Let’s step back in time. The year is 1946 and the world is emerging from the devastating turbulence of World War II. In America, Harry Truman rules the White House while Ben Chifley holds station in Australia. Perry Como sits atop the Billboard charts for his song ‘Prisoner of Love’ and ‘The Lost Weekend’ claims Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Also taking place that year was the formation of Best Western Motels by experienced hotelier, M.K. Guertin, which consisted initially of a simple referral agreement where enquiring travellers were put in touch with participating properties.
Now, 75 years later, the modern-day Best Western Hotels & Resorts sits pride of place alongside WorldHotels Collection and SureStay Hotel Group within the newly created BWH Hotel Group. The business has grown to operate 18 brands comprising 4,700 hotels in 100 countries. Yet that founding principle of linking travellers with the most appropriate hotels on offer remains intact and continues every day.
The overarching BWH Hotel Group (BWH) name first entered the industry lexicon in 2019 and has been created as a soft parent brand under which the 18 operating brands reside and which are aligned to three different market segments– economy through midscale and mid-upper to upscale and luxury. Now, the BWH name is emerging and announcing its arrival atop the corporate hierarchy.
The three core BWH brand pillars begin with the WorldHotels Collection, a group of luxury properties dotted in some of the world’s most picturesque and idyllic holiday locales around the world. The group was acquired by BWH Hotels in 2018, acting as a catalyst in the formation of the BWH parent brand. This year, WorldHotels is celebrating its own anniversary as it chalks up 50 years of existence. In Australia and New Zealand, you’ll find Stamford Group Hotels & Resorts as members of WorldHotels Collection.
This BWH luxury tier continues to grow and is shaping for a strong future among independent hotel owners looking to attract luxury travellers with the recent local launch of WorldHotels Crafted Collection.
The second BWH pillar comprises the most endearing and best-known brand collections in the accommodation industry anywhere in the world, with Best Western Hotels and Resorts firmly established as the company’s primary legacy brand. In Australia and New Zealand alone, you’ll find hotels and resorts bearing the Best Western name pretty much anywhere, along highways and major transport routes, in major cities or tucked away in coastal hotspots, hinterland hideaways and regional centres.
Some of the brands you’ll find as part of the BWH upscale segment include some rapidly growing lifestyle labels including Sadie, Glo and Aiden, the latter preparing to make its Australian debut later this year in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
The third and final BWH pillar anchors the company’s presence in the economy sector, with the SureStay Hotel Group made up of a collection of high value and budget friendly properties in both leisure and business destinations. SureStay properties are designed to offer all of the essentials a budget conscious traveller needs and none of the extras that won’t be used, coupled by perks like free WiFi and continental breakfast.
“Since the introduction of BWH Hotel Group in 2019 as the parent to the 17 brands active in the Australasian region, we’ve taken an active approach to educate our hoteliers, developers, Best Western Rewards members and guests alike about the whole range of accommodation options, loyalty incentives and development opportunities available,” said BWH Hotel Group Managing Director Australasia, Graham Perry.
“The BWH Masterbrand acts as an umbrella brand to champion brand delivery from luxury through economy segments and includes both hard brands led by Best Western Hotels & Resorts and SureStay Hotel Group and soft brands showcased by our WorldHotels Collection. Over the next few years and following the opening of Aiden Darling Harbour BWH will introduce new luxury brands to the market including Glo and Sadie.”
“Following the pandemic and over the next 75 years, the name BWH Hotel Group will become synonymous with everything that travellers are looking for in accommodation, whether for business or leisure– and as always outstanding customer service will remain at its very core.”