Orient-Express Hotels, owners or part-owners and managers of 45 luxury hotel, restaurant, tourist train and river cruise properties operating in 22 countries, has launched the Orient-Express Associate Hotels program.
At the same time, Orient-Express announced that the founding member of the new program is the iconic Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz, France.
“The Associate Hotels program is an opportunity to enhance our portfolio of iconic travel experiences by partnering with independently owned and/or managed luxury hotels,” said Orient-Express’ Chief Marketing Officer, David Williams.
“In return for providing access to our highly valued international sales force and strategic marketing channels, this initiative enables us to curate new destinations for our guests to discover.
“Our boutique collection is uniquely positioned to work with like-minded hoteliers who wish to preserve their established individual brand reputation, but who share the vision of the Orient-Express umbrella brand, offering an equal standard of authentic experience, revenue return and service as our owned properties.”
He said Associate hotels will have access to Orient-Express’ full suite of sales, marketing and public relations support in 17 key geographic markets, global voice reservations and dedicated distribution under the Orient-Express GDS code ‘OE’, and a fully aligned online presence with next generation websites
“Hôtel du Palais is thrilled to be the first property to be able to call itself an Orient-Express Associate Hotel,” said Hôtel du Palais General Manager, Jean-Louis Leimbacher.
“Hôtel du Palais has been a landmark in Biarritz for 120 years and we were looking for an opportunity to increase our distribution without sacrificing our iconic brand identity.
“In Orient-Express we have found a partner with the mindset of an owner-operator that really understands how to preserve our individual personality and at the same time grow our revenue with intelligent marketing and distribution channels.”
Williams said the Orient-Express Associate Hotels program is by invitation only and partner hotels are selected according to criteria, including having an established and iconic reputation, being a market leader in their respective destination, being a complementary fit with the existing Orient-Express portfolio, and meeting very high independently assessed quality standards.