One of the world's largest luxury hotel brands is making a few major investments.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announced a development initiative this week that will bring the hotel group's total number of properties in its portfolio to 100 by 2016. Sound like a small number? Think again. The Ritz-Carlton doesn't just open hotels on a whim. Through careful consideration and years of market and consumer research, the hotel prides itself on choosing destinations that meet the consumer need and build the brand value.
"The robust pipeline of hotel projects indicates a continued strong demand for Ritz-Carlton products and services. We are delighted at the company's continued positive growth," said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer, in a statement. "Across the globe, and especially in Asia and the Middle East, we will be the undisputed top-tier luxury hospitality brand by 2016," Humler predicted.
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, one of the more talked-about properties for East Coast travelers, is scheduled to open this November.
Its exclusive location on Aruba's famed Palm Beach gives way to breathtaking views of the ocean from any of its 320 rooms and suites, many with private balconies. There will be four food and beverage outlets, two swimming pools, a 15,000-square-foot spa and 15,000-square-foot casino.
As for other top locations, China still ranks as a priority for the brand.
Ritz-Carlton placed a lot of focus in Asia over the past few years and there are plans to increase the number of hotels in China from 8 to 16 in the next three years. The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu and The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin will open by the end of 2013. Most recently, the hotel group launched a new Chinese website and a page on Sina Weibo, the first Mandarin language social media channel for the luxury brand. There's also talk of a Chinese mobile site by year-end.
Meanwhile, as part of its overall hotel expansion plans, the Ritz-Carlton announced its upcoming hotels in Morocco, Japan, Israel and India. The plan for further expansion will continue to be in urban locations and top tourist destinations.
What else can we expect from the luxury hotel group? My spies tell me that more Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties and some new Ritz-Carlton Residences are on the way.
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