Ascend Hotel collection grows in Gateways
The Ascend Collection membership program from Choice Hotels International continues its expansion with new member properties in gateway cities in the United States and Canada. These lodgings are Clifton Hotel, Miami’s South Beach, Florida’s first LEED Gold hotel; The National Hotel and Suites, the network’s first property in the capital city of Ottawa; and Hotel Elan, marking the collection’s debut in Calgary. The new additions bring the portfolio’s roster to eight hotels in Canada and more than 75 properties worldwide.
Other recent additions include new boutique hotels in key markets: Hotel de Point in New York three miles from LaGuardia Airport, enVision Hotel Boston and The Blake Hotel New Orleans. The momentum continues, with signed contracts for new members in destinations like Las Vegas, Philadelphia and British Anguilla.
Launched in the fall of 2008, Ascend Hotel Collection today has upscale independent hotels in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Scandinavia and Costa Rica. The fast-growing portfolio has a proven track record for driving reservations, with a contribution rate from Choice Hotels of more than 58 percent for 2011, the highest among the Choice family of 11 brands.
As part of Ascend Hotel Collection, member properties maintain their independent brand identity, while adding the firepower of Choice’s global distribution, marketing and technology. The hotels gain a presence on ChoiceHotels.com, one of the industry’s most visited websites, drawing 100 million visits annually. They acquire an industry-leading property management system, enabling them to manage reservations in real time. They also gain a loyalty program, Choice Privileges, with more than 15 million rewards members worldwide.
“Ascend Hotel Collection is on a roll, with recent debuts and expansions in major urban markets,” says Michael Murphy, senior vice president of upscale brands at Choice Hotels. “Each hotel has a unique personality that celebrates its location. Our newest members are close to the action. That makes them great fits for our guests, who like to immerse themselves in the destination and live like the locals when they travel.” Following are the latest additions to Ascend Hotel Collection.
The Clifton Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach – In the heart of the Art Deco District, the Clifton South Beach Hotel sits on Collins Avenue one-half block from the beach and a short stroll to South Beach’s famous nightlife, shops and restaurants. This 35-room boutique hotel underwent a multi-million-dollar eco-renovation and reopened in 2010 with its historic, Art Deco facade refreshed and redesigned interiors that are fresh, hip and environmentally friendly. The contemporary decor features custom furnishings made locally with bamboo, guestrooms outfitted with modern LED lighting and custom Giclee photographic prints of the Florida Everglades. As the City of Miami Beach’s first LEED-certified building, the Clifton boasts comfortable mattresses created from renewable materials and soft pillows made of recycled bottle fibers that are allergen-free and anti-microbial. Among the many other green features: solar power, an occupancy-sensing energy management system, high-efficiency faucets and air conditioning system, water-conserving dual-flush toilets and energy-efficient windows. The lobby bar serves up organic wines and cocktails along with traditional South Beach favorites. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast as well as VIP passes to nightclubs and pre-parties. The Clifton South Beach is owned and managed by the Miami-Beach-based Cambean Hospitality, the first carbon neutral hospitality group in the United States. Through Nov. 30, 2012, rates start at $149 per night weekdays and $199 per night on weekends.
The National Hotel and Suites, Ottawa, Ontario – This downtown hotel is within walking distance of major attractions – Parliament Hill; Rideau Canal, Canada’s largest skateway; National Art Gallery; boutiques, restaurants, nightlife and paved bike paths – and less than 10 miles from Ottawa International Airport. The 328-room property is home to the AAA Four Diamond Capital Dining Room. Other onsite amenities include: a lively bar/lounge, cafe, 13,000 square feet of meeting space, state-of-the-art fitness center, lobby business center and indoor saltwater swimming pool with a two-story heated waterslide. There are elegantly appointed guestrooms as well as one- and two-bedroom suites with wetbars and balconies. On the 18th floor, the exclusive Summit Club Lounge serves up views of the Parliament Buildings, Gatineau Mountains and Ottawa River. For outdoor recreation, National Hotel is minutes from the spectacular Gatineau Mountains. This hotel is owned by InnVest Properties Ottawa Nominee LTD and operated by InnVest Hotels XV LP. Rates start at $129 - $270 per night through December 2013.
Hotel Elan, Calgary, Alberta – Located in the bustling Beltline District, Hotel Elan is minutes away from downtown Calgary and steps from “Uptown 17th Avenue,” home of Calgary’s vibrant shopping, restaurants and pubs. This 42-suite property is comprised of Hotel Rooms, One-Bedroom Suites, Two-Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites with a private exercise room. This inventory provides options enabling every guest to individualize his or her accommodation requirements. In each suite, patio doors open onto a balcony with panoramic city views. Hotel Elan is close to Calgary Stampede grounds, home to the world-famous Calgary Stampede as well as concerts and other large-scale events; Saddledome, the stadium for the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames; Calgary Tower; Chinatown; and the Calgary Zoo.