January 8, 2013 – Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. www.orient-express.com, owners or part-owners and managers of 45 luxury hotel, restaurant, tourist train and river cruise properties operating in 22 countries, today launched the Orient-Express Associate Hotels programme. At the same time, Orient-Express announced that the founding member of the new programme is the iconic Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz, France, effective January 7, 2013.
“The Associate Hotels programme is an opportunity to enhance our portfolio of iconic travel experiences by partnering with independently owned and/or managed luxury hotels,” said David Williams, Chief Marketing Officer, Orient-Express. “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.”
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. Available strategic partnerships include the Bellini Club, Orient-Express’ preferred agent programme.
“Hôtel du Palais is thrilled to be the first property to be able to call itself An Orient-Express Associate Hotel,” said Jean-Louis Leimbacher, General Manager of Hôtel du Palais. “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.”
The Orient-Express Associate Hotels programme 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.
About Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. is a luxury hotel company and sophisticated adventure travel operator which seeks to deliver memorable experiences that are the ultimate expression of each destination's authentic culture. The Company has offered exceptional luxury travel experiences since 1976, when it purchased Hotel Cipriani in Venice and then shortly thereafter recreated the celebrated Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, linking London, Paris and Venice, along with other European cities. Today the Orient-Express brand embraces 45 hotel, cruise and luxury rail businesses in 22 countries, including distinctive properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
About Hôtel du Palais
Cradled by the beaches of Biarritz for 120 years, Hôtel du Palais is a 154 room former palace which was commissioned as a private residence by Napoleon III to establish the town as “the queen of resorts and a resort for kings” and has played host to many well-known personalities from the literary and arts worlds including Charlie Chaplin and Ernest Hemingway. Rooms and suites, which look out onto the Atlantic Ocean, reflect the ‘belle époque’ era in which the hotel was born, and are fitted with Burmese teak, Carrara marble and Italian glass mosaics. Antique furniture, turn-of-the-century Lalique-style lamps, and gilded cabinets and chandeliers feature throughout the hotel and contribute towards a majestic atmosphere. In an authentic touch, all fabrics and upholstery at Hôtel du Palais are individually designed and produced by hand in the hotel’s very own workshop. Hôtel du Palais is home to three restaurants, including one Michelin starred Villa Eugenie, which serves mouth-watering rich French cuisine featuring locally caught seafood and regional produce. Hôtel du Palais takes wellness very seriously and this is reflected in its comprehensive five story spa, which caters for every pampering indulgence and encompasses a 15 metre indoor pool, saunas, hamams, a hair care institute, fully equipped gym, and spa treatment rooms. For further information, please visit www.hoteldupalais.com.
For further information, please contact Sara Mirza or Emily Wilson at Orient-Express on 0203 117 1376 or email@example.com, Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org