|Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh|
Ensemble Travel member agents and Ensemble’s preferred suppliers are benefiting from the Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection that now includes nearly 500 four- and five-star properties, Ensemble reports. Outstanding properties and amenities are helping agents marketing efforts while the hotels benefit from the sales and marketing clout of Ensemble and its 900 member agents.
“I know last year some properties considered us their ‘lifeline’ especially in the Canadian market, which was impacted far less than the U.S. in terms of the economy,” said Ensemble Travel Group’s Suzanne Hall, senior director, marketing and development, land products. “This cross-border exposure came at a time when many partners had minimal resources to adequately promote their product. Ensemble Travel Group members provided the perfect turnkey solution for their marketing needs.” Hall noted that Ensemble is able to offer its hotel partners critical access to a network of nearly 900 travel agency outlets in the U.S. and Canada.
Ensemble cites its value to smaller firms. “As a small company, the fact that they provide North American exposure of our product is huge for us,” said Sari Freeman, co-owner of Passages of Distinction with Brad Beaty. Passages is a newcomer to the 2010 Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection program, including such standout properties as the Santa Caterina Hotel (Amalfi) and Llao Llao Hotel & Resort (Patagonia).
Another reason for Ensemble’s success is Ensemble Travel Group’s annual directory – a 242-page guide entitled 2010 Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection, Awash in Luxury – was recently sent to more than 200,000 households on behalf of the organization’s members.
The coffee-table book includes a host of new hotels, including Le Sirenuse (Positano, Italy), St. Regis Deer Crest (Park City, UT), The Clositer at Sea Island (Sea Island, GA), Hotel Missoni (Edinburgh, Scotland), Taj Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa) and the W Doha (Doha, Qatar). Also included are several new Fairmont properties including the legendary Plaza Hotel in New York.
“We are delighted to add a number of new Fairmont hotels and resorts to our roster with Ensemble, joining our sister properties of Raffles Canouan in The Grenadines; Raffles Beijing Hotel; and, Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore,” said Brian Richardson, vice president, brand marketing and communications, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “Our guest experience begins from the moment a client considers a Fairmont property and the members of Ensemble excel at delivering the highest quality of service we could ask for in a partner.”
Passages of Distinction’s co-owners said that Ensemble Travel Group members “have what it takes” to effectively sell their boutique properties. “We have been watching Ensemble’s hotel program evolve over the last couple of years and we really liked what we saw – a network of proven marketers with an appreciation and expertise for selling the very distinctive high-end independent hotels like ours,” said Freeman.
In addition to the extraordinary properties, the Ensemble program also features an array of complimentary Ensemble Exclusives, such as daily breakfast, round-trip airport transfers, rounds of golf, and spa/resort credits valued at an average savings of $50 per day.
Participating hotels and resorts must meet a specific set of criteria, including location in desirable vacation destinations or cosmopolitan cities and offer superlative service and facilities. Standard amenities include VIP service and preferred rates, and when available, early check-in, late check-out, and room upgrades, in addition to the property-specific Ensemble Exclusive.
Ensemble Travel Group members also give the program high marks when it comes to helping them grow their business. “As a member of Ensemble Travel Group, we have been able to offer our clients invaluable benefits that we could not provide on our own,” said Joan Novack, president of Majesty Travel in Edgewater, NJ. “Our clients love the Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection because it means they are treated to a myriad of wonderful, generous amenities that make them feel special. It's been a WIN-WIN situation for us all!”