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Keep Your Eye on These Brands as they ExpandMarch 1, 2007 By: Erin Sternthal Home-Based Travel Agent
The latest updates and booking information for travel agents who want to stay in the know
"1" Hotel and Residences: Barry Sternlicht, who says he created W Hotels for himself at 35, says "1" will be designed for himself at 46 and attract the upscale traveler. Following the brand's Seattle opening, "1" is planning a ski resort in Mammoth Mountain, CA; a property in Scottsdale, AZ; and another in Ft. Lauderdale. Look for the first international project, a renovation, to pop up in Paris. Future projects are targeted for New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., and "1" hopes to have 15 hotels signed or under construction within the next 24 months. No agent liaison is available yet; visit
aloft: Starwood's newest brand will appeal to business and leisure travelers in search of a social and energetic atmosphere. Look for aloft hotels to pop up in cities, college towns, airports and resort destinations. Already in the works are projects in Hanover, MD; Beijing, China; Chantilly, VA; Charleston Airport, SC; Cherry Creek, CO; Lexington, MA; Rancho Cucamonga, CA and Tucson, AZ. The first hotels are slated to open in the first quarter of 2008. There's not a specific agent liaison yet; call 212-380-4071 or visit www.alofthotels.com.
The London: After the Big Apple, The London is set to open in West Hollywood, CA later this year or early 2008. Send your leisure or corporate clients to the properties, which pay 10 percent commission. Use GDS code XO or book via the travel agent special services desk (877-LXR-VIPS). You can also e-mail [email protected]. For general bookings, call 866-690-2029 or visit www.thelondonnyc.com.
ME by Melia: ME will appeal to clients with a flare for cutting-edge art, design and cuisine. Additional ME by Melia locations are planned for Cabo San Lucas, Barcelona, Seville and Palma de Mallorca. Agents can earn commissions starting at 10 percent. Be on the lookout for ME by Melia to launch an education program for retailers in the third quarter. Contact Pete Zudyck, vice president of sales and marketing, at 786-497-9340. Visit www.mebymelia.com for more details.
Solage Hotels & Resorts: Targeting 30-55 year-olds, Solage is aiming to offer guests a deluxe resort experience that's a more contemporary and active version of Auberge resorts. Solage hopes to add properties in Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean and ski destination such as Vail or Aspen. Caroline MacDonald, vice president of sales and marketing, says the company will most likely grow by one or two properties each year. Agents can contact Anne Baer, reservations and leisure sales manager, at 707-942-7442 (ext 103) or via e-mail at [email protected]. Commission is 10 percent. Visit www.solagehotels.com.
Waldorf=Astoria Collection: Currently there are five properties in the collection; two new builds are also in the works: The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, Orlando opening in Bonnet Creek in 2009; and The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, Beverly Hills, opening in 2010. Properties will cater to both business and leisure travelers as well as groups. Contact Julie Wagner, director of marketing for the brand (Julie_Wagner@ hilton.com), or GT Dhillon, senior director of travel agent relations for Hilton ([email protected]). Agents will be paid 10 percent commission on bookings. Visit www.waldorfastoriacollection.com. —EFS