Top ten luxury hotel chains

Written by kj henderson
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Top ten luxury hotel chains
The Luxury Insitute surveyed the top luxury hotel chains. (Image by, courtesy of Dennis Wong)

The Luxury Institute is a research company. Based in New York City, this organisation studies and gives ratings to companies, products and services offered within the luxury industry. In 2008, the Institute issued a press release listing 23 of the most prestigious hotels in the world. Ranked in alphabetical order, the list included independent hotels, hotel chains and membership organisations (Leading Hotels of the World). The top hotel chains included on this list were Club Med, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont, Four Seasons, InterContinental, JW Marriott, Le Meridien, Loews, Mandarin Oriental and Orient Express. All information regarding each hotel comes directly from its respective corporate websites.

Club Med | Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Club Mediterranee, colloquially referred to as Club Med, is a chain of vacation resorts headquartered in France. Club Med is known for offering all-inclusive vacations on every continent excluding Antarctica. In 2008, the chain welcomed approximately 1.3 million guests to its facilities worldwide.

The Conrad Hotels & Resorts is owned and operated by Hilton Worldwide, a global hospitality company. Named after company founder Conrad Hilton, this chain was founded in 1982 with the goal of creating a network of luxury hospitality facilities. Winner of Global Traveler's 2008 Best Hotel Chain in Europe Award, the Conrad Hotels website states that its mission is "to be the luxury hotel of choice for discerning travellers, creating a world that celebrates individuality in every sense."

Fairmont | Four Seasons

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is a Toronto-based organisation that owns and operates luxury hospitality facilities in 15 countries, including, Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Mexico, Barbados, Monaco, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Founded in 1907, this chain works toward the mission of "turning moments into memories for our guests."

Founded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is a privately owned organisation headquartered in Toronto. Operating under a unique business model, this company does not own any of its locations. The contract between Four Seasons and property owners typically gives the hospitality provider the ability to maintain design and other creative control over the facility, as well as maintain the right to operate the individual hotel.

InterContinental | JW Marriott

While the InterContinental Hotel Group was technically founded in 2003, the company roots can be traced back to 1777. Headquartered in England, this firm reported a net income of £170 million in 2008. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange, its stock symbol is IHG.

JW Marriott Hotels is a luxury line of hotels and resorts owned and operated by Marriott International. Considered the "most elegant and luxurious Marriott brand," here were 39 of these facilities in the world as of 2009. JW Marriott is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Le Meridien | Loews

Le Meridien is a luxury hotel brand owned and operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Founded by Air France in 1972, this chain became a member of the Starwood family in 2005.

In 2009, Loews Hotels operated luxury hospitality facilities in 16 cities across the United States and Canada. Based in New York City, Loews Hotels is a subsidiary of the Loews Corporation, a diversified holding company owned by the Tisch Family.

Mandarin Oriental | Orient Express

Founded in 1963, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group maintained more than 10,000 luxury hotel rooms in 25 countries in 2009. In June 2009, the company reported that its net assets valued at £1.4 billion. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The Orient-Express Hotels is a hospitality and leisure company headquartered in Bermuda. Founded in 1976, the company (as of 2009) owns a diversified range of entertainment organisations, including 39 hotels, two restaurants (including the legendary 21 club in New York City) and six tourist trains (including the storied Venice-Simplon Orient Express). A publicly traded company, the New York Stock Exchange Symbol of The Orient-Express Hotels is OEH.

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