Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ has identified Australia as its 4th top source market for bookings and is on track with its growth strategy to offer only the ‘best of the best’ independent properties within the SLH portfolio across Australia and overseas.
In Australia alone within the last year, SLH has added the stunning new COMO The Treasury, Perth in Western Australia which came on board upon opening in October 2015 and luxurious Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach in New South Wales, which joined this month and brings the SLH Australian portfolio to eight beautiful properties in great locations.
These two properties have also been in the winning circle picking up a number of prestigious awards already in 2016 with Australian Gourmet Traveller naming COMO The Treasury as New Hotel of the Year and HM Awards recognising Halcyon House as Australasian Hotel of the Year. Both have also been named in US Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List among the many other accolades coming their way this year.
Visiting Australia this week to attend Luxperience and conduct SLH Trade Showcases in Melbourne and Sydney, SLH Singapore-based Vice President Asia Pacific, Mark Wong said such recognition for these latest additions to the SLH portfolio “proves our development strategy is on the right track”.
“We are going for quality versus quantity by carefully selecting independently spirited hotels that offer consistent guest experiences as other successful and award-winning SLH properties here and overseas,” Mr Wong said.
Mr Wong rejoined SLH in May 2016 as part of the company’s drive to execute an ambitious growth plan in the Asia Pacific region, which has included a £12 million (approx. $20 million) global investment into the brand. At the end of 2015, SLH unveiled a new logo and creative approach to emphasise SLH’s core philosophy to match independently minded travellers with independently-spirited hotels.
“To support our goal to achieve consistency in more than 80 countries where we have SLH properties, we have introduced a more stringent approach to our quality assurance program to maintain a high standard for our existing hotels and raise the benchmark for new hotels joining our brand,” he said.
“We have increased the frequency of the program so that each property is visited by our Mystery Inspector every 12 months and, if failing their first inspection, will be inspected again within three months.”
Mr Wong said any property failing its second inspection will be asked to leave the SLH brand.
“We embarked on this new process with revamped guidelines last year and it is expected to take around 18 to 24 months to assess over 500 properties,” Mr Wong said.
With reservations by travel agents continuing to account for almost two thirds of SLH bookings, the business-to-business platform continues to evolve to serve Australian travel agents better. Travel agents are invited to sign up for the SLH Newsletter to receive regular updates at agents.slh.com.
SLH will be undertaking a series of trade initiatives in 2017, which will include increased commissions for tactical campaigns and increased discounts for Travel Industry Rates.
“We will also be reintroducing a VIP Desk to be based in Brisbane to support travel agents in Australia and focusing on co-operative activities with luxury travel agency networks including Virtuoso,” Mr Wong said.
“Australia is an important market for us both in terms of domestic and outbound businesses we continue to see significant bookings generated for favoured destinations by Australians where we are represented – for example Viceroy Bali, The Tokyo Station Hotel, Naman Retreat and Princess D’An Am Resort & Spa, both in Vietnam – to name a few,” Mr Wong said.
“We continue to seek new hotels in destinations that appeal to Australian travellers and assist travel agents meet the growing demand for independently minded travel experiences.”
Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ – Australian properties
Berkeley River Lodge, Kununurra, Western Australia – 20 rooms
Berkeley River Lodge offers the chance to discover and explore one of Australia’s most isolated destinations. Guests arrive by seaplane or light aircraft to start the wilderness adventure, staying in ultra-comfortable villas.
COMO The Treasury, Perth, Western Australia – 48 rooms
COMO The Treasury exudes a sense of grandeur. The buildings have housed state government offices for the past 140 years. Today, this cosmopolitan boutique hotel combines modern styling and preserved period features.
Halcyon House, Cabarita Beach, New South Wales – 21 rooms
Halcyon House is set on one of Australia’s best surf breaks in an idyllic beachfront town. Golden sunlight filters through green palms. White walls shine against a cloudless blue sky. The sound of the waves rolls in across the shimmering surface of the pool.
Injidup Spa Retreat, Margaret River, Western Australia – 10 rooms
Injidup Spa Retreat is a tranquil beach spa resort surrounded by 3000 acres of the unspoiled Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in the heart of the Margaret River wine district. Each French-inspired villa overlooks the ocean and is perfect for nature lovers.
Smiths Beach Resort, Margaret River, Western Australia – 60 rooms
Smiths Beach Resort is located within a National Park and perfectly positioned on the gleaming white sands of Smiths Beach, within easy access of many wonderful wineries and restaurants for which the region is renowned.
The Dudley Boutique Hotel, Daylesford, Victoria – 7 rooms
The Dudley Boutique Hotel embraces the quieter pace of county life – a light and airy retreat that has welcomed guests for more than 100 years. Tucked away in a blossoming spring garden, this boutique hotel is an idyllic place to take a break and truly unwind.
Thorngrove Manor Hotel, Adelaide, South Australia – 5 rooms
Thorngrove Manor Hotel presents a distinctive creative architecture, captivating style and contemporary influence. The romantic castle inspired towers and fantasy turrets are clues to its artistic and flamboyant interiors.
Woodbridge on the Derwent, New Norfolk, Tasmania – 8 rooms
Woodbridge on the Derwent is a grand Georgian mansion on the banks of the Derwent River just a 30-minute drive from Hobart. This enchanting hotel is perfectly placed to enjoy wildlife and wilderness, wineries, whisky distilleries and pristine produce.