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Four New Hotels and More: Why You Should Care About Preferred Hotel Group

October 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM | by | ()

A suite at New York’s The Mark, among the latest hotels to join Preferred

Last week on October 1, Preferred Hotel Group, which represents 650 hotels worldwide, announced that The Mark in New York and The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. were joining its Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Boutique collections, respectively. This announcement came just three business days after the luxury hotel group announced that Wynn and Encore Las Vegas were also joining its Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection.

You may say, who cares? Well let’s start with the fact that soft brands have seen more action and attention lately (remember the latest on Marriott’s Autograph Collection?). From July through September 2012, 24 new members joined Preferred Hotel Group, which is significant given the fact that brand represents some of the most luxurious independent hotels in the world. But there’s more to the story—a better story, in fact—around Preferred and why you might want to take a closer look at soft brands and Preferred Hotel Group.

What the heck is a soft hotel brand anyway? Basically, soft brands represent groups of hotels by providing them with some kind of strategic background support or service. For example, Preferred Hotel Group provides the hotels in its collections with sales and marketing support.

Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas joined Preferred Hotels & Resorts in September

But here’s what’s cool about soft brands; they are typically the antithesis of cookie cutter, representing hotels that are independently owned and operated. To some extent, they can serve as a vetting tool by listing only hotels that offer both a high level of service and a very unique experience, often in some of the world’s most desirable locations.

This is especially true for Preferred Hotel Group, which represents five unique collections across 85 countries: the above mentioned Preferred Hotels & Resorts (the ultimate in luxury and personalized service) and Preferred Boutique (same as the previous group, but representing hotels with 100 rooms or less), as well as Summit Hotels & Resorts (think style and culture), Sterling Hotels (hotels with mucho character and proximity), and Sterling Design (forward-thinking hotels in design and technology).

A Platinum guest room at Washington, D.C.’s, Jefferson, which recently joined Preferred

There are other soft brands, and we'd be remiss not to mention them. Leading Hotels of the World is segmented by spa and golf, Small Luxury Hotels is its own brand, Autograph is an offshoot of Marriott and Worldhotels is a singular brand. These brands may be less discriminating when adding new hotels to their collections since they offer only one-size-fits-all properties.

Preferred Hotel Group, on the other hand, has five sizes and each is proven selective by the company they keep. For example, among their 250 hotels, you’ll find the Imperial New Delhi, Aspen’s Little Nell, Bejing’s Opposite House and the Amalfi Coast’s Palazzo Sasso in the resorts collection. Or search the boutique collection and you'll discover 150 hotels like Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn, Oregon's The Allison Inn & Spa and London’s Hempel.

The list goes on and makes us wonder why we weed through TripAdvisor comments.

All this is to say that if you demand a certain level of luxury and service—and let’s be honest, we all do—and if you already have a destination in mind, maybe searching by Preferred Hotel Group is a smarter and more efficient way to book hotels. It’s not to say that booking this way guarantees a perfect stay, but odds are you will significantly increase your chances of scoring something quite stellar.

[Photos: The Mark New York, Wynn Las Vegas, and The Jefferson Washington D.C.]

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