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Luxury Hotel Chains Expand Globally, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

The luxury hotel and resort business has been booming in recent years, thanks to a thriving global economy and easy access to the world’s most interesting destinations thanks to growing airline routes.  The Coronavirus definitely put the brakes on this sector for the short term, but over the long term, industry expansion will be strong.
An interesting trend in hotels is Asian luxury chains that have been building properties in Europe and the U.S.  Hotel brands including Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Meritus Hotels & Resorts have been opening across Europe.  For example, Shangri-La, an Asian luxury hotel chain best known for its popular properties in Singapore and Hong Kong, recently opened projects in Vienna, London and Moscow, and operates additional hotels in the Middle East, Italy, Japan, Turkey, France and Canada.  Rosewood Hotels & Resorts operated 30 luxury hotel properties as of early 2023, and has 25 new properties under planning or development, including the Rosewood Munich, Rosewood Rome and Rosewood Milan, in addition to a branded residential properties program with locations around the world.
Africa has been booming, with not enough hotels to host a growing business travel market.  Hoteliers were rushing to meet the demand.  By 2020, Marriott had 50 hotels in Africa.
Hotels have been competing against each other to offer the most luxurious perks.  A big priority for a number of hotel chains is a great night’s sleep, and firms have beefed up bed linen thread counts, instituted pillow menus and installed top-of-the-line mattresses, including the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan which brought in ultra-expensive, handmade mattresses from Savoir Beds in London.
Perks for guests staying in presidential suites, frequent guests and those bringing their children or pets are proliferating.  Signature Villa guests at the Las Ventanas al Paraiso find floating trays holding top shelf bottles of tequila in their infinity pools.  Guests in the best suites at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Cape Cod, Massachusetts receive free, limited edition Sperry Topsider boat shoes.  Kids staying at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. may choose from a red wagon full of toys in the lobby and find pop tarts with their names written in icing in their rooms.
Among the most luxurious and innovative hotel firms in the world are the Taj and Oberoi chains, both based in India, and the Peninsula, based in Hong Kong.  Their hotels are consistently ranked among the best in the world and offer extreme amenities for their lucky guests.  Marriott has built a strong global brand with its Ritz Carlton chain, which is growing worldwide.  Its latest strategy has been to add a small number of ultra-luxury “Reserve” properties, including its exceptional hotel at Phulay Bay in Thailand, and its amazing luxury remodel of the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico.  The Ritz Carlton is so renowned for its exceptional level of personalized service that it teaches other companies how to deliver service.  Competitor Four Seasons, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, manages 90 properties worldwide.

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