search Smarter program, visit https://www.ahla.com/searchsmarter.

 

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