Ensemble Travel Group reports the release of its 2012 Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection directory, the 284-page Imagine Luxury, which showcases a range of nearly 500 properties. The directory is designed to help members in the U.S. and Canada grow lucrative luxury bookings.
From program newcomers such as brands Ritz Carlton Hotels and Sofitel Luxury Hotels to other upscale main-stays like Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the collection continues to represent significant value for both partners and Ensemble members, Ensemble says.
Orient-Express alone strengthened its participation in the Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection from five properties in 2011 to 24 in 2012.
“As Orient-Express grows, so grows our satisfaction with the results from our partnership with Ensemble Travel Group and its members,” said Anna Skubiak, director, Strategic Partnerships. “They are an integral part of our success as we expand our brand around the world.”
Fairmont, one of the original brands in the luxury lodging program’s 10-year history, gives high marks to the organization’s marketing expertise and its North American presence. "Because of Ensemble's unique structure in the U.S. and Canada, we're able to increase our exposure through this proven agency distribution channel,” said Leslie Dodson, director, Global Leisure Retail and Luxury Sales.
The organization’s recent focus on creating specialist programs and niche campaigns for its members has guided part of the growth strategy, according to Vincent DeMauro, program manager, and Suzanne Hall, senior director, marketing and development, land products for Ensemble Travel Group.
“As we develop specialist programs like the South Pacific and Honeymoons & Weddings, we are careful to consider properties that reflect or support those initiatives,” said Hall. “We also strategically look at ‘need areas’ – emerging destinations where we may not currently have a partner, as well as the balance of properties to make sure we’re not saturating an area.”
Among Ensemble’s new properties in 2012:
• South Pacific: Le Meridien Bora Bora; and The Observatory Hotel and Shangri-La, both in Sydney;
• Honeymoons & Weddings: La Samanna, St. Martin FWI; Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Hotel Caruso, Ravello, Italy; and St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico;
• Family: Ritz Carlton Caribbean properties in Cancun, Rose Hall Jamaica, Grand Cayman, San Juan, and St. Thomas; Vail Cascade Resort & Spa; and Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa Grand Cayman.
In addition to the print directory, which is customized for Ensemble Travel Group members and mailed to strategically selected clients, the four- and five-star properties are accessible through the organization’s digital version that was launched last summer and embedded on members’ websites.
It can also be posted on members’ blogs, sent to their contact lists, and distributed via Android devices, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. New in 2012 is a “live” section that’s continually updated and showcases properties that join throughout the year, Ensemble says.
The Ensemble Hotel & Resort Collection also features an array of complimentary Ensemble Exclusives, such as daily breakfast, round-trip airport transfers, rounds of golf, and spa/resort credits. 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.